Some Windows 11 users are reporting random BSOD (Blue screen of death) with the error code DRIVER_VERIFIER_DMA_VIOLATION during random intervals. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be a clear cause that’s triggering this critical system crash.
After investigating the issue, we realized that there are actually a lot of different causes that might ultimately spawn this critical error code on Windows 11. Here’s a list of scenarios that you should be aware of:
- Generic driver inconsistency – If you’re fortunate enough to have this problem occur due to a driver inconsistency caused by a partial incompatibility (quite frequent on Windows 11), then fixing this issue is as easy as running the Windows Hardware Troubleshooter and applying the recommended fix.
- Driver verifier inconsistency – If you want a quick fix that will allow you to stop this critical system crash without getting to the source of the issue, the easiest way to do so is to disable the entire Driver Verifier component. You can do this from an elevated Command Prompt window.
- Outdated or incompatible USB Controller driver – Several affected users that we’re also dealing with this type of problem have confirmed that in their case, the problem was fixed after they’ve updated the USB Controller driver to the latest version.
- Corrupted or incompatible driver from Intel’s fleet – Windows 11 is even more dependent on a suite of firmware drivers from Intel. A kernel analyst has discovered that more than 7 drivers signed by Intel might cause this behavior. The best way to resolve the error in this particular scenario is to run the Intel Update assistant and install the pending driver updates.
- Incompatible GPU drivers – As it turns out, you can find yourself dealing with this particular issue in scenarios where you’re using an AMD or NVIDIA driver that is not compatible with Windows 11. In this case, you can get the issue resolved by replacing your current driver with the latest iteration of a compatible driver version.
- Outdated BIOS version – Another likely culprit that you should definitely investigate is your BIOS. According to some affected users, the issue went away completely after they’ve taken the appropriate steps to update their BIOS firmware to the latest version. This method was mostly confirmed to be successful for ASUS computers.
- Kernel DMS Protection conflict – Under certain circumstances, you might experience this problem due to a process conflict caused by the Kernel DMA Protection security feature available on certain legacy BIOS. To avoid this issue, access your BIOS settings and disable Kernel DMA Protection.
- Recent system change – As Windows has a lot of moving parts, there are a lot of scenarios that might be responsible for a critical system crash. Most likely a recent system change (like a recently installed update, an app installation, or an AV scan) might prompt this error to occur. One way to revert back to a healthy state without discovering the faulty software component is to use the System Restore utility to revert your PC back to a state in which this problem was not occurring.
- Faulty RAM – Unfortunately, this issue can also have a hardware cause. Some affected users pointed out that in their case, the issue occurred because their available RAM began to fail. In this case, all you can do is test the state of your memory sticks and replace them if necessary.
- System file corruption – If every other fix featured in this article fails, you should start contemplating a scenario where you’re dealing with this issue due to some kind of system file corruption that interferes with the Driver Verifier’s DMA. To fix this problem, start by deploying SFC and DISM scans in quick succession, then graduate to a clean install or repair install procedure if the issue persists.
1. Run the Hardware Troubleshooter
If you’re lucky enough to encounter this problem because of a driver inconsistency caused by a partial incompatibility (which happens a lot on Windows 11), then all you have to do is launch the Windows Hardware Troubleshooter and follow the instructions.
If you just attached a new peripheral or external drive, this is likely the cause of the DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION issue. In this case (and a few others), running the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter and applying the recommended repair is the simplest approach to resolve the problem.
Note: This tool has a series of automated fixers that may be deployed automatically if a common circumstance is discovered.
Run the hardware and device troubleshooter by following the steps below:
- Press the Windows key + R to bring up the Run dialog box.
- Then, in the text box, type’ms-settings:troubleshoot’ and click Enter to launch the Hardware and Device Troubleshooter.
- Select Other troubleshooters from the menu on the right-hand pane once you’ve entered the Troubleshooting tab.
- Once you’ve seen the whole list of other troubleshooters, scroll down to Find and solve more issues, expand the Hardware and Devices item, and then click Run the troubleshooter.
- Wait patiently until the initial scan is completed in the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.
- If the program finds the same issue as we expect, click Enable to tell Windows to always look for new driver signatures when new hardware is attached.
- Reboot your PC, then utilize it normally and see if the DRIVER_VERIFIER_DMA_VIOLATION critical crash has been fixed.
If the problem is still not resolved, move down to the next method below.
2. Disable Driver Verifier
The quickest method to halt this catastrophic system crash without getting to the cause of the problem is to disable the whole Driver Verifier component. This may be done via a Command Prompt window with elevated privileges.
Several users dealing with the same problem have confirmed that once they accessed an elevated command prompt and disabled the Driver Verified component, the critical crashes with the DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION stopped occurring.
