Resolve Windows 7 or 10 Stuck at Preparing to Configure

The “Preparing to Configure Windows” appears stuck or appears for too long on Windows 7 and 10 at times when there are new updates to be installed or when a user is reinstalling or doing a clean install of Windows. The issue is usually caused by corrupt update files or when the integrity of files has been modified.

Preparing to Configure Windows

The Causes

We found the underlying causes to be:

  • Missing Files: In some cases, some files from the update might be missing or they might have been corrupted during the installation process due to which the error is being triggered. It is also a possibility that while installing Windows, the setup skipped some files or it was interrupted due to a power surge and this prevented all the files from being installed properly.
  • Disk Error: It is also possible that certain disk errors prevented the setup from being able to set up Windows correctly and the installation process could not be completed effectively. Disk Errors can originate due to unarranged disk resources or due to the presence of corrupt log files. These Disk Errors can affect the whole Disk Resource and cause installation issues.
  • Glitch: Sometimes, during the installation of Windows the setting up part might get glitched due to which it can get stuck at a certain point. This glitch might be caused due to a number of reasons and can be eliminated easily.

Pre-Solution Tip:

It is important that before solving this issue, we can actually get to the log in screen and use our account. First of all, it is important that you wait for at least 30 minutes before trying to proceed with the guide below. Often, Windows can take a lot of time to set up essential services and to install important features. If that doesn’t work, it is recommended that you press and hold the power button of your computer so that it can turn off during the “Preparing to Configure” screen or you can press “Ctrl” + “Alt” + “Del” to open the emergency settings and click on the “Power” button and select the “Restart” option. After that, press the power button again to start the computer. Make sure to select the “Start Windows Normally” option to get windows to start up normally and then continue with the login process. The “Preparing to Configure” screen might show up again but it will disappear eventually and some steps will have to be taken to ensure Windows has been installed correctly without any errors.

How to Fix the Preparing to Configure Windows

Solution 1: Running an SFC Scan

An SFC scan can check and detect any issue with the drivers, signature or any other important computer files. Therefore, in this step, we will be running an SFC scan to determine if there is an issue with Windows’ FIles. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press “Shift” + “Ctrl” + “Enter” to provide administrative privileges.
  3. Type in the following command and press “Enter”.
     sfc /scannow
    Typing “sfc/scannow” in the command prompt.
  4. Check to see if the issue persists after the scan

Solution 2: Running ChkDisk Scan

In some cases, if there are any Disk Errors associated with your computer, the installation of important software on your computer might be prevented. Therefore, in this step, we will be running a chkdisk scan to detect and eliminate any disk errors. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press “Shift” + “Ctrl” + “Enter” to provide administrative privileges.
    Opening the Command Prompt
  3. Type in the following command and press “Enter”.
  4. Wait for the scan to be completed and check to see if the issue persists.

Solution 3: Updating Windows in Safe Mode

If these scans can’t determine the issue for you and the computer is taking too long to log on to your account, we recommend that you perform a clean boot and disable any third-party Antivirus entirely. After that, follow the steps below.

  1. After starting the computer in clean boot, press the “Windows” + “I” button to open the settings.
  2. Click on the “Update & Security” option and click on the “Windows Update” option on the left side.
    Clicking on Update and Security in Windows Settings
  3. Select the “Check for Updates” option and wait for the computer to scan for new updates.
    Checking for Updates
  4. Click on the “Install” option after the scan is finished.
  5. Check to see if the updates are applied successfully.

Note: If the update fails to install, check if you are facing issues while installing a particular update and try to uninstall it. Furthermore, you can delay the updating process until a more stable version is pushed out.

Solution 4: Performing a Reset

In some cases, if you are unable to log in to Windows, you can perform a System Restore to check if it helps. In order to do that:

  1. Restart the computer and repeatedly press the “F11” key at startup.
  2. This should open up the advanced recovery options, click on the “Troubleshoot” option and select “Advanced”.
  3. In the Advanced options, select “System Restore” and click on a restore that you wish to select.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to initiate the restore and wait for it to be completed.
  5. Check to see if the issue persists after the restore has been completed.

Note: If you are unable to fix the issue in this way and cannot still perform the update, perform a completely clean install of Windows 10.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.