While Microsoft is trying hardest to force people on Windows 10 before free upgrades end on July 29, some PCs won’t budge.
Even if you want a free upgrade, errors may get in the way. Error code 0x80073712 appears to be particularly troublesome, as a Windows Update file is damaged or missing. Although there are many possible solutions to this problem, there is no guarantee that any of them will work.
Here’s an overview of what you can do to remove this error code:
0x80073712: What Microsoft says
Microsoft’s error support page 0x80073712 lists a few possible fixes. With these methods, we haven’t found much evidence of success, but it’s probably worth trying.
Option 1: Reset components for Windows Update. The Fixit tool found on this Microsoft web page can be run by Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. Look for the Microsoft Fixit graphic under “Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7,” and click the Run now button.
Option 2: With System File Checker, repair damaged Windows files. The website of Microsoft has detailed instructions on how to use the System File Checker. Just remember that the instructions differ slightly depending on which version of Windows you have.
Option 3: To fix corruption errors, run DISM (for Windows 8) or System Update Readiness Tool (for Windows 7). The DISM tool is included in Windows 8 and above, but Windows 7 requires the system update readiness tool to be downloaded and installed separately. Microsoft has a website with instructions for these two methods.
0x80073712: What some users say
One user reported successfully installing the upgrade from a USB stick on the Sysnative forums instead of using Windows Update before moving to desperate measures.
Keep in mind that your USB stick requires at least 3 GB of free space and is wiped from any other data before proceeding. To install from a USB drive or DVD, go to Microsoft’s website and download the media creation tool, follow the Upgrade to Windows 10 instructions using the tool:
- Run the tool to create the media
- Select Create installation media for another PC.
- Choose your language, architecture and edition.
- To create the media, follow the steps and select Finish.
- Insert your USB drive or DVD into the upgrade device and select setup.exe.
- After the upgrade starts, make sure to remove the USB drive or DVD and restart your device for the first time before the installation.
Nuclear option for Windows 8: Refresh your PC
This will reinstall Windows and wipe out any programs you have installed outside the Windows Store, but keep any files in your personal folders, such as documents and images. Instructions can be found on the Microsoft website.
More options for advanced Windows 7 users
Another section of Microsoft’s website has a long list of possible error fixes 0x80073712, as well as several other errors related to Windows Update. This page also contains the following disclaimer for home users: “Don’t try it at home, please! This article is intended for use by IT and support agents.
If you feel bold and want to ignore the advice of Microsoft, you will find a few other options that are not listed above. Some of these corrections require tweaking registry values, renaming files and entering numerous commands in the command prompt. However, if you are desperate to upgrade, you may be better off saving your files and starting with a clean version of Windows.
Check out these 20 fixes for a Windows 10 update meltdown for more troubleshooting tips for installing Windows 10.