Top Tricks to Resolve Windows 10 ‘Something Happened’ error messages

Fix Windows 10 something happened error

So Windows 10 is here and you can’t wait to get going… However you may find your excitement turns to frustration as you are faced with the meaningless ‘Something Happened’ error message. I imagine people will have this message emblazoned on T-Shirts and mugs as it becomes the latest Meme to spread via social media…

So what’s the issue? Well, put simply Windows 10 is a bit ‘high-maintenance’ or perhaps we should say ‘overly picky’? Your current version of Windows must be in a clean and pure state to enjoy the privilege of upgrading to Windows 10 or she will not entertain you!

Other vague error messages include ‘Setup could not initialize the working directory’ and others. Why Windows 10 error handling is so poor is a mystery, however the following 5 solutions may assist you in solving some of these errors…

  • Fix 1 – Resolve space issues before Windows 10 is installed
  • Fix 2 – Set the system locale before you install Windows 10
  • Fix 3 – Core Windows files may be corrupt so verify using the SFC tool
  • Fix 4 – Windows Update errors prevents Windows 10 from installing
  • Fix 5 – Windows 10 fails due to Windows Update database corruption
  • Fix CPU Compatibility Issue – This is a specific Windows 10 error and have included it at the end if you face this issue.

Fix 1

Windows 10 may require up to 20gb of space to install. The installation will not always report that you are low on disk space and error with ‘Something Happened’. To create more space open a search box and search for the Windows Disk Clean up tool…

You could also temporarily move files located in C:\Windows\Installer to another partition/disk and move them back after Windows has finished installing to free up space.

Fix 2

Change your Locale to United States. Windows 10 does alert you to this during the install however not always so best to change it before you start. Go to Control Panel and click on Clock, Language, and Region then Region and Language. Click on the Administrative tab and under Language for non-Unicode programs, click Change system locale and change it to United States.

Fix 3

Windows may have issue with corruption. Corruption of files or databases within Windows can prevent Windows 10 from installing. To check is everything is ok you will need to open a command prompt with admin rights and enter:

c:\sfc /scannow 

The sfc /scannow command will scan all protected system files, and replace corrupted files with a cached copy that is located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache. The %WinDir% placeholder represents the Windows operating system folder. For example, C:\Windows. A Log file will be created at %WinDir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log

Fix 4

Windows 10 can also have issues if Windows Update is corrupted. You may receive error messages such as:


Use the Windows Update Fix IT tool to resolve issues with Windows Update, click the icon below to download the tool:

Picture of a Fix it button

If that does not resolve your issue try running DISM or System Update Readiness tool as follows…

For Windows 8.1, Windows 8

Open a command prompt with admin privileges and run the commands:

c:\DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

c:\DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

DISM creates a log file (%windir%/Logs/CBS/CBS.log) that captures any issues that the tool found or fixed. %windir% is the folder in which Windows is installed. For example, the %windir% folder is C:\Windows.

For Windows 7

To resolve this problem in Windows 7, use the System Update Readiness tool here for your version of the OS:

x86-based (32-bit) versions of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 7 Download the package now.

x64-based (64-bit) versions of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 7 Download the package now

Fix 5

Fixing Windows 10 install issues by purging the Windows Updates database. Open a Command Prompt with admin rights and run the following commands (suggest the use of a batch file to make life easier!):

net stop bits

net stop wuauserv
net stop appidsvc

net stop cryptsvc Del “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat”

Ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak
Ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak

sc.exe sdset bits 


cd /d %windir%\system32regsvr32.exe atl.dll

regsvr32.exe urlmon.dll

regsvr32.exe mshtml.dll
regsvr32.exe shdocvw.dll
regsvr32.exe browseui.dll
regsvr32.exe jscript.dll
regsvr32.exe vbscript.dll
regsvr32.exe scrrun.dll
regsvr32.exe msxml.dll
regsvr32.exe msxml3.dll
regsvr32.exe msxml6.dll
regsvr32.exe actxprxy.dll
regsvr32.exe softpub.dll
regsvr32.exe wintrust.dll
regsvr32.exe dssenh.dll
regsvr32.exe rsaenh.dll
regsvr32.exe gpkcsp.dll
regsvr32.exe sccbase.dll
regsvr32.exe slbcsp.dll
regsvr32.exe cryptdlg.dll
regsvr32.exe oleaut32.dll
regsvr32.exe ole32.dll
regsvr32.exe shell32.dll
regsvr32.exe initpki.dll
regsvr32.exe wuapi.dll
regsvr32.exe wuaueng.dll
regsvr32.exe wuaueng1.dll
regsvr32.exe wucltui.dll
regsvr32.exe wups.dll
regsvr32.exe wups2.dll
regsvr32.exe wuweb.dll
regsvr32.exe qmgr.dll
regsvr32.exe qmgrprxy.dll
regsvr32.exe wucltux.dll
regsvr32.exe muweb.dll
regsvr32.exe wuwebv.dll

netsh winsock reset

net start bits

net start wuauserv

net start appidsvc

net start cryptsvc

This will completely reset Windows Update and hopefully allow Windows 10 to install.

Fix CPU Compatibility

Finally you may have a very specific error message about your CPU not being compatible with Windows 10. If so there is a great article here:

If you found this helpful please share! Copyright © 2015 Gareth Baxendale

Creative Commons License by Gareth Baxendale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s