Important: Keep in mind that this will not help you get to the root cause of this issue. Disabling the Driver verifier also means that you will lose the core functionality of this component.
If you decide to pursue this method, follow the instructions below:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
- Next, type ‘cmd’ inside the text box, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated Command Prompt.
- At the User Account Control (UAC) window, pres Yes to grant admin access.
- Once you’re finally inside the elevated Command Prompt, type the following command and press Enter to effectively disable Driver Verifier:
- Once the command has been processed successfully, reboot your PC, then restart your PC and see if the problem is now resolved.
If you’re still dealing with the same DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION, try the next fix below.
3. Reinstall the USB Controller drivers
Several impacted consumers with whom we’re also dealing with this issue have reported that the problem was resolved in their situation when they upgraded the USB Controller driver to the most recent version.
You’ll need to go into Device Manager and manually update every USB driver under Universal Serial Bus Controllers to repair this problem.
This solution has been proven to work in circumstances when upgrading Windows 11 resulted in the same blue screen of death (DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION).
If this describes your situation, follow the steps below to replace all USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 drivers:
- Open a Run dialog box by hitting the Windows key + R.
- Next, start a Run dialog box by typing ‘devmgmt.msc’ and pressing Enter.
Note: To grant administrator privileges, select Yes from the UAC (User Account Control) menu.
- Expand the drop-down menu associated with Universal Serial Bus controllers once you’re within Device Manager.
- A list of USB controller drivers will appear next. Right-click each one and select Uninstall until all of them have been removed.
Note: Repeat this procedure for each USB controller driver listed under Universal Serial Bus controllers until all devices have been removed. DO NOT RESTART YOUR COMPUTER UNTIL THIS HAS BEEN COMPLETED.
- Restart your computer after uninstalling all Universal Serial Bus controllers.
- When your Windows installation restarts, it will notice that the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 drivers are missing and will install generic driver replacements that will prevent this behavior from occurring again.
- Re-run the activity that caused the DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION BSOD to verify if the problem has been resolved.
If the problem persists, move on to the next possible solution listed below.
4. Update Intel Drivers (if applicable)
Windows 11 is significantly more reliant on a set of Intel firmware drivers. This behavior might be caused by more than 7 Intel-signed drivers, according to a kernel expert. In this case, running the Intel Update Assistant and installing the pending driver updates is the best method to fix the problem.
Several additional customers who have experienced the DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION problem have reported that the crashes ceased after using the Intel Driver Assistant to replace the generic counterparts of the CPU, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi Card drivers with Intel equivalents.
If you wish to try this repair as well, follow the steps below:
- Open your usual browser on your Windows 11 PC and go to the Intel Driver & Support Assistant official page.
Note: If you’re using this tool for the first time, you’ll be prompted to download and install a tiny software that will check your system locally for outdated drivers and firmware. If prompted, install the local tool as directed.
- Wait until the utility has finished scanning your system for outdated drivers once it has been installed locally. If any incidents are discovered, choose Download All and wait for the software to download all outstanding drivers.
- Finally, choose to Install all to replace all existing generic drivers with Intel’s specialized counterparts.
- When prompted, restart your computer and check to see if the problem has been resolved after the next startup.
If the same error code is still happening, try the next method below.
5. Update dedicated GPU drivers (if applicable)
As it turns out, you can run into this problem if you’re running an AMD or NVIDIA driver that isn’t compatible with Windows 11. In this instance, you can address the problem by updating your current driver to the most recent version of a suitable driver.
The optimum approach to accomplish this is to use the specialized tool (from AMD or Nvidia) to ensure that you’re installing the most recent driver version for your GPU model.
Follow one of the sub-guides below to verify that you’re operating on the newest GPU drivers, depending on whether you’re on the Nvidia or AMD side:
5.1. Upgrade your Nvidia GPU driver
If you suspect that your GPU driver fleet has been corrupted, Nvidia suggests that you take the time to delete every leftover driver file before installing the current version.
This will allow you to switch to the generic driver for a short time and guarantee that the installation of the new GPU drivers goes well.
To update to the newest Nvidia GPU for your specific model, follow the instructions below:
- Begin by hitting the Windows key + R to bring up the Run dialog box.
- In the text box, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ and press Enter to enter the Programs and Features menu.
Note: If the User Account Control window appears, select Yes to allow administrator access.
- Select the Publisher option from the Programs and Features menu to order all items by publisher.
Note: By doing this operation, we will be able to more quickly identify the entries that belong to Nvidia.
- Next, scroll down and look for Nvidia Corporation’s listings.
- From the context menu, right-click each Nvidia item and select Uninstall.
- After that, delete all NVIDIA Corporation applications from your computer.
