Error Code 0xc0000001: What It Means and How to Fix It

See if your PC can be saved from this problem

Error code 0xc0000001 is one of the most common error codes in Windows, dating back to Windows XP. If you see it, you probably have a serious problem on your hands, as your PC may be missing an important piece of code or a vital component. Here's what error code 0xc0000001 is and how to deal with it.

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Causes of Error Code 0xc0000001

Error code 0xc0000001 appears whenever a device or a piece of software that's necessary to run an operation can't be accessed or opened. It's like starting your car with the battery or the spark plug missing. No matter how much you turn the key or pump the gas, it's not going to turn over until you fix the problem.

A few common causes of this error include:

  • Corruption or deletion of the Security Account Manager (SAM) file.
  • Damage of important system files due to power outages, virus attacks, or disk errors.
  • Losses or corruption in the larger file system.
  • Loose soldering connections, broken parts, or other physical damage to the device.

How Do I Prevent Error Code 0xc0000001?

Because resolving this error may involve physical repairs to your computer or erasing the hard drive, prevention is particularly important. Take the following steps to prevent this error:

  • Disable AutoRun and AutoPlay in Windows.
  • Only purchase computer accessories from trusted brands that receive positive reviews from experts.
  • Create a recovery drive for your system.
  • Regularly back up your files.
  • Never open emails or links from individuals you don't know.
  • Never delete files from the System or Config folder.
  • Never connect a device to your computer, such as a USB drive, without running it through a malware exam, like Windows Defender.
  • Connect USB devices through the computer's ports, instead of keyboard USB ports or USB hubs.
  • Disconnect accessories only after the computer fully shuts down.
  • Install drivers and other software when adding an accessory to your computer, and regularly check to ensure all drivers for your accessories are up to date.
  • Install internal components in a dust-free environment and use compressed air to clean any connections before attaching a component.
  • Regularly clean the computer's ports using compressed air.

How to Fix Error Code 0xc0000001

If you get this error code, carefully work through everything connected to your computer, internally and externally, to find the problem. It's best to narrow this down through likely suspects, like recent changes you've made to the computer.

  1. Check peripherals individually. Shut down the computer and disconnect everything except the mouse, keyboard, and monitor. After you restart the computer, reconnect each device, one at a time. If the error reoccurs after you plug in a device, disconnect it, then test it on another computer. If the device functions, connect it to a different USB port.

  2. Make sure components are installed correctly. If you recently installed a new component in your computer, make sure that it's installed and seated correctly. Also, check the components if you recently moved or jostled the PC in any way. Here's how to check a few main components:

  3. Recover an earlier system state. In earlier versions of Windows, such as XP, this is the installation CD. For more modern operating systems, such as Windows 10, it is a USB drive. Connect the device and reboot the PC into the Windows Recovery Environment or System Recovery Options. Choose Troubleshoot and select System Restore.

  4. Reinstall a fresh operating system. When all else fails, fully reset the PC to its factory settings by wiping the hard drive clean and installing Windows again. Using a recovery tool, select Reset This PC. The tool automatically reinstalls Windows. Once complete, shut down and reboot the computer to ensure the error has been resolved.

    Reinstalling a fresh operating system is the last resort. It completely erases everything on the hard drive.