How to Fix Code 19 Errors

A troubleshooting guide for code 19 errors in device manager

The Code 19 error is one of several Device Manager error codes. It's caused by one or more issues with parts of the Windows Registry that contain driver and other information about the particular hardware device.

The error could apply to any hardware device in Device Manager but most of them appear on optical drives like DVD and CD drives, USB devices, and keyboards.

Code 19 errors could be seen in any of Microsoft's operating systems, including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and more.

Code 19 Errors

Code 19 error on Windows 10 desktop

The Code 19 error will almost always display in one of the following two ways:

  • Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. To fix this problem you should uninstall and then reinstall the hardware device. (Code 19)
  • Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. To fix this problem you can first try running a Troubleshooting Wizard. If that does not work, you should uninstall and then reinstall the hardware device. (Code 19)

Details on Device Manager error codes like Code 19 are available in the Device Status area in the device's properties.

Device Manager error codes are exclusive to Device Manager. If you see the Code 19 error elsewhere in Windows, chances are it's a system error code which you should not troubleshoot as a Device Manager issue.

How to Fix a Code 19 Error

  1. Restart your computer if you haven't done so already. There is always the remote possibility that the Code 19 error you're seeing was caused by some kind of fluke or temporary problem. If so, a simple reboot might fix it.

  2. Did you install a device or make a change in Device Manager just before you noticed the error? If so, it's very possible that the change you made caused the Code 19 error. Undo the change if possible, restart your PC, and then check again for the error.

    Depending on the changes you made, some solutions might include:

    • Removing or reconfiguring the newly installed device
    • Reversing the registry changes you made
    • Rolling back the driver to the version prior to your update
  3. Delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters registry values. A common cause of Code 19 errors is the corruption of two registry values in the DVD/CD-ROM Drive Class registry key.​

    Deleting similar values in the Windows Registry could also be the fix to an error that appears on a hardware device other than a DVD/CD drive. The UpperFilters/LowerFilters tutorial linked above will show you what you need to do.

  4. Uninstall iTunes through Control Panel or with a program uninstaller. While that might sound a little drastic, iTunes is the cause of enough Code 19 errors to make it into this troubleshooting guide.

    If removing iTunes works, you might try installing it again from scratch, which doesn't always re-introduce the problem.

  5. Reinstall the drivers for the device. Uninstalling and then reinstalling the drivers for the device that's experiencing the Code 19 error is a likely solution to this problem.​

    Properly reinstalling a driver, as in the instructions linked above, is not the same as updating a driver. A complete driver reinstall involves removing the currently installed driver and then letting Windows install the driver over again from scratch.

  6. Update the drivers for the device. Installing the latest manufacturer supplied drivers for a device showing the Code 19 error could fix the problem. If updating the drivers solves the issue, it probably means that there was some kind of problem with the drivers that Windows was storing that you reinstalled in the previous step.

  7. Use System Restore to revert device drivers and registry configurations back to a state previous to the error. Be sure to choose a restore point from a date and time before you know or suspect that the error first appeared.

  8. Disable any hardware-based security on the device. Windows could report a Code 19 error on a device like an external hard drive if the drive had been previously secured with a password.

  9. As a last resort, you might need to replace the hardware that has the Code 19 error.

    It's also possible that the device isn't compatible with this version of Windows. You can check the Windows HCL to be sure.​

  10. If you've discovered that hardware can't be the cause of this Code 19 error, you're left with it being a software-related issue. Try a repair install of Windows, or if that doesn't work, a clean install. We don't recommend doing either of those more drastic options before you try replacing the hardware, but you may have to if you're out of other options.

Need More Help?

If you're not interested in fixing this problem yourself, you can view a full list of your support options, plus help with everything along the way like figuring out repair costs, getting your files off, choosing a repair service, and a whole lot more.

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