Windows 10: file system error (-1073741819) – ‘extended attributes are inconsistent’

[German]Some Windows users are facing a strange error: Suddenly the user account control (UAC) fails and the administrator account doesn’t work anymore. In some cases, the error message “file system error (-1073741819)” or the error  ‘extended attributes are inconsistent’ will be shown.


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The error details

Users are no more able to do administrative tasks, because using UAC drops an error ‘extended attributes are inconsistent’ or “file system error (-1073741819)”. So no UAC prompt will be shown to grants administrative credentials. See this MS answers forum thread for this error description for instance.

How to solve that issue?

If the error is located to a single user account and the administrator account is still useable, try to create a new user account. Then check from other user accounts, whether the error is gone.

If that doesn’t help, you need a distinct solution. Searching the web leads to the suggestion, to switch off Windows sound (see here).

1. Right click to the speaker icon in taskbar and select Sounds in context menu.

Sounds context menu


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2. Then go to Sounds tab and set the Sound Scheme to “No Sounds” as it is shown below.

Sounds settings

Confirm this using OK and test, whether the UAC problem is gone. If that is true, read my explanation below.

The root cause for this behavior

Ok, if the approach given above works, it’s time to have a closer view what’s causing this behavior. Why does UAC works, after Windows sound is disabled? Here is, what I found als a “faulty chain” so far:

  • Invoking a UAC prompt, Windows tries to notify users with a sound. During sound output, the system file error (-1073741819) occurs – and sometimes the error message ‘‘extended attributes are inconsistent’  is shown.
  • Because notifying the user with sound fails, the calling function can’t invoke the UAC prompt – and in consequence, no administrative credentials will be delivered from UAC to the requested function. Overall, administrative tasks could not be handled.

I read in some forums, that disabling user account control solved this behavior. In the light of my explanations given above, it is clear, why that helps. Disabling UAC allows an administrator account to work with admin rights. But that is a worse security solution.

What causes sound output to fail?

The million dollar question is “what prevents Windows from sound output”? My first idea would be: ‘a faulty .wav sound file is causing this mess’. Because the error hits Windows 10 upgraders coming from Windows 7/8.1 or users installing a Windows 10 feature upgrade, there have to be different cause.  I’ve had referenced this blog post in October 2012 within this German MS Answers forum thread. Windows 8 user chentiangemalc was running into that trouble using Registry editor in Windows Developer Preview.

Luckily this person was able to run Windows Debugger and also Process Explorer from Sysinternals tools. So he was able to track his root cause to an MP3 Lame-Encoder and a Ac3filter (installed within a codec pack). After he disabled both Codecs (aka DirectShow Filters) using Sysinternals tool Autoruns, the UAC works again, also with sound output enabled.

Sound07
(Source)

If that issue occurs on your system, go to control panel and uninstall all codec packs, multi media packages (Nero burning rom, video creating tools, Audacity and so on). The initiate a Windows restart and test your system. After all DirectShow filter drivers from third party vendors are uninstalled, the UAC error should be gone. Otherwise download Sysinternals tool Autoruns and run it, to deactivate the faulty DirectShow filter drivers.

Because Autoruns requires UAC, the system sound should be disabled!

Autoruns

Fire up the tool, go to Codecs tab and disable all third party Autorun entries. Then set Sounds to “Windows Default” and restart Windows. Test, if the UAC issue is gone. If the UAC error still occurs, disable in a next step 50% of all active drivers, restart Windows and repeat the test. If UAC works now, the faulty DirectShow filter driver is located in the list of all deactivated entries. Proceed this 50% to identify the faulty component.

Other tools reported causing this UAC behavior are IOBIT malware,

Similar articles:
Win10 Wiki
Windows 10: Open command prompt window as administrator
Check and repair Windows system files and component store

Activate Build-in Administrator account in Windows – I
Activate Build-in Administrator account in Windows – II


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