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How To Fix Code 19 Errors

A Troubleshooting Guide for Code 19 Errors in Device Manager


Code 19 Error Message

The Code 19 error is one of several Device Manager error codes. The Code 19 error will almost always display in one of the following two ways:

  • "Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. To fix this problem you should uninstall and then reinstall the hardware device. (Code 19)"
  • "Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. To fix this problem you can first try running a Troubleshooting Wizard. If that does not work, you should uninstall and then reinstall the hardware device. (Code 19)"

Details on Device Manager error codes like Code 19 are available in the Device Status area in the device's properties: How To View a Device's Status in Device Manager.

Important: Device Manager error codes are exclusive to Device Manager. If you see the Code 19 error elsewhere in Windows, chances are it's a system error code which you should not troubleshoot as a Device Manager issue.

Cause of the Code 19 Error

A Code 19 error is caused by one or more issues with parts of the Windows Registry that contain driver and other information about the particular hardware device.

How to Fix a Code 19 Error

  1. Restart your computer if you haven't done so already.

    There is always the remote possibility that the Code 19 error you're seeing was caused by some kind of fluke or temporary problem. If so, a simple reboot might fix the Code 19.
  2. Did you install a device or make a change in Device Manager just before you noticed the Code 19? If so, it's very possible that the change you made caused the Code 19 error.

    Undo the change if possible, restart your PC, and then check again for the Code 19 error.

    Depending on the changes you made, some solutions might include:
    • Remove or reconfigure the newly installed device.
    • Reverse the registry changes you made.
    • Roll back the driver to the version prior to your update.
  3. Delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters registry values. A common cause of Code 19 errors is the corruption of two registry values in the DVD/CD-ROM Drive Class registry key.

    Note: Deleting similar values in the Windows Registry could also be the fix to a Code 19 error that appears on a hardware device other than a DVD/CD drive. The UpperFilters/LowerFilters tutorial linked above will show you what you need to do.
  4. Reinstall the drivers for the device. Uninstalling and then reinstalling the drivers for the device that's experiencing the Code 19 error is a likely solution to this problem.

    Note: Properly reinstalling a driver, as in the instructions linked above, is not the same as updating a driver. A complete driver reinstall involves removing the currently installed driver and then letting Windows install the driver over again from scratch.
  5. Update the drivers for the device. Installing the latest manufacturer supplied drivers for a device with the Code 19 error could fix the problem.

    If updating the drivers solves the Code 19 error, it probably means that there was some kind of issue with the drivers that Windows was storing that you reinstalled in the previous step.
  6. Use System Restore to revert device drivers and registry configurations back to a state previous to the Code 19 error. Be sure to choose a restore point from a date and time before you know or suspect that the Code 19 error first appeared.
  7. Disable any hardware-based security on the device. Windows could report a Code 19 error on a device like an external hard drive if the drive had been previously secured with a password.
  8. Replace the hardware. As a last resort, you might need to replace the hardware that has the Code 19 error.

    It's also possible that the device is not compatible with this version of Windows. You can check the Windows HCL to be sure.

    Note: If you've discovered that hardware can't be the cause of this Code 19 error, you could try a repair install of Windows. If that doesn't work, try a clean install of Windows. I don't recommend doing either of those more drastic options before you try replacing the hardware, but you may have to if you're out of other options.

Please let me know if you've fixed a Code 19 error using a method that I don't have above. I'd like to keep this page as updated as possible.

Applies To

The Code 19 error could apply to any hardware device in Device Manager but most Code 19 errors appear on optical drives like DVD and CD drives, USB devices, and keyboards.

Any of Microsoft's operating systems could experience a Code 19 Device Manager error including Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and more.

Still Having Code 19 Issues in Device Manager?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Be sure to let me know that the exact error you're receiving is the Code 19 error in Device Manager. Also, please let us know what steps, if any, you've already taken to try to fix the problem.

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