How to Identify Windows Upgrade Problems Using SetupDiag on Windows 11/10

Whenever there is upgrade or update issue with your Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC, you usually see an error code that indicates the actual reason behind the failure. However, sometimes, an upgrade or update failure may not show an error code and that’s when the confusion arises. With an error code handy, you know exactly where is the problem and accordingly you can try the fixes. But with no error code showing up, it gets extremely challenging to identify the problem and resolve it. This takes up a lot of your time to simply find the reason behind the error.

In such cases, you can try using a dedicated tool by Microsoft called SetupDiag, that helps you identify the real reason behind the error easily and save your time on finding a fix for the issue. This utility is free to use and is specially built to determine the root cause behind the upgrade or update failure.

The utility runs a check on the cached Windows Setup logs generated by the installation process and now left behind. At the same time, it also scans the database of the usual errors for any specifics that indicates the real reason behind the failed installation. This will ultimately help you to find a suitable fix for the error. Additionally, the SetupDiag tool is known to a include a huge database of rules (approx. 60) of issues that have already been identified by Microsoft. However, the rules are updated each time the tool gets a new version.

This post will guide you through the process on how to identify Windows upgrade problems using SetupDiag on Windows 11/10.

How to Use SetupDiag to Identify the Reason Behind Upgrade Failure


Although using the SetupDiag tool is very easy, before you proceed, make sure that your system meets the .NET Framework requirements. You can then run the utility smoothly and generate the results. Let’s see how to check if your PC has the required version of the .NET Framework:


How to Check if your PC Meets the .NET Framework


Step 1: Press the Win + R keys together on your keyboard to launch the Run command window.

Step 2: In the Run command search field, type cmd in the search bar and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter shortcut keys on your keyboard to open the elevated Command Prompt window.

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Step 3: In the Command Prompt (admin) window, run the below command and hit Enter:


reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Net Framework Setup\NDP\v4" /s


Step 4: Now, in the results, check the Version field and make sure the version is 4.6 or higher that’s when you can use the SetupDiag tool.


*Note – If the device does not come with .NET 4.6 version or higher, then visit the Microsoft’s official download page for the .NET version 4.6 installer and download and install the file manually.


Now, proceed to run the SetupDiag tool.

How to Run the SetupDiag Tool


Follow the below instructions to run the utility:


Step 1: Click on the below link to visit the Microsoft’s official download page for the SetupDiag tool:


Download SetupDiag Tool


Step 2: Now, in the home page, click on the Download SetupDiag button.

Step 3: Once the .exe file is downloaded, right-click on it and select Show in folder.

It will take you to the Download folder usually.

Now, cut and paste this file in an empty folder.

*Note – Create a new folder if required and paste it in this folder.


Step 4: Now, press the Win + E keys together on your keyboard to open the File Explorer window.

Step 5: In the File Explorer window, navigate to the location where you saved the SetupDiag.exe file.

Next, right-click on the .exe file and select Run as administrator.


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Now, the tool will start running with immediate effect and the best part is, it does not need to be installed or any interaction required. It runs a scan to check for any available rules for the logs generated by the failed installation. Once done, the tool will close automatically.

Once the scan process is over, it will generate three new files –, SetupDiag.exe.config, and SetupDiagResults.log and save them in the folder where the SetupDiag.exe file is located.

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How to Read the SetupDiag Results

Here’s how to read the SetupDiag results and understand them:

Step 1: Go to Start, right-click on it and select File Explorer.

Step 2: In the File Explorer window, navigate to the folder where the SetupDiag,exe is saved.

Here, look for SetupDiagResults.log, right-click on it and click Open.

Step 3: This will open the log file and here you can view the results that the tool pulled up after scanning the available rules.

For instance, if you were trying to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10 and then the device was shut down forcefully, the setup process directs the OS to the older version of the Windows 10 and stores the error logs on the device.

So, when you open the log file, you will see the system details like name of the PC, manufacturer name, BIOS (UEFI) version, the original version of Windows 10, etc., in the upper portion and then you will see the error details towards the bottom with the error code.

It also mentions the exact reason or the root cause of the problem and the solution to fix the issue. In the absence of the steps or the solution, click on the link provided or look up with the error code or any other related information to find any available solutions online. Alternatively, you can also look up for solutions with the references provided in the Microsoft forums.