Windows was unable to install base system device error [Fix]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
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Windows was unable to install base system device

Oftentimes you might be faced with the situation where you encounter Windows was unable to install base system device message. This is particularly so after installing or upgrading to Windows 10. The problem is compounded by the fact that you aren’t sure what the base system device stands for while the only clue you have is the yellow exclamation mark in Device Manager.

However, the problem is easy to deal with and you just need to reinstall the device software to sort things out.

It’s worth mentioning that the below-mentioned steps are equally effective in dealing with this scenario where you might get to see multiple base system devices listed in the Device Manager.

What to do if Windows was unable to install base system device?

  1. Update driver automatically
  2. Update drivers manually
  3. Update Windows 10
  4. Install Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility
  5. Check for hardware issues

1. Update driver automatically

device manager Windows was unable to install base system device

Selecting this option will make Windows do the search for the required driver for you, instead of doing the same manually. It is also usually the preferred method if you want to avoid searching for the required driver online. To check for driver updates, do the following:

  1. Launch Device Manager. You can do this by simply typing Device Manager in the Cortana search box in the Taskbar and selecting the option from the search result shown.
  2. Click on Other devices to expand the option. You will get to see Base System Device listed under it.
  3. Right click on Base System Device and select Update driver from the menu that appears.
    update driver base system device
  4. In the Update Drivers – Base System Device window that appears, select Search automatically for updated driver software.
    search for updated driver software base system device
  5. Windows will search online for the latest software version applicable to the Base System Device and will download and install the same on its own.

2. Update drivers manually

Often, you might be needed to manually search for the required driver if the previous method fails. Also, a generic search might not be too effective so you might be required to visit the specific company website to download the latest drivers.

  1. Launch Device Manager as before.
  2. Expand Other devices to locate Base System Driver.
  3. Right-click on Base System Device and select Properties from the menu that appears.
  4. In the Base System Device Properties windows, select the Details.
  5. Under Details, select Hardware Ids from the Property drop-down menu.
    details driver Windows was unable to install base system device
  6. You will get to see a list of cryptic values, but you can easily understand them with a bit of our help. The VEN refers to Vendor code and Dev means device code. These bits of info will let you find out what the Base System device is in reality.
  7. For that, launch your browser and go to the site: https://pci-ids.ucw.cz/. You will be led to the PCI ID repository site.
  8. Find out what the Base System Device stands for using the VEN code and DEV code.
  9. After you have known what the Base System Device is, go to the device manufacturer’s site to see if there are updated drivers available. Download and install the same using the standard procedure.

You should have your problem resolved by now.


3. Update Windows 10

You will also do good to keep your Windows 10 installation updated to ensure you are running all the latest version of all components installed in your PC.

  1. Click on Start > Settings > Update & Security.
  2. In the Windows Update section, click on Check for updates to see if there are updates available for your device.
    Windows Update Windows was unable to install base system device
  3. Install the same and reboot your PC.

4. Install Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility

Another way to deal with Base System Device errors is to install the latest Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility.

This will ensure all chipset components are updated to the latest version of their respective drivers. With this done, Windows 10 will be better placed to identify all of the chipset components.

  1. Download the Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility from Intel’s site. Be sure that the version matches your operating system.
  2. After you have downloaded and unzipped the same, double click on the exe file to initiate the installation process.
  3. Follow on-screen instructions.
  4. Reboot your PC after the installation process is over.

5. Check for hardware issues

However, if you are still having Base System Driver issues, as exemplified by a yellow exclamation mark in Device Manager, it’s likely the specific hardware itself is at fault.

In that case, you will be required to get your PC checked up by an expert to rule out any such possibilities.

These are just a couple of solutions that might help you with Windows was unable to install base system device error. If our solutions worked for you, let us know in the comment section.

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