Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • The PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED error is a BSoD error usually caused by software or faulty hardware. The first step is to update your system.
  • Next, try using the Windows 10's built-in troubleshooting tool. This tool can resolve basically any system-related problem you can think of, including BSOD issues.
  • BSoD errors are pretty elusive because they can be caused by so many issues. However, visiting out BSoD troubleshooting section can help you fix it in no time.
  • Nobody likes Windows errors. That's why we solve them and publish them in our Windows 10 errors Hub.
how to fix PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED error in Windows 10

Computer errors are a common occurrence, but without a doubt, Blue Screen of Death errors are one of the most serious errors on Windows 10.

These errors are usually caused by software or faulty hardware.

And since they are such a major problem, today we’re going to show you how to fix PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED error.

How can I fix PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED BSoD on Windows 10?

  1. Make sure your Windows is up to date
  2. Update your drivers
  3. Run the BSOD Troubleshooter 
  4. Run the SFC scan
  5. Run DISM
  6. Check the hard drive
  7. Copy Catroot, Catroot2 and CodeIntegrity folders from a working PC
  8. Temporarily uninstall your antivirus software
  9. Check for problematic software
  10. Perform System Restore or reset your PC
  11. Check your hardware


Solution 1 – Make sure your Windows is up to date

Microsoft is constantly working on Windows 10, and if you wish to get the latest Windows 10 features, you’re advised to perform Windows update regularly.

In addition to the latest features, these updates offer security and bug fixes, and often they fix many hardware and software issues.

So if you’re having problems with PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED BSoD error, we advise you to update Windows 10 as soon as you can.

Solution 2 – Update your drivers

Drivers are a key component of Windows 10, and if a certain driver isn’t working properly, that can cause BSoD error to appear.

In order to update a certain driver, you need to visit your hardware manufacturer’s website, find the model of the device you wish to update, and download the latest drivers for it.

Alternatively, you can download all the necessary files by using Device Manager. To update your drivers using Device Manager, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Power User Menu and select Device Manager from the list.
  2. When the Device Manager opens, locate the driver you want to update, right-click it, and choose Update Driver Software.
  3. Choose Search automatically for updated driver software and wait for the process to finish.

Update drivers automatically

Searching for drivers on your own can be time-consuming. So, we advise you to use a tool that will do this for you automatically.

Using an automatic driver updater will certainly save you from the hassle of searching for drivers manually, and it will always keep your system up to date with the latest drivers.

Tweakbit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus) will help you update drivers automatically and prevent PC damage caused by installing the wrong driver versions. 

After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution.

Here is a quick guide on how to use it:

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
  2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
    scanning proccess of Tweakbit driver updater
  3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the Update driver link next to the driver name. Or simply click the Update all button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
    Automatically Update complete
    Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Solution 3 – Run the BSOD Troubleshooter 

Now, we’re going to try Windows 10’s built-in troubleshooting tool. This tool can resolve basically any system-related problem you can think of.

Including BSOD issues. So, it might help with the PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED error.

Here’s how to run Windows 10’s built-in troubleshooting tool:

  1. Go to the Settings app and
  2. Navigate to the Update & Security section.
  3. Select Troubleshoot from the menu on the left.
  4. Select BSOD from the right pane and click Run the troubleshooter.Troubleshooting BSOD
  5. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

Solution 4 – Run the SFC scan

The SFC scan is another troubleshooting tool we’re going to try here.

You can run the SFC scan from the command line, and it also scans your computer for potential flaws and resolves them (if possible).

Here’s how to run the SFC scan in Windows 10:

  1. Go to Search, type cmd, and open Command Prompt as Administrator. 
  2. Enter the following line and press Enter: sfc/scannow
  3. Wait until the process is done (it may take a while).
  4. Now, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

Solution 5 – Run DISM

And the third tool we’re going to run is DISM. Deployment Image Servicing and Management is a tool that reloads the system image, which tends to resolve potential issues.

So, it might be helpful when resolving the PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED error, as well.

We’ll walk you through both standard and the procedure that utilizes the installation media below:

  • Standard way
  1. Right-click Start and open Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Paste the following command and press Enter:
      • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  3. Wait until the scan is finished.
  4. Restart your computer and try updating again.
  • With the Windows installation media
  1. Insert your Windows installation media.
  2. Right-click the Start menu and, from the menu, choose the Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. In the command line, type the following commands and press Enter after each:
    • dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
    • dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
  4. Now, type the following command and press Enter:
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:WIM:X:SourcesInstall.wim:1 /LimitAccess
  5. Make sure to change an X value with the letter of the mounted drive with Windows 10 installation.
  6. After the procedure is finished, restart your computer.

