Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart is one of the most annoying errors you will ever encounter when using Windows OS. It’s also more commonly known as BSOD (or Blue Screen Of Death) and is the most common issue faced by almost all Windows users, regardless of what version you have tried or used.
With the newer versions of operating systems like Windows 10 and Windows 11, the overall experience has changed drastically, and the chances of you being hit by a BSOD are exceptionally low. But Microsoft’s “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach hasn’t completely solved the underlying problems. Microsoft has tried to mitigate them to a large extent and will continue to work on them in the coming years.
Since the retail release of Windows 8, Microsoft has redesigned and improved the BSOD screen to give us more information to help the end-user figure out what happened and what triggered the BSOD. The new and improved screen shows a QR code with a cute little emoticon and an error code that we can Google to find more information about the cause and fix the problem.
BSOD Or GSOD?
Starting with Windows 11, users of the Windows Insider Program (WIP) will have noticed a new Green Screen Of Death instead of a Blue Screen Of Death. This is a subtle change meant for Insiders to create a difference from the retail release channel. Aside from the color, there is little additional information visible to users to simplify troubleshooting.
Fixing the error message “Your PC Ran Into A Problem And Needs To Restart” is not rocket science. Anyone can fix the problem by simply following our guide and easy-to-follow steps. The trick is to rule out all possible causes by following these simple steps in a specific order.
Are BSODs a thing of the past?
Today’s hardware and software are more efficient, optimized, and responsive. Tasks such as installing important updates in the background, cleaning up temporary files, freeing up disk space, and performing timely backups no longer need to be done manually. Malware attacks and file corruption are less likely today.
My PC just got hit with a BSOD. What should I do?
Although the probability of getting this error is less, it may happen due to reasons like:
- Buggy Windows updates
- Buggy drivers or software installed
- Incompatible apps
- Malware or virus attacks
- Faulty hardware
- Drive failures
- Excess memory usage
- Registry issues
- System files corruption
But even after getting stuck on your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart, Windows collects a number of diagnostic data along with log files that are later displayed via the Event Viewer to figure out the stop code.
In many cases, there may not be a software or hardware problem. In these cases, a Windows update could be the culprit.
We have often seen or read that monthly cumulative patches often break a certain function and cause random BSODs or reboots in the worst case.
Here is a list of errors with the solution to each problem, so you can easily fix the cause and get your system up and running again.
- CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED: Caused due to essential service or component failing to run or stopped unexpectedly.
- KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED: Caused by an incorrectly configured device driver or botched driver updates.
- SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED: Caused during the shutdown or restarting of the device, no specific cause for this to occur.
- IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL: Caused due to a buggy device driver or an actual hardware conflict.
- VIDEO_TDR_TIMEOUT_DETECTED: This indicates that the display driver failed to respond.
- PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA: Related to memory management, solved with a simple reboot.
- DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION: Caused due to several reasons like faulty hardware, buggy software or updates, incompatible apps, and even outdated firmware.
- REGISTRY_ERROR: System registry failure.
- INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE: Unable to access the boot drive
- BAD_POOL_HEADER: Memory allocation error caused due to excessive memory usage.
How to Fix Your PC Needs to Restart error on Windows 10 & 11
A few key things are different in Windows 10 and 11 when it comes to the PC needs to restart message. The majority of system apps and menus look the same or are in the same place, but Settings looks different. In Windows 10, Settings has a similar design to Windows 8, with some new features added. To view the optional updates, you will have to go to the Advanced Options from the Windows Update Settings menu – this is not visible in Windows 8. The Check for Updates button is clearly visible in both Windows 10 and 11.
1. Try rebooting the device:
As cliché as it may sound, a simple reboot can sometimes help get rid of unnecessary services running in the background and also help restart the essential services and components of the operating system. It is always advisable to reboot the device regularly to ensure proper functionality and smooth operation.
2. Boot into Safe Mode:
Assuming reboot didn’t help, you can try to boot into Safe Mode to fix the problem. There are two ways to do this:
1. Bootable media: You can create bootable media like a USB drive or CD/DVD and restart your PC using that media. This will take you into Safe Mode automatically.
2. Three restarts: Another way to get into Safe Mode is by restarting your PC three times in a row. When your computer starts up for the third time, it will ask you to choose between “Startup Settings” and “Safe Mode”. Choose “Safe Mode” and press Enter.
