Help: Windows 7 install stuck at “Expanding Windows files”

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 | Business | by

I logged onto the Microsoft site this morning then purchased and downloaded an official copy of Windows 7 (build 7600 I am reading).

Up until now I have been using the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC), build 7100.

The Problem

After following various instructions online about how to upgrade from the Release Candidate to the final version without a complete reinstall (despite the suggestion from Microsoft that you should install a fresh copy after the RC), I ran into a minor snag.

My install forced a reboot, and is now stuck at:

Expanding Windows files (18%)…

With the following lines cycling at the bottom:

Please wait…
Gathering additional information before expanding files

My computer is not frozen, I can move the mouse, or mouse over the “close” button.

How to fix it?

Just wait.  According to other sites online, all you need to do is wait for it to finish.  This can take up to an hour.

I will update this post with my results of … waiting (see the update next).

UPDATE 2009-10-22 #1

After leaving my computer for an hour and coming back, the install had moved forward.  The lesson is to just let Windows 7 do its thing, it will move on

UPDATE 2009-10-22 #2

It eventually got stuck on “Transferring files, settings, and programs” at 42%.  I left it for 3 hours, and had no change.  I restarted.  At least I reverted back to my old Windows without a problem.

I have since restarted the installation seemingly without the “18%” problem this time.

While I’d like to say that you’d hope Microsoft would make sure the install went through without a hitch (it is the first impression), I have to keep in mind that I am doing something that Microsoft does NOT recommend, upgrading from a RC version to the RTM (release to manufacturing).  Has anyone had the same experience doing an upgrade without altering the cversion.ini file?

UPDATE 2009-10-23 #3

Well after leaving the computer all alone, it was still stuck at 42% on the “transferring files, settings and programs” step.  I’m admitting defeat and will just perform a clean install sometime next week.  Too much work to do it now.

UPDATE 2009-11-12 #4

Finally, I wanted to post the final resolution.  I had to install Windows 7 clean.  After the previous stop points, it eventually just didn’t move (after leaving it alone for up to 24 hours at one point).  I have to say, the clean version is running excellent.

Summary, do a clean install.  You’ll thank yourself.

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9 Comments to Help: Windows 7 install stuck at “Expanding Windows files”

October 22, 2009

I’m at the same problem now…stuck at 18%….let’s hope that you are correct about it proceeding on its own!

October 22, 2009

It gets there, although I got stuck at “42%” when moving files over after Windows 7 forces a reboot.

I had to cancel the install. On the positive note, it restored my original installation without any problems at all.

I’m reattempting the install again from the very beginning.

October 26, 2009

Al least you got to 18!
I’ve been stuck at 7% for about an hour now… I’m just gonna let windows 7 do its work… and hope for the best

November 15, 2009

Thats why I am not yet going from Vista to 7. I’m scared I could kill my computer when the latest 7 version is not the final version yet. Maybe I’ll take this step soon.

November 16, 2009

I’d have to say, the release version (and also the RC) is great! I don’t see any problems if you’re willing to do a clean install.

The only reason I had my problem was because I was trying to upgrade a RC to final (which is not supported officially by windows).

Danny Beckerdite
March 5, 2011

I would like to thank you for the great post. :)
Would you like to download template for free?

[…] Help: Windows 7 install stuck at “Expanding Windows files” | Sean … Oct 22, 2009 … Expanding Windows files (18%)… … got stuck on “Transferring files, settings, and programs” at 42%. … […]

October 26, 2012

Mine is hanging on 18% right now. That is how I found this post.

Seems like normal behavior for an upgrade. I am actually repairing my windows 7 with windows 7

Still waiting but I assume all is well.

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