There exists an issue on the Windows Operating System where an affected user, after using their computer normally for a short amount of time, has their display replaced by an unrecognizable, inconsistent, grey display. When users affected by this specific issue open up their computer’s Event Viewer to see what went wrong, they see one or more listings of the following error message:
“Session ‘Circular Kernel Context Logger’ Stopped Due to the Following Error: 0xc0000188“
Doing even a light amount of research on this specific Event Viewer error message will bring to light the fact that it is considered to be a pretty common Windows error message and is nothing to be concerned over. However, it becomes quite concerning when paired with an affected user’s display going out and being replaced by a grey, completely unrecognizable joke of a display that renders their computer virtually unusable. This specific error message and this specific issue can be caused by an array of different things, chief among them being the affected user’s display drivers not working properly, the maximum file size of the Startup Event Trace Sessions being too small and the affected computer’s SETUP.ETL file being corrupt.
While this specific problem was first discovered on Windows 7, it can also affect versions of the Windows Operating System that were developed and released after Windows 7. Thankfully, though, there’s a lot a user affected by this problem can do to try and fix it. The following are the solutions that have proven to be the most effective when it comes to combating this issue:
Solution 1: Make sure that the Superfetch service is enabled and running
You might be seeing a horde of “Session ‘Circular Kernel Context Logger’ Stopped Due to the Following Error: 0xc0000188” error messages in your computer’s Event Viewer because a service known as Superfetch is, for some reason, disabled or otherwise not running on your computer. If that’s the reason why you’re experiencing this problem, all you need to do in order to get rid of it and never see this ugly error message ever again is make sure that the Superfetch service is not only enabled but is also running. To use this solution to try and resolve this problem, you need to:
- Press the Windows Logo key + R to open a Run dialog.
- Type services.msc into the Run dialog and press Enter.
- In the Services manager, scroll down and locate the Superfetch service, right-click on it and click on Properties.
- Open the dropdown menu in front of the Startup type: field and click on Automatic to select it.
- If the service was not already running, click on Start to begin running it. If the service was already running, simply skip this step and move on to the next one.
- Click on Apply and then on OK.
- Close the Services manager and restart your computer.
When the computer boots up, continue using it and check to see whether or not the problem still persists.
Solution 2: Increase the maximum file size of the Startup Event Trace Sessions
As stated before, another quite common cause of Windows users losing their display and having “Session ‘Circular Kernel Context Logger’ Stopped Due to the Following Error: 0xc0000188” error messages in their Event Viewer is the size of the Startup Event Trace Sessions not being adequate. If that’s the case, simply increasing the maximum file size of the Startup Event Trace Sessions should resolve the problem for you. To do so, you need to:
- Open the Start Menu.
- Search for “cmd“.
- Right-click on the search result titled cmd and click on Run as administrator to launch an elevated instance of the Command Prompt that has administrative privileges.
- Type the following into the elevated Command Prompt and press Enter:
- The Performance Monitor should now show up on your screen. In the left pane of the Performance Monitor, double-click on Data Collector Sets to expand it.
- Click on Startup Event Trace Sessions under Data Collector Sets.
- In the right pane of the Performance Monitor, locate the ReadyBoot entry and double-click on it.
- Navigate to the Stop Condition tab and replace whatever is in the Maximum Size field with 40.
- Click on Apply and then on OK, close the Performance Monitor, close the elevated Command Prompt and restart your computer.
Check to see if the issue has been resolved when your computer boots up.
Solution 3: Make your computer replace the SETUP.ETL file with a new copy
If neither of the solutions listed and described above have worked for you, you can still try a hail Mary – forcing your computer to replace the SETUP.ETL file with a new copy. A corrupt SETUP.ETL file can also, in many cases, be the case of this issue, so making your computer replace its current SETUP.ETL file with a new one should take care of any corruption or other damage inflicted upon the old file. To make your computer replace its current SETUP.ETL file with a fresh one, you need to:
- Press the Windows Logo key + R to open a Run dialog.
- Type the following into the Run dialog and press Enter:
- In the instance of Windows Explorer that pops up on your screen, locate a file titled setup.etl, right-click on it and click on Rename.
- Rename the file to setup.old and press Enter to confirm the action.
- If asked whether you’re sure about changing the file’s extension, confirm the change.
- Restart your computer. When the computer boots up, it will automatically create a new SETUP.ETL file, completely disregarding the old one that you renamed. Once this is done, check to see if this solution managed to resolve this problem for you.