"Fatal Error. An Error Has Been Encountered That Has Prevented Setup from Continuing" Error Message During Windows XP Setup

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 315332 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q315332
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page


You may see the following behaviors when you upgrade your computer from Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), from Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, or from Microsoft Windows 98 to Microsoft Windows XP. These behaviors occur during the last phase of Setup, the "Finalizing Installation Upgrading Program and System Settings" phase:
  • You receive an error message similar to the following:
    Setup was unable to upgrade some of your program settings. After Setup completes, you may need to install one or more programs.
  • When you click OK on this message, you receive an error message similar to the following:
    Fatal Error. An error has been encountered that has prevented Setup from continuing.

    Setup will now restart your computer and try again. If this error continues to occur, select Cancel Windows XP Setup when your machine restarts.
    • If you click View Log on the message, the setup log may contain text similar to the following:
      Error. Process user: Cannot copy default user hive c:\documents and settings\default user\ntuser.dat. Error=32(20h) 
      FailureInPrepareForMigration rc-32. Error=32(20h)
      Error w95upgnt_migrate:migmain_migrate failed. Error=32(20h)
      Setup cannot upgrade some settings after Setup complete. You may need to
      reinstall one or more programs. (error=32 "20h")  
    • When you click OK on the message, your computer restarts, Setup resumes, and this error message reappears.


To troubleshoot and resolve this behavior, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. When you see the Please select the operating system to start message displayed on the screen, press F8.
  3. On the Windows Advanced Option Menu list, use the ARROW keys to select Last Known Good Configuration, and then press ENTER.
  4. Use the ARROW keys to select Microsoft Windows XP in the Please select the operating system to start list, and then press ENTER to start Windows XP.

Method 2

  1. Quit Setup, and then start the computer in MS-DOS mode by using the startup disk that was created by the earlier version of Microsoft Windows (either Windows 98 or Windows Me).
  2. At the command prompt, type scanreg /fix, and then press ENTER.
  3. Restart the computer in Normal mode.
  4. Uninstall any programs that scanreg reported as having a problem. To do this, use the Add and Remove Programs utility in Control Panel.
  5. Run Setup again from the Windows XP installation CD-ROM.

Method 3: Remove Other Programs

If the steps is described earlier in this article do not resolve the problem, you may want to quit Setup, revert to your previous operating system, and then remove any programs that could cause a problem, like antivirus programs. Run Windows XP Setup again.

To do this, restart the computer, and then click Cancel Windows XP Setup. If this option is not displayed on the screen when you restart your computer and resume Setup, click the article numbers below for more information about how to restore the computer to the previous version of Windows:
308233 How to Start the Windows XP Uninstallation Process from a Command Prompt
312569 How to Manually Start the Uninstall Process to Remove Windows XP
314052 How to Manually Remove Windows XP and Restore Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium


For additional information about how to troubleshoot Windows XP Setup issues, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310064 HOW TO: Troubleshoot Windows XP Setup Problems When You Upgrade from Windows 98 or Windows Me
For additional informationabout Windows XP Setup, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306824 Release Notes for Windows XP Setup Contained in the Home.txt File


Article ID: 315332 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 1.3
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
kberrmsg kbprb kbsetup KB315332

Give Feedback


Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com