While upgrading to the latest version of Windows 10, some users have reported an error where they get the following message:
“0xc1900101 – 0x20017. The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during boot operation”
Here, I shall discuss how you can solve this error easily on your computer.
What Does ‘The Installation Failed In The SAFE_OS Phase’ Mean?
There are a couple of errors associated with this, where users get the message saying that their installation is stuck in the SAFE_OS phase. Some of these error messages that you may get include:
“The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during MIGRATE_DATA operation”
“The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during boot operation”
“The installation failed in the first_boot phase with an error during MIGRATE_DATA operation”
The installation failed error usually appears due to restrictions in the permissions available to the installer files. One of the primary causes of this is storage encryption, where the installer gives the SAFE_OS phase error message if the target storage device is encrypted using BitLocker or something similar.
You may also face this error due to driver issues, where the hardware connected to your computer prevents installation if there is a driver mismatch. Users have reported the error to be caused by certain Bluetooth and wireless drivers.
Some other causes include interference from the peripherals, corrupted installation media, antivirus blocking the installation, and invalid cache data, among others.
How To Fix ‘The Installation Failed In The SAFE_OS Phase With An Error During Boot Operation’ Error?
Now that you know some probable causes, let us take a look at some simple solutions that you can try in order to solve the ‘the installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase’ error message.
Solution 1: Check The Drive Encryption
Even on faster SSDs, drive encryption can prevent the installation of the operating system. Windows 10 Pro and above editions come supplied with the full potential of BitLocker, which is the built-in drive encryption software. If you get the SAFE_OS error message, one of the first things you should try is to remove the drive encryption and then reinstall Windows 10.
After the operating system is upgraded, encrypt the drive again to protect the contents of the storage device.
Solution 2: Remove Peripherals And Try Again
If your drive is not encrypted, or removing the encryption still shows you the same error message, it is possible that some external device is interfering with the normal installation of the operating system. There have been reports earlier of certain external adapters interrupting the installation.
Remove any Bluetooth and wireless adapters, USB devices, printers, and phone among other peripherals like external speakers and microphones, etc., and reinstall the operating system. Your installation should finish without any error this time. Once the installation finishes, reconnect the peripherals and install the latest drivers for these.
Solution 3: Change The Installation Media
If changing the encryption status did not help you, there may be some error with the installation media that you are using to upgrade to Windows 10. If you suspect that this is the case, you will need to download a fresh copy of the Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft Website and burn its contents to a formatted USB drive.
Retry the installation using the new installation media, and check if you still get the ‘the installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase’ error message. Your error should now be resolved.
Solution 4: Change The Update Service Status
There are certain services attached to the update process, which are necessary for the updates to complete without any errors. If you see that the upgrade process shows failed error messages, there might be some error with the update services which is preventing the upgrades.
Follow these steps to change the status of the services associated with Windows upgrades:
- Open a Run dialog and type services.msc in the editor. Press Enter to launch the Windows Services console.
- Locate the following in the list of available services:
BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service)
Windows Update Service
- Right-click on each of these services and select Properties from the context menu.
- Change the startup type of each of these services to Automatic.
- Click on Apply followed by OK to save the changes.
- Restart your computer and then attempt the installation again.
You should be able to complete the installation without any errors now.
Solution 5: Uninstall Corrupt Or Incompatible Drivers
On Windows 7 and 8.1, there have been reports that a driver bug check fail can lead to the operating system not installing on certain devices. This may be the reason why you see the installation failed error message, as there are certain third-party drivers in these older versions that are not supported in Windows 10.
If you are upgrading from these versions, you may first want to uninstall these incompatible drivers from your computer before installing Windows 10 to avoid error during MIGRATE_DATA operation. Follow these steps for the same:
- Open your device manager that is built into Microsoft Windows.
- Here, locate your Bluetooth and wireless drivers from the list of installed devices.
- Right-click on the selected drivers, and select Uninstall from the context menu.
Restart your computer and attempt the installation again. You should not see the installation failed error message again.
If uninstalling the drivers did not solve your error, you may want to disable the internal Bluetooth and WLAN devices from the BIOS to reattempt the installation.
Solution 6: Remove Corrupt Installation Profiles
If none of the solutions provided above helped you solve the error, it is possible that the previously failed installation created some corrupt profiles which are interfering with the new installations as well. This is the case with many users, who have reported a boot loop and similar issues, with the ‘the installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase’ error message being displayed.
Another sign of this error is the error codes 0xC1900101 – 0x20017 and 8007001F – 0x3000D accompanying the error message. To fix this, you will need to clear the older profiles from your computer. Follow these steps in order to remove these corrupt files from your device:
Note: You can use a third-party registry and junk cleaner application such as CCleaner and Auslogics Registry Cleaner to automate this process. Simply remove all the selected issues and your error should be resolved.
- Before you uninstall any profile from your computer, it is recommended that you take a full system backup and create a restore point, in order to prevent any data loss if some mishap occurs.
- Next, open a Run dialog and open the Registry Editor by typing regedit and pressing Enter.
- Navigate to the following location by pasting the path in the address bar of the Registry Editor:
- In the right column, delete any profiles that should not be there. Check the name and Data columns for the relevant information required during the same.
- Next, you will need to delete the invalid user folders. To do so, first open file explorer. You can use the keyboard shortcut Win + E.
- Navigate to the following folder by clicking on the appropriate entries:
- Here, delete the folders for the invalid profiles, which you deleted from the Registry Editor.
- Also, delete any other profile folders which should not have been there.
- Empty these folders from the recycle bin as well, and restart your computer.
After you restart your computer, attempt the installation again. You should be able to finish the installation without any issues this time around.
Solution 7: Create A New User Account Without Any Spaces And Periods
If none of the solutions provided above helped you in solving the installation error, there is a chance that your user account may be corrupted, which is preventing a new installation from running on your computer. To check and fix this error, you will require creating a new user account, preferably without any spaces and periods.
Create a new local user account, and grant it administrative privileges. Then attempt the installation from this user account. You should not see this error again.
So there you have it. Now you know how to troubleshoot if you see the ‘the installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during boot operation’ error message using the solutions provided above. Comment below if you found this useful, and to discuss further the same.