Question Upgrade from W7 to W10 (error: FIRST_BOOT, SYSPREP_SPECIALIZE)

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
Hi folks.

Since W7 support ended Tuesday, i was forced to move to W10 with my OSes.

I have 2x builds, Skylake and Haswell (i have actually more but only these two matter here). Full specs with pics in my sig.

Today, i did the W7 to W10 updates on my PCs, 1st one was Haswell build and OS upgrade completed without issues (ran the Media Creation executable and chose "Upgrade this PC"). So, no issues with Haswell build.

Did the same on Skylake build and ran into issue, this error to be exact:




Note: before running the Media Creation executable, i unplugged both of my data drives (MX500 and WD10EZEX), leaving only OS drive connected (960 Evo). Did same on Haswell build, leaving only OS drive connected and there, OS upgrade went fine.

Also, while drive format and clean install may work, i'd loose all my data. Latter isn't something i'm willing to do at the moment since i wasn't able to back up my data. I have Acronis True Image that i've used in the past and also used prior upgrading my Haswell build. I cloned the entire OS drive to 2nd drive, just in case something goes wrong and i need to get back into W7. Acronis True Image doesn't detect my M.2 NVMe SSD and i can't clone it. So, at the moment, clean install isn't happening.

Any idea what to do next?

Google search gives a plethora of different things to test out but since i don't do well with software issues (my expertise lies in hardware), i'm not going to test those on my own.


--
Aeacus
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Have you run sfc /scannow on PC recently?

The documentation around pnpclean.dll (Plug and Play Maintenance Task Library) is spare to say the least, but it is the same component being used by the native Disk Cleanup utility in Windows.
https://deploymentresearch.com/inside-the-hack-that-fixes-most-of-the-windows-10-build-10122-upgrade-issues/

wonder if running from root of C make any difference. pnpclean.dll is part of chkdsk

shame most answers to missing dll is download a new one... nope, not going to happen.
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
Have you run sfc /scannow on PC recently?



https://deploymentresearch.com/inside-the-hack-that-fixes-most-of-the-windows-10-build-10122-upgrade-issues/

wonder if running from root of C make any difference. pnpclean.dll is part of chkdsk

shame most answers to missing dll is download a new one... nope, not going to happen.
Last time i ran sfc /scannow was about 4 months ago when i had this issue: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/unable-to-uninstall-software-error-applying-transforms-verify-that-the-paths-are-valid.3528718/

Just ran it again and it looks fine,
screen:



Also seen from screen, i tried to run pnpclean.dll from root C and got the same error as before.

Here, i'm wondering, is the issue software or hardware.
Google search did point out that unhooking USB devices may help. Only different devices that i've plugged to Skylake and not Haswell are: our printer, my monitor's RGB, my USB headset and headset RGB stand. The rest: KB, mouse, webcam are same between both PCs. Also, some suggested to unhook CD/DVD ROM but i had it hooked on with Haswell build when Win updated there without issues.
Internal hardware wise, biggest difference is with OS drive. I have M.2 NVMe in Skylake and 2.5" SATA in Haswell but that shouldn't make a difference. Smaller differences are of course newer platform (Z170 chipset vs Z97 chipset), newer CPU (Intel 6th gen vs Intel 4th gen), newer GPU (GTX 1060 3GB vs GTX 760) and RAM (DDR4 vs DDR3). These too shouldn't matter.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Is there a reason you don't simply back up your important files and personal folders, and then do a clean install? The bottom line is, more than 75% of the systems I've seen "upgraded" have had to have a clean install done anyhow because the upgrade process, depending on what hardware is involved, simply doesn't work OR doesn't work without there being significant issues that weren't there before the upgrade.

In practically every one of those cases, doing a clean install resolved the issues entirely. Personally, I think you are wasting your own time. I know you want to keep things, but unfortunately that is simply not possible in a lot of cases and EVEN WHEN IT IS, it is often a waste of time because you will end up doing a clean install anyhow due to new or enhanced problems, quirks or errors that result from the upgrade.

A lot of what is IN Windows 7, including drivers, application supporting files, etc., is just NOT compatible, and cannot be MADE compatible, with some aspects of the Windows 10 framework. And then sometimes it is and can. Clearly, to me anyhow, yours is one that cannot.

