Here’s how to troubleshoot the 0xc0000221 error and get your PC up and running again.
What is Causing The 0xc0000221 Error Code?
After investigating the issue and looking at a lot of different symptoms of the same error, we discovered a couple of different culprits that might generate the 0xc0000221 error code:
- Hardware issue created by new RAM or hard drive – There are a couple of reported cases where users started receiving this error after inserting a second RAM stick or connecting a new slave HDD.
- Secondary GPU – The issue is sometimes reported on computers that have an SLI or CrossFire setup.
- Power supply not capable of delivering enough power – This behavior might occur if your power supply is not large enough to sustain all connected devices.
- System file corruption – The error code points towards a system-level problem that has to do with file corruption.
- Third-party service is interrupting startup – There are reported cases where the error was triggered by a rogue third-party service that ended up producing a BSOD crash.
You can read more about How to fix the blue screens error to learn more useful information.
How To Fix The 0xc0000221 Error Code “your pc device needs to be repaired”
Booting in Safe Mode
Let’s begin our troubleshooting journey by checking that no rogue service is causing the BSOD crash. By booting into Safe Mode, we can ensure that the issue has not been caused by any third-party interference.
Your computer will be in Safe Mode, and your system will only have the necessary files and drivers to start the Startup process. If your computer boots into Safe Mode without any problems, it is likely that you have previously installed some software.
Here is a quick guide to booting into Safe Mode and identifying what’s causing the BSOD crash.
1. You can make the Advanced Startup Options screen appear by forcing three or more interruptions during startup. This can be done easily by restarting your computer during the startup phase.
Note: If you are able to complete the booting process, you can also open the Settings Recovery tab by opening a Run dialog (Windows key + R) and typing “ms-settings: recovery“. Click the Restart Now button under Advanced startup. Your computer will then restart directly into the Advanced Startup Options menu.
2. Select Troubleshoot from the Advanced Startup Options screen and click on Advanced options.
3. Click on Startup Settings in Advanced Options and then click on the Restart button.
4. To switch to one of the Safe Modes, press F4, F5 and F6 when you reach the Startup Settings.
5. Your computer will likely boot into Safe Mode if it is unable to access an application you have recently installed. You can now uninstall any recently installed programs to resolve the problem. Or, you can follow this guide to exclude all programs and services from your startup until you find the culprit.
Continue reading if you get the same BSOD error when booting in Safe Mode.
Perform an SFC, CHKDSK and DISM scan
Let’s now make sure the 0xc0000221 error message isn’t caused by system file corruption. Run a few built-in utilities to fix Windows file corruption.
Several people have had the same problem and managed to resolve the issue by performing SFC, CHKDSK, or DISM scans. It might take some time, so be patient and don’t interrupt it until it’s completed.
Here is a quick guide to performing SFC or DISM scans.
1. To open a Run dialog box, press Windows key + R. Next, type “cmd” in the Run dialog box and then press Ctrl+ Shift + Enter. This will open an elevated Command Prompt. If prompted by the UAC, choose Yes to grant administrator privileges.
Note: If the startup screen is not appearing, go to Method 1 to access the Advanced Startup Options menu. Next, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command prompt.
2. To initiate an SFC scan, enter the following command in the elevated Command Prompt:
Note: This utility scans your system for corrupt files and replaces them with locally cached versions.
3. After the process is completed, restart your computer to verify that the error code 0xc0000221 has disappeared. If the error code 0xc0000221 persists, go back to step 1 and enter the following command.
- chkdsk /f C:
Note: This utility will run an analysis of your disk and fix any errors it finds. If your OS is elsewhere, you will need to add C to your drive letter.
4. After the repair is completed, restart your computer and check if it displays the startup screen. If you get the same error again, go back to step 1 of the elevated Command Prompt and type the following command.
- dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
5. This utility will replace corrupted Windows files with new copies from Microsoft’s servers. Before you start this scan, it is important to have an internet connection.
6. Start your computer again and check if the problem is fixed at the next startup. If not, you can continue with the next step below.
Verifying RAM for issues
RAM sticks are frequently identified as the culprits of the 0xc0000221 error. RAM problems can be difficult to spot, as even the most powerful testing utilities may not catch all errors like mismatched memory.
If you have two RAM sticks, the best way to check if the RAM modules are the culprit is to open your computer and take out one module.
You can swap the RAM sticks to make your computer start up with one RAM stick. Sometimes, problems occur when the faster RAM is placed behind it.
You can perform a MemTest if you suspect that one or both of your RAM modules is failing. However, it must be run for at most 5 hours to get a definitive result.
Continue below if you have cleared your RAM modules from the list of suspects.
Removing secondary GPU and external HDDs or SSDs
Others have reported that they were able to eliminate the error code 0xc0000221 after disconnecting all unneeded devices. This could be because the power supply isn’t sufficient to power all connected devices.
