Troubleshooting: Installation Error Code 0x80072f76 – 0x20016 on Windows 10

Microsoft’s Windows Media Builder is a useful computer tool that allows you to download and install the latest version of the Windows 10 operating system. However, it has been known to give the following error message during installation:

We don’t know exactly what happened, but we can’t run this tool on your computer. If you continue to have problems, please refer to the error code when contacting support – Error code: 0x80072f76 – 0x20016.

What causes error code 0x80072f76 – 0x20016 when installing Windows 10?

Damage in Windows Update files: This particular problem can also be caused by corrupted system files in the Windows Update component files – in this case, renaming the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders should solve the problem. Another possible solution for this scenario is deleting the $WINDOWS.~BT and $Windows.~WS cache folders.

Media Creation Tool opens in Windows XP compatibility mode: Several affected users reported that in their case, the Media Creation Tool tried to open in Windows XP compatibility mode. Upgrading to Windows 8 and granting administrator rights solved the problem for some users.

S.M.A.R.T. monitoring conflicts with operating system installation: The SMART HDD/SSD monitoring function has been known to conflict with operating system installation (via Windows Installer) on some PC configurations. In this case, the problem can be solved by disabling the SMART function in the BIOS settings.

Windows version configured to refuse upgrades: This error may also occur if the current Windows configuration rejects the operating system upgrade. You can solve the problem in this particular scenario by changing the value of AllowOSUpgrade with the registry editor.

How to repair Windows 10 installation error code 0x80072f76 – 0x20016?

Run the Windows Update troubleshooter

  1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select “Run” from the main menu.
  2. Type “ms-settings: troubleshoot” in the empty field and click OK to run the troubleshooter in the Settings app.
  3. Then click on “Run Troubleshooter” under “Windows Update”.
  4. Here, click “Apply this patch to automatically apply the recommended repair strategy”.
  5. After completing the task, reboot your system to confirm the changes you’ve made.

Disable S.M.A.R.T

  1. First press and hold the power button, then release it to reboot the system.
  2. After your computer restarts, press the appropriate function keys (F2, F3, F9, F7, Del, or Esc), depending on your computer configuration.
  3. From this point, press any key to enter BIOS mode.
  4. In the boot settings, go to the Main tab and select the HDD option.
  5. Now set the SMART tracking to Disabled to find the root cause.
  6. Save these changes and reboot the system.

Setting up compatibility mode in Windows 8

  1. First, make sure that you are logged in as an administrator.
  2. Then download the Media Builder from the Microsoft website. Save this file to a specific location.
  3. After downloading the file, right-click on it and select Properties from the context menu.
  4. Then go to the Compatibility tab and check the “Run this program in compatibility mode for” box.
  5. From there, select the Windows 8 option from the drop-down menu.
  6. Finally, click Apply and OK to confirm your changes.

Updating the operating system via Windows Security

  1. Go to the navigation area on the taskbar and click on Windows Security (the shield icon).
  2. When the Windows Defender home page opens, select the Performance and Device Health category.
  3. On the next page, scroll down and click More information under Restart. (See overview).
  4. In the next step, click “Start” to clear and check the existing Windows operating system.
  5. Now follow the online instructions to complete the remaining steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type ms-settings: troubleshoot in the box and press Enter to open the troubleshooter.
  3. In the troubleshooter, click Advanced Troubleshooting.
  4. Now click on Windows Update and run the troubleshooter.

  1. Start the machine from the Windows 10 USB drive.
  2. On the command line, press any key to start the machine.
  3. In the "Install Windows" section, click the Next button.
  4. Click the Install Now button.

  1. Make sure you have enough memory on your device.
  2. Run the Windows update multiple times.
  3. Check for third-party drivers and download any updates.
  4. Disable any additional hardware.
  5. Check the Device Manager for errors.
  6. Uninstall third-party security programs.
  7. Fix the hard drive errors.
  8. Perform a clean Windows reboot.

The easiest way to reinstall Windows 10 is through Windows itself. Click "Start -> Settings -> Update and Security -> Restore," then select "Reboot this PC." A complete reinstallation will wipe out the entire hard drive, so select "Delete All" to ensure a clean reinstallation.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.