[Fixed] “Installation Failed in the safe_OS Phase” Error

[Fixed] “Installation Failed in the safe_OS Phase” Error

/ Sed Galope

What Is the Safe OS Phase?

The operating system encounters an error while updating, whether online or offline when it cannot migrate the driver due to the risk of unauthorized operation. During the safe OS phase, the system verifies that all components, including drivers, function according to their intended programming.

To maintain system reliability, all operations must be appropriately encrypted and signed. Attempting to force an incompatible upgrade can often result in a blue screen of death (BSOD).

What Is the Prepare-First-Boot Operation?

During the First Boot operation, a computer can load its operating system from various sources, such as its internal or external hard disk or pen drive that may be connected to it. This allows for flexibility in how the computer starts up.

The BIOS settings can be adjusted to modify the order in which the computer searches for the operating system during the First Boot operation. This can be useful when the primary operating system has become corrupted or damaged and an alternate operating system needs to be loaded from an external source.

Fix Windows Installation Failed in Safe OS Phase With an Error

It’s common to encounter errors when using a computer, but the good news is that they can usually be resolved quickly. This guide outlines methods to tackle a specific error and provides possible reasons and solutions to help make future troubleshooting easier. Each technique presented applies to this error.

Identifying the exact cause of the error can confuse users, as there can be multiple underlying reasons. Common culprits include faulty peripherals, bad drivers, buggy registry entries, incorrect system settings, malfunctioning hardware, PC clutter, and BIOS issues. That’s why it’s important to implement all the solutions outlined in the guide, as you may not know which one will work in your situation.

Disconnect All Your External Devices

This is one of the easiest and most commonly used methods to fix installation failure in Windows 10, and it’s worth trying before moving on to other solutions. Many users have reported success by disconnecting all external devices, whether a Dell computer or any other brand. That’s why unplugging all peripherals, such as USB flash drives, USB hubs, phones, printers, and other external devices, is important.

You can switch to a PS/2 keyboard and mouse instead of a USB keyboard and mouse, which may help resolve the issue. Additionally, if you’re using a Wi-Fi card, removing it before performing the Windows 10 upgrade, not during the process, is recommended.

Set Services to Automatic

If you’ve already tried the most straightforward method and cannot resolve the issue, it may be time to try a more complex solution. Many users have succeeded by changing some services to automatic, which can help fix errors like “The Installation failed in the safe_os phase with an error during boot operation.” Here are the steps to follow:

1. Press the Windows logo + R keys to open Run.

2. Type services.msc and hit enter.

run services msc

3. Look for the following services: Background Intelligent Transfer Service, Cryptographic Service, and Windows Update Service.

windows update service window

5. Double-click on each service to open the properties window, and set the startup type to automatic.

start windows update service in window

6. Click Apply to save the changes, then click OK.

7. Finally, try your task again after implementing these steps.

Update All Your Drivers

An outdated driver can contribute to the problem of “Installation failed in the safe_os phase with an error.” Faulty drivers can also be a major cause of this issue. To address this problem, it’s important to update your drivers. Although searching for and installing the latest drivers can be time-consuming, Windows provides utilities to simplify the task.

1. Open the Device Manager by right-clicking the Start menu and selecting Device Manager.

2. Find the device driver you want to update and right-click it.

3. Select Update driver from the context menu.

4. Select Search automatically for updated driver software in the pop-up window.

open device manager and update graphics driver

5. Windows will search for the latest driver version online and automatically download and install it.

6. After the installation, restart your computer to ensure the changes take effect.

7. Repeat these steps for any other device drivers that need updating.

Restart the Windows Update Service

1. Press the Windows logo + R keys to open Run.

2. Type services.msc and hit enter.

3. Double-click on the Services app and find the Windows Update service.

4. If the service is already running, right-click on it and select Stop. Then, restart it.

5. If the service is disabled, right-click on it and select Start.

restart windows update service

6. Restart the services, navigate to This PC, select your main drive, and click on Windows.

7. Find the SoftwareDistribution folder and rename it to SoftwareDistributionOLD.

rename softwaredistribution folder

8. Try to update Windows 10 again.

Disable Your Graphics Card

To resolve specific errors, different methods may be required. If you encounter an error message stating The installation failed in the safe_os phase with an error during the apply_image operation, it indicates an issue with your graphics card. Perhaps it is not fully compatible with Windows 10, or there is another issue with the card. To resolve this problem, you can disable the graphics card on your computer.

1. Find and use the specific key to enter BIOS on your computer.

2. Find your dedicated graphics card and disable it in the BIOS according to your instruction manual.

3. Connect your monitor to the onboard graphics on the back of your computer.

4. Install Windows 10 again and check if the error still exists.

Tweak Your RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) is a vital component of your computer that stores and retrieves information. The RAM may be the culprit if you have tried all the previous methods to fix the installation issue but still face problems.

To solve this, you can either remove any extra RAM modules connected to your PC or replace the existing ones with new ones. Adding or removing RAM can make the Windows 10 installation process easier and smoother. Depending on your specific requirements and needs, you can decide whether to add or remove RAM.

