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Fix Windows Update error 0x80070643 when installing KB5034441

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You may find that a January 2024 Windows Update with number KB5034441 fails to install. Windows Update will stop with error 0x80070643 while other updates finish without problems.
This update tries to work in the Windows Recovery Environment to solve a BitLocker security problem, but that operation fails if the size of that environment is too small.

The update can be successfully installed after resizing the Recovery Environment. Microsoft has provided a PowerShell script which guides you through the steps to change it to a suitable size. The steps below explain how to use this script to get the update installed.

Time needed: 10 minutes

  1. Make a backup

    During this process Windows will slightly reformat your hard drive to create space for the larger recovery environment. So, if you have any important data (or other OSes) stored on your machine: make sure it’s all properly backed up.

  2. Download the WinRE resize script

    The link above is a direct copy of the script text into a file for convenient downloading — if you’d rather get it straight from the source, copy the script from this Microsoft page into an empty Notepad page and save it as a file ending with .ps1.

  3. Make a folder for the script to write to

    Before the script makes changes to your WinRE environment, it will make a copy of the existing one. But: it needs somewhere to place that copy. So make a folder somewhere — for example, in the same folder where you’ve saved the resize script.

  4. Please, please, please reboot your computer

    Don’t skip this step, do it. Windows loves doing disk operations and the script authors warn that you may interrupt something if you don’t execute this script on a cleanly rebooted system. Not rebooting means the script might start reformatting your disk while a disk operation is taking place, which can lead to data loss.

    I see you scrolling on.

    Stop scrolling, reboot your computer.

  5. Open the PowerShell prompt with Administrator permissions

    Right click on your Start button, and click “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” in the menu that appears. Choose “Yes” if you’re asked if you’d like this app to make changes to your computer.

  6. Change the working directory to the place where you saved the script

    Type cd <location> to navigate to the folder, for example:
    cd C:\Users\Daan\Downloads
    Then hit Enter, and you should see the path before the blinking cursor.

  7. Unblock the script

    Because you’ve downloaded the script from the internet, PowerShell will default to not trusting it. To disable this for the file, assuming it’s called windows10-RE-resize.ps1, type:
    Unblock-File -Path .\windows10-RE-resize.ps1
    and hit Enter. If all goes well it should go back to the blinking cursor on a new line without complaining.

  8. Temporarily enable script execution for this PowerShell session

    By default PowerShell will not allow users to run random scripts. To temporarily disable this security feature for this session only (meaning: until you close this window) you can type the following:
    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope Process -ExecutionPolicy Bypass
    and hit Enter, then press Y for Yes when asked and hit Enter again.

  9. Run the script

    This is very simple: you just type a dot, a backslash, the filename, and hit Enter.
    For example:

  10. Follow the steps

    The script will ask you for a backup location. This is where you enter the path of the folder you created in Step 3. You don’t need to put the path in between quotes, even if it contains spaces. So a path like this is totally fine and valid to enter as-is:
    C:\Users\Daan Berg\Downloads\Win RE Backup

  11. After-script steps: Reboot and run Windows Update

    Restart your computer, then run Windows Update and the KB5034441 update should finally finish as intended.