Critical Process Died Windows 10 [Fix]

Critical Process Died error is an error that comes with a Blue Screen of Death aka BSOD. This error can happen at any time but it usually happens after a Windows Upgrade or a Windows Install. However, there are plenty of users who have experienced this error at various other stages like while playing a game or on Windows startup.

According to the Microsoft Forum- “If the processor is unable to process these multiple processes properly, it generates the CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED error”.

As you can imagine, there can be many reasons behind this error. The stage at which this error presents itself gives a lot of clues about the reason behind the error. If the error started appearing after a Windows Upgrade or a Windows Install then the reason might be some corrupted Windows files. On the other hand, if the error happens while playing games or doing a specific task then it might be related to drivers or your hard drive.

Since there can be many reasons behind this issue, there are a wide range of solutions available for this problem. The process of diagnosing and solving this issue is a long one and requires identifying the reason behind the issue. So, go through each method, check which one is related to your symptoms and see if it solves your issue.

Tips

A few quick things that you can do to check if the problem get solved are given below.

RAM: Sometimes, the problem might be caused by a hardware issue especially with the RAM. If you see this error then take out the RAM and make sure it is clean and doesn’t have any dust around it. Also, make sure the slots are clean as well. Put back the RAM and check if it is connected properly.

Hard Drive: Hard can also be the culprit behind this issue. Make sure the hard drive is tightly connected to the board and doesn’t have any lose connections.

BIOS: Make sure your BIOS is updated as it can cause this issue as well.

Antivirus: Sometimes, antiviruses turn off critical components (for security purposes) which can cause this error to appear. So, try to turn off or uninstall the antivirus to see if the issue persists. Note: Antivirus is crucial for your computer’s safety so don’t forget to turn it back on once you are done troubleshooting.

Method 1: Check Drivers

The very first thing that you should do when facing a BSOD with a Critical Process Died error is to check the drivers. Faulty drivers are one of the most common reasons of this error. If you find a faulty driver or a problematic hardware, the problem will most likely be solved.

Note: Since the problem can be because of any driver, we will only show the steps to resolve the issue for one device. You can repeat the steps for other devices/drivers. This method is just to show you how to solve the problem, the steps will be same for other deices and drivers except for your device name.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter

  1. Locate and double click Sound, video and game controller

Check if any of your devices have a yellow warning sign. The yellow warning sign will indicate a problem. If you see a red sign then that means the Windows is having a problem in establishing a connection with that device.
The steps for handling both situations are given below. You should also check other devices/cards in the device manager and repeat the below given steps if you find any yellow or red signs with those devices.

If you see a yellow warning sign then do the following:

  • Right click your device/adapter and select Update Driver Software…

  • Select Search automatically for updated driver software

If that doesn’t find anything then go to your sound card manufacturer’s website and look for the latest driver version. Download the latest driver from the website and keep it somewhere where you can find it easily later on. Once you find the latest drier version then follow the steps given below

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter

  1. Locate and double click Sound, video and game controller
  2. Right click your sound card/device and select Properties

  1. Click the Driver tab

  1. Look at the driver version and check if it is the same as the latest version you downloaded from the manufacturer’s website. If it isn’t then close this sound card/device window (you should be back at the device manager screen)
  2. Locate and double click Sound, video and game controller
  3. Select your sound card/device and right click it. Select Update Driver Software…

  1. Select Browse my computer for driver software

  1. Click on Browse and navigate to the location where you downloaded the latest driver. Select the driver and click Open

  1. Click Next and follow any additional on-screen instructions

If the problem still isn’t solved then you need to uninstall the driver and let the windows install a generic set of sound drivers. This will most likely solve the problem since Windows install the most compatible drivers.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter

  1. Locate and double click Sound, video and game controller

  1. Select your sound card/device and right click it. Select Uninstall and follow any additional on-screen instructions.

  1. Restart your computer

Once your computer is restarted, the Windows should have automatically installed a new generic driver for your device. This should solve the problem.

