Windows 10 Latest Version Failing To Install With ‘OOBE MSA’ Error Agrees Microsoft And Offers A Temporary Fix

Several individuals who attempted to install the latest Windows 10 1903 operating system were greeted with an installation failure. While the incidents weren’t significant previously, the numbers may have risen sharply after Windows 10 1803 version reached its end of service life recently. Interestingly, Microsoft has reportedly acknowledged that Windows 10 1903 installation might fail prematurely with a new ‘OOBE MSA’ error. Moreover, the company has offered a working but temporary fix to address the weird installation failure or stalling phenomenon. Microsoft even mentioned that it is working on a permanent fix to ensure all Windows 10 1903 installations proceed smoothly without interruptions or failures.

Windows 10 1903 is the latest stable version for several users of the operating system who had held on to the earlier iteration, which was Windows 10 1803. Microsoft has begun sending out seemingly mandatory updates to bring the Windows 10 installations to the latest, and supposedly stable release of the OS. However, some OS users installing Windows 10 1903 had previously received an error while completing Windows OOBE in Windows 10. This week Microsoft acknowledged the weird and seemingly random issue while installing Windows 10.

Windows 10 Latest Version Installation Randomly Stalls With Cryptic Error Message Typically After OOBE:

Windows 10 installations are one of the most elaborate ones even though the installation is simple and requires minimal user intervention and actions. Still, a few installations of the latest version of Windows 10 had failed with a rather cryptic error message that read:

“Something went wrong but you can try again. MSA”

Apparently, after a computer nears the final stages of the Windows 10 1903 installation, the user is greeted with a welcome message. The greeting is technically called the Windows Out of Box Experience (OOBE) and is essentially a few slides that need the user to click through. The OOBE requires the user to go through a series of screens where they need to accept the Windows 10’s license agreement, log in or sign up for a Microsoft Account. While the majority of the installations proceed smoothly, some stall abruptly even after appearing to complete. Explaining the weird phenomenon, Microsoft noted,

“After successfully completing the Out-of-box-Experience (OOBE) to set up a new Windows device or after resetting a device, once you reach the desktop you might see a screen with black bars at the top and bottom with blue in the middle and receive the error “Something went wrong but you can try again. MSA” with a Try Again button.”

Incidentally, this is the second such reoccurrence of the installation failure. For the earlier occurrences, Microsoft suggested clicking “Try again” as a workaround. The company observed that “the issue occurs because the specific timing of the OOBE process causes a deadlock situation.”

It is important to note that this error does not appear to be connected with the indirect compulsion to sign up for a Microsoft account that installers recently started experiencing. Microsoft has assured that “During OOBE, you have an option to connect to the internet but are not required to do so. You might receive this error the first time you connect to the internet on a new device or after a new install of Windows that has not previously connected to the internet during the Out Of Box Experience process.”

How To Complete Windows 10 1903 Installation Stuck At ‘OOBE MSA’ Error:

One of the simplest methods to get rid of the OOBE MSA error is to restart the computer. However, Microsoft advises using the Ctrl+Alt+Delete on the keyboard to restart, instead of a hard reset. Hitting the key combination brings up a few options in the lower right corner of the screen. Users should select the Power button and select Restart.

The alternate method, if the simpler one doesn’t work, requires a few more steps as mentioned below:

  1. Select Ctrl + Shift + F10 on the keyboard once.
  2. Select Ctrl + Shift + Esc on the keyboard to open the Task Manager. (If Task Manager doesn’t open, repeat the first step.
  3. In the Task Manager Select ‘Details’ or ‘More Details’ in the lower-left corner.
  4. Select the “Details” tab
  5. Find the “Wwahost.exe” process. Right-click the process and select “End Task” from the context menu.

Microsoft has detailed both the steps in addition to mentioning the weird error during Windows 10 installation. The company has noted in the official document that users won’t receive the ‘OOBE MSA’ error after completing the steps.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.