Last Updated on December 13, 2023
The “KMODE Exception Not Handled” error, often accompanied by a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), can be a frustrating and confusing experience for Windows users. This error indicates that a kernel-mode driver, which operates at the core of the operating system, encountered a critical error and couldn’t recover.
What is a Kmode Exception Not Handled Error in Windows?
The “KMODE Exception Not Handled” error, often accompanied by a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), is a critical error that occurs in Windows operating systems. It indicates a serious issue with a kernel-mode driver, which operates at the core of the operating system and has access to all system resources.
Here’s a breakdown of the terms:
KMODE: Refers to the kernel mode, a privileged level of operation within Windows where drivers and system services run with full access to system resources.
Exception: An unexpected event that occurs during the execution of a program, causing it to crash.
Not Handled: Indicates that the system’s error handler was unable to recover from the exception, leading to the BSOD.
Essentially, the error message tells you that a kernel-mode driver experienced a critical error that the system couldn’t handle, forcing it to shut down unexpectedly. This can be a frustrating and disruptive experience, as it can lead to data loss and system instability.
Common Causes of KMODE Exception Not Handled Error:
Outdated or faulty drivers: This is the most common cause of the error. Drivers act as bridges between your hardware and the operating system, and outdated or corrupted drivers can lead to communication issues and crashes.
Hardware problems: Faulty RAM, hard drives, or other hardware components can also cause the error.
Software conflicts: Conflicting software programs or system services can sometimes trigger the KMODE Exception error.
Malware infections: Malicious software can damage system files and disrupt system processes, potentially causing the error.
Symptoms of KMODE Exception Not Handled Error:
Blue Screen of Death with the error message “KMODE Exception Not Handled”
- System crashes and reboots
- Unexpected application crashes
- Performance problems
- Device malfunctions
Fortunately, there are several methods you can try to resolve this error and get your system back up and running smoothly.
Here are some troubleshooting steps you can follow:
- Disable Fast Startup:
Fast Startup, while designed to improve boot times, can sometimes conflict with drivers and cause the KMODE Exception error. Disabling it can help identify if it’s the culprit.
- Open Control Panel.
- Go to Hardware and Sound > Power Options.
- Click Choose what the power buttons do.
- Click Change settings that are currently unavailable.
- Uncheck the Turn on fast startup (recommended) box.
- Click Save changes.
- Update Device Drivers:
Outdated or faulty drivers are a common cause of the KMODE Exception error. Updating them to the latest versions can often resolve the issue.
- Open Device Manager.
- Expand the relevant device category (e.g., Display adapters, Network adapters).
- Right-click the device and select Update driver.
- Choose Search automatically for updated driver software.
- If Windows doesn’t find a new driver, you can visit the device manufacturer’s website and download the latest driver manually.
- Run the System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM):
These tools scan and repair corrupted system files, which can sometimes contribute to the error.
- Open Command Prompt as administrator.
- Type the following command and press Enter:
- Wait for the SFC scan to complete.
- If SFC finds corrupted files but fails to repair them, type the following command and press Enter:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- Wait for the DISM scan to complete.
- Restart your computer.
- Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool:
Faulty RAM can also lead to the KMODE Exception error. This tool checks for memory errors and helps diagnose potential problems.
- Open Start and type Memory Diagnostic.
- Select Restart now and check for problems (recommended).
- Your computer will automatically restart and run the memory test.
- Once the test is complete, your computer will restart automatically with the results.
- Perform a Clean Boot:
A clean boot starts your computer with minimal drivers and services, helping to identify if a background program is causing the error.
- Open Start and type msconfig.
- Go to the Services
- Check the Hide all Microsoft services
- Click Disable all.
- Go to the Startup
- Click Open Task Manager.
- Disable all startup programs.
- Close Task Manager.
- Click OK in System Configuration.
- Restart your computer.
- System Restore:
If none of the above steps work, you can try restoring your system to a point before you started experiencing the error.
- Open Start and type Create a restore point.
- Click System Restore.
- Choose a restore point from the list and follow the on-screen instructions.
Check Event Viewer: Event Viewer can provide more information about the error, including the specific driver that may be causing it.
Analyze the BSOD error message: The BSOD error message may contain a stop code, which can be helpful in identifying the cause of the error.
Seek professional help: If you’re unable to resolve the error yourself, you can seek assistance from a computer technician or contact Microsoft Support.
Remember: It’s important to identify the specific cause of the KMODE Exception error in your case. The troubleshooting steps mentioned above are a general guide, and the most effective solution may vary depending on the situation.