One of the most common mistakes on computers and laptops with Windows 10 is a blue screen with the message .
“Your PC has a problem and needs to be restarted” with a stop code (error) CRITICAL PROCESS DIED – after an error, the computer usually restarts and depending on the specific circumstances.
Either the appearance of the same window with an error or the usual operation of the system again before the error occurs again.
This guide describes in detail what can be the cause of the problem and how to fix the CRITICAL PROCESS DIED error in Windows 10 (the error may also appear as CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED on a blue screen in Windows 10 versions up to 1703).
Causes of error
In most cases, CRITICAL PROCESS DIED errors are caused by device drivers, in cases where Windows 10 uses drivers from Update Center and requires original manufacturer’s drivers.
As well as other incorrectly working drivers.
There are other options – for example, the CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED blue screen can be encountered after running programs to clean unnecessary files and the Windows registry.
If there are malicious programs on the computer and if the OS system files are damaged.
How To Fix CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED Error
In case you receive an error message immediately when you turn on the computer or when you enter Windows 10, first go to safe mode.
This can be done in various ways, including when the system does not boot. Also, using clean boot Windows 10 can temporarily help get rid of the CRITICAL PROCESS DIED error and take steps to fix it completely.
Fixes if you can enter Windows 10 in normal or safe mode
First of all, we will look at ways that can help in situations where logging into Windows is possible.
I recommend starting with viewing saved memory dumps that are automatically created by the system during critical failures (unfortunately, not always, sometimes automatic creation of memory dumps is disabled.
For analysis, it is convenient to use the free BlueScreenView program, available for download on the developer’s page http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html
In a very simplified version for novice users, the analysis may be as follows:
- Launch BlueScreenView
- Please browse through the .sys files (they are usually needed, although hal.dll and ntoskrnl.exe may be in the list), which appear at the top of the table in the bottom panel of the program with a non-empty second Address In Stack column.
- Using Internet search, find out what the .sys file is and what kind of driver it represents.
Note: You can also try to use the free program WhoCrashed, which can tell the exact name of the driver that caused the error.
If steps 1-3 were successful, then all that remains is to solve the problem with the identified driver, which is usually one of the following options:
- Download the driver file from the official website of the manufacturer of the laptop or motherboard (for PC) and install it.
- Roll back the driver if it has recently been updated (in the device manager, right-click on the device – “Properties” – “Driver” tab – “Roll back” button).
- Disable a device in Device Manager, if it is not critical to work.
Additional remediation methods that may help in this scenario:
- Manual installation of all official drivers (important: some users mistakenly believe that if the device manager reports that the driver does not need to be updated and the device works fine, then everything is fine. This is often not the case. We take the official drivers from your hardware manufacturer: for example, Realtek audio drivers are not downloaded from Realtek, but from the website of the motherboard manufacturer for your model or from the website of the laptop manufacturer (if you have a laptop).
- The use of recovery points, if they are available and if the error has not recently made itself felt. See Windows 10 recovery points.
- Scan your computer for malware (even if you have a good antivirus), for example, using AdwCleaner or other malware removal tools.
- Check the integrity of Windows 10 system files.
How to fix CRITICAL PROCESS DIED error if Windows 10 does not start
A more complicated option is when the blue screen with an error appears even before entering Windows 10 without the ability to launch special boot options and safe mode (if there is such an opportunity, you can use the previous solution methods in safe mode).
Note: If after several unsuccessful downloads you have a recovery environment menu, then you do not need to create a bootable USB flash drive or disk, as described below.
You can use recovery tools from this menu, including resetting the system in the “Advanced Settings” section.
Here you will need to create a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10 (or recovery disk) on another computer (the system width on the drive must match the bit width of the installed system on the problem computer) and boot from it, for example, using the Boot Menu. Further, the procedure will be as follows (an example for booting from the installation flash drive):
- On the first screen of the installer, click “Next,” and on the second, bottom left – “System Restore.”
- In the “Select Action” menu that appears, go to “Troubleshooting” (may be called “Advanced Settings”).
- If available, try using system restore points (the “System Restore” item).
- If they are not available, try opening the command line and checking the integrity of system files using sfc / scannow (how to do this from the recovery environment,
Additional solutions to Critical Process Died
If by the present moment no methods help to correct the error, among the remaining options:
- Reset Windows 10 (you can save the data). If the error appears after logging in, the reset can be performed by clicking on the power button shown on the lock screen, then holding Shift – Restart. The recovery environment menu opens, select “Troubleshooting” – “Return the computer to its original state.”
- If the problem occurs after using programs to clean the registry or similar, try to restore the Windows 10 registry.
In the absence of a solution, I can only recommend trying to remember what preceded the occurrence of an error.
Identify patterns and try to cancel somehow the actions that led to the problem, and if this is not possible – reinstall the system.