Sooner or later everyone who uses a Windows computer (no matter what model) gets the so-called blue screen of death. If you have a Windows 10 you might have gotten the following error: IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL.
In this article will explain everything that you will need to know about this error including, of course, how to fix it in the easiest and most effective way.
What is the blue screen of death?
When you get an error the computer screen goes blue and displays a message along the following lines: “your PC ran into a problem that he couldn’t handle, and now he needs to restart“.
Unfortunately, this happens often enough that users referred to this as the blue screen of death or BSOD. The nature of the problem behind the blue screen of death could be so varied that there is no single solution to it.
That is why it is important to pay attention to that kind of error you are getting. Each error would have a number of possible solutions to it. When you actually know what is causing this so-called blue screen of death to happen, you are a lot closer to being able to fix it.
Most often than not (And this really is good news), the way to fix whatever error is causing the blue screen of death is actually very simple.
Are There Any Possible Solutions?
We set it in the introduction, there are a few different solutions to this error. It is now time to begin looking at each one of them. We suggest that you try them one by one until you find one that actually works for you. It is possible that all of them would work or that you are lucky enough to stumble upon the one that really works really early on.
Some of the fixes are really simple and others are a little bit more complex. So we think it is a good idea to always start with the simple fixes. After all, what is the point of trying something complicated if the quick fix would suffice?
It is of course up to you what to do and we may just decide to read this whole tutorial and then pick out what solution you think would work best for you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but depending on your level of computer expertise we would suggest you start with a simple fix this first.
“We expect the launches of Skylake, Microsoft’s Windows 10 and new OEM systems will bring excitement to client computing in the second half of 2015”. – Brian Krzanich
Reasons For This Error
We think also that it is always a good idea to be aware of what could be causing the error before making any attempt at fixing it. So in this section, we will look at the most common reasons behind this Windows 10 error before we move on to all the different possible solutions to it.
One of the most common reasons for this error (and, for that matter, for the overwhelming majority of errors that affect Windows computers) is that you are using a driver that is either incompatible with the computer you have, or we could also be the case that even though the driver or drivers you have are compatible but have been installed incorrectly.
Although, as we have said, that is a really common cause of this and other errors it is not the only possible one. Sometimes you will notice that you get this error after upgrading your operating system, so it is not really the case that you have done something wrong then.
Also to blame it could be that you are using hardware that has become faulty. What piece of hardware would depend on the kind of error but in this case and he would most often than not be RAM (Random Access Memory).
This is because this error is all to do with your memory location. Without getting too technical you normally get this blue screen of death when a driver (or, sometimes a kernel process) is attempting to unsuccessfully get to a memory location. The reason why any attempt to access this would be unsuccessful is that the driver does not have the authority to do so. However, it is hard to determine why the access is denied from the outset.
Fix Number One
Now that we have discussed the possible reasons behind this error it is time to begin to explore the possible fixes to it. As we said earlier, we will begin with fairly simple solutions before moving on to more complex ones.
The first thing you will need to know whenever you encounter this error will be to check Windows for any updates and also very fine that the drivers you have installed are also up-to-date. We could not emphasize enough how important it is to install updates. We know he can be a nuisance having to do this regularly but, honestly, it will save you a lot of time and problems in the future if you get into the habit of doing this often.
So in order to make sure that everything is up-to-date you will need to run what is known as a system update on your Windows 10 computer.
The system update will take some time so you will need to be patient. Obviously, if you run this update fairly regularly then it should not take that long. If you use any third-party components then you will have to head over to the different websites by the different manufacturers in order to download their app most up-to-date versions, as it could be one of those components that is causing the problem.
Fix Number Two
If you have either updated everything or make sure that everything was up-to-date with your Windows 10 computer and the problem should persist then you should try the following simple steps:
- Grab your Windows 10 computer.
- Start your computer but make sure that you do so in safe mode or safe boot (both are exactly the same thing but the terminology varies depending on your computer). Action will effectively start a new computer but only with essential features involved in some of the processes and drivers but not all of them. This will then exclude anything that is their party or nonessential for the computer to function.
If you do this on your computer does not get the error you will know for sure that said error is being caused by a third-party driver or application. If this is the case we will just have to try to narrow it down to which third-party driver could be causing it. You could also just go ahead and update everything that is third-party or, indeed, delete the ones that you do not actually need.
If, however, the error continues (i.e., your Windows 10 computer crashes again), you will be certain that the problem does not lie with their party drivers although you will obviously not have fixed the problem.
Fix Number Three
Now that you have been able to at least narrow down the problem, you are actually in a good position and quite close to being able to fix it.
A good way to proceed would be to try to deal with your hardware now if nothing else worked yet. So, you could make an attempt to debug your Windows 10 computer.
Because, as we said earlier, very often this specific error is caused when there is an unsuccessful attempt at reaching a memory location, it would make sense to debug the RAM (Rapid access memory) of your computer. If you do not know how to go about doing that, just follow these simple steps:
- Grab your Windows 10 computer.
- Start your computer as you would normally do.
- Launch search.
- Type in the following message: memory diagnostic. Best action will direct you to the windows memory diagnostic, which is the utility you will need to use now.
- Wait for this to fully open. You will be presented with two different options. Select the one to do a memory scan.
This is really all you will need to know how to determine if this is indeed what is causing the error. If that is the case, you will have to go ahead and replace the rapid access memory on your computer.
If nothing else has worked then all that it is left for you to do would be to check everything or piece of hardware in order to see which one is responsible for the error. Because this can take a lot of time we strongly suggest you leave it until the end once you have tried everything else on this tutorial.
We have offered you some very different possible solutions so we hope to have helped you fix the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error for Windows 10. The best way is to try different fixes until you hit the one that works for you. If you have any feedback on this tutorial or would like to share any further tips on how to go about fixing it, please leave a message in the comment section below.
Ryan is a computer enthusiast who has a knack for fixing difficult and technical software problems. Whether you’re having issues with Windows, Safari, Chrome or even an HP printer, Ryan helps out by figuring out easy solutions to common error codes.