Top Windows 10 errors that can bog you down

Microsoft Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015. Since that time, Windows 10 enjoyed widespread success as millions of people around the world downloaded, installed, and upgraded their computers with it. As with any commercially released software, perfect code has never been written in the first go and there have always been flaws lingering inside the code files that as you know amount to the pesky bugs you often deal with (otherwise known to others as “features”). These bugs are usually eliminated or cleared by downloading and installing patches, updates, and service packs.

Sometimes, though, the issue is not a bug. It’s an error. Maybe it’s user error. Maybe it’s by design (again, a “feature”). In such a situation, the problem might arise from the software environment of the computer system and not in Windows 10 itself; perhaps your software is incompatible or outdated or simply misconfigured. Most of the errors and strange behaviors crop up after a lot of use as files get updated and downloaded and whatnot. That’s why there are people who work day and night to sort out loopholes in software to exploit any vulnerably to damage or take control of information that a weakness in a system may offer.

After the release of every edition of Windows, Microsoft gears its efforts towards solving problems that are reported back to Microsoft by professionals who work on Microsoft technologies. Software production is highly labor intensive and unlike hardware production which is machine intensive, it is an ongoing effort to make the software more viable from the usability point of view. When software breaks down, there may be more than one way to solve such a problem but a solution or a work around always exists (unless it’s a real bug and not a “feature”). Here are some of the main problems that Windows 10 may hit when using the OS, as well as solutions.

Windows 10 installation problems

When installing or upgrading, the first step is to be aware of your hardware specifications. The following is the minimum system requirements for Windows 10.

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800×600

It has been reported by many users that during the installation process Windows 10 halts and shows an error code. In the installation, the error can be any from a huge list of known error codes. Note that error code and type it in an Internet search engine like Google or Bing (it’s always good to have a secondary device on hand with an Internet connection to search for errors). If you fail to acquire any substantial information regarding an error code, there are some measures that you can take to overcome them anyhow.

error-message

Before creating a USB boot device or burning a CD or DVD, make sure your media is in proper working order and make sure it’s not damaged. If you have a reliable Internet connection, it is highly recommended that you download Windows 10 from the Microsoft Media Creation tool page.

If you have installed Windows 10 from a faulty disk/drive, keep in mind that it is extremely difficult or impossible to modify the installation files once they are damaged or corrupt. You need to create another media with the Microsoft Media Creation tool and install Windows 10 from there on.

Windows 10 upgrade problems

Something happened error

When Windows upgrades and starts running, an error shows up with a message “Something happened.” This is normally referred by techs as the “Something happened error.”

Fortunately, there is a tool by Microsoft to automatically fix this error. This link can also be fixed by following these instructions
(not recommended for amateurs).

If your upgrade to Windows 10 fails, you can take the following steps to rectify the problem.

  1. Unplug unnecessary devices: Unplug all the unnecessary peripheral devices (such TV screens, extra monitors, storage hard drives, printers, scanners, etc.) from the computer that is being upgraded. Just keep your mouse and keyboard attached while the upgrade processes.
  2. Disable Security Software: Disable all your security monitoring software that includes antivirus, antispyware, anti-malware, firewalls, etc. Make sure that all of the security software you do have is compatible to Windows 10.
  3. Disable unnecessary startup programs: Use the task manager (Right click the task bar and select “Task Manager” from the context menu) or system configuration manager (Press “Windows button” + Press “R”, type msconfig to open the system configuration manager). Under the “startup” tab in Task Managerm remove the checkmarks with applications to close all the unimportant applications that start up when the Windows boots
  4. Troubleshoot faulty RAM: In some rare cases, faulty RAM may prevent the Windows upgrade (and we’d be surprised your computer POSTed all this time). If the message “DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE” appears, then faulty RAM is the culprit. If you do not have RAM testing equipment or resources at hand, you can ascertain which stick of RAM is dead through trial and error: removing the RAM sticks one by one and testing the upgrade process. Of course, you have to be aware that you need to keep 1GB of RAM for 32-bit and 2-GB RAM for 64-bit machines at one time because it is the minimum Windows upgrade requirement.
  5. Disable secondary storage devices: If you have additional hard disks installed on the system, disable them except the disk being used to upgrade to Windows 10 (and make sure you have ample space available on that disk). If you have RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) or SAN (Storage Area Network), disable and unplug them. Remove any USB hard disk and USB flash disks. These storage devices may confuse the setup program to upgrade Windows 10.

