Fixed: Critical Process Died BSOD Error in Windows 10

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.

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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.

-Windows User

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.

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Image 1: Critical Process Died Error

How to Fix Critical Process Died Error?

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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 Advanced options. (See Image 2)

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Image 2: Click Advanced options on Troubleshoot window

d. Then click Startup Setting. (See Image 3)

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Image 3: Choose Startup Settings

e. Click Restart and press F4 to enable the Safe Mode. (See Image 4)

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Image 4: Enable Safe Mode

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)

open-device-manager
Image 5: Open Device Manager

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)

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Image 6: Update Device Driver

d. Windows will Search automatically for updated driver software. (See Image 7)

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Image 7: Search automatically for updated driver software

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)

open-system-configuration
Image 8: Open System Configuration

b. Navigate to Services tab, select Hide all Microsoft Services.

c. Click Disable all and proceed. (See Image 9)

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Image 9: Select ‘Hide all Microsoft services

d. Navigate to Startup tab and click Open Task Manager. (See Image 10)

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Image 10: Open Task Manager

e. Locate and select the faulty startup item from the screen, and click Disable.  (See Image 11)

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Image 11: Disable faulty startup item

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:

a. Boot your system with USB installer, created with Windows’ media creation tool, change the BIOS setting and ensure to boot it from it.

b. When you reach into Automatic Repair setup, click Troubleshoot.

c. Follow Advanced Options > Command Prompt. (See Image 12)

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Image 12: Choose Command Prompt from Advanced option window

d. In the Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow and press Enter key. (See Image 13)

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Image 13: Run SFC/Scannow Command

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)

run-dism-command
Image 14: Run DISM Command

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)

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Image 15: Select Uninstall updates from View update history page

d. Find out the update that you installed recently, which is causing the problem, right-click on it and click Uninstall. (See Image 16)

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Image 16 : Uninstall problematic Windows update

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)

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Image 17: Click Advanced option on Automatic Repair

b. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options.

c. On the next prompt, click System Restore.  (See Image 18)

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Image 18: Select System Restore

d. Click Next > Scan for affected programs.

e. On the creation of restore points, the applications will no longer be available. (See Image 19)

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Image 19: Scan for affected programs

f. Then click Next and click Finish on the next prompt. Find if the PC is free from the error. (See Image 20)

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Image 20: Finish the process of system restore

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)

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Image 21: Click Recovery from Settings

c. Click Get Started under Reset this PC. (See Image 22)

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Image 22: Get started with resetting the PC

d. Select Keep my files to save your data. (See Image 23)

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Image 23: Select keep my files

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)

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Image 24: Select just remove your files

g. Click Next on the warning message screen.

h. Click Reset and proceed. (See image 25)

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Image 25: Click Reset to start the process

i. Click Continue on the next prompt and wait until the process is finished. (See Image 26)

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Image 26: Click Continue

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.


Conclusion

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.

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