Fix CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED With 0x000000ef Error Code

Fix CRITICAL PROCESS DIED With 0x000000ef Error CodeFix CRITICAL PROCESS DIED With 0x000000ef Error Code

I am running Windows 10 build 10074 on my home computer. Windows 10 has been a good experience until today when I got a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) suddenly when I was watching a video. The error code was CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED with no additional information. I let Windows complete its dump taking process and the computer restarted fine without any problems.

I did a research on CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED and found out that it was related to some very essential Windows process that couldn’t read or write into the memory/pagefile. First of all we will need to see additional information related to CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED error.

For this, I used BlueScreenView utility to see information about the system dump files present in the computer. Just run BlueScreenView and it will show you the latest BSODs and their information.

BlueScreenView dump view

In my dump view, it says ntoskrnl.exe did something that caused the computer to shutdown abruptly. Now there can be several reasons of this crash. Let’s discuss some of them so that it’s easier for us to troubleshoot the problem.

This BSOD can be caused by a hardware or software failure . The hardware can failure can be related to hard drive, memory or processor. Make sure these components of your PC are running fine. The software failure can be caused due to corrupted/malfunctioning Windows NT Kernel drivers or a third party software which interacts directly with Windows Kernel.

An antivirus or a firewall is an example of software which interact with NT Kernel. Try uninstalling your security software and see if your system starts running properly again. If not, then we will need to run the system file checker to make sure all the system files of Windows are intact and in original condition.

For running the system file checker, follow the instructions below:

  1. Start your PC in Safe Mode (Shift + F8 during PC startup)
  2. Go to Advanced Repair Options –> Troubleshoot –> Advanced Options –> Windows Startup Settings
  3. Select Restart to restart the computer
  4. Now the PC will start with advanced startup options. You will need to select Safe Mode to start your PC in Safe Mode
  5. Open command prompt with administrative privileges and run the following command:
    sfc /scannow

Make sure that you have the installation DVD of the version of Windows you’re running. The system file checker may ask for the DVD if it finds any problems with the installed system files. Hopefully this will fix the problem. This has fixed my problem and I am not seeing the BSOD again since then.

If you are still having problems with your Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 computer, do let us know your particular problem so that we can solve the problem according to your requirements.


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Usman Khurshid
Usman Khurshid is a seasoned IT Pro with over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. He has experience in everything from IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. He is also certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.


  • Nicole

    Error 0x000000ef blue screen. Can not fix problem please help

  • Vidar

    I have the same error on a Windows Server 2012 R2 – tried the sfc/ scannow, but without luck.
    Do you have any idea how to solve this??
    CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED 0x000000ef ntoskrnl.exe+14f9a0

    • Usman Khurshid
      Usman Khurshid

      Are you running any antivirus or security software on your Windows Server?

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