11 Untapped Ways to Fix Ntoskrnl.exe BSOD Error

Windows OS is a complicated piece of software. From generating user interfaces to establishing communication with hardware and network devices, hundreds of critical processes like Ntoskrnl.exe work in the background to make the system perform smoothly. 

Ntoskrnl.exe is a critical system process that helps establish a connection between the software and the hardware. Unfortunately, malfunctioning system processes like Ntoskrnl.exe error can cause system issues like crashing, BSOD errors and high CPU usage.

This error can occur due to several reasons.

In this article, we have tested and listed the best working solutions to fix this BSOD and crashing error in Windows computers. Here’s what we have covered in this article?

  • What is the Ntoskrnl.exe process?
  • What causes the Ntoskrnl.exe BSOD and crashing error?
  • How to fix the Ntoskrnl.exe BSOD and crashing problems in Windows?
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Table of contents

Chapter 1

What is Ntoskrnl.exe

What is the Ntoskrnl.exe process?

Windows NT Operating System Kernel or Ntoskrnl.exe is an essential Windows process that consists of cache and memory manager, Kernel, security reference monitor, and few other system services.

Chapter 2

Causes of BSoD Error

What Causes the Ntoskrnl.exe BSoD Error? 

Being a critical Windows process, if for some reason the process starts to end abruptly or fails to load, it will result in bug check BSOD error.

The causes of Windows NT Operating System Kernel BSOD error can vary. Outdated device driver issues, faulty memory or storage devices, incorrect system tweaking, and system file corruption are major causes for this error. RAM issues can also cause high memory usage problems as well.

Chapter 3

Fixes for BSoD Error

How to fix the Ntoskrnl.exe Blue Screen of Death Error?

1. Check for third-party software conflict in Clean Boot 

If this BSOD error occurs when using the computer, check for third-party software conflict.

Security software like antivirus and other peripheral drivers can cause the Windows could not start because the following file is missing or has a corrupt error message.

To resolve the issue, boot your system in Clean Boot mode. In Clean Boot mode, Windows starts with only essential services. This helps determine if the error is triggered due to a third-party app installed on your computer.

1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.

2. Type msconfig.msc and click OK to open System Configuration.

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3. Open the Services tab.

4. Check the box Hide all Microsoft services. This is an important step. 

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5. Next, click the Disable All button. This will disable all the non-essential and third-party services. Keep the System Configuration window open.

6. Right-click on the taskbar and choose Task Manager.

7. Open the Startup tab and disable all the services that are enabled during startup.

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8. In the System Configuration window, click the OK and Apply button to save the changes. Click Restart when prompted by Windows.

Your Windows PC will now restart in Clean Boot mode.

After the restart, leave your PC idle for a few minutes or do the task triggering the Ntoskrnl BSOD error, and check if the issue is resolved.

If the error does not occur in Clean Boot mode, you have third-party software that is triggering the error and crashes.

Open the Control Panel and uninstall third-party software installed recently. If you have a third-party antivirus app installed, disable the software temporarily and then check if the BSOD error persists.

2. Perform a system restore using Restore Points

Windows system, when enabled, automatically creates System Restore Points.

These restore points are useful if something goes wrong with your PC, and you need to revert to the earlier state. If the error started to occur after installing a Windows update, perform a system restore to resolve the error.

1. Press the Windows key, type Restore Point and click on Create a Restore Point option.

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2. Click the System Restore button in the System Properties window.

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3. Click Next, and then choose the most recently created Restore Point. You can view more restore points by checking the Show more restore points box.

4. Click Scan for affected programs button to view which of the programs will be reinstalled and uninstalled if you proceed with the selected restore point.

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5. Click Next, read the description and click Finish to confirm the action.

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Windows will restore your computer to the state it was in before the Restore Point was created. If the restore is successful, check if the BSOD error is resolved.

3. Scan for Malware and Virus Infection 

1. Click on Start and select Settings.

2. Go to Update and Security.

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3. Open the Windows Security tab from the left pane.

4. Click on Virus and Threat Protection. 

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5. Click on Scan Options and then choose Microsoft Defender Offline scan.

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6. Click the Scan Now button. Microsoft defender Offline scanning process takes more time than a quick scan but is an effective way to find and remove malicious software from your computer.

Choosing the option will restart your computer and scan your drives for hidden malware. If detected, use the given options to remove the malware from your computer.

4. Install Pending Windows updates 

1. Click Start and choose Settings.

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2. Go to Update and Security.

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3. In the Windows updates tab, check if you have pending Windows updates available.

4. Proceed to download and install the updates. After the updates are installed, check if the error is resolved.

5. Check Peripherals for Issues 

Older PCs with a keyboard attached to the PC through a serial interface may misinterpret the device as a memory storage device, resulting in boot problems.

A quick way to fix this issue is to disconnect all the connected peripherals and reboot the PC.

Check if the PC boots normally and if the BSoD issue persists. If not, reconnect the peripherals one by one to find the problematic hardware device. 

6. Uninstall Problematic Windows Update 

1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.

2. Type control and click OK to open the Control Panel.

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3. Click on Uninstall a Program under Programs.

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4. From the left pane, click on View Installed Updates.

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5. Locate the problematic update from the list of installed updates.

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6. Click Uninstall. Click Uninstall again to confirm the action.

7. Reset overclock settings 

Tweaking the memory, CPU or GPU can help you extract maximum performance out of these components. However, incorrect tweaking can result in BSOD errors more often than not.