Solution 6 – Check the hard drive

If there’s a problem with your hard drive or partitions, BSOD errors are quite possible. So, we’re going to run a test to see if everything is in its place.

Here’s how to check the hard drive state in Windows 10:

  1. Enter the Advanced Startup (Restart your computer while holding the Shift key).
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options.
  3. Select Command Prompt from the list of options.
  4. When Command Prompt appears, enter the following lines and press Enter after each line in order to run it:
    • bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd
    • bootrec.exe /fixmbr
    • bootrec.exe /fixboot
  5. Some users are also suggesting that you need to run additional chkdsk commands as well. To perform these commands, you need to know drive letters for all your hard drive partitions. In Command Prompt you should enter the following (but remember to use the letters that match your hard drive partitions on your PC):
    • chkdsk /r c:
    • chkdsk /r d:

    This is just our example, so keep in mind that you have to perform chkdsk command for every hard drive partition that you have.

  6. Restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 7 – Copy Catroot, Catroot2 and CodeIntegrity folders from a working PC

According to the users, PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED BSoD error sometimes appears due to corrupted Catroot, Catroot2, and CodeIntegrity folders.

In order to fix this issue, users are suggesting to copy these folders from a working computer and replace them.

Before copying these files, make sure that both versions of Windows 10 are identical.

For example, if you’re using a 32-bit version of Windows 10, make sure to copy these folders from another computer that runs a 32-bit version of Windows 10.

Solution 8 – Temporarily uninstall your antivirus software

In many cases your antivirus can be responsible for PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED BSoD error and in order to fix that it’s advised that you remove your antivirus software completely.

Removing your antivirus software is relatively simple, but to remove antivirus software completely including all the remaining files and registry keys it’s advised to use dedicated uninstaller tools.

Many antivirus companies offer these tools, and you can download them for free.

If uninstalling your antivirus fixes this problem, you can install the latest version of your current antivirus software.

You can also check our list of best antivirus programs for Windows 10 and download a different one.

Solution 9 – Check for problematic software

In some cases, your software can cause this error to appear, especially if you use VPN tools or any similar programs.

If you recently installed or updated certain software, uninstall that software in order to fix this problem.

Solution 10 – Perform System Restore or reset your PC

If the problem is caused by problematic software or a driver, you can fix the PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED BSoD error by performing a System Restore.

To perform the System Restore, do the following:

  1. Start the Automatic Repair process by restarting your computer while it boots. You might have to repeat this step a few times before you access Automatic Repair options.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System Restore.
  3. Choose the restore point and follow the instructions.

If the System Restore didn’t fix the problem, you need to reset your PC.

Before we start, we urge you to back up all your important files since this process will remove all files and folders from your C drive. To start the reset process do the following:

  1. Start Automatic Repair. For detailed instructions, check the detailed instructions above.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Reset your PC.
  3. Select Remove everything > Only the drive where Windows 10 is installed.
  4. Follow the process and wait for Windows 10 to install again.

By performing this process you successfully deleted all files and folders from drive C thus removing any potential software problems.

If the error PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED still appears, it’s most likely that it’s being caused by a hardware problem.

Solution 11 – Check your hardware

If you recently installed any new hardware, make sure to replace it or remove it since it might not be fully compatible with your PC.

If no new hardware is installed, make sure to check your hard drive and RAM since they are the most likely causes of PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED error.

To check your RAM you can use tools such as MemTest86+, just make sure to keep the tool running for a couple of hours in order to perform a thorough scan.

If your RAM is working properly, the error is probably caused by another component.

Users reported that your hard drive can also cause this error, so make sure to replace it.

PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED error can be problematic, especially if it’s caused by faulty hardware.

We hope that some of our solutions were helpful to you and that you managed to fix this error.

FAQ: Read more about the PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED error


PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED is a BSoD error that appears sometimes due to corrupted Catroot, Catroot2, and CodeIntegrity folders.

  • How can I fix the PHASE1 INITIALIZATION FAILED error?

You can start by making sure your Windows is up to date, and update your drivers. But if that doesn’t work, read our full guide to fix this BSoD error.

  • Is BSoD dangerous?
The BSoD is just an error, a consequence of a problem so it’s not dangerous. In fact, it’s really welcome because it stops faulty hardware from being damaged for good. Learn about what can cause a BSoD error.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June 2016 and was revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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