If you see a red sign with your device then do the following:

Make sure the sound card is connected properly with the computer. Turn off your computer, open your computer’s casing and make sure the device/card is connected correctly. Also, look for any hardware damage. Once checked, close the casing and check the status of the device/card again.

If this doesn’t solve the problem then try another device/card to see if the device/card is faulty.

Method 2: Turn off SpeedBoost (For users who can’t boot into Windows)

If you are one of those users who can’t even get into Windows then this solution is for you. There are several settings in the BIOS that can be used to control how fast your computer boots. Lowering or turning off these fast boot features have solved the issue for a lot of users.

Follow the steps given below to turn off these features

  1. Turn on the computer
  2. Press F2 when your manufacturer’s logo appears. This key varies depending on your manufacturer but you can try F10 and Del as well. Don’t worry about it, the key will be mentioned on one of the corners of the screen when the manufacturer’s logo appears. So, keep an eye on it and press the mentioned key.
  3. Now you should be in your BIOS, if you aren’t then you should be able to see a menu with multiple options. One of these options should be BIOS settings or BIOS menu (or a variation of it). You can use your arrow keys and to navigate through the list and select the BIOS option. Press Enter to go into an option.
  4. Once in the BIOS, look for the options related to SpeedBoost. The name will vary depending on your manufacturer but there should be an option related to speed of the boot. Turn that feature off once you find it. The feature will, most likely, be in the configuration section of the BIOS but it will vary depending on your manufacturer as well.

Once you have turned this option off, save the changes and exit the BIOS. Reboot the system and check if the problem is solved or not.

Method 3: Run SFC & DISM

SFC stands for System File Checker and DISM stands for Deployment Image Servicing and Management. These are basically Windows built-in tools for fixing any Windows related corrupt files. You can use these tools to fix any corrupt files that might be causing the issue. This should be done especially if the problem started after installing the Windows or after performing a Windows Upgrade.

SFC:

To perform an SFC scan, go here and follow this step by step guide. It has all the information you would need to properly use this tool.

Once done, reboot your computer and then perform a DISM scan.

DISM:

To perform a DISM scan, go here and follow the complete guide that we have created.

Reboot your computer once you are done with the DISM and perform another SFC scan. This is to make sure that your corrupt files are fixed.

Method 4: Run SFC & DISM (For Users Who Can’t Get Into Windows)

Running SFC and DISM solves the problem but you won’t be able to follow the steps in method 3 if you can’t even get to the Windows. However, you can perform the SFC and DISM from the Windows 10 Installation USB or DVD.

Windows 10 Installation USB or DVD:

If you have a Windows 10 USB or DVD then you can get into the Advanced Startup Options menu pretty easily.

  1. Boot from the Windows 10 installation media. If your computer doesn’t boot from the installation media then make sure the media is the at the top boot order.
  2. Once the system boots from the installation media, you will be able to see the setup screen
  3. Select your language and click Next

  1. Select Repair your computer

  1. This should get you to the Advanced Startup Options
  2. Click Troubleshoot

  1. Click Advanced Options

  1. Click Command Prompt

  1. You should have a command prompt now. Now you need to locate which drive is your Windows installation drive. Even if you are sure, type BCDEDIT and press Enter. This is just to be on the safe side. This command will show you which drive has your Windows installation.

  1. Look under the device and systemroot in Windows boot loader section. The systemroot should have the Windows mentioned while the device will show you the drive letter. If your Windows is installed in the C drive then there should be a D drive mentioned in the results. You might be worried about how is the drive D when you selected and accessed drive C during your Windows usage. Do not worry about that, the BCDEDIT command gives the correct information. It’s just the way Windows work, even if the drive letter was C, Windows will recognize it as the D drive.

