The Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is a sign of a fatal system error – when this happens, your Windows computer should restart. Once a fairly regular occurrence, BSODs are now quite rare thanks to more stable Windows releases, better drivers, and better system handling when errors occur.
However, this does not mean that they are a complete relic of the past. BSOD errors such as the “critical process died” stop code BSOD error still appear from time to time. These errors usually have very specific causes, so ignore the complicated names – we have some tips on how to fix this BSOD error if it appears on your computer.
What causes the “death of the critical process” blue death?
There are several Windows errors that seem more catastrophic than the “critical process” BSOD. As the name suggests, this is usually a sign that a critical system process (software that runs to keep your system running) has crashed somehow.
Another indication that a critical process has died, a BSOD error has occurred, is the detection of error code 0x000000EF. This BSOD error occurs more frequently than most others, but it can be difficult to determine the cause. Unfortunately, this could have happened for various reasons.
Driver problems, corrupted system files, poor system update – you name it because they all can affect the performance of your Windows system and cause such a BSOD error. Only one corrupted file may be required to crash a system process.
This makes fixing the problem quite difficult, but not impossible. In many cases, the most obvious causes of the “Critical BSOD Process Died” error can be resolved using the built-in troubleshooters included with Windows 10. Here are a few steps you can take to try and fix the problem with these tools. – /
Run the Windows Troubleshooter
Windows 10 comes with a built-in troubleshooter to help you diagnose problems with your computer. The Windows Troubleshooter, as the tool is called, can help scan your computer for any obvious problems with common services and components. If it finds any problems, it will try to fix them automatically.
- To use the Windows troubleshooter, right-click the Windows Start menu and select the Settings option. In Windows settings, click on Update & Security> Troubleshoot.
- A list of recommended fixes for troubleshooting will automatically be listed in the Recommended troubleshooting section. Various troubleshooting tests are listed in the Getting Started and Other Troubleshooting sections. Click any of these options to run the troubleshooter.
- You can also run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to check for hardware problems. Windows has hidden this from view for most Windows 10 users, but you can launch it directly by pressing Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog, typing msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic and then clicking OK to launch the tool.
- In the Diagnostic Troubleshooter window that appears, click Next to start scanning your computer for hardware problems. If Windows finds any problems, it will list them for you – you will need to confirm that you want Windows to fix them automatically if the tool detects any problems.
Check for system and driver updates
Updating your Windows PC is an important part of regular Windows system maintenance. Windows Updates contain bug fixes and updates that can help resolve issues such as the critical process died BSOD error in Windows 10.
This does not mean that you are guaranteed to fix your computer when this error occurs, but if the error was caused by an error in Windows itself (or in a hardware driver), do a quick check to update Windows and any installed drivers. can solve this problem. You can check for Windows 10 and driver updates in Windows settings.
- Right-click the Start menu and click Settings to start. In the Windows Settings menu, click Update & Security> Download or Download and Install. This will initiate the update process for all available system or driver updates.
However, you may need to check for the latest driver updates from third party manufacturers. This is important for mission-critical hardware such as a graphics card, where regular driver updates are more likely to occur.
Verify the integrity of Windows system files
Damaged system files are the likely cause of a critical process died BSOD error. If Windows is up to date, you can run Quick Integrity Check of Windows System Files from a Windows PowerShell Terminal window (or from an elevated Command Prompt).
- To do this, right-click the Start menu and click Windows PowerShell (Admin). With a PowerShell terminal window open, type sfc / scannow, then press enter to run the command.
- The sfc command will automatically try to fix any potential problems. When finished, check your hard drive for file system problems by running the Check Disk Tool (chkdsk). Type chkdsk / r and press Enter, then press Y to confirm the scheduled scan on your PC.
You need to restart your computer for chkdsk to start – do it now, then wait for chkdsk to scan and fix any problems on your computer after restarting.
Disable startup processes and run clean programs
You may want to disable some or all of your system’s startup processes in order to try to troubleshoot the problems that (if any) are causing this BSOD error. Windows Clean Boot (as this process is called) uses a minimal amount of system drivers and services to start your PC.
- To do this, press Windows + R and type msconfig in the Run Dialog Box – click OK to execute the command.
- In the System Configuration window, select Diagnostic Start from the General tab. This will automatically disable all unnecessary drivers and processes. Click OK to confirm, then restart your computer.
- After restarting your computer, open Run (Windows + R) and type services.msc. For each disabled service, right-click and click Start to start it â€” do this until all disabled services have been restarted.
If starting a system process results in an error, you can troubleshoot this service to determine the cause of the problem. Otherwise, the system driver may be the cause – only the basic set of drivers needed to start Windows will be enabled in diagnostic startup mode.
Fix “critical process has stopped” BSOD error
Similar to the Stop Code Memory Management BSOD, the Critical Process Died BSOD can be fixed in almost all cases by following some of the steps and fixes we described above. If it doesn’t, it most likely indicates a hardware problem and not something related to software – you may have to check for bad memory or a damaged hard drive.
If the problem isn’t hardware, but you still get this BSOD error, you may have to erase your data and reinstall Windows to get back to full working condition – just remember to back up your important files first. Let us know your own tips and fixes for similar BSOD errors in the comments below.