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Upgrade Repair Install Fixes Stubborn 0X800F081F Error


I’ve been struggling with what had been a Release Preview KB item, and is now part of the 1903 standard release sequence since mid last week. I’m taking about KB4512941, which takes Windows 10 1903 to Build 18361.329. Ironically, it’s worked on every one of my 1903 Windows 10 PCs so far — except for the first one I tried, which was my Release Preview Insider laptop (a Lenovo Yoga X380 acquired last April). I tried and retried using Windows Update numerous times. Then I ran the Update troubleshooter, and even did the manual Windows update reset thing. Next, I tried by using DISM to apply the cab file for that update. I even tried the self-installing update (MSU) version. All attempts failed with the same error code that appears in the title of this blog post. But by following online traffic and staying atop this issue, I was finally able to get a version of Windows with the right Build number installed, to wit:

Upgrade Repair Install Fixes Stubborn 0X800F081F Error.finally

It took a few days and over a dozen tries, but I *FINALLY* got my Release Preview Win10 Insider Preview Yoga X380 update to the .329 Build.

Updates Out of Order?

In reading up about the 0X800F081F error code, I did learn that it’s strongly tied to the .NET Framework 3.5. In following up on the error code at TenForums, I did learn that downloading a new Media Creation Tool (MCT) and then applying an in-place upgrade repair install would fix the problem. I tried that very thing, and in fact it worked as promised. And guess what: the very first update that installed after this CU went through was KB4511555 (the CU for ,NET Framework versions 3.5 and 4.0). This has me wondering if uninstalling that KB on my original target machine, then re-attempting KB4512941 might not also have worked. It could just be that the OS CU had to go through on the old .NET framework versions, and that installing those items out of order might have been the cause of all my problems. Who knows?

All I can say is that I’m glad to have it behind me instead of in front of me. And again, it’s nice to have another convincing demonstration of the power of an in-place upgrade repair install. I’m more convinced than ever that it’s a vital part of any Win10 repair strategy, and should always be attempted on all repair efforts. Even if a clean install proves needed — and there’s no avoiding the hard truth that sometimes it is the only fix that will restore a Win10 PC to operational status — the in-place upgrade repair install only takes about 15 minutes to complete. This allows power users and admins alike to see if it works without having to invest huge amounts of time and effort in making the attempt. This time, it worked for me — and I’m very grateful that it did!

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

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