- After completing the previous step, restart your computer and wait for the next startup to complete. Note that this operation will require the generic GPU drivers to be re-enabled.
- Once your computer has restarted, go to the GeForce Experience official download page.
- To get the current version of GeForce Experience, go to the dedicated download page and click the Download Now option.
- Begin installing the newest version of GeForce Experience on your PC by following the instructions indicated.
- To allow admin access, click Yes on the confirmation screen.
- Open GeForce Experience and go to the Drivers page to see if there is a new driver version available.
- Next, select Express Installation and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the driver installation.
- After installing the most recent driver version, restart your computer to complete the process.
- If you’re still experiencing the same critical system crashes, move down to the next method below.
5.1. Upgrade your AMD GPU driver
If you use an AMD graphics card, however, you should absolutely run the cleanup application before updating your current driver; doing so will guarantee that you erase any remaining files from the previous driver installation and start again.
After that, you may use the Auto-Detect program to safely download the newest GPU version.
Here are all of the steps in this procedure:
- Go to the AMD Cleanup Utility link’s official download page. The newest version of the AMD Cleanup Utility should be downloaded automatically as a result of this.
- After the download is finished, right-click the AMD Cleanup Utility and choose Run as administrator from the context menu that appears.
- To make the utility more effective, you should notice a popup requesting you to boot in Safe Mode. When this occurs, select Yes.
Note: After uninstalling the current AMD drivers, this program will do a system-wide search to hunt for remaining registry files and startup items with AMD driver store signatures. It will erase any data that should no longer be on your system without interfering with other system components if it discovers any. Because the entire procedure is automated, you won’t have to do anything else.
- To start the procedure, click Ok to start it and let it run in the background.
Note: When the utility first starts, the display will begin to flicker before turning black for a few seconds. This is quite normal.
- When the procedure is finished, click Finish to restart your computer normally and switch to the generic drivers.
- After your PC has restarted, go to the AMD page for the Auto-Detect and Install Graphics application.
- Scroll all the way down to the Auto-Detect and Install Radeon Graphics Drivers for Windows section on the Auto-Detect page and click Download Now.
- Double-click the downloaded software and follow the on-screen instructions to install Radeon Adrenalin.
- Once the installation is complete, AMD Adrenalin should instantly run and begin searching for the most up-to-date AMD graphic drivers.
- Be patient while the driver scan is running.
- After that, you’ll be required to install the correct driver for your model. When the option opens, select Install.
- To finish the procedure, click I agree on the EULA (End User License Agreement).
- Restart your PC, then utilize your PC normally now that the AMD driver has been updated, then see if the critical crash has stopped occurring.
If the same kind of problem is still occurring, move down to the next fix below.
6. Update BIOS to the latest version
Your BIOS is another possible culprit that you should look at. According to several afflicted customers, the problem was resolved totally once they updated their BIOS firmware to the most recent version. For ASUS PCs, this strategy has mostly been verified to be effective.
It’s fairly unusual for an outdated BIOS version to cause system instability, especially on older motherboards.
Keep in mind that changing your motherboard’s BIOS version isn’t as difficult as it once was – every major motherboard manufacturer now has flashing software that allows you to upgrade your BIOS without having to become too technical.
The best course of action is to go to your motherboard manufacturer’s website and look for a BIOS upgrading application on the Drivers Download page – ASUS has E-Z Flash, MSI has MFlash, Gigabyte offers @BIOS Live Update, and so on.
Note: Before beginning the process of updating your BIOS, read the official documentation completely, regardless of the BIOS manufacturer. If you perform this procedure improperly, you risk bricking the hardware, which will necessitate the assistance of a qualified specialist.
Follow the on-screen directions to upgrade your BIOS to the most recent version, then restart your computer to check whether the DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION problem has been resolved.
If you already have the newest BIOS for your motherboard or if this approach did not work for you, try the next method below.
7. Disable Kernel DMA Protection in BIOS
You may encounter this issue in some circumstances owing to a process conflict caused by the Kernel DMA Protection security feature included on some outdated BIOS. To avoid this problem, go into your BIOS and turn off Kernel DMA Protection.
Several affected users have confirmed that once they accessed their BIOS and disabled Kernel DMA Protection from the Security (Virtualization) tab, the DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION problem stopped occurring.
If you want to pursue this potential fix, follow the instructions below for specific instructions on accessing the BIOS settings and disabling Kernel DMA Protection:
- If your computer is already switched on, perform a system reboot or start it.
- When you reach the first screen, press the Setup key as soon as the screen appears.
Note: If the Setup key does not display on the screen, look up how to enter the BIOS or UEFI settings on your specific motherboard online.
- Once you’re finally inside your BIOS settings, access the Security menu, then look for the Virtualization tab.
