The IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error is one of the many errors that are classified under the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) errors related to the Windows OS. Blue Screen of Death errors appears when the Windows System is facing a severe issue.
The presence of the Windows 7/8/10 IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error indicates that either the computer is facing driver issues, or a corrupted Windows Service tries to access a restricted memory location which triggers unauthorized access.
It leads to the suspension of activity on the PC as the current login session is terminated and the screen turns blue with a message of the error. For most errors related to this category, it is advisable to get the error fixed as soon as possible as; leaving it for prolonged periods of time could result in a system crash and loss of data among other things.
Some of the leading causes for this type of error to occur include issues related to the device drivers such as incompatibility and poor installation, issues with hardware and registry and virus and malware attacks.
A good way to ensure that this error does not occur is by making sure that the Windows System and the device drivers are all correctly installed and up-to-date. Regularly performing checks for updates for the OS as well as any third-party software and backing up system files is an excellent way to accomplish this.
How to Fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows 10
Some of the primary ways to fix this error are explored below.
Method 1: Using Safe Mode to Start the Computer
1. At First, click on Shift+ On-screen power button.
2. Select “Restart” while holding down the shift key.
3. Then select Troubleshoot and click on the Advanced options setting.
4. Afterward, click on Startup Settings and then select “Restart”.
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5. The computer should now reboot, after which you can select the Safe Mode option.
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Note: If after these steps you still see the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error, it indicates that there is no issue with any third-party applications, device drivers or software but tells you that the problem originates from the hardware of the computer.
Method 2: Debugging the RAM
1. This process involves the use of an inbuilt utility to locate the issue within the hardware.
2. In the Search bar, type in Windows Memory Diagnostic.”
3. Then open the Windows Memory Diagnostic utility.
4. This function should lead you to two options. Select the option that says Restart now and check for problems. The scan may perform either immediately or during another restart session.
5. Performing this scan will show a list of errors in the memory or RAM indicating the need for replacement of the RAM. After replacement, the computer should function normally.
Method 3: Disabling the Memory Cache
There are two ways by which this can be done:
1. Use the Basic input/output system feature by clicking on the BIOS set-up keys (generally F2 in most computers but may vary from motherboard to motherboard).
2. Then locate the “Memory Settings” option and disable the “Memory caching feature”.
1. At First, in the Search menu type in Device Manager.
2. Then click on the drop-down arrow next to the Disk Drives option and the name of a drive will show up.
3. Afterward, double-click on the drive and go to the Policies window.
4. Select the option that disables the driver and click on Ok.
5. Finally, Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.
Method 4: Disabling Connected Devices and Drivers
1. Unplug all devices connected to the computer such as USB sticks, flash drives, etc. (except the mouse and keyboard).
2. Disable related or other device drivers connected to the computer.
3. Try to run the computer without any of these devices being installed.
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4. Enable each device individually (only one at a time) and see if the error pops-up.
5. When it does, it indicates that the driver/device just enabled contains the issue and hence requires action to be taken.
6. In “Safe Mode”, uninstall the driver and then reinstall it later. It should solve the error.
Method 5: Using the Command Prompt feature to Fix Corrupted Files in the Registry
1. At First, type “Command Prompt” or “cmd” in the Cortana Search bar. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
2. Then in the box that pops-up, give the “sfc /scannow” command.
3. Finally, restart the computer once the scan is complete.
Note: It is advisable to first back-up the registry before performing these functions.
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Method 6: Running System Restore
This method involves the creation of Restore Points before software and drivers being enabled in case of emergencies as it allows the user to restore the system without encountering data loss.
1. At First, go to Settings and select the Update & Recovery option.
2. Then click on the Recovery located on the left side of the screen.
3. Afterwards, click on Refresh this PC and select the Get Started option.
4. Follow the instructions on screen after clicking on it.
Method 7: Downloading Software
Such software is downloaded beforehand to resolve issues which may later lead to the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error. Most of the software simply requires the user to scan the PC and then select the “Repair all” option to resolve the issues.
1. Total System Care is a software that assists with repairing registries and fragmented disks which are important issues to resolve.
2. ReimagePlus is another software which you can download that protects the user from the problems related to file storage, malware, etc.
3. Downloading antivirus software is essential for removing malicious malware from the PC which could later result in BSOD errors showing up.
We hope this article furthers your understanding of the causes of the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error, how to deal with it and ways to prevent this error appearing in the first place.
- 1 How to Fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows 10
- 1.1 Method 1: Using Safe Mode to Start the Computer
- 1.2 Method 2: Debugging the RAM
- 1.3 Method 3: Disabling the Memory Cache
- 1.4 Method 4: Disabling Connected Devices and Drivers
- 1.5 Method 5: Using the Command Prompt feature to Fix Corrupted Files in the Registry
- 1.6 Method 6: Running System Restore
- 1.7 Method 7: Downloading Software