Remove Wireless Card

To remove the Wireless card from your system, you can follow these steps after backing up all your files:

1. Turn off your computer and disconnect all the cables and cords.

2. Open the case of your computer and locate the wireless card.

3. Gently disconnect the antenna cables attached to the card.

4. Remove any screws or clips holding the card in place.

5. Carefully remove the wireless card from its slot.

6. Close your computer’s case and reconnect all the cables and cords.

7. Turn on your computer and check if the installation of Windows 10 is successful.

Optimize Your System

The issue of Windows installation failing in the SAFE_OS phase with an error can also be caused by a cluttered operating system. When temporary files, junk files, and software leftovers accumulate on your PC, they can cause things to become chaotic and difficult to manage.

To ensure a smooth upgrade to Windows 10, it is recommended to optimize your system by manually decluttering it or using dedicated software to do so. This will help to remove unnecessary files and free up space, improving the overall performance of your system.

Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows Update Troubleshooter is an official tool provided by Microsoft that can help users diagnose and resolve issues related to Windows Update. The tool is designed to detect and fix common problems that prevent Windows updates from installing properly, such as missing or corrupted files, network connectivity issues, and other system-related errors.

1. Open Windows Control Panel > Troubleshooting.

control panel troubleshooting

2. Click on View all > Windows Update troubleshooter.

select windows update troubleshooter

3. Follow on-screen instructions.

run windows update troubleshooter

Remove Old Immigration Files

One possible solution to resolve the issue is to rename the existing migration files stored in the System32 directory within the Windows folder. This step might be necessary in certain cases to allow the installer to create new migration files and prevent any interference with the process.

1. Open the Command prompt as an administrator.

2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following commands and press enter after each line:

ren C:\Windows\System32\migration migration.old

ren C:\Windows\System32\migwiz migwiz.old

migwiz command

3. Close the Command Prompt window.

4. Check if the issue persists.

Remove Developer Mode Package

Sometimes, the developer mode package from Microsoft can be the culprit causing the Windows installation to fail in the SAFE_OS phase with an error issue. You can use the DISM tool to remove the package to fix this problem.

DISM stands for Deployment Image Servicing and Management, a command-line tool that can service and prepare Windows images. Once you remove the developer mode package, try installing Windows 10 again to see if the issue has been resolved.

1. Open the Command prompt as an administrator.

2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press enter:

dism /online /remove-package /packagename:Microsoft-OneCore-DeveloperMode-Desktop-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.17134.1

3. In case you encounter a not found error message, it could be because of a different package version. To solve this, you can copy the command up to Microsoft-OneCore-DeveloperMode and then use the TAB key to automatically fill in the remaining part of the command.

4. Close the command prompt and check if the installation failed in the safe_os phase with error messages persisting.

Perform an In-Place Upgrade by Mounting the Current Version of Windows 

If the above solutions fail to resolve your issue, you can still try reinstalling the current version of Windows using the installer while selecting the “keep files and apps” option to prevent data loss. Then, you can attempt an in-place upgrade to the latest version of Windows by using the ISO of your current Windows version.

1. Mount the ISO of the current Windows installation.

2. Open the Media Creation Tool and use the ISO file to install Windows.

3. Choose the Keep Files and Apps option when prompted.

choose what to keep

4. Use the Media Creation Tool to perform an in-place upgrade to the latest version of Windows.

5. Check if the installation failed in the safe_os phase with a solved error message.

Update your BIOS

Updating your BIOS could be a potential solution if the above methods don’t work. However, using a third-party application to perform the update is recommended. While upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 8 is free, it can still cause startup issues if your software is not updated beforehand.

The methods mentioned earlier are appropriate fixes for Windows Installation failure in the SAFE_OS phase. It’s crucial to be careful with each step as some methods could lead to data loss. So, a backup of necessary system files is recommended before fixing the Windows installation failure in the SAFE_OS phase with errors and disconnecting any external devices connected to your system.

Change Your Windows 10 Installation

The installation media you use to upgrade to Windows 10 may have some issues. If you think this might be the problem, you must obtain a new copy of the Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft website and transfer its contents to a formatted USB drive.

Then, attempt the installation again using the new installation media and see if you encounter the ‘the installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase’ error message again. This should fix the failed installation error you were experiencing.

Effortlessly Fixing the “Installation Failed in the safe_OS Phase” Error

In conclusion, encountering the “Installation Failed in the safe_OS Phase” error can be frustrating, but there are many ways to fix it. From updating drivers and tweaking RAM to performing an in-place upgrade and changing your Windows 10 installation, this guide provides multiple solutions to resolve this error and ensure a successful Windows installation. Follow the steps carefully and find the solution that works best for you.

Sed Galope
Meet the author

Sedfrey is an experienced writer and editor. He's also a PC hardware and gaming enthusiast. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about the latest innovations in the PC market and finding fixes to hardware and software errors.