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Windows 10 May 2019 update currently being blocked on computers with attached USB or SD Card storage

Windows 10 May 2019 will fail to install if USB storage devices are connected. (Source: Microsoft)
Windows 10 May 2019 will fail to install if USB storage devices are connected. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft is currently investigating an inappropriate drive reassignment bug that prevents Windows 10 1903 or the May 2019 update Setup from proceeding and as such, is not offering the update to devices that have USB storage devices plugged in. The issue will be resolved in a future servicing update and in the meanwhile, a workaround is to remove all external storage devices before initiating the update procedure.

The Windows 10 1903 May 2019 update is already available for Insiders in the Release Preview ring and for MSDN subscribers and is all set to roll out to the general public sometime in the end of May. However, a bug has been identified that prevents installation of the new feature update on systems that have USB storage devices connected. Microsoft says that it is investigating the problem and that the issue will be fixed in a subsequent servicing update.

The May 2019 update Build 18362.1 or above is the RTM candidate, the version that gets shipped to OEMs and system builders. Users can download the said RTM build by opting for the Release Preview Insider ring or from MSDN if they have a subscription. Microsoft says that users who try to install the update now might face "inappropriate drive reassignment" if USB storage devices or SD card readers are connected during Setup leading to reassignment of different drive letters. It can also affect internal hard drives as well.

The workaround is simple, though. Just unplug all connected USB drives and you should be good to go. It also helps to pull the plug on other internal drives apart from the main OS drive just to be safe. Some organizations that use Windows 10 Enterprise have an option to carry a fully portable installation of Windows 10 on a USB drive via a feature called Windows-to-Go. These users will also be affected and Setup will not proceed for now.

The author has done an in-place upgrade from Windows 10 1809 to 1903 on a laptop that has an SSD and a HDD and has.. touch wood.. not faced any such issue and the OS seems to work just fine. However, your mileage may vary so we'd recommend waiting for the final bits for your device directly from Windows Update.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 04 > Windows 10 May 2019 update currently being blocked on computers with attached USB or SD Card storage
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-04-24 (Update: 2019-04-24)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.