A Guide to the “IRQL Not Less Or Equal” Blue Screen of Death Error

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
This error means you’re having a driver or service issue.

This article is part of a continuing series on Blue Screen of Death errors. A Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) is the error screen you see when Windows has a major issue. It halts the PC and displays some very important information.

Depending on the error message you get, the steps you need to take are different.

Error Name:

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL means one of two things: driver issues, or a bad Windows Service caused by a backup utility or antivirus scanner. This is a similar, but different error to the previous one we discussed, KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED, so much of this guide will be familiar.

 

Driver Issues

Sometimes the additional information on your Blue Screen will list the specific driver causing the problem, but this isn’t always the case.

If it does list the driver, you’re going to want to disable it. If it doesn’t list it, read below.

Disabling a specific driver is tricky, but here’s how you do it.

 

Disable the Problem Driver

To track down the specific problem driver, you’ll need to run Driver Verifier, an application included with Windows.

  1. Click Start
  2. Type verifier in the box and press Enter
  3. Select Create Standard Settings, then click Next, then select Automatically Select all Drivers Installed on this Computer
  4. Click Next, then Finish
  5. Reboot your computer, and you will see the list of drivers to be verified during startup. If there is a faulty driver you will get a BSOD with its respective error message
  6. You can then identify the driver listed and uninstall it when you log back into Windows

  7. When you have determined the faulty driver, log back into Windows and you can uninstall the driver via the Device Manager (see below)
  8. Next, you will want to disable the Driver Verification so it doesn’t always check on startup.

  9. Click Start and type verifier /reset

To disable a driver once you’ve identified it:

  1. Restart your PC in Safe Mode in order to avoid any further Blue Screens of Death while you’re trying to take care of the problem
  2. Click Start
  3. Click Control Panel
  4. Click Device Manager
  5. Click the arrow next to individual devices, right click on the device, and click Properties
  6. click Details to see the driver name. If you see any devices with a yellow exclamation mark, you’re on the right track, but this will not necessarily be the case
  7. Additionally, try doing a CTRL + F on the Windows desktop for the driver name to see what folder it’s in; this will provide a clue as to what device the driver belongs to
  8. Once you find the offending driver, click Uninstall from that same Properties screen
  9. Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver itself from information it provides from the Internet. This is called Plug and Play. Allow it to do so
  10. Run Driver Reviver to update the new driver to the most recent version

 

Run Driver Reviver

Alternatively, run Driver Reviver first, and see if updating your drivers to the latest version takes care of the problem.

 

Faulty Windows Service

Sometimes, this error will occur when a backup utility or antivirus scanner makes changes to Windows that it doesn’t like. If you’ve installed and run such an app lately, you’re going to want to reboot in Safe Mode and uninstall it. If that doesn’t work, restore to a Restore Point that’s just before you installed said app, and use a different app instead. We’ve got recommendations for reputable backup utilities as well as antivirus scanners.

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
Running Windows Restore will remove all traces of the application.

 

More Information from Microsoft

Here’s a page on Microsoft’s website about this specific BSoD error. It’s pretty technical, but worth checking out if the above solutions don’t work.

Good luck!

Steve Horton

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  • Hi,
    Please, If O.S not start, how do you do to uninstall the driver?

  • reviversoft

    Hi Renato,

    Try booting in Safe Mode before you uninstall it:

    http://www.reviversoft.com/blog/2012/06/boot-in-safe-mode/

    Good luck!

  • M. G.

    Como resolver esse problema no Windows 8?

  • ReviverSoft

    M.G.,

    Esses métodos devem funcionar da mesma no Windows 8, você vai precisar procurar o Verificador de driver ou o painel de controle ao invés de usar o Menu Iniciar. Boa sorte!

  • What AntiVirus software are you using? I would recommend trying a different one and see if that fixes the problem. I would recommend Avira or Norton.

  • Olivér Juhász

    Currently I have Avast, although I changed antivirus for like 2-3 times, and it didn’t influence the occurance of the BSODs.

  • OK then it is likely not that. Are you using an Online Backup program?

  • Olivér Juhász

    I’m using a few cloud-based backup programs, like Dropbox or Google drive. Although I didn’t use any 3 years ago, and still got this problem.