I have a Skylake system and I have no such issues with Windows 10, which I adopted at the initial release and have clean installed about five times since then AT the Spring/Fall major release dates, just to keep it fresh because in some cases even THOSE tend to bork things up on some of the bigger and more complex ones, so I like to clean the whole thing up. But that's a personal preference, unlike just doing the clean install once when coming from Windows 7. Windows 8.1 users don't tend to have AS MANY issues, but they still might encounter SOME.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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No two PC's on the planet are identical.
Hardware and the software stacks are absolutely unique.

If the Upgrade doesn't work...back up and punt. Clean install on the desired drive.
Sometimes, it simply won't do an inplace Upgrade, no matter how much you try to force it.
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
Is there a reason you don't simply back up your important files and personal folders, and then do a clean install?
The backup program that i've used so far (Acronis True Image 2015) doesn't detect M.2 NVMe drives. I didn't know that until i tried to clone my OS drive. And i need to clone the drive to make it bootable, just in case something goes very wrong and i need to boot back to W7, with all my data intact.
There is another program that i can use: Samsung Data Migration Tool but that piece of software NEEDS target drive to be Samsung drive and currently, i don't have a spare Samsung drive. Here, i need to buy a new Samsung drive which will put me €100 out of pocket and the new drive doesn't arrive until Tuesday, if i buy it right now.

I don't like W10 at all. There are so many issues with it (privacy, security, updates messing up systems, GUI etc) that i've stuck with my W7 for so long. The sole 2x reasons why i considered retiring my trusty W7 and moving to W10 are:
  • activating W10 with my W7 key, so i don't have to buy new W10 license
  • keeping all my data and settings intact via the upgrade method
Clean install will wipe all and getting everything back as they were will take a LOT of time and i even can't get everything back. You see, i have all my Steam games installed on system drive and i'd be loosing all game settings and saves with the wipe. Some games do have Steam Cloud saves but most don't.
Also, what i'd gain when going with W10? Only up-to-the-date security updates which i'm not concerned about. I've used WinXP well past it's time without any issue whatsoever, despite many saying it's huge security risk. It is, if you're average user and doesn't know better. But if you're good at internet/PC security, you can use outdated OS without issues.
Going with W10 now, and even if the upgrade goes smoothly, i still have to waste a lot of time to make the GUI look like W7, since like i said above, i don't like W10 at all.

So, i'm willing to go through the trouble to make the upgrade work since i know it is possible. Just need to find the way to make it work. My Haswell build upgraded fine and all the data, even user profiles with psws were kept as they were. Those programs that wasn't compatible with W10, W10 automatically uninstalled and provided notification about those. There were 3x programs that none of us ever used, so there was no loss whatsoever.

If you guys help me get the upgrade working, or at the very least, try everything that's possible then it would be very nice. That's why i made this topic, to get help. However, if you guys think that i'm a lost cause and there's even no point in trying to help me, i'll try on my own to get the update working. I don't have much confidence in it since i'm not a software expert but i'm not going to give up that easily. And in the event where i can't figure it out on my own, i'll kick the W10 in it's arse and keep using my W7 until the Skylake hardware platform i'm using gets to the point where i need to go with new CPU-MoBo-RAM combo. Making my Skylake build the same time capsule as my current AMD build is, bound in the current state by the OS.

My current plan is to buy new Samsung drive and once it arrives, clone my OS to that for bootable backup. Once that's done, i'll start troubleshooting the upgrade issue, with or without your help.
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
For backup and "storage for later purposes", an Image is what you want...not a direct clone.
Image isn't bootable, direct clone is. At least that's what i know of.

The Samsung Data Migration software is designed to help users quickly, easily, and safely migrate all of their data –including their current operating system, application software, and user data –from their existing storage device (e.g.HDD) to their new Samsung SSD.
Samsung Data Migration Tool manual: https://s3.ap-northeast-2.amazonaws.com/global.semi.static/Samsung_SSD_Data_Migration_User_Manual_ENG_v.3.1.pdf
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Have you tried Macrium reflect?

