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UUP Gets Teething Problems

Since last November, I’ve mentioned the Unified Update Platform 5 for Windows 10 five times in this blog. It made its debut with Insider Preview build 14959, and as of yesterday, we’re up to build 15025. It’s proving to be something of a pain, as I work with downloading and installing frequent Insider Preview builds. These are more like the transition from 1511 to the 1607 Anniversary Update for those outside the program, bigger and more time-consuming than a typical cumulative update. Recently, though, as UUP gets teething problems, it’s been a real slog to keep up with new builds.

It all started on 11/3/16 when Bill Karagounis posted this to the Windows Insider blog.

When UUP Gets Teething Problems, What Gives?

Fortunately, there are two different workarounds to get past UUP problems. For me, these problems have recently manifested the following signs or symptoms (also reported by many other Insiders):

  • Long download times from Windows Update. I quit one download yesterday after waiting 2 hours, another after letting it run for 7 before giving up.
  • Download apparently hangs at various stages of completion: I’ve personally gotten stuck at 0% and 100%.
  • A variety of installation errors that result in a rollback to the previous build.

For a more complete litany of woes, see this thread on Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15025 for PC. It gets pretty interesting in a hurry, and is the first such build to collect 30-plus pages of posts in recent memory.

How to Get Past UUP Issues: The Workarounds

There are two ways to get around the UUP download problems. One is to run a registry hack that instructs WU to provide the compressed ESD file format (older-style updates) instead of UUP’s large file collections. This hack is documented in a TenForums thread (post #728) entitled “Upgrading Windows 10 – ESD or UUP?” After installing this hack and rebooting your PC, downloads work better on some machines. This was the case for my Insider Preview desktop test machine. In fact, its MSI Z87-G45 motherboard has proven pretty resilient over the two years or so it’s served in that role.

For other machines, though, not even the ESD trick works. That, alas, was true for my Dell Venue Pro 11. It stubbornly resisted all attempts to let WU handle the upgrade install. I resorted to links posted at in a recent item entitled “Download Windows 10 Build 15025 ISO Images” instead. Title notwithstanding, this actually has one download the ESD file. Next, you’ll use a decrypter to turn it into an ISO. After that, you can mount it in the file system and run Setup.exe for an upgrade install.

I’ll be very glad to see Microsoft fix or improve UUP. I’d like to see it work like earlier iterations of Windows Update: slowly, but reasonably reliably. In the meantime, when UUP gets teething problems, savvy Insiders know to look for alternative arrangements until this baby settles down!