Windows anniversary update came out right at the beginning of August. It will automatically upgrade your computer at some stage quite soon, if it has not already done so. If you have plenty of room on your system drive, probably C Drive, this blog is not useful for you, as you shouldn’t have problems.
However my hard disk has very little remaining space, so it will not succeed. My C drive is 27 gigabytes and there are only about 2 gigabytes of free space. I had to jump through hoops to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10 last year for this reason. The strategies I had to use to increase the space on C drive include the obvious: delete unused files and junk files, empty the recycle bin and uninstall programs. I also removed the page file from C drive and just had a page file on D: Drive. Eventually I managed to get enough space so that it could be installed with the aid of a USB drive and the D Drive for extra working space.
In November there was a large update, where I had to use the same tricks. I managed to create about 3.5GB of free space on C Drive, and that sufficed.
So this time tried to use the same strategies as well. The most I could get was 4 gigabyte free, with the pagefile from C eliminated. But I found that the installation failed every time due to lack of memory. So I had to move the page file again on to C Drive so that the installation had enough memory to continue.
In slightly more detail:
I backed up data from the PC to an external drive so I couldn’t lose it if everything went awry. Then I made as much space as possible as detailed above, including moving the pagefile off C Drive. There was 4.63 GB available.
I ran the update program from the settings menu, which downloads a file (Windows10Upgrade28084.exe), which I ran, but it wouldn’t upgrade as it needed more space.
I is simply not possible to make 16GB of free space. I downloaded the MediaCreationTool from Microsoft, and on another computer with plenty of space ran the program to install the installation program onto a USB drive. I booted to this program on my PC, but while this would allow a clean installation of the new version, I would lose all my programs and settings. I had to run it in Windows to keep them.
So I ran the setup that was on the USB drive in Windows. Not enough space.
I tried again, and this time managed to get to this screen.
I chose to allow it to also use D Drive for space.
But then the PC asked to close some programs that were open, which caused it to abort the installation.
On another try I reached this screen again.
I allowed it to use D Drive again. All programs were closed.
The next screen.
And it was on the way. I went for a walk expecting it to be ready when I returned. But part way through it failed again.
By now i figured it was a memory problem. So I put the pagefile back on C Drive, even though this reduced the space on it to less than 3 GB. I went through all the same steps again, and this time got further, to this screen below.
This took over an hour until it stopped at a login screen and waited for me to log in. Then it continued below.
Finally a while later I got to log in again, and it was finished. It had taken over six hours of messing around. Many temporary files were left on the PC so that it was possible to undo the upgrade and return to the previous version. But I had less than 1 GB on the C: drive, so my PC asked if it could delete these files, and I agreed. So now C Drive has 3.26 GB free space with pagefile. This is a slight improvement on the space I had after cleaning up but before removing the pagefile.
Thus, the major difference this time was that memory, that is the virtual memory provided by the pagefile, was crucial to the successful upgrade.