- Once you’re inside the Virtualization tab, look for Kernel DMA Protection and switch its associated google to Off.
- Save the changes, then boot your PC normally and see if the error is now resolved.
In case you’re still dealing with the same DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION, try the next method below.
8. Run DISM and SFC Scans
A system file corruption that affects the process of calling dependencies involved in the operation of installing drivers and software updates is one of the most prevalent causes of the ‘DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION’ problem.
If this appears to be the case, run a scan with two built-in tools: System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM).
While SFC and DISM are comparable in some ways, we recommend running them both in quick succession to increase your chances of recovering corrupted system data.
Start with a simple SFC scan if this is the case.
Keep in mind that this is a completely local tool that does not require you to be connected to the internet at all times.
IMPORTANT: Even if the utility appears to have paused, do not close the CMD window after starting this procedure. Wait for the procedure to finish without interfering, since doing so might result in logical errors on your HDD or SSD.
After the SFC scan has been completed successfully, reboot your computer and check to see if the problem has been resolved on the next restart.
If the ‘DRIVER_VERIFIER_DMA_VIOLATION‘ problem persists, run a DISM scan and follow the on-screen directions to finish the operation.
Note that DISM uses a sub-component of Windows Update to obtain healthy replacements for damaged system files, but SFC does not. As a result, make sure you have a stable Internet connection before beginning this step.
Restart your computer after the DISM scan has been completed successfully to see whether the ‘DRIVER_VERIFIER_DMA_VIOLATION‘ issue has been resolved.
If you’re still having difficulties installing updates and programs that require this, try the next step below.
9. Run the System Restore
Because Windows contains so many moving elements, there are several situations that might cause a severe system breakdown. This issue is most usually caused by a recent system change (such as a recently installed update, an app installation, or an antivirus check).
Using the System Restore application to restore your PC to a state where the problem was not present is one technique to return to a healthy condition without uncovering the broken software component.
In this case, the majority of the damage may be averted by using System Restore to return your system to a healthy condition previous to the apparition of the ‘DRIVER_VERIFIER_DMA_VIOLATION‘ issue.
IMPORTANT: Remember that using this procedure will wipe out any modifications made since the system restore point was established. Everything, including any installed apps, altered system preferences, and more, will be lost.
If you’ve decided to restore your system, follow these steps:
- Open a Run dialog box and type ‘rstrui’ and press Enter to launch the System Restore wizard.
- Click Yes if the User Account Control invites you to provide admin access.
- To proceed, click Next on the first screen of the System Restore window.
- Select a suitable restore point before clicking Next, then check the box next to Show more restore points.
- Next, choose a restore point that is older than the date you first saw the ‘DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION’ issue, and then click Next to begin the restoration process.
- Once the procedure is complete, perform the action that caused the error to determine if the problem has been fixed.
If the problem persists, proceed to the next procedure below.
10. Verify your RAM (test memory)
Unfortunately, a hardware issue might also be the source of this problem. Some of the impacted individuals explained that the problem arose because their available RAM began to fail. In this instance, your only option is to check the status of your memory sticks and, if required, replace them.
This error message is frequently related to a memory problem. If none of the techniques above have led you to a possible culprit, you should test your RAM stick(s) to determine if there’s a problem with them that’s causing the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool to display the ‘Hardware problems were found’ message
Whether you’re using dual-channel RAM, start troubleshooting by removing only one stick and seeing if the issue disappears.
You should also use a tool like Memtest to check the integrity of your RAM sticks.
Important: If your RAM is currently overclocked, we recommend restoring any voltage overclocked frequency and doing a stress test using a tool like HWMonitor to monitor your temps.
If a Memtest task on your RAM has found an underlying issue with your memory, your only option is to replace it. If your studies haven’t revealed an underlying problem with your RAM, continue on to the next possible solution below.
11. Repair or Reset Windows
If none of the procedures above have worked for you and you’ve ruled out the potential of a hardware problem, the only other probable cause of the DRIVER VERIFIER DMA VIOLATION error and subsequent system crash is underlying system file corruption.
Because there are literally tens of thousands of potential causes, the most effective technique to ensure that your system does not crash due to system file corruption is to replace every Windows file with a healthy counterpart.
You have two options when it comes to doing so:
• Clean install – This is the simplest option, but you should be aware that any personal data on the operating system disk will be lost. This is the same as reinstalling Windows from scratch, so create a backup of your data if you’re presently keeping anything sensitive on the OS disk before proceeding.
• Repair install – If you have the time, you should use this option since it will just change your Windows system files while leaving everything else alone. You can maintain your personal data, apps, games, and even certain user settings that are now saved on the OS disk if you repair the install (in-place mending).