Last updated on April 11th, 2018
When Windows crashes with a blue screen, this means that either one of your computer's components (HDD, RAM, VGA) is defective, or an installed program or a device driver is incompatible or corrupted. For the first reason and in order to locate if your main hardware components (HDD and RAM) are healthy, I have written the following tutorials:
- How to diagnose your computer's Memory (RAM) for problems.
- How to diagnose your hard drive (HDD) for hardware problems.
In this tutorial, I 'll show you how to find which driver on your system causes your computer to crash with a Blue Screen, by using the Driver Verifier Manager.
The Driver Verifier is a built-in tool, in Windows 7, 8 and 10 OS, that can help you to locate which driver makes your computer to crash with a blue screen of death (BSOD), by stressing the installed drivers on the background. Keep in mind, that you may not run the Driver Verifier Manager for a very long time because your computer will crash often.
How to Use Driver Verifier to Locate Faulty Device Driver(s) in Windows.
Important Notes: Before enabling the Driver Verifier, perform the following actions:
1. Create a System Restore point.
2. If you 're using Windows 10, 8 or 8.1, enable the F8 'Advanced Boot Options' menu, is order to easily start your system in Safe Mode, if Windows cannot boot.
Step 1. Enable Driver Verifier.
To enable the driver verifier on your system:
3. At the first screen, choose Create custom settings (for code developers) and click Next.
4. At "Select individual setting from this full list" screen, check only the following:
1. Special Pool
2. Force IRQL Checking
3. Pool Tracking
4. Deadlock Detection
5. Security Checks
6. DDI compliance checking
7. Miscellaneous Checks
5. When done, click Next.
6. Then select driver name from a list and click Next.
7. Sort by Provider's name.
8. Select all non-Microsoft drivers from the list and click Finish. *
* Note: Scroll down the list to view and select all non MS drivers.
9. Click OK and then restart your computer.
10. After restart, work at your computer normally as you should do. *
* Note: If you system crashes during startup and you cannot boot to Windows:
1. Press the Power button for 5-7 seconds to fully shutdown your computer.
2. Turn ON your computer and continuously press the F8 key to access the Advanced Options menu.
3. Navigate with the down arrow key to Safe Mode option and press Enter.
4. See the instructions below to Disable the Driver Verifier.
5. Continue to Step-2 to find out why your computer crashes.
11. Leave the driver verifier running at least 24 hours. During this period, if one of the installed drivers is not working properly, the Driver Verifier will cause your system to crash with a blue screen. When this occurs, disable the Driver Verifier and then proceed to Find Out which driver caused your system to crash. (Step-2)
To disable the Driver Verifier.
3. At the first screen next screen, choose Delete existing settings and click Finish.
4. Then, click Yes (to save changes) and OK and then restart your computer.
Step 2. Find Out which driver cause your system to crash.
1. Download NirSoft's free BlueScreenView utility according your OS version (32 or 64 bit). *
* Note: You can download even the full Installer or the Portable version of the program.
2. Open BlueScreenView. The program will automatically show a list with all the recorded blue screen crashes by analyzing the DUMP files. (.DMP files).
3. To find out which driver cause your system to crash, just double click at the last DUMP file at the upper pane (commonly is the first on the list) and you will see the name of the defective device driver (xxxxxx.sys).*
* e.g. At the screen below, the defective device driver is the "igdkmd64.sys" which belongs to Intel HD Graphics Adapter.
4. Once you find out which device driver causes your system to crash, completely uninstall and reinstall the latest driver for that device.
That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.