Windows 10 21H2 Update Error 0xc1900223: A Comprehensive Troubleshooting

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The Windows 10 error code 0xc1900223 frequently emerges during feature updates, usually becoming apparent when the update process reaches about 97%. The problem often inhibits the installation of the Windows 10 21H2 update, despite numerous restarts and standard troubleshooting attempts.

An enablement package has been proposed as a possible solution for facilitating the upgrade. However, for some users, this approach has proved ineffective, yielding a notification stating the update’s incompatibility with their systems.

Error code 0xc1900223 signifies an issue during the download and installation of a selected update. It typically surfaces when the computer fails to connect to Microsoft Update servers or its content delivery network. Such a situation can occur if users have previously blocked certain Microsoft server addresses, either manually or through a specialized program that edits the Windows HOSTS files. Moreover, some users have experienced this error when using a specialized DNS server to block third-party web addresses.

Potential Causes

Most users encounter the error 0xc1900223 when they try to install a Windows update conventionally. There are several reasons why this error occurs, and these include:

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  • Corrupt files, which can be addressed using tools like DISM, as detailed in our DISM guide.
  • Corrupt Windows update files.
  • Software incompatibility (mostly with AV tools).

Fixing Error Code 0xc1900223: Detailed Steps and Precautions

The Pi-Hole software is an ad-blocker that operates similar to a VPN-like DNS. It’s designed to prevent websites from loading malicious content that could potentially cause malware infections. However, this network ad-blocker might interfere with the Windows update process, resulting in errors such as 0xc1900223.

To successfully update, you may need to either temporarily disable or completely uninstall Pi-Hole. Note: Always ensure that you have created a system restore point or have a backup of your data before making any significant changes to your system.

How to Disable Pi-Hole

  1. Press “Win + R” to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “cmd” and press “Ctrl + Shift + Enter” to open the elevated Command Prompt with administrator rights.
  3. Click “Yes” when prompted by the User Account Control (UAC).
  4. In the elevated Command Prompt, type “pihole” to invoke the Pi-Hole Utility.
  5. Type “pihole disable” and press Enter.
  6. Try installing the update to see if it completes successfully.
  7. If the update installs successfully, you can enable Pi-Hole again by typing “pihole enable” in the elevated Command Prompt and hitting Enter.

How to Uninstall Pi-Hole

  1. Press “Win + R” to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “cmd” and press “Ctrl + Shift + Enter” to open the elevated Command Prompt with administrator rights.
  3. Click “Yes” when prompted by the UAC.
  4. In the elevated Command Prompt, type “pihole uninstall” and press Enter.
  5. Restart the computer after successfully running the command.
  6. Try installing the Windows update to see if it completes successfully.

Enabling $GetCurrent and $SysReset Folders

The $GetCurrent and $SysReset folders in your C: drive hold crucial files related to the Windows update process. The $GetCurrent folder is naturally hidden, so you will need to unhide it first:

  1. In File Explorer’s navigation bar, type “C:/$GetCurrent” and press Enter.

Alternatively, you can:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Go to the “View” tab.
  3. Check the box for “Hidden items.”
  4. Open the “media” folder then double-click on “Start executable.”
  5. Try installing the update.

Resetting Windows Update

If the error arises due to an unavailable, halted, or damaged Windows component, consider resetting Windows Update:

  1. Press the “Windows” key.
  2. Type “cmd” into the dialog box.
  3. Right-click on the Command Prompt and choose “Run as Admin.”
  4. Click “Yes” on the UAC pop-up.
  5. In the Command Prompt, execute the following commands one by one, pressing Enter after each:
      • net stop wuauserv
      • net stop cryptSvc
      • net stop bits
      • net stop msiserver
  6. Press “Win + E” to open File Explorer.
  7. Right-click on the “SoftwareDistribution” folder and choose the rename option.
  8. Rename the folder to “SoftwareDistribution.old.”
  9. Navigate to the “System32” subfolder, right-click the “catroot2” folder, and rename it to “Catroot.old.”

If these suggestions don’t solve the issue, consider using the “Upgrade this PC Now” feature of the Media Creation Tool or manually install the update through the “Microsoft Update Catalog.” Always ensure to backup your data before making any significant changes, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if the problem persists.

User-Suggested Approaches to Resolve Windows Update Errors

Manually Installing the Feature Update

One proposed method to bypass update issues involves manually installing the latest feature update using the Media Creation Tool. In cases where this doesn’t resolve the issue, it’s recommended to record the error code and utilize the SetupDiag tool, providing logs for further examination.

Addressing Problems with the Media Creation Tool

Certain users have encountered errors like 0xC1900101 – 0x20017 while trying to reinstall Windows with the Media Creation Tool. Logs from the SetupDiag tool can be shared for further analysis and troubleshooting.

Deleting the Software Distribution Folder

Some users have reported success in resolving update issues by deleting the Software Distribution folder in Safe Mode and then attempting a fresh download using a link provided by Microsoft. This folder is where Windows stores its update files. By clearing this folder, it may be possible to fix issues related to corrupted or incomplete update files.

Clearing the Software Distribution Folder in Safe Mode

However, please note that there were instances where users faced difficulties deleting the Software Distribution folder in Safe Mode. It was later clarified that the entire folder (not just its contents) needs to be removed specifically in Safe Mode for this method to be effective.

Using the Command Prompt and Contacting Microsoft Support

Another strategy, as discussed among users, includes using the Command Prompt to delete problematic files, which can be an effective method for resolving update errors. If this method doesn’t resolve the issue, reaching out to Microsoft Support directly is advised.

Manual Installation of Specific Update Packages

There have been reports of successful updates after manually downloading and installing specific update packages (like KB5003212) from the Microsoft Update Catalog.

Updating BIOS and Uninstalling Specific Software

Further suggestions from the user community include updating the BIOS and uninstalling certain software (like Bitdefender antivirus) during the upgrade. This advice is particularly pertinent if an error is related to the system’s AMD processor.

Conclusion

The Windows 10 error code 0xc1900223, while common, can be addressed through various troubleshooting strategies. It’s critical to keep in mind that its manifestation is typically triggered by the process of installing feature updates. Each solution, ranging from disabling or uninstalling Pi-Hole to resetting Windows Update, has the potential to resolve the error depending on the specific cause.

Nevertheless, the effectiveness of each approach can vary among different users and systems. Some have found success with user-suggested strategies, including manually installing updates or deleting the Software Distribution folder in Safe Mode. Others have sought assistance from Microsoft Support or turned to more technical solutions like BIOS updates and targeted software uninstallation.

The key to resolving error code 0xc1900223 ultimately lies in understanding its root causes and applying the most appropriate fix for your system’s unique configuration and issues. If the issue persists despite the suggested solutions, don’t hesitate to seek professional help or contact Microsoft Support directly. Always remember to back up your data before making any significant changes to your system. This practice ensures data safety and allows for system restoration, should any unforeseen complications arise during the troubleshooting process.

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