IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error is a common blue screen of death error in Windows which will occur often after a Windows user has either updated their system to a newer version, installed the latest Windows updates or installed new hardware or software. The message will mean, due to the recent update there is an issue with one of the hardware drivers, windows service or simply your machine has been infected with malware.  This article will provide different solutions on how to fix this .

Common causes for IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL 

Knowing reasons for irql_not_less_or-equal error will be very helpful for us to prevent and find relative solutions for this problem. Here below are some major reasons for this problem:

Possible solutions for error IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Please note below, if you are receiving error, and your machine will not boot normally, there is a good chance your machine will still boot into safe mode to allow you to perform some of the troubleshooting steps that I have outlined below. To boot Windows into safe mode you simply visit my article – How to boot to safe mode in Windows 10

Driver Issues

The most like cause of error irql_not_less_or_equal will be an issue with a specific driver. The common solution will be to either disable the problem or driver or update the driver.

Disable the Problem Driver

To track down the specific problem driver, you’ll need to run Driver Verifier, an application included with Windows.

  1. Click Start
  2. Type verifier in the box and press Enter
  3. Select Create Standard Settings, then click Next, then select Automatically Select all Drivers Installed on this Computer
  4. Click Next, then Finish
  5. Reboot your computer, and you will see the list of drivers to be verified during startup. If there is a faulty driver you will get a BSOD with its respective error message
  6. When you have determined the faulty driver, log back into Windows and you can uninstall the driver via the Device Manager (see below)
  7. Click Start and type verifier /reset

To disable a driver once you’ve identified it:

  1. Restart your PC in Safe Mode in order to avoid any further Blue Screens of Death while you’re trying to take care of the problem
  2. Click Start
  3. Press Win+R(Windows logo key and R key) at the same time to invoke the run box.
  4. Type devmgmt.msc and click OK. Then Device Manager window will open. 
  5. Click the arrow next to individual devices, right click on the device, and click Properties
  6. click Details to see the driver name. If you see any devices with a yellow exclamation mark, you’re on the right track, but this will not necessarily be the case

  1. Additionally, try doing a CTRL + F on the Windows desktop for the driver name to see what folder it’s in; this will provide a clue as to what device the driver belongs to
  2. Once you find the offending driver, click Uninstall from that same Properties screen
uninstall driver
  1. Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver itself from information it provides from the Internet. This is called Plug and Play. Allow it to do so
  2. If the driver does not automatically install, visit the device manufacturers website to download and install manually.

Perform a System Restore

If your System Protection is turned on, Windows will create a restore point before you install the driver. Then you can follow these steps to restore the driver to earlier version to fix this issue.System Restore allows your system to go back to an earlier state. This will mean that some content on your system, like system settings, some programs, the registry, will be affected. But your personal files and data won’t be changed.

1) Press Win+R (Windows logo key and R key) at the same time to invoke a run box.

2) Type rstrui.exe and click OK. The System Restore Window will open.

3) Click Next then you may see the following screen. Select a restore point created before the error occurred. You can tell from the created Date and Time. Click Next to continue and follow the on-screen instructions to finish the restore.

Image result for system restore

4) Reboot your PC and check to see if the blue screen is gone.

Scan and remove Malware in PC

To perform this method, you need to use some anti-virus software to scan and thoroughly remove all Malware from your PC and then reboot the computer. If you do not have Antivirus protection installed to your computer i suggest that you look into this immediately. Once your scan has completed, the unwanted irql_not_less_or_equal problem will be fixed.

Run Hardware Diagnostic

1. Type: Memory Diagnostic in your windows search and enter this tool.

2. Click “Diagnostic” your memory problems and it will ask you to perform the check by restarting PC immediately or on the next restart.
3. Scan on the memory and it will show a list of problematic errors detected during the scan.
4. Replace all faulty hardware detected in the scan and reboot PC.

Reseat your RAM

Gaming produces a lot of heat which in turn increases resistance on electric flow. An incorrectly seated RAM can fail to read/write when temperatures get to high due to higher resistance in the poorly connected terminals.

Simply shutdown your computer, remove power cables and batteries, open up your computer, unseat the RAM, clear any dust and reseat your RAM. Make sure the RAM snaps back into place before restarting your PC.

Are you stressing out your PC when gaming?

Your GPU, RAM, and CPU are set to run below a certain temperature. When this temperature threshold is reached, your computer will immediately shutdown through a BSOD to avoid damage to the CPU, RAM or GPU. Also by overclocking, overvolting and undervolting can lead to unstable frequencies and voltages especially when high performance is needed (under stress) hence throwing an DRIVER IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error BSOD. Ensure you have sufficient cooling and you are not stressing your computer past it’s capabilities.

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