Fixing “IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (ntoskrnl.exe)” BSOD

There are many reasons for this problem, therefore, different solutions for this. We will try to cover all the basics, eliminate each issue separately. Before we start, make sure you have updates and up-to-date drivers for all devices installed. Run the update, apply new patches to your operating system, find the latest drivers for your peripheral components. Also, check for updates and try updating your BIOS. To work around most of the troubleshooting process, use Event Viewer search for information. Search in the window that opens. Next, see where the problem occurred, find a recurring error caused by the same device. 

Start PC in Safe Mode

Windows 8.1, 10 prompts users to turn on their PC through the “Safe Boot” configuration, which is the old safe mode. Using this method, by setting it to the “Minimal” configuration, you will start your PC with the minimum number of functions, drivers and processes. This ensures a clean environment with no third-party applications. Below are the steps to start your Windows 10 computer in Safe Mode:

  • While holding down the toggle key, press the screen power button.
  • Select the restart option by holding down the shift key.
  • Select Troubleshoot> Advanced Options> Startup Options> click Restart.
  • Wait until the os restarts, select Safe Mode.
  • See if there is still a problem.

Check memory and hardware

If step 1 showed that the issue is not software related, try debugging your computer at a hardware level. The irql_not_less_or_equal error usually occurs when something is trying to access a memory location where there is no permission. Then try out the RAM of the device.

Refresh or restore

System Restore is a viable option if the problem appeared after you’ve installed multiple drivers along with third-party software. It is recommended to create a restore point to get it working before installing the software.

Repair the registry to fix corrupted files

File corruption issues cause irql_not_less_or_equal error. This is corrected by restoring the registry. Note: Do not forget to back up the registry first to restore a working version of the system. The fastest way to do this is to use the System File Checker command via the command line:

  • Start menu.
  • “Type” cmd.
  • “Command line”.
  • “Run as administrator”.
  • Enter the SFC / SCANNOW command.

Wait until the scanning process is complete and the computer restarts. All damaged files are replaced on reboot.

Check disk for errors

Speaking of corrupted files, your disk is capable of calling irql_not_less_or_equal. If you have already applied the first solution, checked your RAM, try testing the hard drive. On Windows 10, you can quickly diagnose through the command line:

  • Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
  • Type chkdsk C: / f followed by Enter.
  • Replace C with the letter of your hard drive partition.

In Windows 7, 8.1 go to:

  • Hard drive, right-click on it.
  • “Properties”.
  • “Tool”.
  • Section “Error checking” click “Check”.

Run a full system scan

Malware causes various errors on the pc, such as irql_not_less_or_equal. Perform a full OS scan to detect malware. Use the built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, or one of these third-party antivirus solutions. The way to start a full scan of Windows 10:

  • Choose Start> Defender> double-click Windows Defender.
  • Select the display icon in the left pane.

 In the new window, click the “Advanced” button. 

Perform a clean install of Windows

If all else fails and the problem appears after all alternatives, all that remains is to perform a clean installation of the program. This means that you will need an installation disk or USB-drive, then you will need to clean up the C drive, install a new version of the OS. The easiest, fastest way to use 

Windows Refresh Tool

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