Fix: INVALID KERNEL HANDLE error in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Blue Screen of Death errors, such as INVALID KERNEL HANDLE can be a major problem on Windows 10. These types of errors will crash your PC and restart it in order to prevent damage, therefore it’s crucial that you know how to fix these types of errors.


List of solutions:

  1. Update your drivers
  2. Run the BSOD Troubleshooter 
  3. Run the SFC scan
  4. Run DISM
  5. Check the hard drive
  6. Update Windows 10
  7. Uninstall your antivirus software
  8. Perform a Clean boot / enter Safe Mode
  9. Perform Windows 10 reset
  10. Check your hardware

Fix – INVALID KERNEL HANDLE Windows 10 error

Solution 1 – Update your drivers

Keeping your drivers up to date is crucial if you want to ensure that your system is stable and safe from errors. If certain error is out of date or not compatible with Windows 10, your system won’t be able to recognize and use that hardware, and that will cause INVALID KERNEL HANDLE BSoD error to appear. To fix these types of errors, you need to update your drivers, and you can easily do that simply by visiting your hardware manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest drivers for your hardware.

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 Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically.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 2 – Run the BSOD Troubleshooter 

If updating your drivers didn’t get the job done, let’s try with a few troubleshooters. The first one we’re going to try is Windows 10’s BSOD troubleshooting tool. Hopefully, this tool will automatically resolve the problem for you.

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

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

Solution 3 – Run the SFC scan

The next troubleshooter we’re going to try is the SFC scan. This is a command line tool that basically scans your system for potential issues, and resolves them if possible.

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

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button, and open Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Enter the following line and press Enter: sfc/scannow
  3. Wait until the process is done (it may take a while).
  4. If the solution is found, it will automatically be applied.
  5. Now, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

Solution 4 – Run DISM

And the third troubleshooting tool we’re going to try is DISM. This tool re-deploys the system image, which can resolve various problems, include the BSOD errors.

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 5 – Check the hard drive

If there’s a problem with your hard disk or partition, BSOD issues are more than possible. To eliminate that possibility, we’re going to run a hard disk check tool, to make sure everything related to your partition is in its place.

Here’s how to check the hard drive 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 6 – Update Windows 10

Keeping your drivers up to date is quite important, but it’s also important that you download Windows updates. By downloading the latest updates via Windows Update, you’ll install the latest security patches and new features. Additionally, these patches also offer many bug fixes related to hardware and software, and since BSoD errors, such as INVALID_KERNEL_HANDLE, are often caused by hardware or software issues, installing these patches should fix most of these errors.

Solution 7 – Uninstall your antivirus software

In order to keep your PC protected from malicious users it’s important that you have an antivirus software installed. Even though antivirus software provides protection, sometimes it can also cause all sorts of BSoD errors. If you’re getting INVALID KERNEL HANDLE BSoD error, it’s important that you uninstall any third-party antivirus programs that you have installed. Even if you uninstall every antivirus software, your PC won’t be defenseless since Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender as a default antivirus program.

It’s worth mentioning that certain antivirus programs leave files and registry entries behind when you uninstall them, and in order to fix these errors, it’s important to use dedicated uninstaller tool to completely remove an antivirus program. Many security companies offer these tools for their software, so be sure to download one.

Regarding the problematic antivirus programs, many users reported that Panda Antivirus was a common cause for INVALID KERNEL HANDLE error, but users also reported issues with Adaware and Super Anti-spyware. If you’re using any of the aforementioned programs, be sure to remove them in order to fix the BSoD error.

Solution 8 – Perform a Clean boot / enter Safe Mode

Sometimes certain applications or services can cause INVALID KERNEL HANDLE error to appear, therefore it’s crucial that you find and disable the problematic applications. To do that, simply follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig. Press Enter or click OK.
  2. When System Configuration window opens, select Selective startup and uncheck Load startup items.
  3. Navigate to Services tab, check the Hide all Microsoft services and click Disable all.
  4. Click Apply and OK. If you get asked to restart your PC, choose not to.
  5. Start Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  6. When Task Manager opens, navigate to Startup tab.
  7. Right click each entry from the list and choose Disable from the menu. Be sure to disable all entries on the list.
  8. After you’re done, close Task Manager and restart your PC.

If the error is fixed, you can start enabling services and applications by following the similar steps. Be sure to enable services and applications one by one until you find the one that is causing this problem.

Alternatively, you can enter Safe Mode and check if your PC is stable and without errors while in Safe Mode. To enter Safe Mode do the following:

  1. Restart your computer few times while it boots in order to start Automatic Repair. Alternatively, you can just press and hold the Shift key and click the Restart button.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings. Click the Restart button.
  3. Once your computer restarts, select Safe Mode with Networking by pressing 5 or F5 on your keyboard.

When Safe Mode starts, test your PC. If the system is stable, it means that the BSoD error is caused by certain software, so be sure to find the problematic software and disable it or uninstall it.

Solution 9 – Perform Windows 10 reset

If the INVALID KERNEL HANDLE error is caused by software, you can fix that by performing Windows 10 reset. Resetting Windows 10 is similar to clean install, therefore be sure to back up all important files from your C partition. We also have to mention that you might need Windows 10 installation media to complete this step, so be sure to create a bootable USB flash drive by using Media Creation Tool. To perform Windows 10 reset, do the following:

  1. Enter Automatic Repair by restarting your computer during the boot sequence.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.
  3. Select Remove everything > Only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files. Click the Reset button.
  4. Follow the instructions in order to complete the reset process.

If the problem still persists, it’s most likely that the BSoD error is caused by a faulty hardware.

Solution 10 – Check your hardware

Common cause for BSoD errors is RAM, so make sure that your RAM is working properly. You can use tools such as MemTest86+ to perform a detailed test of your RAM. Bear in mind that almost any other hardware component can cause BSoD error, so make sure that you check all other major hardware components such as your hard drive, motherboard, etc.

INVALID KERNEL HANDLE error can be a big problem, but hopefully you managed to fix this error by using one of our solutions.

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


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