Ever thought of our digital lives without updates? While we all like new features, security patches, and bug fixes, there’s nothing more frustrating than a computer that won’t cooperate during these updates. And, let’s admit it, Windows 10 does have its moments. One such annoying scenario is getting stuck at the “Getting Windows Ready” screen. However, what causes this issue, and how can it be resolved? Let’s dive in!
Common Causes for the Issue
Faulty Updates: Occasionally, Microsoft releases updates that haven’t been thoroughly tested with all possible hardware and software configurations. Such updates can lead to system instabilities or prolonged update screens, with issues typically emerging right after the update’s application.
Software Conflicts: Certain applications, especially those deeply integrated into the system, like antivirus tools or system utilities, can interfere with the Windows update process. These programs might either misinterpret update activities as threats or clash due to overlapping functionalities, resulting in error messages or system hangs after their installation or update.
Hardware Issues: Malfunctioning hardware components can obstruct the update process. Issues like overheating, memory corruption, or hard drive failures not only impede updates but can also cause frequent system crashes, blue screens, or even abnormal computer noises.
Corrupted System Files: Essential Windows files, when corrupted or modified—due to reasons like abrupt shutdowns, malware attacks, or disk write errors—can disrupt the update process. Tools like System File Checker (SFC) or DISM often highlight these corruptions.
Inadequate System Resources: Windows updates require substantial resources. If a system is low on disk space, RAM, or CPU capacity, the update process can stall. Symptoms include disk space warnings, slow system responsiveness, or elevated CPU/Memory usage even without resource-heavy applications running.
Interrupted Update Process: An update process that’s cut short, perhaps due to a sudden power outage or an accidental system restart, can cause the “Getting Windows Ready” screen to hang, especially if the interruption occurred during a critical phase of the update.
Steps to Fix the “Getting Windows Ready” Issue
1: Patience is a Virtue
Before diving into any technical solutions, it’s essential to ensure that the system isn’t just taking its time. Windows updates, especially major ones, can sometimes take longer than expected.
Action: If the “Getting Windows Ready” screen is displayed, wait for about an hour to see if the system progresses on its own.
2: Force Restart
When patience doesn’t resolve the issue, force restarting can sometimes kickstart the process.
Action: Press and hold the power button on your computer until it turns off. Wait for a few seconds, and then power it back on.
3: System Restore
Rolling back to a state before the problematic update can resolve the issue.
Action: Boot into Advanced Recovery Mode (usually pressing F11 or F8 during startup). Select “System Restore” and choose a restore point before the recent update.
4: Enter Safe Mode
Safe Mode loads a minimal set of drivers and services. It’s a useful environment to troubleshoot issues.
Action: Boot into Advanced Recovery Mode and select “Safe Mode.” Once in Safe Mode, you can uninstall problematic updates or drivers.
5: Windows Update Troubleshooter
Windows provides built-in tools to automatically diagnose and fix update-related problems.
Action: Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Windows Update and run the troubleshooter.
6: Disable Windows Update Service
Temporarily disabling the update service can help if there’s an issue with the update process itself.
Action: Open the Services application, find the “Windows Update” service, right-click, and select “Stop.” After rebooting, you can start the service again.
7: Clear the Update Cache
Old or corrupted update files can cause issues. Clearing the cache might resolve the problem.
Action: Navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download and delete all files in the “Download” folder. Then, restart the Windows Update service.
8: Update Drivers Manually
Outdated or corrupted drivers can conflict with Windows updates.
Action: Visit the official websites of your hardware manufacturers. Download and install the latest drivers, especially for critical components like the graphics card, network adapters, and chipset.
While the “Getting Windows Ready” screen can test your patience, it’s often a manageable issue. With the right approach and a bit of tech-savvy, you can get your computer back in shape. Remember, updates are crucial, but so is knowing how to handle them when things go south.