Blue screen errors are among the worst nightmares that Windows users can face, and while these serious errors are rare, some of them happen frequently. One of these errors is the error IRQL_not_less_or_equal (with error code:
The reasons behind this error can be interference with third-party applications, driver issues, and changes to internal components.
Fortunately, the “IRQL_not_less_or_equal” error is easy to fix, and if updating Windows did not solve the problem, then one of the methods mentioned below will surely help users to solve it.
note: Before using the techniques in this article, make sure that you update Windows to the latest version. Users can do this by going to the Start menu -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update -> Check for updates.
Interference with third-party applications
The main cause of most blue screen of death errors is the recent installation of a new third-party app. Antivirus apps in particular are known to be the main cause of many of these errors. It is recommended that users create a system restore point before installing any application that might make major changes to their PC.
How to create a system restore point
The process of creating a system restore point is fairly straightforward. Just follow the given steps:-
- In the search bar, type System Restore and click Create restore point. Under the System Protection tab, click construction.
- Enter an easily identifiable name for the restore point and click OK.
- Windows will take some time and create a system restore point.
Unwilling to go through the hassle of frequently creating a manual restore point? Check out this helpful guide on how to create system restore points in Windows on a daily basis.
To restore your computer to a previous restore point, simply search for “System Restore” and click on “System Restore.”Create a restore pointIn the results. In the window that opens, click the button “system recoveryand select the desired system restore point.
Diagnose the problem with clean boot
A “clean boot” is a technology that allows users to effectively stop all third-party applications and services in Windows. They are used to diagnose many common errors. To do this, follow these steps:-
- In the search bar, type
msconfigFrom the results, click System Configuration.
- In the window that opens, go to the “Services” tab. Select the checkbox labeled Hide all Microsoft services. Uncheck all third-party services in the list.
- Next, open the task manager and go to the Startup tab. From the list, select each third-party service one by one and click the button disable at the bottom right.
- Restart your computer.
Now when you start your computer, only essential Microsoft Windows services will be running. If the error does not exist, then the problem you’re experiencing was caused by a third-party app or service. If the error persists, then it’s time to move on to the other possible solutions in this list.
Drivers are programs that allow hardware devices to communicate effectively with your operating system. Although it is best to update your drivers, not all of these updates are stable and some of them may cause errors.
How long has it been since you last updated the basic drivers for your Windows PC? If time has passed, it is time to do it because the common cause of “IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL” error is outdated drivers. The easiest way to update your drivers is as follows:-
- In the search bar, type Device Manager , and click the corresponding result.
- In the Device Manager window, click on the component that may have outdated drivers.
- In the expanded menu, right-click on the device driver and click Driver Update.
- Windows will automatically search for and install updated drivers.
Undo driver updates
While updating drivers usually fixes the problem, sometimes it can cause the error to occur. In such cases, the user will need to roll back the recent driver updates. If you forgot recently updated drivers, see how to view recently updated drivers. To roll back previous driver updates, just follow the steps mentioned below:
- Similar to the previously mentioned steps, open Device Manager. You can do this either by typing Device Manager in the search bar or by right-clicking on the Start menu.
- In the Device Manager window, right-click on the driver you want to undo update. Click Properties.
- In the properties window, under the Driver tab, click on “Roll Back Driver“.
Sometimes the Roll Back Driver button may be inactive. This usually happens when the latest update was installed more than 10 days ago. Printer drivers cannot be undone. Unfortunately, in this case, the user will need to download an older version of the driver from the manufacturer’s website and install it manually.
Internal component changes
When installing a new component, it is essential that the user research the compatibility of the new hardware. Changing RAM or switching from single-channel to dual-channel has been known to cause “IRQL_not_or_equal” error Also, RAM is one of the most frequently updated components that makes dealing with legacy RAM modules a real problem . Here’s what you can do with your old RAM chips.
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool is a handy built-in utility that can be used to diagnose a lot of common memory problems in Windows 10. It is recommended that users run it after installing new RAM, it is easy to use:
- In the Windows search bar, type Memory Diagnostic and click on Windows Memory Diagnostic.
- In the window that opens, choose whether you want Windows to restart and diagnose memory problems now or do it the next time you manually restart your computer.
If Windows Memory Diagnostic does not return any error or is unable to fix the problem, users should try things like:-
- Switch between DIMM slots for RAM if you are using two or more chipsets.
- Double-check for new components compatibility.
- Switch to single-channel memory or vice versa, to dual-channel memory.
- Make sure XMP is enabled in the BIOS when using dual-channel memory. Toggle XMP profiles if enabled.
- Reinstall the old components and check if the problem persists.
It’s easy to fix the problem
Although blue screen of death errors may seem scary, they are usually caused by some minor issues that your computer may encounter. The above fixes can be used to address various errors that may be causing the blue screen of death. But it is always better to follow some vital tips to ensure your computer is running smoothly.