Windows 10 Updates Failing with MEMORY_MANAGEMENT due to DiskCryptor

Having problems updating to Windows 10 1703, 1709 or 1803? If you have DiskCryptor installed the updates will fail with the unhelpful message `MEMORY_MANAGEMENT`. Then you’ll be trapped in a kind of Windows Update purgatory:

  • Windows downloads update (30 minutes – 1 hour)
  • Windows installs the update (30 minutes)
  • Windows reboots, chugs for a long time, then the update fails (30 minutes)
  • Windows reboots and rolls back the update (30 minutes)
  • Windows reboots… then goes back to step 1 and starts to download the update again!!! Ahhh!!!

On my Windows box which I use for internal QA this was taking about 2.5 hours round trip. It only affords about 30 minutes of usable time on the desktop. I tried various fixes and hacks to get it to go through. Nothing worked until I stumbled across this and this that mentioned DiskCryptor was the problem.

As it turns out DiskCryptor hasn’t been updated in almost 4 years so it is probably time to find an alternative.

Here is how I was able to get around the MEMORY_MANAGEMENT error blue screen while installing Windows 10 update 1703, 1709 and 1803:

  1. FIRST – TAKE A BACKUP OF THE CONTENTS OF YOUR ENCRYPTED DRIVE!!! I ran into problems getting DiskCryptor to re-install which was more than a little scary but I did get it to work… If you follow these instructions, do so at your own risk. Make sure you have a backup before starting. These steps worked for me given the unique set of programs & hardware I have but may not work the same for you. You could get locked out of your encrypted disk if it fails to reinstall correctly. Note – I’m not encrypting my boot partition, nor my entire drive, I only encrypt a small portion of my drive which I mount when I need it.
  2. Note the current version of DiskCryptor something like 1.1.846.118.
  3. Download that version of DiskCryptor here so you are ready to reinstall it later.
  4. Uninstall DiskCryptor (Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Uninstall a Program…) – this is the point of no return – READ STEP 1!
  5. Stop the Windows Update service (Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services), scroll down to the Windows Update, right click on it, then click Stop. This can take several minutes. You may need to reboot first and try this, or set it to disabled, then reboot, but it needs to be off for the next step. If you do disable it make sure to re-enabled it after everything is done.
  6. With Windows Update service stopped, delete everything in C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution -> that is where windows downloads all the windows update files before it installs them. These downloads can get corrupted. I had 61K files in that folder! Took it several minutes to complete. So at this point, maybe take a breather, stretch, eat a cookie – do something to help relieve all the stress Windows is putting you through at the moment.
  7. Reboot and run the Windows Update Troubleshooter (which you can download here).
  8. Then run the Windows Update Assistant (which is also a small download found here) and let it do the update.
  9. After a few reboots and tense moments – the update finally went through for me!!!
  10. Next re-install Disk Cyptor, but right click on the installer and select Run as Administrator. It may come up with an error like “error occurred when installing driver”…
  11. Reboot.
  12. Now run DiskCryptor like you would normally, but it may ask you to reboot (WTF????- PANIC!!!)…. select reboot.
  13. When the desktop comes back up – uninstall DiskCryptor again. Do not start it again, as it will just ask you to reboot.
  14. Now install it as Admin again, reboot… cross fingers.
  15. When the desktop comes back up, run DiskCryptor, and for me it worked….!

Steps 12 – 15 seem kind of crazy, but I went through this process on two machines with DiskCryptor and it worked both times.

Given this fiasco I’ll be looking for an alternative to DiskCryptor – here is a list of disk encryption software, many look promising. On Mac OS and Ubuntu encryption is built in, all you need to do is enable it. Unfortunately on Windows you are on your own.

In the mean time if you are interested in protecting your online identity, check out this post on some of the basics.

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One Response to Windows 10 Updates Failing with MEMORY_MANAGEMENT due to DiskCryptor

  1. Walter Witt says:

    Thank you!! I ran into this error with Win 1709 update last November. Over several months I opened two incidents for this problem with MS. The first one was closed as “unresolved”. I spent at least 15 hours along with an MS tech on that one. The second incident I worked with an MS “escalation support tech”. Another 10-15 hours spent when he decided there was a firmware issue with some component on my HP laptop and told me to contact HP. Next up I spent another 10 + hours with an HP support tech, until finally he said I need to reset back to factory level (Win 8), re-upgrade to Win 10 and reinstall all my apps and restore data files. Another 4-5 hours at least. That worked, only to reoccur when 1803 arrived. I now suspected that DiskCryptor might be the culprit and google pointed me to your blog. It worked! Thank you and I’m now looking at VeraCrypt to replace DC. I believe that MS should have a list of software that conflicts with their updates. They saw everything I had on my system, (I even removed Norton, which I should have done years ago) but they never suggested that backing out DC temporarily would be a possible solution. I was one small step from abandoning MS for Ubuntu and am still considering that move every day.