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Among the many common “blue screen” errors that Windows users encounter, the BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO error message can be particularly alarming, mostly because there’s no obvious solution. Below, we’re going to show you how to fix this particular code in Windows 7, 8, or 10. Even if you’ve never encountered this error message — but we’re guessing you have, if you’ve found your way here — it’s still useful to know how to work around an error that’s as obstructive as this manages to be.
One of the reasons that we’re seeing more of this particular error code is due to its prevalence during the Windows upgrade process. If your operating system installation has any errors in the system registry, and they persisted through the upgrade process, it’s possible for BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO to be displayed. As is the case with many blue-screen errors, this one forces your computer to restart if you want to continue. And at its worst, the error message shows up every time you boot your computer.
Effectively, it’s capable of turning your machine into an expensive paperweight, but with a little bit of elbow grease, we can help you to work around it.
Disclaimer: It should be said before we continue, that if you’re not comfortable reinstalling your operating system, you should seek the help of a computer repair professional. Due to the severity of this error message, it’s possible that you may lose personal information and files in the process of resetting your Windows installation. And if the errors in your Windows registry are pervasive enough, it’s possible that we won’t be able to do anything without completely wiping the hard drive.
As long as you’re comfortable with resetting Windows, read on to figure out how to defeat this particular error message!
Causes of BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO Error in Windows
As is the case with many “blue-screen” error codes, the BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO message can be alarming, since it causes your computer to reset, and doesn’t provide you with any specific information about what caused it. Lacking these details, it’s tempting to panic!
However, even though there’s a diverse number of reasons that this error code could be popping up on your machine, a few primary culprits are the most prolific causes:
- Errors in operating system files
- Errors in the Windows Registry
- Damaged hard disk drive
- Corrupted our outdated device software drivers
- Damaged or corrupted RAM
Some of these can occur when installed hardware runs into a conflict, and occasionally, they can be caused when your computer receives a malicious code in the form of a virus, or malware. Hardware failure is also a possible problem, though is usually rare if your computer was running fine before the error code showed up
Resolving the Error
To fix this problem, you’re going to need a few things on hand. This will change depending on the severity of the problem on your computer — if you’re unable to successfully start up and reach the Windows desktop, you’re going to need some form of installation media for your particular OS. If you’re using Windows 8 or 10, this will be in the form of a USB drive that you’ve made yourself. Windows 7 users might have the option of optical discs (CD-ROM or DVD-ROM.)
You’re also going to need some form of antimalware and antivirus software. If you are able to successfully boot up Windows without being hobbled by this error code, there’s a good chance that your computer has been infected with malicious code. Security software will help to remedy that.
Check Hardware Connections
First things first, however — you’ll want to check the physical hardware connections inside of your machine. If you’re not comfortable with opening up your computer’s case and inspecting the hardware connections to your motherboard, it’s all right to skip this step. Simply contact a computer repair professional, if the below solutions don’t resolve the error.
Of course, this is also far easier if you’re using a desktop computer that allows easy access to your computer’s internal hardware. If you’re using a laptop, ensure that you’re not voiding a warranty by opening up the machine.
Once you’ve opened the case (a process that will change, depending on your computer’s manufacturer) inspect the connections to your motherboard. Specifically, ensure that your RAM is properly installed, and your hard drive’s connection is intact.
It’s a longshot, but occasionally, hardware errors can prompt this error code. It often happens when someone has physically relocated their computer and jostled the physical connections inside of the case.
Scan Computer With Antivirus & Antimalware Software
This step in the resolution process is dependent on you being able to boot to the Window’s desktop. As long as the BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO error doesn’t force your computer to shut down right after you’ve started up, we can continue.
No matter which types of security software you use, perform thorough sweeps through your computer. Avoid using the “Quick Scan” function, since it can sometimes overlook Windows registry errors — where the error code is coming from. Full scans might take significantly longer to complete, but there’s a better chance of them finding malicious code on your computer System Restore.
“I think malware is a significant threat because the mitigation, like antivirus software, hasn’t evolved to a point to really mitigate the risk to a reasonable degree.” – Kevin Mitnick
Windows 7, 8, and 10 all have a “System Restore” feature that allows you to roll your Windows operating system back to a specific point in time. As long as this feature was left to its default setting, Windows has been creating backups of the operating system on occasion, and all that you’ll need to do is restore it to one of those points.
It will effectively push your computer back in time — changes in the Windows registry will be reset, while programs and files that were installed or created since then will be removed. It’s of critical importance, then, that you back up your information before proceeding.
Using Windows Search, enter “Create a Restore Point,” and select it. This will bring up the System Properties window, upon which you’ll be able to see all of Windows’ recent restore points. Handily, this is where you’ll want to go in the future if you want to create your own, custom restore point.
Click on “System Restore…” to bring up the necessary dialog box. Follow the subsequent steps to ensure that your personal data is safely backed up, and then roll your computer back to a specific point in time.
If a System Restore doesn’t resolve the error code, you might want to opt for a full reset of Windows. Windows 8 and 10 are far more efficient in how this is carried out, but it’s part of Windows 7, too.
Keep in mind that your personal data and installed programs will be at risk when performing this. Back up any images, documents, or other files that you don’t want to lose, and ensure that you have the necessary installation materials for any programs that you’ll want to reinstall.
A System Reset effectively returns Windows to its “factory default” settings. If there’s a problem in the OS registry, this is almost certainly going to resolve it. Of course, this is also dependent on your ability to boot successfully to the Windows desktop. If you cannot, then the next solution we have below is where you’ll want to turn.
Head to the Windows Search bar again, and type in System Reset. Here, you’ll have the option of doing a soft reset or a full reset. The former will attempt to keep your personal files intact, while the latter will reset everything back to factory defaults — effectively wiping your computer clean. The first choice will reset your Windows registry, and thus, it’s plenty for our purposes in resolving this error. Select it, and then follow the prompts to see it completed. It’s an entirely automated process but may require some time to complete.
Your last resort — apart from taking your computer to a repair professional — is to use Windows installation media to restore your system. This will be dependent on your having said media on a USB drive or optical disk if you cannot boot to the Windows desktop. If you cannot, and don’t have installation media, it’s time to contact your computer’s manufacturer, or a certified repair professional.
Insert your installation media into your computer, and start it up. Follow the on-screen prompts to repair or restore Windows to its default settings. If this is unable to resolve the error code, then you’re either facing more significant hardware failure or a deeper problem in the Windows registry. A repair professional should be consulted.
We hope that these steps have helped you to fix the BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO error, and have restored your computer to its proper productivity. This particular error code is still somewhat common for Windows 7, 8, and 10 users, but the culprits responsible for it are also quite easily identified, in most circumstances. Always remember that if you’re not comfortable with any of the troubleshooting methods that we’ve presented, both your computer’s manufacturer and professional repair staff will know how to fix this problem. If you have any further questions, be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Ryan is a computer enthusiast who has a knack for fixing difficult and technical software problems. Whether you’re having issues with Windows, Safari, Chrome or even an HP printer, Ryan helps out by figuring out easy solutions to common error codes.