Microsoft updates its Windows Update diagnosis tool SetupDiag and includes it in Windows Setup

SetupDiag is a standalone diagnosis tool by Microsoft designed to provide system administrators with information on why a Windows update or upgrade failed on a particular system. Up until now, administrators had to download the program from Microsoft, or have it at hand already on a USB device or other medium, to execute it on a system.

The command line program can be run with and without parameters. If run without, it will scan local log files that Windows 10 creates for upgrade related information to reveal potential errors to the user right away. Parameters support scanning different log file locations, e.g. when log files have been exported to a different system, and more. While administrators may check the log files manually, doing so may be time consuming.

Microsoft released an updated version of its tool recently featuring a new rule and the inclusion of the tool in Windows Setup of Windows 10 version 2004 and newer. System requirements have not changed, the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6 is still required and the tool is only compatible with Windows 10.

SetupDiag in Windows 10 version 2004 and later


Windows Setup includes the SetupDiag tool in Windows 10 version 2004 and later. The tool is installed in the directory %SystemDrive%$Windows.~btSources during the extraction of files. If Windows Setup recognizes Windows upgrade issues while running, it will run setupdiag.exe automatically according to information that Microsoft published on its Docs website.

The tool uses the following parameters when run automatically:

  • /ZipLogs:False -- setupdiag won't create a zip file of the logs and its results when the process finishes.
  • /Format:xml -- the output file is saved as an XML file.
  • /Output:%windir%logsSetupDiagSetupDiagResults.xml -- the output directory is specified here.
  • /RegPath:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMSetupSetupDiagResults -- adds failure information to the registry using the specified path.

Admins can check the path in the Registry or the output directory to access the analysis of the setup diagnostic tool. The application is moved into the Windows.Old folder if upgrades proceed normally and without issues.

Administrators may download SetupDiag from Microsoft's website just like before as well to execute it manually, e.g. on devices running earlier versions of Windows 10 or when the tool is not executed automatically during upgrades.

Closing Words

The integration of the setup diagnostic tool in Windows Setup makes things a bit easier for administrators, at least for those who have used the tool in the past already or know of its integration and automatic execution if upgrade errors are detected during installation.

(via Born)