  1. Now that we know which drive has the Windows in it, it’s time to run the SFC.
  2. Type sfc /scannow /offbootdir=: /offwindir=:windows and press Enter. Here, replace with your drive later you found above. In our example, our line should look like this: sfc /SCANNOW /OFFBOOTDIR=D: /OFFWINDIR=D:windows

  1. Now, wait for the SFC to scan and fix the files. Once done, you can close the command prompt and restart the system and check if the problem is solved or not. Note: Go to method 3 to see the details about the SFC results and what they mean.

Once you reboot, you will be able to get into the Windows, if the SFC fixed the corrupted files. Now, you should go to method 3 and run the DISM tool just to make sure everything is fixed. It is advised to run SFC after running DISM as well. So, if you have the time and patience then run SFC after you are finished with the DISM.

Method 5: System Restore

Note: System Restore will undo everything that you did after the date you are restoring your system to. So, data loss might occur.

Note: You will not be able to perform a system restore if you have created a restore point.

If the problem started recently and you think that it is caused by a program that you might have installed in the last few days or weeks then a System Restore is a good option. If the problem was caused by a program or a virus then system restore to an earlier point should be able to solve the issue for you.

Go here and follow this step by step guide to perform a system restore. Once you are done, check if the error is gone or is still there. If it is, move to the next method.

Method 6: System Restore (For Users Who Can’t Get Into Windows)

Note: System Restore will undo everything that you did after the date you are restoring your system to. So, data loss might occur.

Note: You will not be able to perform a system restore if you have created a restore point.

If you can’t access the Windows then you won’t be able to perform the system restore mentioned in the method 5. However, you have some other ways to access and perform the system restore like Advanced Startup Options or via a Hard Reboot. These options will let you perform the system restore.

Advanced Startup Options

You can access the system restore point from the Advanced Startup Options. Follow the steps below to access this screen and use the System Restore.

From Login Screen:

If you can get to the login screen then perform the steps given below.

  1. Turn on your computer
  2. Once on the login screen, click the Power button on the bottom right corner
  3. Hold SHIFT key and click the Restart option
  4. The Advanced Startup Option should open once your computer restarts
  5. Click Troubleshoot

  1. Click Advanced Options

  1. Click System Restore

  1. Now, select the restore point that you want to go back to and follow the on-screen instructions.

Once the restore is complete, your system should be fine and free of any errors if the problem was caused by a recent change.

Hard Reboot:

If you can’t even get to the login screen or if you can get to the login screen for only a short period of time then this option is better suited for you. Follow the steps given below to perform a Hard Reboot and get into the Advanced Startup Options

  1. Press and Hold the power button of your computer until your pc turns off.
  2. Press the power button once to turn on the pc
  3. Perform the steps 1 and 2 repeatedly until you see the Windows logo or the Please Wait message. The steps 1 and 2 should be repeated multiple times (usually it works on the third or fourth repetition)
  4. Once the computer is hard rebooted, you will see a screen with the recovery message. Select See Advanced repair options when you see the Recovery screen
  5. The Advanced Startup Option should open
  6. Click Troubleshoot

  1. Click Advanced Options

  1. Click System Restore

  1. Now, select the restore point that you want to go back to and follow the on-screen instructions.

Once done, you should be good to go and, hopefully, your problems should be solved.

Method 7: Revert Changes

This will only work for users who experienced the problem after a Windows update. If you recently installed updates on your system then those might be the reason behind this issue. Lucky for you, you can go back to an earlier build, probably the last one that worked fine, and solve the issue. You usually have an option to revert back to an earlier build but that option is available only for 10 days once you update the Windows. You can then wait for a more stable build and update once a new and stable update is launched by the Microsoft.

Note: This won’t work if it’s been more than 10 days since you updated the Windows to a newer build.

  1. Press Windows key once
  2. Select Settings

  1. Select Update & Security

  1. Select Recovery (from the left side)
  2. Click Get Started in the Go back to an earlier build section

Follow any additional on-screen instructions and you should be good to go. Once done, you will be on an earlier build and you won’t be seeing this error again.

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