  • Can you try disabling these for a week and see if the Blue Screens stop? It is worth a try I think even though when you were getting them 3 years ago you weren’t using backup.

  • Davide De Vellis

    Hi Polinykes,

    What do you mean that your operating system is not found? Are you able to boot your computer? If not have you tried to boot in safe mode?

  • Adrian

    After this my pc does restart alway in blue screen and then restart again, now I can only go in safe mode. How do I changer this?

  • Once you are in safe mode you should try conducting a system restore to go back to the last stable time when your computer was working without getting a blue screen.

    The other option is to try updating your drivers once you are in safe mode. To do this you will need to enter safe mode with networking enabled.

  • sheimani alessandrini

    i couldnt find individual devices from device manager?? maybe it has different name on windows 8?

  • Iwan Kurnia

    hallo, i have a problem about this, i try to make a new installation of O.S win 7, but when I try it, the blue screen show on, and the installation unfinished yet. I just have formatted hard drive in C for OS. please give me some “key” to solve my laptop problem, thanks a lot

  • Hi Iwan, it sounds like you might have a problem with your hard drive. Have you got any other hard drives you can try installing into your computer?

  • Iwan Kurnia

    Nope, OK, let me try it with other hard drive, I’ll report it soon. thanks Mark

  • OK thanks Iwan

  • Edward Elric

    Allora, io stavo installando Windows 8, (a parte l’enorme quantità di ore che ci ha messo) ad un certo punto del riavvio continua a comparirmi una schermata azzurra con questo errore e il computer rimane in uno stato perenne di loop. Cosa posso fare? (dato che non posso accedere a nulla dalle schermate)

  • Christian

    I just installed a new cpu. I did what you asked and found that the driver is fneturpx.sys this is a part of my motherboard processes should i still disable it?

  • Michael Mavroidis Bennett

    Using Safe Mode with Networking I was able to read this article on line, and set verifier following the directions in the article. Then I tried a normal boot. I did not see the drivers scrolling down the screen, just a black screen. Then I got a different BSOD saying that a bad driver attempted to corrupt the system so startup was aborted. I was able to read about halfway down the page and then the computer shut down and started a new attempt to boot up. Is there a way to get my computer to show the boot up process step by step so I can see where the error is. Also, is there a way to freeze the BSOD on the page so I can read the entire message before it disappears?

  • Andrew

    Take a picture of it. That’s what I had to do

  • azerty890

    et connard c est bien jolie de faire ca mais comment on fait pour installer un logiciel alors que je ne peux pas atteindre la plate forme windows

  • Dhelio

    Hi! I’ve tried entering Safe Mode, but the pc will just be stuck on the booting screen (after loading the drivers). Any advice?

  • Juliana Paola

    olá olha nao consegui fazer isto émuita informação, esta tela azul ja apareceu mais de uma vez na verdade 3x ou mais tem alguma forma melhor de resolver este problema? aguardo

  • Juliana Paola

    olá olha nao consegui fazer isto émuita informação, esta tela azul ja apareceu mais de uma vez na verdade 3x ou mais tem alguma forma melhor de resolver este problema? aguardo anciosa tenho o windows 8.1

  • Mauro Marcilio

    como posso fazer isso no win xp ?

  • nallathambi

    IRQL means?

  • announymous mous

    vasy j ai pas compris

  • announymous mous

    anounymous @kee

  • vivek jadohn

    I also had the same problem and event log was showing some failure in update of windows 8.1. I found this is due to mcafee antivirus which was not allowing OS to update, so i uninstalled the mcafee and take update. After update problem get resolved. One more observsation i found here that even disabling of mcafee not work, we need to uninstall it.

  • rikkuartz

    Interrupt Request Level (IRQL)

    An Interrupt Request Level (IRQL) is the priority given to any interrupt request generated by computer hardware. If for instance, a hard disk drive generates an interrupt request signal, and another device, such as a USB printer, generates an interrupt request signal, the two interrupts can not be serviced simultaneously. The IRQL is used to determine which one is serviced first. In this example, a hard disk interrupt requires a higher priority than a printer interrupt.

  • Billie Armstrong

    como aplico esos metodos para windows 10 ?

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