Windows 10 BSOD caused by ntoskrnl.exe [QUICK GUIDE]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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fix ntoskrnl.exe bsod

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

ntoskrnl.exe windows 8 bsod
Blue Screen of Death or BSOD are they are often called, are never pleasant, and they have been especially frequent in Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

One of the most annoying BSODs of them all is the one caused by ntoskrnl.exe. We go through the complaints and try to offer you some working fixes to put an end to your Windows 10 crashing.

I have been getting a lot of the dreaded BSODs lately.  Early on I thought it to be nvidia drivers. Updating those fixed all but one BSOD i get. Now i keep getting the same BSOD, and it’s caused by ntoskrnl.exe and problems reading memory. I have been searching all around for help, and using memtest86 without any result. Do anyone have an idea what may be causing this? I couldn’t find the RAM I’m using in the compatibility chart for the motherboard. So that is what I’m thinking may cause the problem. Any help is greatly appreciated.

The good thing is that someone was swift enough to provide his help.

Apparently, this is a 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 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in this situation, it was discovered that the Realtek HiDefinition Audio driver, labeled as Creative Audio Driver, was out of date.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, follow the link from below to download the latest Realtek drivers.

Download High Definition Audio Realtek Codecs

We also strongly recommend TweakBit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.

Why do we recommend it? This tool will keep your system safe as you can manually download and install the wrong driver version. It’s a great tool which scans for updates as antivirus scans for threats.

Did you know that the majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers? Be a step ahead using this guide.

2. Update your computer

Make sure that you’re running the latest Windows updates on your computer. Keep in mind that running outdated OS versions may trigger a bevy of issues on your device, including BSOD errors caused by ntoskrnl.exe.

To access the Windows Update section, you can simply type “update” in the search box. This method works on all Windows versions. Then go to Windows Update, check for updates and install the available updates.

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? Check out this guide that will help you solve them in no time.

3. Disable overclocking settings

If you installed an overclocking software on your computer, this may explain why you’re getting 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 overclocking software.

4. Turn off BlueStacks/ another Android emulator

Some Windows 10 users reported that the ntoskrnl.exe BSOD errors occurs mainly when they enabled BlueStacks and other Android emulators. So, if you installed emulators on your computer, disable or completely uninstall them.

Here’s how you can quickly stop all BlueStacks services using a bat file:

  1. Open Notepad.
  2. When Notepad starts, enter the following lines:
    • “C:Program Files (x86)BlueStacksHD-Quit.exe”
    • net stop BstHdUpdaterSvc
    • net stop BstHdLogRotatorSvc
    • net stop BstHdAndroidSvc
  3. Now click on File > Save as.
  4. Set Save as type to All Files. Enter script.bat as the file name and click on Save.
  5. Now, locate the script.bat file and double click it to run it.

If you want to completely remove program from your PC, you can do it with the help of these amazing uninstallers.

5. Clean your registry

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. Here’s how to run an SFC scan:

1. Go to Start > type cmd > right-click Command Prompt > select Run as Administrator

2. Now 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.

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

scannow command has stopped before the process finished? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy fix for you.

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 > right-click the drive that you want to check  > select Properties > 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

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

  1. Go to Start > type ‘memory’ > double-click on Windows Memory Diagnostic
  2. Select the first option to restart your computer and check memory

fix bad memory windows pc

8. Remove faulty sticks of RAM

Some Windows 7 and 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 came 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.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2013 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.