Fatal Error C0000034 when Applying Windows Update

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Windows updates provide not only new features but also essential security benefits by delivering revised patches to protect devices. These updates also improve overall computer performance and speed. However, encountering issues that prevent Windows updates can lead to significant system problems.

One of the common issues on Windows 10/11 is “Fatal Error C0000034 Applying Update Operation”. It is important to solve the issue asap as it may leave the computer vulnerable to the latest malware attacks.

What Is Fatal Error C0000034 on Windows 10/11?

The message Fatal Error C0000034 appears on Windows 10/11 devices. It commonly occurs when there is an issue that is blocking Windows Update (WU). The error message does not give a conclusive reason why the issue is occurring.

But based on the analysis, several triggers result in this error. If you manage to pinpoint one of the causes listed below, then the process of fixing this error will be short. However, if you are not sure of the actual cause even after running a diagnosis, you must apply all the solutions provided chronologically to solve the issue.

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Here are some of the potential culprits that can trigger Fatal Error C0000034 on Windows 10/11:

  • Bad Data Sectors – This problem is common among traditional hard drives that are starting to show signs of failure. If the system starts to experience boot issues after a corrupt Windows Update, you must apply a CHKDSK scan to replace bad data blocks in the HDD.
  • Corrupt WU files – Windows Update is part of the system utilities. Therefore, if some of its files are corrupt, the system is bound to show the error message. To fix this, the affected user must run an SFC scan through the Recovery Menu.
  • 3rd Party Conflict – This usually occurs when there is a third-party security software program that is blocking Windows Update from accessing MS servers. In other instances, it can be a generic driver that was replaced with an equivalent from a third-party. If that’s the scenario, you can solve the issue by using System Restore to take your computer back to a point when this issue wasn’t occurring.
  • Corrupt System Files – If there is a severe underlying issue that couldn’t be solved using either of the provided solutions, you may need to refresh all Windows 10/11 components using a clean or restore installation process.

How to Fix Fatal Error C0000034 when Updating Windows?

As already indicated, this error has to be fixed as it blocks important security updates.. Also, it has to be gotten rid of to enhance system stability. If you were wondering what to do about Fatal Error C0000034, here are the possible solutions:

Solution #1: Run the CHKDSK Feature to Fix Bad Data Blocks

Since this error can be triggered by corrupt system files, it’s best to run multiple troubleshooting utilities to identify and fix damaged or corrupt system files.

Fortunately, Windows 10/11 comes equipped with such utilities, including CHKDSK (Check Disk). To run this utility, you must first access an elevated Command Prompt. However, if you are unable to boot your device normally, you must perform an Advanced Startup. Here is how:

  1. Prepare a compatible installation media and insert it into your computer. Press any key to boot from the installation media during startup.
  2. When you land on the installation window, select Repair your computer to launch the Recovery Menu.
    • If you don’t have installation media, you can reach the Recovery Menu by performing 3 unexpected shutdowns during the boot-up process.
  3. On the Recovery Menu, select Troubleshoot, and then click Command Prompt.
  4. Once the elevated Command Prompt launches, type CHKDSK X: (note that X represents the letter assigned to your disk drive) before hitting the Enter key.
  5. Wait for the process to complete before you restart the computer.

Solution #2: Run SFC Scan to Fix Corrupt System Files

System File Checker also uses an elevated Command prompt. Therefore, you must apply Steps 1, 2, and 3 demonstrated in the previous solution.

  1. Once you have accessed the elevated Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow and hit the Enter key.
  2. Wait for the process to complete, and then restart the computer.

Solution #3: Use System Restore to Revert the Computer to a Healthy Point

If this error started to occur after a Windows Update installation, you can revert your system to a healthy point before the botched installation occurred. To do this, you can use the System Restore tool.

System Restore points are created automatically by the system. They create snapshots amid a vital system event like third-party installations, security updates, as well as the latest Windows updates. Unless configurations are manually modified to alter the Windows Update behavior, there should be multiple Restore Points to select from.

  1. If unable to boot normally, you must insert installation media that is fully compatible with the currently installed Windows 10 version.
  2. Press any key to boot from the installation media.
  3. On the initial installation screen, click Repair your computer to launch the Advanced Options menu.
  4. Now, select System Restore to open the utility.
  5. Once inside, check the box next to Show more restore points. Then, select the one created just before the issue was triggered. Click on the desired restore point and click Next to proceed.
  6. Click Finish and wait for the process to complete reverting your system to the selected restore point.
  7. Reboot the system and check if the issue persists.

System #4: Perform Clean or Repair Installation

If you have tried all the provided solutions with no luck, the last resort will be to perform a Repair or Clean installation. This option should be considered last, especially if you are sure that the problem you are dealing with is severe and beyond control.

When performing a Repair / Clean installation, it is important that you back up your data. This is because it will refresh all system components to get rid of the underlying problem that causes the fatal error C0000034.

If you have compatible installation media, you can perform Repair Installation. This will allow you to keep personal files.

Repair Installation

  1. Insert the installation media and reboot the computer. Press any key during the boot process to load Windows from the installation media.
  2. Choose language and time zone, and then keyboard input methods before clicking Next.
  3. Click on Repair your computer, and then select System Image Recovery.
  4. Follow the prompts to complete the process.
  5. When done, restart and check if the issue has been solved.

Clean Installation

  1. Insert the installation media and reboot the system. Press any key to boot from the installation media.
    Note that even if the Windows 10/11 copy you have is different from the one installed, you can use it when performing Clean Installation. Alternatively, you can match the original installation details and use the previous key to activate your Clean installation.
  2. Once you reach the initial Windows Setup screen, click Install now.
  3. Follow the prompts to set up new disk partitions, etc.
  4. Depending on your PC specifications, this process can take from 30 minutes up to more than an hour.
  5. When done, restart the PC once more.


Many errors are haunting Windows 10/11 users. The most neglected ones are caused by computer viruses. When these malicious entities attack, they can damage or corrupt vital system files leading to instability issues, as well as an error message when performing certain tasks. So, the best way to avoid such is to install a recommended security software and keep it running in the background for real-time protection. Periodically, you must perform a Full Scan to detect any potentially unwanted apps that might have sneaked into the system.

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