It's weird that ATI doesn't work for you, because that's what I use to make image backups, which ARE in fact able to create exact working copies of the drive IF you also create the Acronis recovery disk which will allow you to take that image and create an exact, sector by sector, copy of the existing drive in the event there is a failure, so that you can restore the fully operational OS image to a new or the same drive. I've used it several times and it worked fine. Then again, I have Acronis 2016, not 2015, and that might be the difference when it comes to recognizing the M.2 drive. Might want to take a look at Macrium or bite the bullet and upgrade to a newer version of Acronis.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Image isn't bootable, direct clone is. At least that's what i know of.
Right.
And a clone will consume the entire target drive.
An Image a single file. You can have multiple Images on a single drive or folder.
It is there in case you need it, not for "Right Now".
Boot from a Macrium Rescue USB and recover that Image to whatever drive.


And yes, if the target drive is a Samsung, the SDM is the preferred tool.



Bottom line:
The in place Update isn't working, for whatever reason.
Take an Image of your current drive.
Do a clean install of Win 10, applying your current Win 7 license key.
If you need to go back to 7, you have the Image ready to go.
That Imaging is the basis for my entire backup routine. And I've had to use it. Works flawlessly.
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
Have you tried Macrium reflect?

It's weird that ATI doesn't work for you, because that's what I use to make image backups, which ARE in fact able to create exact working copies of the drive IF you also create the Acronis recovery disk which will allow you to take that image and create an exact, sector by sector, copy of the existing drive in the event there is a failure, so that you can restore the fully operational OS image to a new or the same drive. I've used it several times and it worked fine. Then again, I have Acronis 2016, not 2015, and that might be the difference when it comes to recognizing the M.2 drive. Might want to take a look at Macrium or bite the bullet and upgrade to a newer version of Acronis.
Haven't tried Macrium and i'd like to stick with those that i know work well for me.

As far as Acronis True Image goes, mine is on the bootable CD. It came with the Kingston HyperX 3K SSD [SH103S3B/240G (upgrade bundle kit) ],
image:

So, i can't upgrade it. Have to buy it if i want newer version. Or use the 30-day free trial.

Also, found this about Acronis True Image 2015;
The most likely reason why your internal SSD drive is not visible is that it is an NVMe drive which is not recognised by the standard Linux based Rescue Media found on your boot CD - this is a known issue when using older versions of Acronis True Image on systems with much later hardware (that was not available when ATIH 2015 was produced).

... my understanding is that support for these drives was added to the later builds of ATIH 2016 and to 2017, so would not expect to find this with the 2015 media.
source, 1st and 3rd post: https://forum.acronis.com/forum/acronis-true-image-2015-forum/cannot-see-ssd-windows-drive

Right.
And a clone will consume the entire target drive.
An Image a single file. You can have multiple Images on a single drive or folder.
It is there in case you need it, not for "Right Now".
Boot from a Macrium Rescue USB and recover that Image to whatever drive.

And yes, if the target drive is a Samsung, the SDM is the preferred tool.

Bottom line:
The in place Update isn't working, for whatever reason.
Take an Image of your current drive.
Do a clean install of Win 10, applying your current Win 7 license key.
If you need to go back to 7, you have the Image ready to go.
That Imaging is the basis for my entire backup routine. And I've had to use it. Works flawlessly.
I know that the drive clone takes up the entire drive, that's the idea. Sure, image is single file and takes less space but i need bootable OS on my drive, not just an image.
With image, i have to go through the trouble of "rescuing" the image to make it bootable and then, if image recovery goes well, i can boot to OS. But with clone, it's just matter of hooking it to the PC and selecting it as 1st boot drive from BIOS to boot into OS. Much faster and no fiddle needed. All my backups are actually ready to go drive clones (cloned with Acronis True Image 2015, except the Skylake OS drive on M.2 NVMe SSD).
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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OK, up to you.
I've had exactly zero issue recovering a Macrium Image to a bootable drive condition.

For this purpose, a clone might be just as good, and if you're familiar with the tool, then go for it.


So, what is your proposed way forward?
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
So, what is your proposed way forward?
Current plan:
  • buy new Samsung drive (won't arrive before Tuesday)
  • clone the OS
  • try the upgrade again (it could be that there was some hiccup that may not be present 2nd time around)
Also, 2nd time around, i'll unhook more hardware from the PC, just to be sure. From the net, i did read that CD/DVD drive and external USB devices (especally printer/scanner) have caused the error to pop up for other people. Unhooking those have fixed the issue for some. Need to test it out.

Oh, 1st time around W10 asked those Yes/No questions about your preferences (personal ads, sync, localization etc) but for some reason, failed to boot into OS after that. At which point, the installer reverted itself and put W7 back as it were.
 

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