Unsolicited Question: Windows 10 Upgrade Build 10586 on 32GB Windows devices‏

Q: I get an error message regarding storage when I try to upgrade to the recent Windows 10 build. 

As with Android and iOS, you're going to need some available space to download and install the recent Windows 10 upgrade. If you're running a Windows device such as an Acer, Lenovo or Dell tablet with an internal memory of 32GB, you will more likely require more storage to install the November 2015 upgrade/update.


The storage error message offers the option to supplement the internal memory of your device with external storage such as a desktop hard drive or the micro SD card inserted in the slot. This is a mixed blessing because if your device has only one micro USB port, you can connect a USB OTG adapter to connect an external hard drive but possibly not the power charger. A major drawback of using this method is that the Windows upgrade requires that your system is connected to a power source to complete the installation. Kudos to Microsoft for allowing the external micro SD card to serve as cache while the Windows 10586 upgrade is running but unfortunately, most users will still require available space on the Internal Memory to complete the process.


The 32 GB micro SD card inside my Stream 8 wasn't enough despite having plenty of available space. The upgrade still required an extra 4.42 GB from the internal memory.

I encountered the storage limitations error with the HP Stream 8, which has only 32GB of internal memory. The Stream 8 was upgraded from Windows 8.1 32-bit Home to Windows 10 32-bit Home immediately after purchase a few months ago and only had less than 4GB available internal storage, but plenty of space on the external SanDisk 32GB micro SD card. Windows Update was able to use the micro SD card as temporary storage for the Windows 10 November upgrade but still required additional internal memory. Considering that I installed only a few apps on the Stream 8 plus Microsoft Office, it was clear there was a lot of Windows 8.1 still lingering on the device.

The solution is easy enough: Perform a reset on the Windows PC.

The PC reset will clear out all the muck left over from the manufacturer and your previous Windows installation. If you opt to do a full reset and wipe all the applications and personal data, you will be left with roughly 10GB of available internal memory. This will be enough to perform the Windows 10 10586 upgrade. Note that you don't have to remove the micro SD card when performing a reset of your Windows tablet. The Windows PC reset only clears out the internal memory.

Note: I moved what little personal files I had on the internal memory to the micro SD card prior to the PC reset.

To perform a Reset in Windows 10:

1. Tap Settings > Update and Security > Recovery.

2. Under Reset this PC, click Get Started.

3. Tap Remove everything.


I performed the Windows PC reset on my HP Stream 8 and ended up having to install a long series of Windows updates and then was finally able to go through the 10586 Upgrade. The process took more than 2 hours (which was due to my network provider and the Stream 8's awful Wi-Fi card and processor). On the upside, I now had a "clean install" of Windows 10 on the Stream 8 plus the ability to do a full OS recovery, which I assume is now available because of the amount of occupied space on the internal memory.


The Stream 10's Atom processor doesn't help the reset process.

Curiously enough, the Stream 8 had 16GB of free space after Windows PC reset but was back to a dismal 6GB of available space after the 10586 Windows 10 upgrade. However, you can reclaim roughly 7GB by going to Storage in Settings and clearing out temporary files and the previous Windows version as with the Windows 8.1-Windows 10 upgrade. 


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