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How to fix Windows 8.1 update error 0x80240031

Windows 8.1 windows update error 0x80240031

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Just the other day, tried upgrading to Windows 8.1 on my friends computer and encountered this error message.

“Something happened and the Windows 8.1 couldn’t be installed. Please try again. Error code: 0x80240031”

There can be multiple reasons for this error message. This can be an issue with corrupted file, compatibility issues with software or hardware.

Here is a step by step procedure to fix Windows 8.1 update error 0x80240031

  1. Clear Windows Store Cache

It is better to start troubleshooting by resetting the windows store cache using the tool WSReset.exe. The tool, by default is located inside C:\Windows\System32. You can either open it manually by going there or else

Press Windows Key + R to open Run window, type WSReset.exe.

This will open Windows store, it shows a white screen and then in less than minute you can see the Windows store indicating the cache is now cleared.

Now try updating to Windows 8.1.

  1. Disable or Uninstall security software

Since security software is responsible for protecting OS files, they set certain permissions and interact closely with important files inside OS. Sometimes, this can lead to file corruption or compatibility issues.

Considering Windows 8.1 is a major update and is going to replace or change lot of files inside the original OS, it is recommended to disable security software before doing the update. I recommend uninstalling the software than disabling it, to reduce any chance of conflict. In case of Windows Defender, the default security software in Windows 8, you don’t have to disable it.

  1. Disable Video drivers

Video drivers are notorious for creating problems at the time or after doing Windows update. It is a good practice to disable hardware such as graphics card and sound card. I currently own an AMD Radeon 7950 Graphics Card and disable it whenever there is a major update for Windows. Also if you have any external devices connected, disconnect it.

To disable devices,

  • type devmgmt.msc inside Run window (Windows Key + R)
  • Right click on the device to disable, select disable. If it asks you to restart computer do it.
  1. Try updating to Windows 8.1 now.

Install all other updates and then try installing Windows 8.1

Go to the windows update window from control panel. Inside the list of updates that needs to be installed, you may have updates that was released before the release of Windows 8.1. Some of these updates may have been released to prepare your Windows 8 OS to upgrade to 8.1. Once these updates are installed, the installation should proceed smoothly.

  1. Do an SFC SCAN

  • Press Windows Key + X, select Command Prompt(Admin)
  • Type sfc /scannow and hit enter
  • If it went okay, there is no problem. But if it comes with error, try fixing it using DISM command: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • Once the repair is done, try updating to Windows 8.1
  1. Refresh or Reset your PC

If nothing else worked, try your luck by resetting Windows 8.1

  • Press Windows Key + Q, type Settings in Search window
  • Go to PC Settings -> go to Refresh your PC without Affecting your files. Then click Get Started

Note: Try this only after taking a backup to be on the safer side.
Hope these steps should help you fix Windows 8.1 update error 0x80240031.

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