PNP stands for Plug and Play, which is a method of plugging in a device and allowing it to work without the user needing to do anything extra. The error message is made up of three components: what it is, when it happened, and what type of error. Therefore, in a full human sentence, this reads as:
When the Plug and Play device was detected, there was a Fatal Error in the Operating System.
This error often occurs when the computer starts up because of a few reasons: the driver that allows that device to have a plug and play action has been corrupted or outdated, the device starts up before the Operating System and interrupts the start-up process, or the driver runs before critical start-up systems run because it has been scheduled in the incorrect task order. If you just recently upgraded to Windows 10, then the reason for this error message is most likely the very first reason listed here.
Method 1: Process of Elimination
The easiest and safest way to find the PNP device that is causing this problem is to unplug all the devices connected to your computer and then re-do what you were doing.
Unplug all devices connected to the computer. Turn on the computer to see if you still get the error. If you don’t, continue to the next step. If you do then it means that driver is corrupt, or the device has malfunctioned.
Restart the computer after removing all the external devices connected. If you get an error, you have found one of the PNP devices giving you an error. If you do not get the error, try connecting the devices one by one to see which one triggers the error.
Method 2: Analyse Crash Dump’s in Safe Mode
Boot your system into Safe Mode and analyse the crash dumps to figure out which driver is causing the BSOD. You can view the instructions (here) to see how to analyze dump logs.
Method 3: Disable your AV (Antivirus) Software
Sometimes, the problem can occur as a result of your AV raising false flags against certain programs or applications. If this is the case, such as you get the PNP_DETECTED_FATAL_ERROR only when you run certain programs, then try disabling your AV software and see if the issue persists, if it doesn’t then uninstall your AV Software and replace it with a different one such as AVG etc.
Method 4: Do a System Restore
If you’ve recently installed a program, or if a driver has been updated then do a System Restore to see if reverting back to the previous point in time can fix the issue. See steps (here)
Return the Product
If the error is coming from a product that was recently purchased, such as a tablet, that you cannot effectively update because the device is either a tablet or a motherboard that won’t go into the BIOS then you need to return the device.