The 0x8000ffff error may occur and spoil your day in Windows in many different situations. You could be performing a system restore, or checking files, downloading a patch via Windows Update service, or copying documents – the error may appear out of nowhere. In today’s article, we will explain all known techniques to neutralize the problem and briefly talk about what causes it.
According to HRESULT specifications, this code – 0x8000FFFF – means "Unexpected failure" (also marked as E_UNEXPECTED). Sometimes the same error is listed as catastrophic failure 0x8000ffff. What makes this error even worse – it does not have a standard pattern of occurrence. It may pop up if some components and system files get corrupted, or when system services stop working properly. Here are some of the most common "provocateurs" of the 0x8000ffff error:
- Wrong time and account settings.
- The corrupted system files.
- Old or incorrect drivers.
- Viruses and malware.
Method #1: Scan and repair Windows system files
The very first thing you need to do after seeing this error is to initiate a system scan to check important system files. You need to run Command Prompt as administrator.
- Right-click on your Start menu and select Command Prompt (Admin). Alternatively, press Win+X and select the same option.
- When in Command Prompt, type the following command to initiate a scan and hit Enter: SFC /SCANNOW
- Wait for the tool to finish the scan. Depending on the performance of your computer and your system size, it may take from around five minutes to several hours. You should not close the Command Prompt window when the scan is in process.
- After the first check, you need to run another one. It does not matter how the first scan ended – did it find something and fixed all errors or didn’t do anything. In the same Command Prompt menu, you need to type the following command: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
- You will see your Image Version in the window and component scanning progress in percent. Don’t close the window before the process ends.
Executing this command may result in dism system failure informing you "DISM failed. No operation was performed." It is a dead giveaway that some system components are severely corrupted, and it is impossible to restore them with standard Windows tools. In this case, you can hope that the last two methods described in this article – most time-consuming of them all – will help you.
Method #2: Clear the cache for your Windows
On our way to the most difficult methods, it would be reasonable to try some other, easier methods as well. Did you know that the Windows Store has a cache that might prevent you from updating as well as installing the apps? If you see the error code 0x8000ffff when using the Windows Store, you might want to wipe its cache clean. Follow these instructions:
- Press Win+R on your keyboard.
- Type wsreset.exe in the small window that will appear. Click "OK."
- The command will clear the Windows Store cache.
- Run Windows Store to see if it works properly.
Method #3: Update drivers
As easy as it sounds. Outdated or unstable drivers often cause Windows malfunctions and provoke error you didn’t even know. The driver-related issues with the 0x8000ffff error are common for laptops and computer that has not been used for a while. You need to update all drivers to "shake" the system from sleep. It can be done automatically with third-party programs (an easy way) or manually with Device Manager (also easy but requires more time and attention).
Open Device Manager by right-clicking the Start menu and selecting it from the list. Alternatively, you can right-click "This PC" on your desktop and select Device Manager from the context menu. When in the Device Manager Menu, you need to select each component you want to update drivers for – right-click and select "Update Driver Software…"
For automatic driver updates, you are going to need a third-party program. It is a good choice for users are not familiar with drivers and Windows. Most of these driver-updating programs are very easy to use and don’t require any specific knowledge. We would recommend using RocketFixer. RocketFixer will automatically analyze your computer and your operating system. It will find the drivers you need, which are compatible with your version of Windows. Installation is also automatic.
Method #4: perform a full virus scan for your system
Various viruses and malware can also cause the 0x8000ffff error. To be sure you need to run a full system scan using any antivirus you trust.
- Download an antivirus or antimalware tools from the official website or trusted web source. Note: some antiviruses have free home versions or trial version, which is enough to perform a scan you need.
- Launch the program and initiate the virus check.
- Depending on the program and your PC, it might take 5-10 minutes. Let the program to finish the scan and see if anything suspicious was found.
- If there are any viruses, worms, or even potentially unwanted programs – follow the instructions to delete them. Restart your PC.
- If no viruses were found in the process, close all active programs and reboot your computer.
- Check if the 0x8000ffff error is still there.
Method #5: use system restore
Probably the most convenient method (given you have a recent restore point created before the 0x8000ffff error). Press Win+R and type rstrui in the window that will appear. Windows can create System checkpoints automatically, and it does it by default. It means that after entering the mentioned command, you will see a menu with the most recent restore points. Some of them are created automatically once per week, while others are created before installing major system updates.
For this method to work, you must remember, when you first saw the 0x8000ffff error and choose any restore point before that day. Double-check everything on your computer before restoring, and if it looks fine to you, then proceed. This procedure might take from five minutes of your time to several hours. It depends on the amount of data to be restored and your PC capabilities.
Unfortunately, this method is not an ultimate solution, since an unexpected error with the code 0x8000ffff may pop up in the process of restoration. But fear not as you still have another method to try.
Method #6: In-place upgrade
When nothing seems to work, and the 0x8000ffff error is still bothering you during system scans or system restore procedures, there is one thing that will help – a system "update" that allows you to keep personal files and apps. In other words, it is a full re-install of system components without changing anything else (all your files, settings, and apps will remain as they were). This method is called In-place Upgrade.
You will need an ISO image disc of Windows 10 or an official Microsoft utility called Media Creation Tool to do the trick. This software was developed for upgrading and creating bootable Windows media and discs. You can always download the latest version of Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft website. Once you are on the website, just click the "Download tool now" button.
Install Media Creation Tool and run it. It will ask you to read and accept the license terms – click "Accept." Then select "Upgrade this PC now" and click "Next." The program will immediately start downloading new files and prepare the system for the "upgrade" - you just need to wait. Don’t forget to click "Keep personal files and apps," when the tool asks you. From here on you need to follow the instructions on the screen and complete the procedure.
Sometimes you can also get similar errors with the 0x8000ffff code that prevent normal scans and diagnostics of the system. This means that one of the important system components is most likely corrupted, so the program cannot function as intended. In such cases, we recommend skipping first simple methods detailed in this article – as they are probably won’t help – and try method number five or six.