Terminal server driver made incorrect memory reference in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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TERMINAL_SERVER_DRIVER_MADE_INCORRECT_MEMORY_REFERENCE error is a Blue Screen of Death error, and it can appear on almost any version of Windows, including Windows 10. Since BSoD errors can be troublesome and cause damage to your PC, today we’re going to show you how to fix this error.


Table of contents:

  1. Update Windows 10
  2. Update your drivers
  3. Run the Hardware Troubleshooter 
  4. Run the SFC scan
  5. Run DISM
  6. Remove your antivirus
  7. Remove problematic software
  8. Reset Windows 10
  9. Check your hardware


Solution 1 – Update Windows 10

Many Blue Screen of Death errors can be caused by hardware or software incompatibilities, therefore it’s important that you fix those incompatibilities if you want your PC to be stable and without errors. Microsoft is aware of all major issues, and it’s constantly working on them, therefore if you want to fix BSoD errors on Windows 10, we highly advise you to download the latest patches through Windows Update. Many of these patches add new features, but there are also security improvements along with various bug fixes related to both hardware and software. Downloading Windows updates is one of the simplest ways to fix and prevent Blue Screen of Death errors from appearing, so be sure to download them frequently.

Solution 2 – Update your drivers

Drivers are important because they allow Windows 10 to recognize and utilize your hardware. When certain driver is outdated or buggy, you won’t be able to use a specific hardware component, or you might even get a TERMINAL_SERVER_DRIVER_MADE_INCORRECT_MEMORY_REFERENCE error. To ensure that your system is stable and that your hardware is recognized and working well, it’s always good to keep your drivers up to date. Blue Screen of Death errors usually tell you which file caused the crash, and if it’s a driver, you just need to update that driver in order to fix the problem. If you can’t find out which driver is causing the crash, it’s advised that you update all your drivers. Users reported few issues with Dell laptops and audio drivers, but after downloading the necessary drivers the problem was fixed.

In order to update your drivers, you just have to visit your hardware manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your device. Be sure to download motherboard and chipset drivers first, and then move to all other drivers.

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  3 – Run the Hardware Troubleshooter 

Another thing we can try is running Windows 10’s built-in troubleshooting tool. This tool is designed to deal with various system issues, including BSODs. So, it might be helpful in this case, as well.

Here’s how to run Windows 10‘s 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 4 – Run the SFC scan

If Windows 10’s troubleshooter didn’t get the job done, let’s try another one. The SFC scan is a command-line tool that scans the system and searches for potential issues. So, it can be useful when dealing with the DRIVER_VERIFIER_DMA_VIOLATION error.

To run the SFC scan, follow these instructions:

  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 5 – Run DISM

And the third tool we’re going to use is DISM. Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a tool that, as its name says, deploys the system image all over again. And that process could resolve potential BSOD issues.

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 6 – Remove your antivirus

Antivirus and firewall are crucial for the safety of your PC, but sometimes third-party antivirus software can cause Blue Screen of Death errors to appear. It’s worth mentioning that almost any third-party antivirus program or firewall can cause TERMINAL_SERVER_DRIVER_MADE_INCORRECT_MEMORY_REFERENCE error, and in order to fix this error you’ll have to remove all antivirus programs. Bear in mind that just uninstalling the software won’t probably fix the problem, and you’ll have to use dedicated removal tool to completely remove any files associated with your antivirus program.

If removing your antivirus and firewall fixed the problem, then you can reinstall the same antivirus program or you can switch to a different antivirus software.

Solution 7 – Remove problematic software

Sometimes these types of errors can be caused by certain software, and if you want to fix this error, you’ll have to find and remove the problematic software. If you installed or updated certain software recently, be sure that you remove it in order to fix this error. To see if TERMINAL_SERVER_DRIVER_MADE_INCORRECT_MEMORY_REFERENCE error is caused by software, you just need to enter Safe Mode and check if the error appears there. To enter Safe Mode follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer few times during the boot sequence to start Automatic Repair. Alternatively, you can just press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard and click the Restart button.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings and click the Restart button.
  3. When your computer restarts you’ll see a list of options. Select Safe Mode with Networking by pressing 5 or F5.

Safe Mode uses only the default drivers and applications, and if the BSoD error is caused by any software, you shouldn’t have any BSoD errors in Safe Mode. If your computer is stable in Safe Mode you just need to find the application or driver that is causing this error and remove it.

Solution 8 – Reset Windows 10

If the TERMINAL_SERVER_DRIVER_MADE_INCORRECT_MEMORY_REFERENCE error is caused by software, you can fix it by performing Windows 10 reset. This procedure is similar to clean install, and it will remove all files from your C partition, so be sure to create a backup before you proceed. You might also need a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10 to complete this process, and you can easily create one with Media Creation Tool. To perform Windows 10 reset, do the following:

  1. Restart your computer few times during the boot sequence. You can also just hold Shift and click the Restart button.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything. If you’re asked to insert Windows 10 installation media, be ready to do so.
  3. Choose Only the drive where Windows is installed > Remove everything. Click the Reset button to start the process.
  4. Follow the instructions to complete Windows 10 reset. This process is almost identical to Windows 10 installation, so you won’t have any problems with it.

If the problem persists even after Windows 10 reset, it’s most likely that the issue is caused by your hardware.

Solution 9 – Check your hardware

If the Blue Screen of Death error still appears, it might be due to a faulty hardware. Most common cause for BSoD errors is faulty RAM, so be sure to check your RAM first. If you want to perform a thorough scan we suggest that you use MemTest86+ and test each RAM individually. If your RAM is working well, be sure to check other components such as your graphic card, motherboard, hard drive, network adapter, etc.

TERMINAL_SERVER_DRIVER_MADE_INCORRECT_MEMORY_REFERENCE BSoD error can cause certain problems, but in most cases you can fix this error by finding the problematic driver and updating it.


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