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Fix The ‘Setup Couldn’t Start Properly’ Error When Downloading Windows 10

You were downloading Windows 10 and as the download progressed to ninety percent Murphy’s law came into effect and the download failed, or your internet died, or your system crashed. There’s a small chance you can resume the download by running a small file in your C drive but even that isn’t a sure bet (still worth a try though). Assuming it doesn’t work, you’re obviously going to run the Media Creation tool again to start the download from scratch but the tool has problems of its own and it refuses to start, repeatedly telling you to reboot your system. If the tool continues to give the ‘Setup couldn’t start properly’ error, despite you rebooting your system, here’s how to get it running again.

This is the error you get once the Media Creation tool crashes and refuses to start again;

media-creation-tool-error

And here’s how to tackle it;

Step 1: Delete the Media Creation Tool. It’s small, only 18MB so don’t fret too much about it. You can always back it up before deleting it if you’re not willing to wait two minutes for it to download again.

Step 2: Restart your system

Step 3: Open your C drive and make sure you can view hidden files and folders.

Step 4: Delete the folders named; $Windows.~BT and $Windows.~WS

media-creation-tool-files

Step 5: Download the Media Creation Tool again (or copy it to your system if you backed it up some place) and then run it. It should run as normal and ask you the same questions as it did before and then start downloading Windows 10 files again (from scratch).

15 Comments

  1. hi, it just couldn’t show the desktop.. and keep o showing black screen with graywords ” Reboot and select proper boot device or Insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key..” may i know how to solve this?

  2. FOR ME THE FIX WAS AT THE STEP WHERE IT SHOWS THE PARTITIONS, i DELETED THEM (since is clean install anyway ) .AFTER I DELETED THE PARTITIONS NOW WAS JUST ONE AS BIG AS HARD DRIVE , i INSTALLED ON IT, NO MORE PROBLEMS

  3. Won’t let me delete the “$Windows,~ws” it says i need permission from the administrator, i am the flipping administrator ffs

    • Right click on the folder > Properties > Security tab > Advanced

      Step 1. in the “Permissions” tab, in the bottom space, there will be a button named Continue
      Step 2. Click it > Another window will open
      Step 3. Click Add > Another window will open
      Step 4. Click on “Select Principal” in blue text
      Step 5. Type your account name in the small pop up window (Your windows user account name)
      Step 6. Click “Check name”, if the name is valid your name will change to something like this “USER-PCUser”.
      Step 7. Click “Ok”
      Step 8. Now go back to the Window in “Step 1.”

      Step 9. This time click on the tab “Auditing” and repeat the steps from 1 to 7

      Remember, to this your account must be an “Administrator” account.

  4. Hi i followed all your instructions but when I try to delete the “$Windows.~WS” it says its under use in the application experience service. What should I do now?

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