If you are using an Nvidia GPU, use the official tweaking tool to reset the overclock settings to default. Most of the GPU and CPU manufacturers have a proprietary tool to overclock. 

8. Run Memory Test with Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool

If the BSOD error is occurring due to faulty RAM or memory leak, run the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool to check your RAM for hardware failure. Here’s how to do it.

1. Press the Windows key and type Windows memory diagnostic.

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2. Click on Windows Memory Diagnostic option to open the tool.

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3. Choose Restart now and check for problems. Save your work and close any open programs before restarting.

Windows will restart and scan the system memory for hardware issues. This process may take some time to complete, so wait till it is 100% complete.

Once the process is complete, the PC will reboot. You can view the results on the screen after login in.

9. Update Device Drivers 

If you were able to spot the failing device or driver that is causing the error, try updating the drive to fix the problem. Updates to the driver come with bug fixes and other improvements.

1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.

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2. Type devmgmt.msc and click OK to open Device Manager.

3. In Device Manager, expand the section of the hardware component that you think might be causing the BSOD error.

4. Right-click on the device and choose Update Driver.

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5. Choose Search automatically for updated driver software option. Windows will scan and download if a driver update is pending for the selected device. You may want to reboot the computer after installing the update to check for any improvements.

10. Repair Windows System File with SFC/Scannow 

Damaged or corrupt system files can also cause this BSOD error in Windows computers. Use the built-in system file checker tool to scan for system file issues and fix them automatically.

1. Press the Windows key, and type cmd in the search bar.

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2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator. This will open the elevated Command Prompt.

3. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and hit enter to execute:

sfc /scannow 

4. Windows will begin system scan and verify the system files. This process will take time, so wait till the verification is 100% complete.

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5. If any integrity violations are found, apply the recommended fixes. Reboot the computer and check if the BSOD error is resolved.

11. Check and Repair Disk Drive 

If running the System File Checker tool did not reveal any issues, check your disk bad sectors and other issues that may cause Win NT Blue screen during boot.

1. Open the Command Prompt as administrator. Type cmd in the search and then click on Run as administrator from the options.

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2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and hit enter:

 chkdsk /r /r D:

3. In the above command, replace the D: letter with the drive letter that you want to check for errors.

4. Wait for the command to execute and complete data verification.

Conclusion 

The Win NT OS Kernel blue screen error and system crashing issues occur if the .exe process is abruptly closed or it fails to load during boot. 

To resolve the error, check your memory and hard drive for hardware failure using Windows Memory Diagnostic tool and check disk utility.

If not, third-party software like antivirus and other security programs can trigger this error. Installing pending Windows updates and updating device drivers can also help you fix the NT BSOD error.

If you are tech-savvy, you can check for issues using tools like Windbg or take a look at the minidump file to gain more insights into what is causing the BSOD.

Chapter 4

Bonus Questions about Ntoskrl.exe

Frequently Asked Questions about NTOSKRNL

How to kill ntoskrnl.exe?

You can kill the ntoskrnl.exe process from the task manager. However, killing the process will result in system crashes and BSOD errors.

How to fix ntoskrnl.exe Error code 0xc0000221?

To fix the error code 0xc0000221 Windows NT operating system kernel try updating the driver or perform a system restore to resolve the error.

How to get a checksum for ntoskrnl.exe?

To get the checksum for ntoskrnl.exe, use the Command Prompt as administrator and execute the hasfile command.

How to fix ntoskrnl.exe 198430?

To fix the ntoskrnl.exe 198430 BSOD error, check your system memory sticks for hardware failure using Windows Memory Diagnostic tool.

How to fix the blue screen caused by ntoskrnl.exe with advanced setup?

You can boot into Advanced startup options and use the Automatic Repair environment to fix the ntoskrnl.exe BSoD (blue screen) error.

Is Avast causing the ntoskrnl.exe error?

Security software like Avast, Panda antivirus and other third-party antivirus solutions are the known causes of the ntoskrnl.exe error.

What programs use ntoskrnl.exe?

Windows NT OS kernel (ntoskrnl) is responsible for various system services, including hardware virtualization, memory management, and contains the cache manager, the executive, the security reference monitor and more.

How to update ntoskrnl.exe?

Ntoskrnl.exe is a system process and cannot be updated individually. Try installing Windows updates to fix any corruption issues.

How to fix high ram and CPU usage of windows 10 system (ntoskrnl.exe)?

If Windows NT OS kernel is causing high CPU usage, check your RAM sticks and SSD for issues, uninstall third-party apps or run sfc to check for system file issues.

What happens if you delete ntoskrnl.exe?

The Ntoskrnl.exe is an essential Windows service. If deleted, your system will fail to boot.

Can a Windows repair disc fix ntoskrnl.exe?

Windows repair disc allows you to troubleshoot issues such as Ntoskrnl.exe with your system and repair system files.

Is ntoskrnl.exe a virus?

Ntoskrnl(.exe extension) in Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10 is a system process and an essential process for Windows to work normally.

How to update the driver for ntoskrnl.exe?

You can use Driver Verifier to check for issues that may have triggered due to a bad driver on your computer. Update the affected driver to resolve the error.

How to completely reinstall ntoskrnl.exe?

To completely reinstall Windows NT OS kernel, perform a fresh Windows install on your computer.

Does ntoskrnl.exe manage Windows updates?

No, Win NT OS Kernel does not manage Windows updates. However, some other processes managed by the service may affect Windows updates.

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