FIX: ntoskrnl.exe BSoD errors in Windows 10 [Complete Guide]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
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  • This is an IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL bug check problem.
  • This BSoD error is mainly caused by problematic drivers but this guide will help you fix it.
  • BSoD errors can create some painful issues, this why we recommend checking our this dedicated BSoD Hub to find a solution.
  • Go to our Tech Troubleshooting section to find fixes fo any other PC or software issues.
BSOD error message

Windows 10 is filled with Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) reports and now it’s time to provide a fix for the one caused by the ntoskrnl.exe program.

Apparently, this is an IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL bug check problem which indicates that Microsoft Windows or a kernel-mode driver accessed paged memory at DISPATCH_LEVEL or above.

The explanation goes on like this:

This bug check is issued if paged memory (or invalid memory) is accessed when the IRQL is too high. The error that generates this bug check usually occurs after the installation of a faulty device driver, system service, or BIOS.

How can I fix Windows 10 ntoskrnl.exe BSOD errors?

  1. Update your Realtek audio driver
  2. Update your computer
  3. Disable the overclocking settings
  4. Turn off BlueStacks/ another Android emulator
  5. Clean your registry
  6. Check your disk for errors
  7. Fix bad memory issues
  8. Remove faulty sticks of RAM

1. Update your Realtek audio driver

So, in this situation, it was discovered that the Realtek HiDefinition Audio driver, labeled as Creative Audio Driver, was out of date.

If you have been experiencing a similar BSOD problem in Windows 10, you need to download the latest Realtek drivers.

We also strongly recommend DriverFix to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.

This tool will keep your system safe as you can manually download and install the wrong driver version. It’s a great tool that scans for updates as antivirus scans for threats.

It’s also extremely easy to use but first, you need to download and install DriverFix. After the installation, it will automatically start and run a complete scan to find any possible driver issues.

The report will come in just a few seconds and it will feature a list with the recommended drivers to install.

DriverFix automatically update driversThe last step is to click the Update All button from the top of the list. You can also install the drivers individually by clicking on their corresponding checkboxes and hitting their Update button from the right.

DriverFix

DriverFix

With DriverFix, you can update all your drivers in just a few seconds and clicks getting rid of any BSOD error.
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2. Update your computer

  1. Type update in the search box and click on Check for updates
  2. Go to Windows Update, check for updates, and install them.

Note: If your Windows search box is missing, get it back in a couple of easy steps from this useful guide.


Having trouble updating your Windows? This guide will help you solve the issue in no time


3. Disable the overclocking settings

Hyper transport sync floodIf you installed an overclocking software on your computer, this may explain why you’re getting the ntoskrnl.exe BSOD errors.

These game boosting tools put a strain on your hardware, forcing them to run beyond the recommended frequency.

As a result, this may cause various issues, including Blue Screen of Death crashes. The quickest solution to fix them is to disable the overclocking software.

4. Turn off BlueStacks/ another Android emulator

  1. Open Notepad.
  2. Enter the following lines:
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\BlueStacksHD-Quit.exe
    • net stop BstHdUpdaterSvc
    • net stop BstHdLogRotatorSvc
    • net stop BstHdAndroidSvc
  3. Click on File and then on Save as.
  4. Set Save as type to All Files. Enter script.bat as the file name and click on Save.
  5. Locate the script.bat file and double click it to run it.

Note: Some Windows 10 users reported that the ntoskrnl.exe BSOD errors occur mainly when they enabled BlueStacks and other Android emulators.

So, if you installed emulators on your computer, disable or completely uninstall them.


5. Clean your registry

1. Go to Start, type cmd and click on Run as administrator to run Command Prompt

2. Type the sfc /scannow command

3. Wait for the scanning process to complete and then restart your computer. All corrupted files will be replaced on reboot.

Note: Corrupted or missing registry keys may also cause BSOD errors. Don’t forget to first backup your registry in case anything goes wrong. The simplest way to repair your registry is to use a dedicated tool for Windows.

You can also use Microsoft’s System File Checker to check for system file corruption. The utility verifies the integrity of all protected system files and repairs files with problems when possible.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.


6. Check your disk for errors

On Windows 10, you can run a disk check using Command Prompt.

Start Command Prompt as administrator and type the chkdsk C: /f command followed by Enter. Replace C with the letter of your hard drive partition.

As a quick reminder, if you do not use the /f parameter, chkdsk displays a message that the file needs to be fixed, but it does not fix any errors.

The chkdsk D: /f command detects and repairs logical issues affecting your drive. To repair physical issues, run the /r parameter as well.

On other Windows versions, go to hard drives and right-click the drive that you want to check. Select Properties, then Tool. Under the Error checking section, click Check.


chkdsk is giving you headaches? Check out this quick guide to fix any issues with it


7. Fix bad memory issues

  1. Go to Start and type Memory
  2. Double-click on Windows Memory Diagnostic
  3. Select the first option to restart your computer and check memory

fix bad memory windows pc

Note: Another common cause of ntoskrnl.exe BSOD errors is related to bad memory. Use Windows 10‘s built-in memory diagnostic tool to identify potential memory issues affecting your system.


8. Remove faulty sticks of RAM

Some Windows 10 users reported that the ntoskrnl.exe BSOD errors that they encountered were caused by a faulty stick of RAM.

So, if you recently changed the RAM configuration of your computer, check your RAM sticks to make sure that they’re properly inserted and are working as they should be.

We hope that the solutions listed in this article helped you fix Windows 10 BSOD errors caused by ntoskrnl.exe. If you come across other solutions to fix this issue, let us know in the comments below.

Also, leave there any other suggestions or questions you may have and we’ll be sure to check them out.

FAQ: Want to learn more about ntoskrnl.exe?

  • What causes ntoskrnl.exe BSOD?

Ntoskrnl.exe BSOD may be caused by outdated or corrupted device drivers, overclocking, problematic memory, bad sectors. Here’s an excellent guide that will help you fix it.

  • Is ntoskrnl.exe a virus?

Ntoskrnl.exe file is not a virus. This is an important kernel program file for Windows and belongs to the most basic part of the operating system.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been since completely revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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