A Guide to the SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION Blue Screen of Death Error


Whoops, look like you’ve hit a Blue Screen of Death.

Don’t worry, though. Despite the horribly intimidating nickname, a BSOD doesn’t mean it’s the end for your computer yet.

The SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION error has to do with bad drivers.

A Blue Screen of Death is when your computer reaches an error that it doesn’t know how to react to. Sometimes, restarting your computer will suffice and you’ll never experience the problem again, but other times, you’ll see that the problem repeats to the point where you aren’t able to turn your computer on. In which case, you need to try to get into Safe Mode, or you’ll be unable to perform certain tasks on your computer.

If you’re unable to boot normally without encountering a BSOD, enter Safe Mode from your computer’s boot menu and follow the instructions below.

If you can’t reach Safe Mode at all, then you’re going to have to get help from Microsoft, your manufacturer, or an in-person technician.

There’s different BSODs, some for a very specific problem and others that cover a wide range of them. For the SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION error in particular, however, there’s any number of things that could be causing it to go wrong. The error itself means that while the system was transferring from processing non-privileged code to privileged code, something happened that made it cease to function.

Here’s what the SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION BSoD looks like in Windows 8.

Most BSODs are a result of misconfigured or outdated drivers, and SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION is one of these. Drivers are what allows any given piece of hardware to interact with your system. Your monitor, keyboard and mouse all have drivers, which give instructions on what to do with any given input from you, the user, or the computer.

The first step is to determine what’s causing the problem. If, for instance, the computer BSODs when you try to launch a game or watch a video, then your graphics card is to blame. If you aren’t sure what part of your computer corresponds to the operation being performed, play it safe and update all of your drivers.

While this may sound like an intimidating process, don’t worry. Most drivers can be installed by downloading a program from your manufacturer’s website and running it. Be sure to get the newest version of all your drivers, however. To determine what devices are in your system, click Start and Search for “Device Manager” to look for anything that may need a driver upgrade. While newer versions of Windows can search for drivers for you, this process isn’t perfect — so it’s still advised to search for driver updates.

You can also use Driver Reviver to update the drivers automatically, without having to hunt each one down.

If, after doing this, you’re still encountering BSODs, then you have a software issue, not a hardware one.

If you’re using Windows 8 — a new operating system which has compatibility issues due to its young age — then it may be awhile before Microsoft responds with the proper Windows Update or the manufacturers make a Windows 8-optimized driver for your devices. Device drivers may not even be the problem. If your computer has been in fine working order up until now, then the cause of your problem could be a virus or a malfunctioning program.

Some antivirus suites, like Avira, have issues with newer editions of Windows, and if you think one of your new programs is causing the problem, do a search with your program name and Windows version. You may find a needed fix there. Simply uninstalling the program is a good solution as well, but if you want to keep it, it’s best to exhaust your options before throwing it away.

  • Alexander Cress

    Thank you Sir.

  • prem verma


  • Artin Poursahebgharan

    good sir thanks u made my worries go away I thought my laptop was going to break like other 2 times before. u made my day cheers

  • Onur

    Tam olarak anlayamadım aynı sorunu bende yaşadım bugün 2 kez .. Ne yapmalıyım ? Windows 8 kullanıyorum

  • Menelik B

    My comment was deleted while I was signing in as required !

  • rihanna

    I have a question . I saw this bsod after installing new window. I change it again and again . But it appear after some time. I have viruse scanner too . But i think its becausr of viruses in my cool disk . Can be true ? what should i do ? The driver is updated too . I pass my laptop to my friend to change windows too . Because i thought the mistake is because of me . But nothing change . Please help me . Please…..

  • desertson33

    Thanks for this but it doesn’t help me. This happen four or five times an hour and I don’ see how to get into Safe Mode when your screen is blue and the whole thing restarts yet again. Sometimes comes up ding restarting, and does it all over again. It sees that Wndows 8 is not compatible with loads of things and even during the hot periods it’s not restarting itself everything says it needs an App update, starts doing 17 upates until it crashes again but the upates are never loaded. Nightmare.

  • hi

    Tl;DR Driver issues cause this blue screen.

  • Brian Preble

    Unfortunately, all of these articles make a huge, and incorrect assumption. Nearly 100% of websites claim that BSOD errors are due to obsolete drivers, or defective graphics card. This is simply not true. My wife’s PC crashes within minutes if she tries to play games, yet the graphics card is brand new, as are the drivers, and both perform flawlessly on our other PC’s. Clearly, the error lies elsewhere.

  • In many cases it is the driver that is the root cause but it is not always the case. In you case it sounds like the manufacturer of your graphics card needs to create a new driver to combat the compatibility issues. Sadly this seems to be a common problem that the latest driver still does not fix the cause of the blue screen.

  • Celery66

    driver reviver got shit reviews on CNET!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nicole Prado

    Ocurrió ese error en mi laptop pero se quedo congelada, no se apaga ni se reinicia, el puntero del mouse esta congelado, no se que hacer, presione el botón de suspendido y no sucede nada, que puedo hacer

  • Toondrawer*35

    Bueno, no se mucho… pero lo que trabajo por mi fue… desconectar lo de la pared y quitarle la batteria por unos segundo.

  • Robin

    I have the exact same bluescreen. Any ideas how to fix if you alrdy updated your drivers?

  • Donovan Flores

    What if it freezes for a while before doing it? My comp is a windows 8.1 and it keeps doing it regardless of what I do in normal mode (I can’t get into safe mode). It also slows down quite a bit with updates snd whatnot to the point it takes quite a while to complete or load anything. Also the disc usage light stays on and doesn’t turn off like it normally did.

  • Iain Riule

    I agree with desertson! Give me my money back for the un-usability of this article! Except I did not pay anything…er- Well, in future, if you post any free advice to the interweb ENSURE that it specifically addresses my concerns! Even though I did not tell you what they were.

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