Having just returned from vacation last week, I’m still catching up with unfinished business around the house. When I checked my son’s PC this morning, I was shocked and surprised to see it was stuck on Insider Preview 18922. Worse still, though WU told me I needed to restart to apply the update to 18932, the PC was unable to complete this task. The error message code, 0x80070005, simply seemed to indicate a generic issue during the end of the GUI install phase, and didn’t get me very far. So I booted into the recovery partition and cleaned out the SoftwareDistribution folder, and tried again. This time the PC attempted an upgrade to the latest Insider Preview Fast Ring version — namely Build 18941 — but once again, it failed at the end of the GUI install phase. The restart did restart the PC, but it didn’t boot into the post-GUI Windows installer that actually applies the upgrade. That’s when I remembered Kari’s story about UUP Dump as a way to get an ISO file for Insider Previews when WU based download and install doesn’t work.
UUP Dump: Good news, Bad news
The good news is that UUP Dump is still a great source for obtaining ISOs that may be mounted to run Insider Preview installs locally. The bad news is that Kari’s description of how UUP Dump works is now completely obsolete and outdated. But there’s more good news in that a new website — namely, https://uupdump.ml — will let you browse a comprehensive list of Windows 10 builds, including Versions back to 2015. The same website automatically builds the necessary command file (.CMD) that you can run against the contents of the ZIP file it provides to create an ISO for the Windows 10 build of your choosing.
Getting Back to Install, Making Install Work
I downloaded the item named “Windows 10 Insider Preview 18941.1001 (rs_prerelease) amd64” by clicking the “Browse the list of known builds” button on the home page. The default language selection is English (United States) (aka en-us) so all I had to do was click “Next” to select my edition.
I clicked the Radio button for Windows 10 Pro because that’s the edition I needed to fix on my son’s PC, then clicked Next again. Then, on the resulting Summary page, I clicked the all-important “Download using aria2 and convert” button. This not only brings the component files to your PC in a ZIP archive, it also includes Windows- or Linux-compatible command files to stitch those components together to create various WIM files, and ultimately, to build the ISO inside which all those files reside.
Building the ISO file is dead simple. Once you’ve downloaded the ZIP file, unpack its contents into a folder. Let’s call it D:\18941 as I did to make the contents easy to identify. After the download is complete, you’ll see the file named aria2_download_windows.cmd. If you run that file at the command line (or as I did, in a CMD session inside of PowerShell, you’ll wind up with an ISO file for the corresponding version of Windows 10 (18941, in this case) in that folder hierarchy. If you mount the ISO in File Explorer, you can then run setup.exe and perform the upgrade with very little muss or fuss. Easy-peasey.
I can remember when working with UUP Dump took some planning and forethought, and a bit of concentration while stepping through the process. The mostly anonymous principals behind the UUP Dump project have done a great job of making the builds easy to identify, download, and process to create ISO files. Kudos to them, and good fun for us when such things are needed. Enjoy!
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.