Identify driver issues during Windows installations & upgrades


Software: Windows 7, 8 & 10 | Last modified on 2018-06-18


You're able to identify driver issues during Windows installations & upgrades, if the process is stuck at a certain percentage. You can also perform these steps after a downgrade, as the log files are always stored on the C: drive after a failed upgrade.

[Step 1] Locate the error log files


  1. Press Shift & F10 at the same time to open the Command Prompt.
  2. Execute Notepad to open the Notepad application.
  3. Open File and click Open.
  4. Select All files at the right bottom of the screen.
  5. Continue with step 2.

[Step 2] Open the error log files


  1. The log files will be located at any of the following locations:

    • C:\WINDIR
    • C:\WINDIR\Inf\
    • C:\WINDIR\Panther\
    • C:\WINDIR\Windowsupdate*.log
    • C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\Panther
    • C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\Rollback
    • C:\$Windows.~WS\Sources\Panther
    • %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP

  2. Search for any of the following files:

    • Setupact.log
    • Setupapi*.log (any log that starts with Setupapi*.log)
    • Setuperr.log

  3. Open the log file and scroll to the bottom of the file.
  4. Identify which driver is causing the issue.

    • If the driver is related to external hardware, unplug the external hardware and let the upgrade process continue for a few more hours. If the upgrade is stuck for over 6 hours, reboot the computer to start the downgrade process.
    • If the driver is related to internal hardware, reboot the computer to start the downgrade process and update the faulty driver before attempting to upgrade again.

  5. To increase the chance of succes, it's always advised to update all drivers in Windows before attempting to upgrade to a newer version.

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