IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL error in Windows 10 [FULL FIX]
Blue Screen of Death errors can be a big problem on your PC, but some of them are relatively easy to fix. Users have reported IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL error on Windows 10, and today we’re going show you how to fix it.
How to fix IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL BSoD error?
- Update your graphics card drivers
- Run the BSOD Troubleshooter
- Run the SFC scan
- Run DISM
- Check the hard drive
- Download the older version of graphics card drivers
- Check your RAM
- Check other hardware
- Remove problematic software
- Keep your Windows 10 up to date
- Reset your Windows 10
Steps to fix IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL error
Solution 1 – Update your graphics card drivers
In most cases IRQL NOT GREATER OR_EQUAL is caused by a graphic card driver, and in order to fix this issue, it’s advised that you update the driver with the latest version.
Downloading the latest drivers is relatively simple, and all you need to do is to visit your graphic card manufacturer’s website, locate your graphic card and download the latest drivers for it. After installing the latest drivers, the BSoD error should be resolved.
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:
- Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
- Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically.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.
- 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.
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
The next thing we’re going to try is running Windows 10’s built-in troubleshooting tool. This tool can help you resolve all sorts of issues, including the BSOD problems.
Here’s how to run Windows 10’s built-in troubleshooter:
- Go to the Settings app and
- Navigate to the Update & Security section.
- Select Troubleshoot from the menu on the left.
- Select BSOD from the right pane and click Run the troubleshooter.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.
Solution 3 – Run the SFC scan
The SFC scan is another troubleshooting tool that can help with BSOD issues. So, if Windows 10’s built-in troubleshooter didn’t resolve the problem, the SFC scan is definitely a tool worth running.
Here’s how to run the SFC scan in Windows 10:
- Go to Search, type cmd, and open Command Prompt as Administrator.
- Enter the following line and press Enter: sfc/scannow
- Wait until the process is done (it may take a while).
- If the solution is found, it will automatically be applied.
- Now, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.
Solution 4 – Run DISM
The third and final troubleshooting tool we’re going to run is DISM. Deployment Image Servicing and Management is a tool that re-deploys the system image, and resolves possible problems on the way. So, it might be helpful when dealing with the IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL issue.
We’ll walk you through both standard and the procedure that utilizes the installation media below:
- Standard way
- Right-click Start and open Command Prompt (Admin).
- Paste the following command and press Enter:
- Wait until the scan is finished.
- Restart your computer and try updating again.
- With the Windows installation media
- Insert your Windows installation media.
- Right-click the Start menu and, from the menu, choose the Command Prompt (Admin).
- In the command line, type the following commands and press Enter after each:
- dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
- dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
- Now, type the following command and press Enter:
- DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:WIM:X:SourcesInstall.wim:1 /LimitAccess
- Make sure to change an X value with the letter of the mounted drive with Windows 10 installation.
- After the procedure is finished, restart your computer.
Solution 5 – Check the hard drive
If you have a corrupt partition or there’s something else wrong with your hard drive, BSOD issues are quite possible. To make sure that’s not the case, we’re going to run the chkdsk command that will throughtly scan your hard drive, and resolve potential issues.
Here’s how to run the chkdsk command in Windows 10:
- Enter the Advanced Startup (Restart your computer while holding the Shift key).
- Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options.
- Select Command Prompt from the list of options.
- When Command Prompt appears, enter the following lines and press Enter after each line in order to run it:
- 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):
This is just our example, so keep in mind that you have to perform chkdsk command for every hard drive partition that you have.
- Restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.
Solution 6 – Download the older version of graphics card drivers
As we previously mentioned, it’s always good to keep your drivers updated, but in certain rare cases, older version of the driver software might work better. Few Intel(R) HD Graphics 3000 owners reported that by using the older version of the drivers, the IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL error was resolved. Bear in mind that this solution could work for non-Intel owners as well, and if the latest drivers aren’t working for you perhaps you should use the the older version.
Solution 7 – Check your RAM
RAM is often the cause for many BSoD errors, and IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL is no exception. Number of users reported that the faulty RAM module caused the issue for them, so if you’re having this issue, you might want to replace your RAM. Users reported that MemTest86+ and similar tools showed no memory errors, but for some reason the RAM module wasn’t fully compatible with motherboard, and that was the cause for IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL BSoD error.
Solution 8 – Check other hardware
Most commonly BSOD errors are caused by a faulty RAM, but other hardware components can also cause this error to manifest. Relatively often your motherboard can cause IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL error, so you might want to check it if it’s working properly.
In addition to motherboard, there were reports that a faulty hard drive or a graphic card can cause this error, so you might have to perform a thorough inspection of your hardware. If you don’t know how to do this, we strongly advise you to take your PC to the repair shop and ask them to this for you.
In addition to faulty hardware, your recently added hardware can cause issues as well. If you installed in any new hardware, such as a new hard drive, RAM, graphic card, or anything similar, it might be incompatible with your motherboard, and that can cause this BSoD error to appear. To fix this issue, we advise you to replace any recently added hardware and see if your PC works well without it.
Solution 9 – Remove problematic software
Certain tools can cause IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL error to appear, and to fix this error you need to remove these tools from your PC. Certain VPN or encryption tools can cause a BSOD error, so if you use any of those make sure that you remove them.
In addition to aforementioned tools, it’s worth mentioning that antivirus software can often cause IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL error. Almost any antivirus software can cause a BSoD error, and in order to fix this issue, it’s advised that you remove your currently installed antivirus software.
In order to completely remove an antivirus software we strongly advise that you use one of the dedicated uninstallers. Most antivirus companies have uninstaller tools available on their websites, and you can download them and use them to completely remove a certain antivirus program from your PC.
After you’ve removed your antivirus software, you can try to reinstall it, or you can install any other antivirus software instead.
Solution 10 – Keep your Windows 10 up to date
BSoD errors are often caused by incompatibility issues, and in order avoid potential issues, we strongly advise you to update Windows 10 frequently. Most incompatibility issues and security flaws are fixed through Windows Update, so in order to avoid IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL error, make sure that your Windows 10 is up to date.
Solution 11 – Reset your Windows 10
Resetting Windows 10 will delete most of your files on your C drive, so if you decide to use this step, we advise you to create a backup aforehand. Performing a Windows 10 reset is relatively simple and you can do it by following these steps:
- Restart your computer couple of time while it boots so it can enter Automatic Repair mode.
- Choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.
- Select Remove Everything > Only the drive where Windows is installed.
- Wait for the process to finish.
This process will delete all files from your C drive, and if the problem persists even after you’ve performed a Windows 10 reset, you should check your PC for faulty hardware.
IRQL NOT GREATER OR EQUAL Blue Screen of Death error can cause many problems, but it can be fixed by using one of our solutions. In the past we also covered irql_not_less_or_equal BSOD error, so you might want to check that article as well.
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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