Windows 8.1 Preview – This update is not applicable to your computer
A few days ago Microsoft released the Windows 8.1 Preview for testing. Unfortunately a lot of users have received the following error message while trying to install the preview:
This message (“The update is not applicable to your computer”) is caused because Microsoft has only released a US version of the preview (“en-us”). For many users, including myself, we installed Windows 8 with a different region selected (“en-gb” in my case). There are a few options that you have available:
1. Change your region to get Windows 8.1 Preview update to work
2. Install a clean copy of Windows 8.1 Preview
The second method has the disadvantage of causing you to lose all your programs. I already have Windows 8 installed on my laptop and didn’t want the hassle. I therefore set about installing the update through the Windows Store. It’s at this point that I received the error message, previously mentioned.
I looked for a solution online, but although a number of suggestions were made, no one seemed to be able to get around this issue. I was determined to find a solution and so I set about experimenting, and many hours later I have upgraded my Windows 8 laptop to Windows 8.1. A video of the process is shown below:
Change the Region
This seemed like the most obvious solution to try first. Search for “Region” in the start menu under settings and open the Region settings.
Select the the “Administrative” tab and “Change System Locale”. From the dropdown list, select “English (United States)”.
Manually Unpack the Update
Before the update is unpacked it checks that the language is set to “en-us”. To get around this you can manually unpack the update, this will bypass the checks. To make the following steps easier, I made a copy of the update file to a folder called “windows8-1” in the root of the C drive.
Next, open command prompt by searching “cmd” in the start menu, right hand click on the program, and select, “Run as an Administrator”.
Type in the following commands which will expand the update.
Expand -F:* C:\windows8-1\Windows8-RT-KB2849636-x64.msu C:\windows8-1\
The next step is to install the update.
DISM.exe /Online /Add-Package /PackagePath:C:\windows8-1\Windows8-RT-KB2849636-x64.cab
This will take a few minutes and then prompt your computer to restart.
When the computer restarts you should see a message to update to Windows 8.1.
Unfortunately for most people the update still doesn’t download.
Install United States Language Files
Although you might think that the United States language files are installed, a closer look reveals that this is not the case. In the start menu, search “Language”.
Double click on United States.
Click, “Install Language Files”, this took me over half an hour to install.
Once the install is complete, select the primary language as United States and log out.
Change the Registry Settings
The update still won’t install. This means that is only one possibility, the initial install language must be stored in the registry. After a lot of research I found what I was looking for:
Open the registry, by typing “regedit” into the start menu
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/ControlSet001/Control/NIs/Language
Scroll down to the bottom and look at the Default and InstallLanguage values.
I found the following conversion:
0409 = en-us
0809 = en-gb
You need to change the InstallLanguage to 0409 so that Windows thinks that it was initially installed with en-us.
Restart the computer
If you now go to the Windows Store and try installing the update, it will get further but will now get stuck pending.
I’m not entirely sure why this happens, but there is an easy solution.
Type “Troubleshoot” into the start menu and select “Troubleshooting”.
Under system and security click “Fix problems with Windows Update”.
It will check for any problems and then ask whether it can run with Administrator settings. Confirm this and it will fix the problem.
Install Windows 8.1 Preview
Finally you can install Windows 8.1 Preview problem free. The update does take a long time and will cause your computer to restart multiple times.
Wow, that article took a long long time to write. I hope it helps you to use Windows 8.1. If you have any problems, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.
I’d like to say thanks to Martin Hinshelwood for helping me get started finding the solution.
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