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How to fix “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10” error on Windows 10 May 2019 upgrade

The next major feature update for Windows 10 is expected to arrive in May 2019. If you wait, it will eventually show up in Windows Updates. That said, you can get it early from the Release Preview ring. This will get you the update one month, or a few weeks early but it’s rarely worth it. The build can still have bugs which is what happened with the October 2018 update and it has happened again with the May 2019 update as well. When users try and upgrade to it, they get the “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10” error (image via Microsoft).

This bug has been acknowledged by Microsoft and the fix comes from them as well.

This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10

This error appears when you run try to upgrade via the media creation tool that’s available on MSDN or when you try and install it via Windows updates. The cause is external drives connected to your system at the time of the upgrade. All you need to do is disconnect them from the system and then run the upgrade.

Remove everything including memory cards, USB drives, external hard drives, and even any phones that are connected to your system. After that, run the update and it should go through without any problems.


The cause behind this error has been documented by Microsoft. It has to do with drive lettering and how it’s assigned by the OS. The connected drives/devices cause the drives to be lettered so that Windows 10 ends up looking in the wrong drive for boot information. The drive letters have been reassigned so that the wrong one is labelled as the C drive or the backup/restore/boot drive.

It goes beyond saying that Microsoft needs to get its act together. This isn’t the first time a release build, one that’s meant to roll out to users on a stable build in one month, has had a major bug. Microsoft is lucky this bug is so easy to resolve but not enough people will be able to know about it before they actually start the upgrade.

There’s is a small possibility that Microsoft releases a new build that doesn’t have this problem but it’s a small one. The fix is simple as far as the target machine is concerned but the build itself will take a lot of work to fix and then it has to be tested. Fixing it now will require delaying the update (again).

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