Let’s see if this theory is true. Disconnect all unnecessary devices – secondary HDDs, external HDDs, DVD optical drives, second GPUs from SLI (or CrossFire set), and non-critical peripherals.
After your PC has been stripped down to its bare essentials, turn on your computer to see if it can get past the startup screen. If your computer boots up with the error code 0xc0000221, continue to connect the non-essential parts until you find the problem.
If you don’t think this method is applicable, please continue to the next step.
Using a Previous System Restore point
Many users reported that the issue began right after Windows Update (WU) had completed the installation of a large OS Update. You might be able to resolve the problem by using a System Restore point if a failed Windows Update causes random BSOD crashes with error code 0xc0000221.
System Restore, a Windows feature, will help you fix many kinds of crashes. It will restore your computer’s state to an earlier point in time. We will use it to restore your computer to a state where the error code 0xc0000221 did not occur.
Unless you have modified the default behavior, your OS should have created an OS Restore point before the update that caused the error occurred. This is a quick guide to using the System Restore feature in order to fix the error code 0xc0000221.
- To open a Run dialog box, press Windows key + R. Next, type “rstrui“, and hit Enter to launch the System Restore wizard.
- Click Next on the System Restore screen to move to the Restore Point section.
- To view all available restore points, tick the box next to Show more restore options.
- Select a restore point older than the apparitions of the 0xc0000221 error codes and then click the Next button.
- Click on Finish to confirm the process.
- Your computer will restart after a few minutes and your older state will be restored. If everything goes according to plan, your computer should not crash with the error code 0xc0000221
- Continue to the next step if you don’t have a System Restore point, or if this method isn’t applicable.
Performing a repair install
You might need to consider a clean installation if none of the above methods have helped you avoid the 0xc0000221 error. There is a better way to keep your personal files and applications safe than doing so, but it might be too risky.
Repair installs will replace any damaged Windows components with new copies. A repair install is not a clean installation. It will replace any broken Windows components with new copies.
Run a Windows Memory Diagnostic
This error code can also be caused by a defective ram. To scan the Ram, we can use a Windows diagnostic tool.
- Go to Safe Mode
- Press Win + R & run mdsched.exe
- Select the option Restart now and check for problems.
- Allow the device to restart. Once the diagnostic tool has opened, click f1 for more options.
- To run diagnostics, select extended and press F11
- Once the diagnostic is completed, the device will automatically restart. It can take some time.
- Press Win+ R and run eventvwr.exe, which will open the event viewer.
- Go to the left panel and click on windows logs. To select Find, right-click it.
- Type MemoryDiagnostic-Result and click on find next
This result will show errors if there are any. It could indicate a problem with the Motherboard slot or RAM. To locate the problem RAM stick or slot, we recommend using a different Ram stick for each slot.
Do a Clean Windows OS Installation
If all else fails, we can perform a clean Windows installation. To install windows, we will need to have a Windows installation file on a flash drive.
It is important to note that a new OS will erase any files on your device. This should only be done last resort.
Delete Junk Files
Temporary files are created every time you use your computer. Microsoft Word, for example, will create temporary files when you open a document. This will increase the opening speed and backup your Word changes.
When you surf the Internet, temporary files will be downloaded by your browser. These files are time-saving and can be a great help, but they can cause problems if they pile up.
These temporary files won’t be used by your software or system for a long time, but they will not automatically be deleted. They will become junk files. You can have computer crashes due to excessive junk files, low disk warnings, computer lagging and other issues.
To free up disk space and increase the performance of your computer, it is important to regularly delete junk files. How do you do this? These are the steps.
Tip: Make sure to clean your computer regularly. You can also optimize your computer with the free PC Optimizers to increase its performance.
- Click on the Run button and type cleanmgr.
- Follow the prompts to open any confirmation window. Next, click on Clean Up System Files in the lower-left corner.
- Select a drive you want to clean up. You will simply need to choose the default option and then click OK.
- Next, the program calculates the disk space you can free up on your target disk.
- The Disk Cleanup Window will open again. To complete the cleanup, click OK.
Remove Any Virus or Malware on Your PC
Your computer could be infected by malware or viruses, which can cause the BSOD error 0xc0000221. To eliminate this possibility, it is a good idea to run a complete scan of your computer and then remove any virus. Here are the details.
- Use the Win and I keys to open Settings. Next, navigate to the Update and Security section. Next, click Windows Defender under the Update & Security tab. Then, move to the right and click the Open Windows Defender Security Center option.
- Click on Advanced scan in the elevated window to continue.
- Next, select Full scan and click on the Scan Now button at the bottom.
- Next, the scan will start. You should be patient as the scan will take some time.
Note: Do not interrupt the scanning process.
- Once the scanning is complete, you will be presented with three options. To remove any malicious components from your system, click on Start actions and then select Select.
This post explains the causes of the error code 0xc0000221, the corresponding solutions, and the best way to recover any data that was lost due to the BSOD error. It’s now your turn to choose one way to fix Windows 10 error code 0xc0000221.