FIX: Reference_by_pointer BSoD error [Bug Check 0x18]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
Last update:
Affiliate Disclosure

  • Reference_by_pointer on Windows 10 is a BSOD error that can indicate a driver or software issue.
  • New hardware can also lead to this error, especially if it's faulty or not counterfeit.
  • The reference_by_pointer stop code is 0x00000018 and it frequently shows along with the blue screen.
  • Reference_by_pointer with BSOD can usually be fixed only in Safe Mode.
How to fix Reference by pointer BSoD error
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Blue Screen of Death errors shouldn’t be taken lightly since they are often caused by a hardware problem.

Rreference_by_pointer BSoD error (also known as MSDN bugcheck reference_by_pointer 0x00000018) can be a nuisance on Windows 10, but fortunately, there are few ways to solve this problem.

The error will crash your PC whenever it appears. And it occurs on the older Windows version just as it does on the latest systems.

Sometimes this error is followed by the name of the file that caused it. As such, users have encountered:

Reference_by_pointer wdf01000 sys/ ntoskrnl.exe/ atikmdag.sys/ tcpip.sys/ ntkrnlpa.exe/ win32k.sys

If this happens, you need to do a bit of research before you find the application or driver that is responsible for this error.

On few occasions, the error was a result of the device overclocking, so think about the processes that you’ve run on it lately.

Note that if you can’t boot your device normally, which usually happens with a BSOD, you might have to work in Safe Mode for most of the solutions below.


How can I fix the blue screen reference_by_pointer error?

1. Run a BSOD tool

If you’re able to boot into Safe Mode, the quickest and surest way to fix the error is to install and run a tool that specializes in this type of issues.

Restoro repair
Restoro is powered by an online database that features the latest functional system files for Windows 10 PCs, allowing you to easily replace any elements that can cause a BSoD error. This software can also help you by creating a restore point before starting the repairs, enabling you to easily restore the previous version of your system if something goes wrong. This is how you can fix registry errors using Restoro:
  1. Download and install Restoro.
  2. Launch the application.
  3. Wait for the software to identify stability issues and possible corrupted files.
  4. Press Start Repair.
  5. Restart your PC for all the changes to take effect.
As soon as the fixing process is completed, your PC should work without problems, and you will not have to worry about BSoD errors or slow response times ever again. Get Restoro Disclaimer: This program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.

2. Install a minimal version of the graphics driver

restore_by_pointer error
  1. Download Display Driver Uninstaller.
  2. After you’ve downloaded the program, run it.
  3. Once the DDU starts, follow the instructions on the screen to remove your graphics card driver.

AMD owners reported that after installing the minimal version of the graphics card driver the reference_by_pointer error was fixed. Even if you don’t own an AMD graphics card, you can still try this solution.

Once the driver is completely removed, you need to download the latest minimal version of the graphics card driver.

To download the minimal version of the graphics card driver you need to visit your graphics card manufacturer’s website, locate your graphics card , and download the latest drivers for it.

Be sure to select the minimal version of the driver that doesn’t include any unnecessary software.

After installing the latest minimal version of the driver, the error should be permanently fixed.

Don’t forget to update your graphics card driver constantly. Outdated drivers can often cause BSOD errors and crashes, so it’s important that you update them as soon as you can.


3. Check your antivirus

Your antivirus is quite important, but sometimes it can interfere with Windows and cause the error to appear.

To fix the problem, it’s advised to disable your antivirus and check if that solves the issue.

If the issue persists, your next step would be to remove the antivirus software.

Uninstalling the antivirus isn’t always enough, so it’s a good idea to use a dedicated uninstaller tool to completely remove it.

Most antivirus companies offer dedicated uninstallers for their software, so be sure to download one for your antivirus.

After removing your antivirus, check if the problem is resolved. If the issue was caused by your antivirus, it’s advised to switch to a different antivirus solution.

It offers powerful protection against zero day exploits and any type of malware, and it’s suitable for just about any OS.

 Get Bullguard


4. Remove problematic software

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig.
  2. Press Enter or click OK to run it.
    Reference by pointer overclock
  3. Once the Windows Configuration window opens, select Selective Startup and uncheck Load startup items.
  4. Go to Services tab and check Hide all Microsoft services.
  5. Now click the Disable all button.
  6. Go to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.
  7. Right-click each item on the list and choose Disable from the menu.
  8. After you disable all startup items, go back to the System Configuration window and click on Apply and OK.
    Reference_by_pointer BSOD

After your PC restarts, check if your computer is stable. If there are no BSOD errors, it means that the error was caused by one of the installed applications.

Now you just need to find the problematic application, and in order to do that, you need to follow the same steps and enable applications and services one by one until you find the one that was causing this problem.

Once you find the problematic application, it’s advised to remove it from your PC and check if that solves the problem.

There are many ways to remove an app, but the best way is to use an uninstaller application.

There are many great uninstaller applications available, but our recommendation is IOBit Uninstaller.


5. Reinstall Windows 10 and format your hard drive partition

Users reported reference_by_pointer BSOD error while playing video clips in Windows Media Player.

According to a few users, this error can be fixed by reinstalling Windows 10 and formatting your hard drive partition.

This is a drastic solution, and we urge you to try any other different solution before you decide to reinstall Windows 10.

You might have to install the OS on a flash drive first and then boot your broken computer from this USB.


6. Check your hardware

Reference by pointer Windows 7 64 bit

Reference_by_pointer and many other Blue Screen of Death errors are often caused by your hardware, and if you installed any new hardware recently, be sure that you remove it or replace it.

In addition to new hardware, faulty hardware is also an often cause for BSOD errors.

Faulty RAM is usually the common cause of these types of errors, so be sure to test all your RAM modules one by one in order to find the faulty one.

If you want to perform a detailed inspection of your RAM, you can use MemTest86+ or any similar tool.

If your RAM is working properly, check other major components such as your motherboard, hard drive, etc.


7. Check if your PC is overheating

check if your pc is overheating

Overheating is one potential cause for this error, so if you’re encountering this problem, be sure to check the temperature on your PC.

You can use a CPU temperature monitoring tool for that. After installing such a tool, keep it running in the background and keep a close eye on your PC temperature.

If your CPU or GPU temperature goes above the recommended values and that causes the crash, you might have to clean your PC from dust.

This is rather simple, and to do that you just need to disconnect your PC from the power outlet, open the computer case and use the pressurized air to clean your components.

We have to mention that opening your computer case can void your warranty, so keep that in mind. Several laptop users reported that cleaning their PC from dust solved the problem for them, so be sure to try that.

REFeference_by_pointer BSOD error can be problematic, but we hope you were able to fix it with one of these solutions.

If so, we’d like to hear what worked for you. Use the comments section.

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