Oh, the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD) and the many errors that make it happen! One of the most dreaded of those errors is, without a doubt, ntoskrnl.exe and if you would like to fix it, you have come to the right place!
Most Windows users have a similar reaction when they get the blue screen of death. And that would be a reaction of error. It should be shocked too but, unfortunately, these kinds of errors happen so frequently that most seasoned users do not even get shocked when they happen.
Although no one that I know of is ever happy when he or she gets the blue screen of death, there is no always reason to despair.
“Computers are scary. They’re nightmares to fix, lose our stuff, and, on ocassion, they crash, producing the blue screen of death.” – Wesley Morris.
For one thing, the errors that cause this annoying phenomenon are very diverse. And, precisely, understanding what causes every single possible error can make us cause to react in a more calmed manner.
There are always (and I do mean “always”) possible solutions for each and every one of the errors that cause BSOD.
This is, of course, also the case with the ntoskrnl.exe error. In this article, I will show you everything you will need to know about this error including, of course, how to fix it.
In fact, every piece of information in this error tutorial has been geared to help you fix this issue in the most efficient and headache-free way. Here at Error Codes Pro, we believe that the more you know about an error (i.e., what causes it, how to prevent it, etc.) will only help you to fix it.
What Is ntoskrnl.exe?
To put it in simple terms, ntoskrnl.exe is the file that really makes Windows work. If there is any problem with this particular file, your computer will just not work until you fix whatever is causing the problem.
This kind of file is known the kernel of the Windows operating system. Sometimes, you might not even get the dreaded blue screen of death straight away even if there is a problem with this file. But, sooner or later, you will so you will have to investigate what put it at fault and, of course, fix it.
But do not worry about that because that is where we come in. No matter how computer savvy or technically minded you are (or not), after reading this tutorial you should be able to know what to do when confronted with this problem.
What Causes An ntoskrnl.exe Error?
So now that we know that this is the name of the file (and not an error) and have gone into its importance, it is time now to look into what may be causing the error.
Narrowing down the causes for a computer error is always a useful exercise because it can help you fix it quicker, or prevent it from happening (that is if you have not experienced it and are reading this for future reference) or reoccurring eventually.
It can be hard to troubleshoot what is causing it, so you might have to try several different fixes before you stumble upon one that does the trick for you. But, because it might still give you an idea here are the main possible causes:
- Often when memory becomes corrupted, the exe file gets affected.
- Another possible cause for the BSOD in this instance could be that the device drivers have become out of date.
- Also, this error could be due to clocking drivers.
- Finally, your computer may just be experiencing CPU (Central Processing Unit) issues.
So, having said all of that, we are in a position now to explore all the different possible fixes to get right of the BSOD.
If you know or strongly suspect what is causing the error, you can just skim read the rest of the article and go straight to the solution you think it will do the trick for you. But if you just do not know you can choose to try out the different fixes either randomly or following the order in which they are presented here.
Possible Fix Number 1
The first possible fix for this error will work if what is causing the error in your case has to do to over clocking. If that were the case for you, all you would need to do is resetting the over clocking settings.
If you do not know how to do this, here is how:
- Grab your Windows computer.
- Hold down the power button for 10 seconds more or less. Just until your computer shuts down completely (normally, this takes 10 seconds).
- Then turn on the computer and wait until the log screen displays.
- As soon as the logo screen displays, you will need to press on of the following combinations of keys on your keyboard (there are several options, so if a particular combination does not work, you have alternatives): CTRL + ALT + DEL or CTRL + ALT + ESC. Some users can also get there by simply hitting F1, F2, F10, ESC or the Delete key. This action (whichever of these options works for you) will let you enter the BIOS.
- Then, using the arrow key, head over to Exit and, from there, all the way down to Load Setup Defaults. If you cannot find the Load Setup Defaults, just look around until you do and use the arrow keys to get there.
- Once on the Load Setup Defaults, press the Enter key. If you get a notification, just choose the “Yes” option and press Enter again.
- You should then be asked whether you would like Exit Saving Changes. Just select Yes as often as you would need to by pressing the Enter key.
After following these steps your computer should restart itself. If this method does not work for you, then the error must lie elsewhere and you should try a different method.
Possible Fix Number 2
The second method to fix this problem will work if the reason causing the Blue Screen of Death is that your drivers have become out of date.
A good rule of thumb to know whether this may be the underlying cause for the problem could be to ask yourself when was the last time you updated your drivers. If you do not know or cannot even remember this, then it is possible that outdated drivers are the cause.
And even if they are not the cause, you should still update them because outdated drivers can cause all kinds of problems. In fact, you should ensure that your drivers are updated regularly.
Because going through every single driver and updated them can take some time (and work), so people prefer to use software (like Driver Easy or other similar products) that, once installed, will perform a scan that will detect any driver issues on your behalf.
Some people do this out of convenience and to ensure they do not miss out on any potential issues. But remember that if you do decide to go down that route you will need to download and install a third-party piece of software and then launch it and perform the scan. This, of course, may take some time and effort so it is up to you to decide whether this is worth it or whether you would prefer to check the drivers yourself.
Possible Fix Number 3
If you have already tried everything else on this tutorial and nothing has worked, do not worry there is still something that you could attempt.
If nothing else has worked, then it is very likely that the error has something to do with memory so you should perform a memory test that will help you determined the nature of the problem. With this test, you should be able to find out which driver is causing the error to the kernel file.
It is important to notice that if you are in the process of over clocking your computer, you will need to stop that before running the test. Also, if you are working on anything (a Word document, for example), make sure that you save it before you process. Otherwise, you could lose it for good. Once you have ensured that you are safe to go, here is what you will need to do:
- Grab your Windows computer.
- Click on the Start option. Wait for the search bar to display.
- Then type the following into your search bar: “windows memory diagnostic” (no quotation marks).
- Press Enter. You should be then presented with different options.
- Click on the following option: “restart now and check for problems (recommended)”. This action will cause your computer to restart, which is why I mentioned earlier that you need to save anything you had been working on before doing this.
- Then, The Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool should display on your screen.
- Once your computer restarts itself, you will get the results of the test on your screen.
- If they do not, then press the following keys simultaneously: Win + R, type “eventvwr.msc” (no quotation marks) and press enter.
- Then click on “find” and type in “Memory Diagnostic” (no quotation marks).
- Press Enter.
The results of this memory test should then let you know what driver (or drivers) you will need to fix. If there are no results, then there is nothing wrong with your member so the problem lies elsewhere.
So this is how you fix the dreaded ntoskrnl.exe BSOD Blue Screen Error.
If you have any feedback about this article, please leave us a comment 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.