Error 0x800701E3 during clean installation of Windows 10

I encountered error 0x800701E3 while trying for a clean install of Windows 10 Home on my laptop(Lenovo Flex 2 15, 6GB, WD 500GB 5400RPM).

The installation halts with the message “Windows cannot install required files. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation. Error code: 0x800701E3”. When OK is clicked, the installation rolls back.

I downloaded Windows 10 and I have both DVD and USB available for clean installation. The error comes up no matter what version and media I use. I tried DVD/USB with both Windows 10 Home and Pro, the error comes up.

I did multiple installations of the OS on the same machine for whatever reasons, the real trick that worked is “RETRY”. Yes, no messing with BIOS/UEFI/HDD/Installation media is required. Retrying the installation worked with no other changes.

The error usually comes after “Copying Windows files” is completed and during “Getting files ready for installation”(though I did not check exactly).

This is probably a bug/error in the installation itself and may come up only for some hardware combinations. This is my best guess. I think somewhere somehow during copying/gettings files ready for installation, the installation fails to write/read data and the error comes up. The error is associated with hard disk faults from what I see online but if you are facing the error during Windows 10 installation it may not be the hard disk.

As I said, what worked is retrying installation with no other changes required.

1. When you get the error window, click “OK” button.
2. The underlying window displays the message “installation was canceled, changes made to your computer won’t be saved.”
3. “X”(close) button in the underlying window will be greyed for a few seconds/minutes depending on roll back. Once the button is active, click “X”.
4. You will be taken back to blue window with “Install now” button. Click on it and proceed.

Thats it. The above steps may be required to be done a couple of times, but it works. The max I had to try was 4 times.
Note: Do not exit the installation completely. Just go back to the “Install now” window and proceed again. Rebooting several times did not help me anyway and is a waste of time.

1. On searching for the error, I thought the problem is with drive. So I used Wester Digital Lifeguard Diagnostic tool multiple times on my drive and there are no drive errors found. Other operating systems install and work fine. The error only comes up on my system when I try to install Windows 10. If you encounter this error during Windows installation, try the above solution. If you encounter this error in a different scenario, check your drive for any errors.
2. I used the same installation media(USB as well as DVD) on my other computers many times before and after this error with no issues at all. So I’m sure my installation media is not corrupted.
3. I tried the installation with old Windows 10(build 10240). Assuming this to be an issue with this version, I downloaded the latest
Windows 10 (November update version 1511). The error comes up even with the new build.
4. Many online solutions suggest corrupted media, drive error etc. That may not be true.
5. Some people say you should not perform a clean install before first updating the current version(so that windows 10 is activated for the system). This is true for activation but has nothing to do with the error 0x800701E3. Even if you install windows 10 before updating/upgrading, it should install but will not be activated unless you key in a valid product key. This error is not related to Windows 10 activation.
6. You should first update/upgrade your Windows 7/8 pc so that you activate your Windows 10 License. This is only for information, this has nothing to do with the error we are talking about. Once activated, just skip when the installation asks for product key, windows will complete installation and will be actiated once you connect to the internet.
7. I tried both Windows 10 Home and Pro and the error comes up with both. Note: I tried 64bit versions of both, did not try 32bit.
8. During the previous installations on the same laptop, I tried fiddling with BIOS/UEFI(secure boot, uefi, legacy etc), Installation media(USB or DVD with home or pro) and Install partitions. I ended up with successful installations, but the next install with the same setting would not work. Eventually I learnt that the installation succeeded because of the retries not because of the settings or anyting.

Now whenever I try reinstalling Windows 10, I just try repeat the above 4 steps with not changes in anything else and it finally installs. The max I tried is 4 times.

Hope it helps.

Posted in Drop Box