Windows 11 users report installation failures when trying to update the operating system, with a non-informative error that doesn’t shed much light on the cause of the apparent problem – although it does is an issue that Microsoft is “watching closely”.
Windows Latest reports that an error code 0xc1900101 is generated for some people when trying to update, and the operating system then reverts to the previous version without further details about the cause of the problem provided.
This apparently mainly occurs with preview builds of Windows 11, and other error codes have also been observed, note Windows Latest, but the one mentioned above is most commonly seen and reported on Feedback Hub from Microsoft.
One user posted on the Hub: “All my physical machines updated fine, but on a VM running Hyper-V, VMWare, or VirtualBox, the update comes almost to completion and then rolls back. Worse , on VMWare and VirtualBox, the virtual machine software crashes at the end of the update.
Another observed: “Mine has the same problem. The first time I updated the PC to the latest version, it showed an error regarding my graphics driver, so it was rolled back. I suspected Windows update corrupted my graphics driver because after restoring my graphics card was not working, it works right after reinstalling the driver. I reinstalled the update later and it was a success.
Microsoft has confirmed it is aware of the error, which it describes as a “generic” failure and an area the company is monitoring closely.
Microsoft advised an affected user: “Thank you for taking the time to report this – error code 0xc1900101 is a generic error displayed when an update fails and is rolled back for some reason. This is an area that we monitor closely and which may have different root causes depending on the version you were trying to upgrade to and your configuration.
So no firm advice was given as to how anyone could circumvent this gremlin in the works, but Microsoft says users should try updating to the very latest preview build (if they try to upgrade to a previous version, of course).
Analysis: some possible workarounds, but the waiting game might be better
There are various theories as to the cause of these – and similar – update failure errors, including suggestions of application compatibility or driver issues (as discussed above), or even insufficient disk space. But as Microsoft mentions, this is a “generic” error that can have several different causes.
If you’re having this issue, besides making sure you’re trying to install the very latest version, there are a few things you can try. It certainly won’t hurt to make sure you’re not running out of disk space, and maybe run a clean disk (it’s a good idea to do this periodically anyway). Also, we’ve seen another user report that disabling their antivirus solved the failure to install a recent preview build, and there are other suggestions for potential actions to take. in this Microsoft Tech Community thread.
What should also be noted here is that this error has been an issue in the past, for example with Windows 11 Preview build 22504 (as of November 2021). Microsoft’s advice at the time was that users “may want to hold off on updates until we release a fix”, although in the past Microsoft has also said that those who encounter this code errors with Windows 10 should try installing the update again after a clean boot. (find instructions here – and interestingly, as observed above, another potential mitigation mentioned is to temporarily disable your antivirus).
In short, while you may get some joy from the potential solutions presented in the links above, your best bet might be to just wait for the problem to resolve itself, provided you don’t have an urgent need to get the update in question. and run.