Tip: How to resume the Windows 10 installation media creation process

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Windows users can run Microsoft’s Media Creation tool to create a Windows 10 ISO image or copy the installation files required by the operating system to a USB Flash drive.

Since the download has a size of several Gigabytes, it can happen that it stops at one point during operation, or that the operation stops at the processing phase.

If you then run the tool again to complete the process, you will notice that the download starts from zero instead of resuming from the position the previous operation stopped at.

This may not be a problem for users no high speed Internet connections, but if your Internet is unreliable or slow, you may not want to go through the whole ordeal again especially since there is a chance that the operation may stop again at one point in time.

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While there is no option to resume the download itself, it is at least possible to resume the creation of the installation media if the download completed successfully. It is hidden from sight however and not available in the tool’s interface.

If you run the tool, it creates two directories on your main partition: $WINDOWS.~BT and $Windows.~WS. These folders contain the installation files, and an option to resume the creation process if it fails. Please note that these folders get populated during download, and that the download needs to complete successfully for all files to become available.

windows-10 resume installation media

Open C:$Windows.~WSSourcesWindowssources on the system and locate the file setupprep.exe. When you start it, the process will resume the last operation instead of starting completely anew. This means that it will resume the creation of the media using the downloaded setup files.

Tip: These directories are created even if you select to create an ISO image or copy the files to USB Flash drives.  This means that the files (may) remain on the drive even after the successful completion of the process. You may want to delete them after you have created installation media for Windows 10 as they take up Gigabytes of storage space.

Please note that these folders may be hidden by default. You need to make them visible first using the folder options. On Windows 7, you simply click organize > folder and search options, switch to View, and select “show hidden files, folders and drives”.

show hidden files

The missing download resume option is problematic, especially for users with slow or unreliable Internet connections. No workaround or alternative is available right now that would improve the experience for users.


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Tip: How to resume the Windows 10 installation media creation process


Martin Brinkmann


Find out how to resume the Windows 10 installation media creation process when it fails.

About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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