Microsoft recently acknowledged a bug in Windows 10 April 2018 Update could brick some PCs and push systems to a black or blank desktop with no easy way to recover the corrupted installation. While the newest version of Windows 10 offers a smooth experience on most of the computers, but it has proved to be quite a nightmare for some users.

Microsoft does conduct several tests before pushing Windows 10 updates to users worldwide, but updates could be troublesome on some devices due to compatibility issues with apps or drivers, and of course, it’s pretty hard to tell what exactly happened this time.

Earlier this month, thousands of users reported that the patch for Windows 10 April 2018 Update is causing a black screen on some computers. Later some users reported that the systems booted to a screen with message ‘desktop is unavailable’. In both cases, the users are recommended to reinstall Windows 10.

Microsoft in its community forum has also admitted that there are two critical bugs in Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803):

  • A blank screen rendered with a Recycle Bin and a Taskbar: Microsoft explains that a bug in the update could boot the system to a black screen and Windows cannot be restored easily.
  • Setup stuck at “Choose your keyboard layout” screen: In some cases, Windows boot to “choose your keyboard layout” and the process repeats after selecting the keyboard layout. The troubleshooting options doesn’t make any difference.

“Microsoft is currently investigating potential solutions and workarounds and will update this thread once they are available. If you have another working device available to you, you may wish to wait until another solution becomes available,” the company said.

Stuck at “Choose your keyboard layout” screen after installing Windows 10 April 2018 Update

If your system just booted to finish Windows 10 April 2018 Update installation but is stuck at “Choose your keyboard layout”, you can easily restore your computer to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Rollback without losing data

  • Select a keyboard layout (the US or UK) at the “Choose your keyboard layout” screen.
  • At the “Choose an option screen”, verify that ‘Continue – Exit and continue to Windows rollback’ is present on the top left. If it’s not, do not follow the below steps and skip to the second method.
  • Select Troubleshoot -> Command Prompt, and type “bcdedit“.
  • The 4 entries will be displayed, and it will have an attribute called “device” or “bootstatdevice”. The value would be similar to something like “partition=E:“. The letter drive would be different on your system.
  • In this case, you would need to type E:
  • Press enter.
  • Type the following command and press enter again.

copy \Windows.old\Windows\System32\OOBE\SetupPlatform\SetupPlatform.exe \$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources

  • The output should be “1 file(s) copied” but if this is not the case, please do not proceed further and skip to method 2 instead.
  • Type “exit” and press enter in Command prompt.
  • You’ll return to the Choose an option screen, and you now select Continue – Exit and continue to Windows Rollback option.

The system will finally restore to the previous version of Windows 10. Microsoft says that users should only attempt to install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update again when the computer Windows notifies you that the update is ready for your device.

If your computer fails to meet the aforementioned requirements, you can follow the steps described below.

Fix “Desktop is unavailable” issue after upgrading to Windows 10 April 2018 Update

If the system shows the message “C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop is unavailable” after installing Windows 10 April 2018 Update or your PC is stuck at “choose your keyboard layout” screen, you may need to boot from a USB drive and reinstall the OS.

Windows 10 Recovery screen

First and foremost, you would need a blank pendrive with 8GB of storage and another Windows PC. In this method, you may need to create a bootable drive on your spare computer and restore the broken PC.

  • Download Media Creation Tool from here and run it on your second PC.
  • Open Windows Media Creation Tool and select the option Create installation media for another PC.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Boot your broken computer into recovery mode. You can do sy by continuously restarting the PC with the power button until it boots to a blue screen with recovery options.
  • At the Choose your keyboard layout screen, choose your keyboard layout and at the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.
  • Select Command Prompt.
  • Type C: and press enter.
  • Type the following command and press enter.

Ren Windows.old Windows.old.bak

  • This command would make sure that your personal files are safe.
  • In the cmd.exe window, type exit and press Enter.
  • At Choose an option screen, select Use another operating system.
  • Select the second option called Windows 10 on volume X. Note that X is a variable and it would be a number on your computer.
  • Windows will boot to the desktop, and the following error message will be displayed.

C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop is unavailable

  • Right-click any blank area on the taskbar, and then select Task Manager.
  • Click “more details” if the Task Manager doesn’t appear in full screen.
  • Click File -> Run new task.
  • Check the box called Create this task with administrator privileges.
  • Select Browse.
  • Insert the bootable drive that you created earlier.
  • Navigate to your USB drive and run the setup.exe.
  • Uncheck the boxes for “check for new updates” and “help make this version better”.
  • Your PC will be upgraded to Windows 10 April 2018 Update.
  • You can find your files from the previous installation in the “Windows.old.bak” located in C drive.

Microsoft is investigating the reports and it appears that only a small subset of users are affected. You can wait always for Microsoft to ship a fix, which basically means that you need to leave your computer as it is.

About The Author

Mayank Parmar

Mayank Parmar is an entrepreneur who founded Windows Latest. He is the Editor-in-Chief and has written on various topics in his seven years of career, but he is mostly known for his well-researched work on Microsoft's Windows. His articles and research works have been referred to by CNN, Business Insiders, Forbes, Fortune, CBS Interactive, Microsoft and many others over the years.