Once you reboot, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart. Press F4 to get into the Safe Mode. If there is any problem, you will see the details here. Ensure you fix them before proceeding.
3. Update the existing drivers/apps/programs or games:
We recommend always using the latest stable version of drivers and software to ensure proper functionality, patch key system components, and protect our devices from critical security vulnerabilities and zero-day fixes. Many internal files and APIs are also updated when updates are released from OS. Therefore, app developers need to update their apps or games to support the newer API, which benefits security and performance.
4. Use the command-based approach:
If the above methods do not work for you, the problem may look more complicated, but it is not. It can be fixed by executing two commands on the command line.
- DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
The first command runs the System File Checker (SFC), which checks for damaged or corrupted files and repairs them.
The second command replaces the damaged files with the new ones from the stored backup in the Windows directory.
Steps to run the commands:
- Open the Windows Terminal (Windows 11 users) or the Command Prompt (Windows 10 & 11 users).
- Type in the following commands one by one.
- Wait for the process to complete and show up the results.
- Once the process is complete, run both the Commands again to ensure that all files are fixed, then reboot the system.
5. Run CHKDSK command:
In order to fix the “Your PC ran into a problem and needed to restart” error, you can try running the CHKDSK command. This command checks and fixes errors associated with a hard drive.
The CHKDSK command can be run from the Start menu by typing it in cmd. When running the above commands, ensure that you are connected to the internet so that chkdsk can connect to Microsoft for any updates or fixes needed on your PC, as well as other disks that might need repair or cleanup before running chkdsk again successfully.
If your PC is still running into problems after rebooting, you may need to restart it from Safe Mode. See if your PC needs a specific startup repair in the Startup Repair menu.
6. Change the Memory Dump setting:
Your PC might restart unexpectedly if it runs into a problem. The memory dump setting can help you write down the contents of your computer’s memory when this happens. You’ll find this setting in System Properties.
To change the Memory Dump setting, follow these steps:
- Open System Properties. You can do this by pressing Windows+Pause/Break on your keyboard or by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting Properties.
- Click on the Advanced tab.
- Under Startup and Recovery, click Settings.
- Change the Memory Dump setting to Complete Memory Dump.
- Uncheck the Automatically restart box.
- Click OK twice to exit out of all open windows.
7. Fix RAM errors:
Windows has a built-in tool for diagnosing and fixing RAM errors. If you get the MEMORY_MANAGEMENT error message, this troubleshooter can help address the issue. This error can be caused by deleting registry files from your System32 folder or a device running high on RAM for whatever reason. First, check to see if any of your devices are running high on RAM. If so, try closing some of the applications or processes that are using up the most memory. This might fix “Your PC ran into a problem and needed to restart” error.
8. Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool:
If your PC runs into a problem and needs to restart, you may be able to fix the issue by running a memory test. It is common for memory to become corrupted due to excessive load or frequent switching between applications.
Windows has a built-in tool for checking and fixing memory problems to solve this problem. All you have to do is head towards the Start menu> type in Windows Memory Diagnostic> press Enter. You can also press Windows Key+R to open up the Run box> type mdsched.exe into it> press Enter.
From there, you have two options: You can either let the computer automatically restart and check for errors, or you can choose to check for errors yourself. If you receive a blue screen at 100%, then you will need to reboot your computer and make sure it is running properly.
9. Uninstall incompatible software/ games:
A BSOD often occurs directly after installing new software, driver, or game or simply after updating the existing software. In such cases, it is always advisable to try simple solutions first instead of going through complex procedures.
To uninstall the newly installed or upgraded programs/games, here are a few steps one needs to follow:
- Via Control Panel: Open the control panel by the desktop shortcut if you already have that set up or by pressing Win+Q and typing on the search box. Then go to Programs & Features> find the appropriate app>uninstall it, and reboot.
- Via Settings app: Go to the Settings app>Apps>Apps & Features>uninstall the appropriate one and reboot.
