A Guide to the “Driver Unloaded Without Cancelling Pending Operations” Blue Screen of Death Error

Error Name: DRIVER_UNLOADED_WITHOUT_CANCELLING_PENDING_OPERATIONS

STOP Code: 0x000000CE

You’ve got an unusual Blue Screen of Death, and the name is quite a mouthful: “Driver Unloaded Without Cancelling Pending Operations.” This means that there are operations running on your PC when a driver stops working, causing a major conflict, and thus, a blue screen of death.

What does DRIVER_UNLOADED_WITHOUT_CANCELLING_PENDING_OPERATIONS mean in Windows 8.1?
The error in Windows prior to Windows 8.

What does DRIVER_UNLOADED_WITHOUT_CANCELLING_PENDING_OPERATIONS mean in Windows 8.1?
The error in Windows 8.1.

This error seems to appear a lot when running an operating system inside a virtual environment, such as VirtualBox, OracleVM, or when running Windows in a non-standard environment, such as through Bootcamp, which relies on BIOS emulation. If you’re running a virtual OS inside another version of Windows, or you’re dual-booting Windows 8.1 on your Mac, there’s a chance you’ll run into this Blue Screen.

This Blue Screen also seems to happen mostly on Intel-based systems (like all modern Macs and about half of all PCs) rather than AMD-based systems.

Fixing This Error

There are several solutions to the DRIVER_UNLOADED_WITHOUT_CANCELLING_PENDING_OPERATIONS issue, depending on the environment in which it occurs.

Update your Drivers

Be sure all your drivers are updated, especially important system drivers and video drivers. If Windows Update doesn’t find anything and you’re still getting the issue, try our own Driver Reviver for a more thorough update.

Delete or Disable the Offending Driver

  • Go into the virtual environment that’s having the issue. Boot into Safe Mode + Networking by pressing F8 at startup.
  • Go into the Command Prompt from the Start Menu.
  • Delete all instances of the driver causing the issue. Usually, it’s intelppm.sys. Find copies in C:\windows\ and C:\windows\system32.
  • Also, delete the temporary files associated with this device by typing CD %Systemroot%\Inf\ and DEL OEM*.inf
  • OR disable the driver by opening a Command Prompt in the Start Menu and typing sc config intelppm start= disabled.
  • If using VirtualBox, reinstall Guest Additions.
  • Restart.

Update Virtual Software or BootCamp

Be sure your virtual software (such as VirtualBox) or BootCamp is updated to the latest version. This has the effect of removing a lot of crash bugs such as this one.

If the problem persists, you may need to try another approach to getting your favorite OS on your machine. Good luck!

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