Summary:In this blog, you will learn the best ways to fix the Critical Process Died Error. This is a blue screen of death error, which may occur due to corrupt system files, certain Windows updates, faulty program/application or driver, etc. Due to this BSOD error, the Windows may crash, leading to a total data loss situation. You may use a data recovery tool to recover your important data.
Whenever I try shutting down my HP Windows 10, I get Stop Code; the Critical Process died. I need to always force stop when it is 100% and then restart.
When a critical component of the Windows can’t run properly, it may cause an error – “Critical Process DIED’ with a stop code 0x000000EF (See Image 1). This error appears with a blue screen, which may occur due to faulty driver, malicious application/corrupt software or program installed on the system, and more. This error may cause a system stuck at a booting loop, even lead to a crash. It means eventually, you will end up losing all the data stored on the PC. No need to worry. You may recover lost data with a data recovery tool. However, in order to fix this error, we share here some of the most recommended methods to help you with getting rid of the error.
How to Fix Critical Process Died Error?
Method 1: Boot into Safe Mode
Every time you boot your system normally, this blue screen error may show up. Try to fix the error by booting into Safe mode. To do so, follow the given steps:
a. Use a USB installation media to boot your system.
b. Click Repair your system computer and click Troubleshoot.
c. On the next prompt, click Advancedoptions. (See Image 2)
d. Then click Startup Setting. (See Image 3)
e. Click Restart and press F4 to enable the Safe Mode. (See Image 4)
f. Once you enter in Safe Mode, proceed with the next method.
Method 2: Update System Drivers
When in the Safe Mode, try updating the driver with the help of the following steps to fix the error ‘Critical Process Died’:
a. Press Windows + X and open Device Manager. (See Image 5)
b. Check all the drivers. If any driver appears with a yellow exclamatory mark, the driver could be corrupt or faulty.
c. Follow the on-screen instructions to Update driver. (See Image 6)
d. Windows will Search automatically for updated driver software. (See Image 7)
e. If there is no updated driver available, Uninstall driver and then reinstall the compatible driver.
Method 3: Perform a Clean Boot
Corrupt system applications/software or programs may also be the cause of this error. You may uninstall it following the given steps:
a. Open Run dialog box and type MSConfig to open System Configuration Utility. (See Image 8)
b. Navigate to Services tab, select Hide all Microsoft Services.
c. Click Disable all and proceed. (See Image 9)
d. Navigate to Startup tab and click Open Task Manager. (See Image 10)
e. Locate and select the faulty startup item from the screen, and click Disable. (See Image 11)
f. Once done with the process, close the Task Manager, click OK and reboot the system in the clean boot environment.
g. Follow the on-screen instructions and Uninstall problematic app/program and then restart your system.
Method 4: Run SFC/Scannow Command
If you can’t boot your system due to this blue screen of death error, running SFC (System file checker) utility may help you scan and fix corrupt system files. Sometimes corrupt system files may also be the reason behind this error. Follow the given steps:
b. When you reach into Automatic Repair setup, click Troubleshoot.
c. Follow Advanced Options > Command Prompt. (See Image 12)
d. In the Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow and press Enter key. (See Image 13)
e. Wait until the system scan completes and once it is done, close the Command Prompt and restart the system.
Method 5: Run DISM to Repair Corrupted System Image
If running SFC command couldn’t fix the ‘Critical Process Died BSOD’ error in Windows 10, you may try fixing it with the help of DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management). Try performing this method with the help of following troubleshooting steps:
a. Open Command Prompt and click Run as administrator. Start typing the following commands separately:
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
(See Image 14)
Method 6: Uninstall Problematic Windows Update
If this ‘Critical Process Died BSOD’ error occurs after installing a certain Windows 10 update, you may try uninstalling it to get rid of the issue by using the following steps:
a. Open Settings by pressing Windows + I and go to Update & Security.
b. Go to View update history.
c. Click Uninstall updates on the next prompt. (See Image 15)
d. Find out the update that you installed recently, which is causing the problem, right-click on it and click Uninstall. (See Image 16)
Method 7: Run System Restore
Try performing System Restore to get rid of the error with the help of the following troubleshooting steps:
a. Use the USB installer to boot into your system. Click Repair your computer and follow Advanced options > Automatic Repair environment. (See Image 17)
b. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options.
c. On the next prompt, click System Restore. (See Image 18)
d. Click Next > Scan for affected programs.
e. On the creation of restore points, the applications will no longer be available. (See Image 19)
f. Then click Next and click Finish on the next prompt. Find if the PC is free from the error. (See Image 20)
Note:This method may cause you data loss as it clean up the entire system and wipe out the data stored on the system.
Therefore, it is advised to use an effective data recovery tool such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional. This DIY, easy-to-use software can scan the formatted, corrupted or even crashed PC, extract the data from it and let you save the recovered files, folders, documents, photos and more. Not only you can recover data from Windows PCs, but also can get back your data from formatted, corrupted or even encrypted drives such as HDDs, SSD, SD, USB, and optical media as well. The tool can efficiently restore data from BSOD affected systems. It features a ‘create recovery drive’ utility, which enables users to create a bootable media drive. Users may connect the bootable media drive to the unbootable system and retrieve data effectively.
Method 8: Reset the PC
You can reset the PC. It will remove software, programs, settings, apps and drivers, which are causing error on the system. However, you may select what files you want to keep while resetting the system. Follow the given steps:
a. Open Settings and go to Update & Security.
b. On the next prompt, click Recovery. (See Image 21)
c. Click Get Started under Reset this PC. (See Image 22)
d. Select Keep my files to save your data. (See Image 23)
e. However, it is recommended to choose ‘Remove everything’ for getting rid of faulty programs, drivers, apps, driver, etc. and cleaning up the entire PC.
f. Select ‘just remove my files’ and click Next. (See Image 24)
g. Click Next on the warning message screen.
h. Click Reset and proceed. (See image 25)
i. Click Continue on the next prompt and wait until the process is finished. (See Image 26)
Method 9: Reinstall Windows 10
If all of the above methods fail to fix the ‘Critical Process Died Error’, you are left with nothing else but reinstalling the Windows 10. While reinstalling the Windows, you will end up losing all your data. Installing Windows freshly will require formatting of the drives and will develop new partitions in the PC. Hence, if you have already recovered data using a data recovery tool such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional, you may reinstall the Windows without worrying about data loss.
No matter what the actual cause for ‘Critical Process Died’ error is, this blue screen of death error may lead your system stuck at booting loop or even complete crash. The fixes mentioned in this post can help you get rid of the error. Though, if you don’t want to lose your important data, recover it with a data recovery tool such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional. This software can efficiently extract the lost data from BSOD affected Windows PCs and storage devices.
Mansi Verma is a Technology Writer at Stellar®. She writes about data recovery, photo recovery and repair for windows and DIY tech. With over 5 years of experience in writing, she holds a demonstrated history of writing about different technologies like Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Robotics.