Ivan Jenic By: Ivan Jenic
7 minute read

Home » Fix: UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP Error in Windows 10

Although many users have switched to Windows 10, it doesn’t mean that these users aren’t experiencing issues on Windows 10. One of the issues that users are experiencing on Windows 10 is UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP error so let’s see if we can fix this issue.

UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP is a Blue Screen of Death error that is caused by hardware failure or by incompatible driver. If you didn’t have any of these issues on previous versions of Windows then the issue isn’t caused by hardware, it’s probably incompatible driver.

In some cases, this error can be caused if your component connectors are covered in dust, so you’ll need to remove them and clean them properly before connecting them again.

If your computer is under warranty or you don’t know how to do it, it’s best to hire an expert to do it for you. But if this issue started appearing after you’ve switched to Windows 10, it’s most likely a driver issue, so let’s see how to fix it.

How to Fix UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP Error in Windows 10

UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP can be an annoying error, and users reported the following issues as well:

  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap wdf01000.sys, win32kfull.sys, usbxhci.sys, nvlddmkm.sys, ntfs.sys, ndu.sys, netio.sys – In most cases this error comes followed by the name of the file that is causing it. The most common cause is a certain driver or a third-party software.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap overclock – This error can also appear when overclocking your PC. To fix it, it’s advised to remove all overclock settings.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap ESET Smart Security, AVG, Avast, McAfee – According to users, this error can be caused by your security software. Many users reported this issue while using AVG, Avast and McAfee.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap RAM – Hardware issues can also cause this problem to appear. In most cases, the cause for this error is your RAM.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap after Windows update – In several cases users reported this problem after a Windows update. To fix this problem, you’ll need to uninstall the problematic update.
  • Virtualbox Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap – This issue can appear on your PC, but it can also appear while using virtualization software. Users reported this issue on both Virtualbox and VMWare.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap BSOD – This error is always followed by a Blue Screen of Death and a restart. Even though this is an annoying problem, you should be able to fix it with our solutions.

Solution 1 – Remove the problematic driver

This issue can be caused by all sorts of drivers, but some users claim to uninstall your Bluetooth, Wireless, & Intel RST(Intel Rapid Storage Technology). We have to warn you that this issue can be caused by another driver, it doesn’t have to be related to Bluetooth or Wireless drivers, but they are often the main causes for this issue.

  1. Enter the Advanced Startup. Easiest way to do this is to go to the Start Menu and click the restart button while holding Shift on your keyboard, but if you can’t get to Windows 10 you should eventually see option to enter Advanced Startup after a few restarts.
  2. In Advanced Startup choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings.
  3. You should see an option to enter Safe Mode.
  4. When you enter Safe Mode, go to Device Manager.
  5. In Device Manager locate the problematic driver, right click and choose Uninstall.
    Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap overclock

Solution 2 – Disable uninstall your security software

According to users, sometimes third-party antivirus software can cause this problem to appear. Your antivirus or firewall can interfere with your Windows installation, and in order to fix the problem, you need to disable your antivirus.

If disabling the antivirus or firewall doesn’t fix the issue, you might have to uninstall it. To completely remove your antivirus, it’s recommended to download a dedicated removal tool for it from the developer’s website. After removing the antivirus, check if the problem is resolved.

If removing the antivirus fixes the issue, you can reinstall your antivirus or switch to a different antivirus solution. You can also use Windows Defender instead of a third-party antivirus. Several users reported that Avast was the problem on their PC, but keep in mind that almost any antivirus software can cause this problem to appear.

Solution 3 – Install the latest updates

If you’re getting UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP error on your PC, you might be able to fix it by installing the latest updates. To do that, you need to do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that quickly by using Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. When Settings app opens, navigate to the Update & security section.
    Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap ESET Smart Security
  3. Now click on Check for updates button.
    Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap RAM

Windows will now check for available updates. If updates are available, Windows will download them in the background and install them. Several users reported that their issue was resolved after updating Windows, so be sure to try that.

Solution 4 – Use chkdsk command

According to users, you might be able to fix UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP error on your PC simply by running a chkdsk scan. This error can occur due to corrupted files on your hard drive, but you should be able to fix it by doing the following:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator. To do that, press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu and choose Command Prompt (Admin). If Command Prompt isn’t available, you can use PowerShell (Admin) instead.
    Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap after Windows update
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter chkdsk /r c: and press Enter to run it.
    Virtualbox Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap
  3. You’ll be asked to schedule disk checking the next time you restart your PC. Enter Y and press Enter.
  4. Restart your PC and your computer will automatically perform chkdsk scan.

If you can’t access Windows due to this error, you can also run Command Prompt and chkdsk scan from Advanced Boot Menu. Keep in mind that you might have to scan other drives on your PC besides C in order to fix this problem.

Solution 5 – Remove your graphics card driver

According to users, your graphics card driver can be the cause for UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP error. Several users reported this issue with latest Nvidia drivers, and according to them, the solution is to revert to the older drivers.

To do that, simply remove Nvidia driver from Device Manager. If you want to remove all files associated with your graphics card, we wrote a small tutorial on how to use Display Driver Uninstaller, so be sure to check it out.

After removing the driver, Windows will install the default driver once you restart your PC. Now check if the issue reappears with the default driver. Keep in mind that Windows 10 can sometimes update your driver automatically in the background causing the error to reappear. However, you can easily prevent Windows from automatically updating certain drivers.

Solution 6 – Check if your cables are properly connected

Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap BSOD

In few cases users reported that UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP error was caused by their hardware. According to them, their connectors weren’t firmly in place, but after properly connecting loose cables, the issue was resolved.

In addition to cables, be sure to check if your RAM is firmly locked in its slot. Few users reported that RAM can be the problem so double check it to see if it’s properly seated.

Solution 7 – Check your RAM

Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap overclock

Faulty RAM is a common cause for Blue Screen errors such as UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP. However, you can test your RAM to determine if it’s faulty. The simplest way to do that is to remove all but one modules from your PC and check if the issue reappears. Now you need to repeat this until you test all modules.

However, if you want to perform a detailed scan, you’ll need to use a tool such as Memtest86+ to test your RAM. Keep in mind that you need to test each module individually. To perform a detailed scan, you need to keep the test running for hour or so for each module.

Solution 8 – Reset Windows 10

If the problem still appears, you might have to reset your PC. This process will delete all files from your system drive, so be sure to back them up. In addition, you might need a Windows 10 installation media to complete this process, so create it with Media Creation Tool.

To perform the reset, you need to do the following:

  1. Start Advanced Startup. We briefly mentioned how to do that in Solution 1, so check it for detailed instructions.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything.
  3. You might be asked to insert your installation media to proceed to the next step, so be sure to have it ready.
  4. Choose your version of Windows and select Only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files.
  5. Now you’ll see the list of changes that reset will perform. Once you’re ready to start, click on Reset.
  6. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the reset.

After finishing the reset, you’ll have a fresh installation of Windows 10 and your problem should be resolved.

If you’re trying to upgrade to Windows 10, you can delete these drivers on your current operating system, and then upgrade to Windows 10 in order to avoid these issues. I hope we cleared the situation for you with this article, if you have any comments, or questions, just reach for the comment section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.



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