10. Uninstall the newly installed Windows/ driver updates:
With the release of Windows 10 and 11, things have improved over time, and the chances of you getting a BSOD due to a faulty Windows/driver update are almost negligible. But as always, some uncertainty remains. Microsoft has received criticism from users and the community several times in the past for issuing buggy cumulative patches and updates that often corrupted essential components of the operating system, resulting in poor functionality and performance issues. If you have accidentally installed a patch that causes BSOD, then follow the steps to uninstall the update:
- Control Panel method: Go to Control Panel>Programs & Features>View installed updates at the top left corner of the screen>select the particular update>uninstall.
- Settings app method: Go to Windows Settings app>Windows Update>Update history>Uninstall Updates.
11. Check for viruses and malware:
One of the most common reasons for a BSOD is the infection of the device with a virus or malware. Malware is known to harm data and systems by slowing them down, corrupting data and personal files, crypto-mining, making copies of files, and in the worst cases, encrypting the entire system in exchange for money.
In case of a malicious attack, you have to have reputable antivirus software and get rid of the malware. You can also try running Windows Defender to scan malicious files and programs. See if this fixes the Your PC ran into a problem and needed to restart error.
12. Remove non-essential devices and peripherals:
There could also be a high probability of faulty hardware malfunctioning and causing a BSOD. Try removing the plugged USB devices and components like keyboard, mouse, flash drives, and even external storage drives to fix this. Remove each device one by one to find out which one is malfunctioning.
13. Check for faulty hardware:
Although computer hardware is durable, it may fail over a period of time due to constant use, dust buildup, carbon deposits on the terminals, heating, or even power fluctuations. We recommend you open the unit once and check for loose connections, dusty components, clogged fans, vents, etc. Try to fix the problem and see if it works for you.
Another way to solve the problem is to go to the Control Panel > Device Manager. When in Device Manager, look for a hardware name with a yellow exclamation mark indicating if the device in question has stopped working due to a driver or hardware problem.
14. Remove any overclocking:
If you are experiencing crashes or black screens, it is likely that your system is not stable with the overclock. In this case, you will need to remove the overclock and return to default speeds.
To do this, simply go back into your BIOS and reset all overclocking settings to their defaults. This will set your CPU and GPU speeds back to their original values without any overclocking applied (check this guide). Once this is done, save your changes and exit out of BIOS. Your PC should now be stable again without any overclocking applied.
15. Check System Log:
Event Viewer is a great tool to help find the problem. To see all of the logs on your PC, go to the View tab and select Show Hidden Files and Folders. Then on the System tab, click Unhide Windows Logs. This will make it easier for you to find system errors that cause blue screens of death (BSOD).
If you find an error, try restarting your computer to see if that fixes the “Your PC ran into a problem and needed to restart” issue.
16. Perform a System Restore:
The System Restore tool can be a lifesaver if your computer is running into errors and problems. This Windows feature allows you to restore your PC to an earlier state in order to fix issues. System Restore also helps you avoid data corruption and can help you revert to a previous state if some files get corrupted.
To perform a System Restore, follow these steps:
- Open the Start Menu,
- Type “System Restore” into the search field,
- Select “Create a restore point”,
- Select the desired date from their list of available dates,
- Click Next
- Wait for Windows to perform a system restore.
17. Restore Registry Configuration:
In some cases, you may need to revert your registry configuration in order to fix Windows problems. This can be done using the Command Prompt in Windows 10.
First, open the Command Prompt. Then, enter the following command:
This will show you a list of all of the files in the system32 folder. If you know which file is corrupted, you can enter its name after dir.
If you don’t have a system image or restore point, use this method to revert registry settings. This will restore system32 files if the registry has been corrupted. Remember that this method can also be used to recover data from corrupt drivers and create a Windows installation disk.
You should use a bootable media to recover from errors on your system–either a CD/DVD or USB drive. From there, you can perform either of the two available options for recovery: Safe Mode or Reverting Registry Configuration.
18. Perform a clean install:
If you have tried all the above steps and none of them worked, and you are getting the “Your pc ran into a problem and needs to restart stuck” in a loop, your only option is to perform a fresh Windows installation. There is a high probability that an important component or service has been damaged and is beyond repair.
You’d need the Windows 10 or 11 installation disc or create Windows installation media as an additional. Check out this guide by Microsoft on how to perform a clean install of Windows 10.
We are confident that after following our “Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart” guide, your PC will run efficiently and much faster like a brand new one. Do provide us with your feedback by commenting down below. Also, tell us what you liked about this guide and suggestions for topics you would like us to cover in the future.