I have been having issues with Windows 10's cumulative updates failing for a couple of weeks now. I've tried running SFC /scannow, I've tried running using DISM to replace corrupted system files, I've tried downloading the update and running it manually, I've tried running an in-place upgrade (Windows 10 Pro x64 to Windows 10 x64 upgrade, so wouldn't lose programs or settings) (which failed, by the way), and I don't even remember what all else I've tried, all to no avail. There doesn't appear to be an answer to my specific problem anywhere on the internet.

My computer is running Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.

I am also running a solid-state drive (system drive) and a hard drive. I've got the folders inside C:\Users linked to a location on the HDD with directory junctions to save space on the SSD.


The reason for this is that for some reason the update has to copy files to one of those folders that is symlinked, and is unable to do so. It is looked at %systemdrive%\Users[whateverfolderhere] and is for some reason unable to move the file to where the Directory Junction is pointing.

In order to fix this problem, following these steps:

  1. Open regedit (press Windows Key + R, and type "regedit)".
  2. Browse to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList.
  3. On the right, there are keys with "Data" values pointing to where different Profile folders are located. It should look something like this: enter image description here
  4. Change "%SystemDrive%" under "Default," "ProfilesDirectory," and "Public" to the correct drive letter (the drive letter for the HDD). In my case, this is drive D: enter image description here
  5. Restart your computer and try installing the updates again.

Just remember to change this if you ever change drive letters!

  • Jerry rigged symlinks for primary system stuff make me sad. I do realise there's some sensible reasons for em, but modern SSDs are big enough for a proper install now. – Journeyman Geek Aug 20 '15 at 0:20
  • My 120GB Samsung 830 isn't, and I will need to make do with it until sometime next year. So, unfortunately that's not the case for me at this time (and I'd imagine for some others as well, which is the reason I figured I'd post this find). – NateR Aug 20 '15 at 0:30

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