FIX: Fatal System Error on Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Fatal system errors have a reputation of being the most dreaded type of errors a Windows user can encounter.
  • When they occur, users will usually be greeted by a BSoD, and may even lose all data that was currently being worked on.
  • This article is part of our much larger dedicated Hub for Troubleshooting System errors, so make sure you visit that as s well.
  • For more fixing guides, head over to our Windows 10 Errors page.
Fatal System Error

Computer errors can always be a problem, but the most problematic errors are usually Blue Screen of Death errors. These errors can be quite a nuisance, so today we’re going to show you how to fix Fatal system error on Windows 10.

How can I fix fatal system errors on Windows 10?

1. Use DISM command

Sometimes your Windows 10 installation can become corrupt due to certain patch or for some other reason, and if that happens you can fix it by using DISM command.

Users reported that they fixed this issue simply by starting Windows 10 installation from a bootable media and by running DISM. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Boot your PC from Windows 10 installation media.
  2. Press Shift + F10 to open Command Prompt.
  3. When Command Prompt opens, enter
    • dism /image:c: /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions
  4. Press Enter to run it.
  5. Wait for the process to complete and check if the error is resolved.

2. Disable driver signature enforcement

One potential solution that can fix this problem is to disable driver signature enforcement. To do that, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer few times during the boot phase to start Automatic Repair process.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
  3. Press F7 to select Disable driver signature enforcement.

After disabling driver signature enforcement check if the issue is resolved.

3. Replace the corrupted files

Fatal system error can often be caused by corrupted system files, and users reported that Winlogon, Userinit.exe and msgina.dll are the files that you need to replace.

These files are usually located in WindowsSystem32 directory, and you can replace them by copying the same files from a different Windows 10 PC.

After copying these files from a different Windows 10 PC, the issue should be completely resolved.

Keep in mind that you should copy these files from the same version of Windows 10. For example, if you use a 64-bit version of Windows 10 copy these files from another 64-bit Windows 10 PC. Same goes for 32-bit versions.

4. Repair your registry

Few users reported that they fixed this issue simply by repairing their registry. Windows creates a backup of your registry, and you can replace it by following these steps:

  1. Go to C:WindowsSystem32config and copy DEFAULT, SAM, SECURITY, SOFTWARE and SYSTEM files to a different location.
    • This step isn’t necessary, but it’s always good to have backup.
  2. Go to C:WindowsSystem32configRegBack folder and copy its contents to C:WindowsSystem32config folder.
  3. After doing that, check if the issue is resolved.

If you can’t access Windows 10 at all, you can perform these steps from Safe Mode or by booting your PC from a Linux CD.

5. Run the SFC scan

SFC scan is designed to repair corrupted files, and if this error is caused by corrupted system files you might be able to fix it by performing SFC scan.

To do that, start Command Prompt and enter:

  • Press Enter and wait for the process to finish.

6. Copy the moved files

This procedure is somewhat dangerous because it involves copying files to Windows 10 installation directory. By performing this process you might damage your Windows 10 installation, so keep that in mind.

First, you’ll need to boot your PC from Linux media. After doing that, locate your hard drive and access it. You should see found.000 folder or several found folders.

Open Windows/System32 folder and copy files from found folders to System32 folder.

Before you start copying files, you might want to back up files from System32 directory in case anything goes wrong.

7. Remove any recently installed applications or drivers

In some cases Fatal system error can appear after installing certain applications or drivers, therefore you might have to remove any recently installed applications or drivers.

Keep in mind that this solution only applies if the issue started appearing right after installing new software or a driver.

8. Rollback your drivers

If this issue started appearing after installing a certain driver, you should be able to fix it after rolling back to the previous version. To roll back a driver, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Power User Menu.
    • Select Device Manager from the list.
  2. When Device Manager starts, locate the driver that you want to downgrade and double click it.
  3. Go to the Driver tab and click the Roll Back Driver button. Wait for the process to finish.

If the Roll Back Driver button isn’t available, uninstall the driver and install it again.

9. Install the latest updates and drivers

You can fix many issues with Windows 10 simply by installing the latest updates. Those updates bring many fixes related to both hardware and software, therefore be sure to use Windows Update to download the necessary updates.

Besides updates, it’s also important that you install the latest drivers for your PC. To do that, simply visit your hardware manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your device.

We also recommend this third-party tool (100% safe and tested by us) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.

10. Run chkdsk

Another potential solution is to use chkdsk command. This command will scan your hard drive for any corrupted files and repair them. To run chkdsk, start Command Prompt and enter chkdsk /r C:

In order to perform a detailed scan be sure to scan all hard drive partitions by entering the same command and replacing C: with the letter that matches your hard drive partition.

11. Reset Windows 10

If you can’t fix this error, you might want to reset Windows 10. To do that, restart your computer few times during the boot process to enter Automatic Repair. After that, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything.
  2. Insert the installation media if you’re asked to.
  3. Select Only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files.
  4. Click the Reset button to start the process.
  5. Follow the instructions to reset Windows 10.

If the reset process doesn’t help, you might want to perform clean install of Windows 10. Keep in mind that both these processes will delete all files from your C partition, so be sure to back up important files.

12. Check your hardware

If nothing else works, you might want to check your hardware. These types of errors can be caused by faulty hardware and users reported that this issue was fixed after replacing their hard drive or their motherboard.

In addition to hard drive and motherboard, be sure to check your RAM as well.

Fatal system error can be a big problem on your Windows 10 PC, but we hope that you managed to fix it by using one of our solutions.

FAQ: Learn more about fatal system errors

  • What is fatal system error blue screen?

A fatal system error blue screen, also known as a BSoD, is an error message that appears when your system encounters a fatal execution error and decides to halt all actions to avoid further damage.

  • What does fatal error mean on my computer?

When your PC encounters a fatal system error, it means that you may be experiencing serious compatibility issues with hardware components or installed programs.

  • How do I fix fatal error in-game?

Games are also software, and it is not uncommon to receive fatal system errors when launching or running them, so making sure you know what troubleshooting steps to follow is essential.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been since revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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