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How to Fix “Windows Could Not Configure One Or More System Components” Error

Keeping Windows 10 up to date is essential. Even if you are not interested in new features, constant security updates keep your system safe from intrusion. Microsoft strongly believes in this, which makes it difficult to avoid automatic Windows 10 updates.

Unfortunately, a large number of users have reported an error preventing a successful Windows update. This is a frightening and frustrating situation, but it is quite easy to fix. Here are six ways to fix the Windows could not configure one or more system components error.

What is the “Windows could not configure one or more system components” error?

As for the error messages, “Windows was unable to configure one or more system components. To install Windows, restart your computer and then restart the installation. ” is long and vague.

You will most likely only see this when you update your computer, and since Windows 10 keeps updating automatically, there is no easy way to avoid this error from occurring at some point. Even worse, restarting rarely fixes the problem.

There are several possible reasons for this error. As with recovering damaged video, this error cannot be fixed and you may need to try several methods demonstrated in this article. If you cannot boot your computer normally, boot into Safe Mode.

For convenience, in this article, I will refer to the “Windows could not configure one or more system components” error as a system component error.

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Remove Internet Information Services

Windows 10 comes bundled with features that will suit everyone. Whether you are a light everyday user or a seasoned network engineer working with Windows Servers and .NET applications, you can install the same operating system and get the same functionality right out of the box.

Unfortunately, a web server software called Internet Information Services (IIS) can cause system components to fail. Follow the instructions in each section to disable and exclude IIS as the cause.

Disable Internet Information Services

  1. To disable IIS, press the Windows key and enter features by selecting Turn Windows features on or off when it appears.
  1. Find Internet Information Services in the list and clear both check boxes. When the warning appears, click OK. IIS will automatically uninstall.
  1. If you receive a Permission Denied message, make sure you are using an account with administrator rights.

Remove IIS Machine Keys

One of the possible causes of system component errors is the machine keys used by IIS to hash and encrypt information. During the update, the installer finds these keys and fails. This is probably a flawed security feature. The easiest way to fix this problem is to delete your old computer keys.

  1. Open an explorer window.
  2. Navigate to C: ProgramData Microsoft Crypto RSA MachineKeys.
  3. If the folder looks empty, select View and select the Hidden Items check box.
  4. Delete all files in the MachineKeys folder.

When these files are deleted, the updater can create new ones in their place. This solution is reported to work for many users. If the update still fails, try the next step.

Backing up and removing IIS dependent folders

While removing IIS should remove all files associated with it, this rarely happens. Even if you’ve never had IIS turned on, there are still a few places on your hard drive where you will find the files it uses. Moving these files is a potential solution to a system component error.

  1. Create a folder on your desktop and name it IIS Backup.
  2. Open File Explorer and navigate to C: Windows WinSxS.
  3. In the search dialog box, type * windows-iis * and press Enter.
  4. Select all files returned by the search and press Ctrl + X to cut them.
  5. Go back to the IIS backup folder on your desktop and press Ctrl + P to paste the files.
  6. Navigate to C: Windows System32.
  7. Find the inetsrv folder and press Ctrl + X to cut it.
  8. Paste it into the IIS backup folder.

Although the problem with computer keys is much less common, some users have reported successful updates after these steps. After the upgrade is complete, you can move the IIS backup folder from the desktop to the trash.

Removing and Updating Drivers

Another possible cause of system component error is related to the system’s network drivers. A common solution is to uninstall your system’s Wi-Fi driver and update all other network drivers. Note that you must prepare an Ethernet cable to stay connected to the Internet during these steps.

  1. Press the Windows key and type Device Manager.
  2. Under Network Adapters, right-click. on your Wi-Fi adapter and select Uninstall.
  3. For each entry in the list, right-click and select Update Driver Software.

In some cases, these steps allowed the upgrade to complete successfully. After the update, reinstalling the Wi-Fi adapter shouldn’t cause any problems and you should be able to continue using your computer as usual.

Use Windows Media Creation Tool

Given that a system component error usually occurs during an update, it should come as no surprise that the Media Creation Tool update feature is cited as a possible fix. It is available on the Microsoft website and does not require installation to use.

When the download is complete:

  1. Open the Media Creation Tool.
  2. Accept the license agreement.
  3. When asked what do you want to do? Select “Upgrade this PC now”.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to update your system.

It’s not clear why this method might work where others don’t, but according to some users, this was the solution.

Remove Your SD Card Reader

When all else fails, sometimes there are solutions that seem pointless, but have proven to be effective for others. As strange and out of place with the other options as it sounds, simply removing the SD card from the reader has been known to be the only solution for some users.

For clarity, this seems to apply to both external SD card readers and built-in ones, removing the SD card before retrying the update has reportedly resulted in a smooth update.

A comic of errors

Windows has a reputation for being error prone. It is definitely worth learning how to deal with the most common errors you encounter.

While Microsoft’s forced updates are considered aggressive by many, they are still probably the best security solution for most users, but that won’t stop some people from switching to a Linux operating system that they have complete control over.

Have you had any problems trying to fix the error “Windows could not configure one or more system components”? Share them in the comments below.

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