Windows 10 update problems

Yes, you heard it right: newly released updates can also cause problems. It is ironic that a majority of updates are geared towards fixing problems and removing security related issues in software, but it is true that they can become the cause of errors. In the Microsoft Windows editions prior to Windows 10, users weren’t forced to install an OS upgrade, but that’s no longer the case for Windows 10. Microsoft have made Windows 10 updates installation to be mandatory for all users. Recently, there have been some buggy and bad Windows 10 updates that have riddled many Windows 10 systems with issues. These problems range from very serious ones like not allowing the computer to restart, or less serious ones like audio or video problems (though some would argue it’s the other way around). When Windows 10 updates are installed and your computer Windows 10 starts to behave strangely, it could mean trouble. Luckily, there is a way to prevent this using a privacy tool called W10Privacy 2. This tool can display all the available Microsoft updates and give you an option to selectively install them.

To configure this tool, follow the step by step below:

  • Download W10Privacy 2 here. Extract it to a folder (note: there should be no spaces in the name of the folder containing the app).
  • Download another tool called PsExec v2.11 at TechNet. Extract the files to a subfolder in the W10Privacy folder.
  • Right click the W10privacy.exe file and click on “Run as Administrator” in the context menu.
  • When the W10privacy program opens, click on the “Extras” button on the horizontal menu. This will open a dialog box with a list of six checkbox options. Check the top five options; the sixth one is optional.
  • Click on the button “Set changed settings” and then click on “Start checking for updates.” You will be shown the latest updates to be installed or rejected on your system if and when they are available.

The drawback of this tool is that you have to frequently check for updates to be in control of Microsoft Windows 10 updates.

w10privacy-screen

There is another method to completely disable the automatic updates. Just press the Windows button on the keyboard and then press “R” (Windows +R). At the command prompt type gpedit.msc and hit Enter. This will take you to the Local Group Policy of your Windows computer.

In the “Computer Configuration” pane, navigate to Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Updates. Double click on “Configure Automatic Updates” in the right pane. The dialogue box that will open will have the option to “Disable” Windows Automatic Updates. You can also configure notification for download and Installation of Windows Updates.

Blue screen of death (BSOD)

The “Blue Screen of Death” is an error caused by a number of reasons that are given below

  • A device or a driver (software that runs a device) fails or malfunctions
  • Installing a program that is not compatible with the current version of your Windows
  • Hardware or software problem with PC memory
  • Installing a buggy Windows 10 update

One morning you wake up and start your PC and it shows you a blue screen similar to the pic shown in the following.

bsod

In most cases, a BSoD can be fixed by following the procedure described below, but there are some pretty rare obnoxious cases when you have to reinstall Windows or just deal with the issue when it crops up every so often. First, you need to look back and think of the last program, update, or driver that you may have installed on the PC. It is highly probable that this software or driver may be causing the problem due to incompatibility. A BSOD can render your PC to be unusable indefinitely but you can still boot in Safe Mode that is designed to run your PC with just the minimum of resources, allowing your PC to be fixed.

There are a number of ways to boot in safe mode. In the event of a BSOD, just press your PC power button for 5-10 seconds. Then start Windows, you may need to restart Windows 10 for 2-3 times until you see the following screen.

diagnosing-pc
This will lead you to the following screen.

automatic-repair

Click on “Advanced options.”

troubleshoot-advanced-win10

Click on “Troubleshoot.”

win10-troubleshoot

Here, click on “Advanced options” again.

win10-startup-troubleshooting-advanced

In the next screen click on “Startup Settings.” You will see the following screen.

startup-settings

Notice the list also has “Enable Safe Mode.”

Here, hit the “Restart” button. You will see a similar blue screen with numbered options, just select “Safe Mode.” The PC will boot in safe mode. Login with your username and password as you normally do and uninstall the faulty driver, program or update and restart.

If the blue screen message contains these words, MEMORY_MANAGEMENT, this message indicates that the problem is with your PC memory.

To solve this problem, restart your PC in Safe Mode and go to Administrative tools in the Control Panel inside “System and Security.” Click on “Windows Memory Diagnostics”. The dialogue box that appears click on “Restart now and check for Problems (Recommended)…”. Windows 10 will restart and start to inspect the system. Let it run.

If all goes well, Windows 10 will automatically fix the problem and reboot. This will remove the memory error from your system.

When you use Windows 10 or any other operating system, for that matter, you will definitely run into problems, bugs, and errors. A piece of advice is that you should not give up until you find the solution. Keep your search thorough and keep trying. All problems are ultimately resolved if you are determined to fix it (and gain skills in the process!)

1 thought on “Top Windows 10 errors that can bog you down”

  1. The good news is that you no longer have to mess with Group Policy settings to defer updates on a standalone PC. Instead, you can take your choice of three options, all available in the Windows 10 Settings app. Go to Settings Update Security Windows Update, and then click Advanced options to see all three settings, which I have labeled in the screenshot on this page.

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