If you suddenly find your Windows 10 computer stuck on the “Preparing to configure” screen for quite a long time now after you run Windows Update, read on as you will be guided on how you can fix that issue in this post.
During an update process, there’s a lot of things that go on in the background which is why Windows Updates take quite a while before it finishes. It can be at 25%, 50%, or even 100% but the only message you’re going to see on your screen is the “Preparing to configure Windows, Don’t turn off your computer”. However, if you notice that the Windows Update is taking a longer time than it’s supposed to, the first option is to wait some more but if it’s still the same, then there’s definitely something wrong. This kind of issue occurs when Windows Update fails to configure in short correctly download and install the update. When this happens, it will revert all the changes which are why you were advised to wait for a couple of hours.
There are two possibilities why your computer is stuck on the “Preparing to configure Windows, Don’t turn off your computer” screen. The first one is that the Windows 10 operating system is installing any updates. The second one is when the user profile takes time to load or encounters an error. There are several options you can try to fix the problem. You can try running System Restore or boot your computer in Safe Mode or repair the corrupted profile via Registry Editor. You might also want to try using installation media to boot and repair your computer if the other options didn’t work.
Option 1 – Perform System Restore
- Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
- After that, type in “sysdm.cpl” in the field and tap Enter.
- Next, go to the System Protection tab then click the System Restore button. This will open a new window where you have to select your preferred System Restore point.
- After that, follow the on-screen instructions to finish the process and then restart your computer and check if the problem is fixed or not.
If you can’t boot into the desktop of your computer, you can run System Restore in the Advanced Startup Options by following these steps:
- Boot your computer into the Advanced Startup Options screen.
- From there, you will see some options to troubleshoot when you can’t log in to Windows in the usual way.
- Now select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.
- After that, type “rstrui” and hit Enter to execute the command which will start the System Restore process.
- Once it’s done, restart your computer.
Option 2 – Boot your computer in Safe Mode
You can try to tap the F8 key if you have it enabled in your Windows 10 computer, as you start your system to boot into Safe Mode. Once your computer is in Safe Mode, you can access the Start Menu and the Mouse and Keyboard. Aside from that, you can also access your files and other built-in tools in Windows such as Command Prompt, PowerShell, Computer Manager, Device Manager, Event Log Viewer, and many more. On the other hand, if you haven’t enabled the F8 key, you can just go to the Advanced Startup options to boot your computer into Safe Mode. Once you’re there, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart > Tap the number 4 key. After that, your computer will restart in Safe Mode. If you want to reboot into Safe Mode with Networking instead, you can tap the number 5 key and for Safe Mode with Command Prompt, tap the number 6 key. Once your computer is in Safe Mode, you can use any of the built-in tools to restore your computer or troubleshoot the problem that’s causing your computer to get stuck at the “Preparing to configure” screen.
Option 3 – Try to repair your corrupted profile via Registry
In this third option, you can try to repair the corrupted profile using the Registry but before you proceed, take note that you can only try this if you can boot into your desktop and if you can, make sure to create a System Restore Point and then follow the steps below.
- Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
- Then type “Regedit” in the field and hit Enter or click OK to open the Registry Editor.
- Next, go to this registry key: ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionProfileList
- Once you’ve opened the registry key, you should see a list of all the user profiles on your computer. Now click on each S-1-5 folder and look for the “ProfileImagePath” entry and double click on it to check which user account it is related to. You will see a path like “CUsersACK” where “ACK” is the username.
- You should know which of the user account is corrupted. Just look for a key named “RefCount” and change its Value data to “0” and click OK. And if it isn’t available, simply right-click on the right pane and create it.
- After that, double click on the key named “State” and make sure that the Value data is “0” and click OK.
- Exit the Registry Editor and restart your computer to apply the changes made.
Option 4 – Try to use installation media to boot and repair your computer
Another thing you can try to resolve the issue is to use the Windows installation bootable media so you can boot and repair the operating system. To use it, follow these steps:
- You need to first create an installation media which has the dame version of the operating system installed in your computer.
- After that, once you reach the Install Windows screen, click on the “Repair your computer” link.
- Wait until the repair is completed and then shut down your computer
- Now once your computer has restarted, check if it can now boot properly.