SYSTEM THREAD EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED is an error which appears on a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) when process threads running critical windows services fault. It has been mainly reported by users of Windows 8, 8.1 and 10. While some users get 10 to 15 seconds before they get this error, some have reported immediately getting this error after their windows start, and then their systems reboots, getting stuck in a loop making it impossible for them to use any computer.

This error mainly occurs due to a driver malfunction. An outdated, corrupted or incompatible driver can get your system into display this blue screen. Outdated drivers and overclocking softwares, or a recently overclocked tweak are also known to cause this BSOD. If a recently installed program or a driver caused this issue; then the first approach should be to uninstall them since they are simply not compatible, keep track of updates and attempt reinstall when a patch or update to the driver has been released.

You can do this by booting into Safe Mode. (see below)


Analyse the Minidump Files

This BSOD has several variations, it is best to analyse the minidump file which is responsible for logging the crashes and can provide more details on what exactly is causing the SYSTEM THREAD EXCEPTION BSOD.

In order to continue with this, please see steps below.

  1. Right-click on This PC, and then click on Properties.

  1. Click the Advanced tab, and then under Startup and Recovery, click Settings (or Startup and Recovery).

Under System Failure, click to select the check boxes for the actions that you want Windows to perform if a system error occurs:

  1. The Write an event to the System log option specifies that event information is recorded in the System log. By default, this option is turned on. To turn off this option by modifying the registry, type the following information at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
wmic recoveros set WriteToSystemLog = False

  1. The Send an administrative alert option specifies that administrators are notified of the system error if you configured administrative alerts.. To turn off this option by modifying the registry, type the following information at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
wmic recoveros set SendAdminAlert = False
  1. The Automatically restart option specifies that Windows automatically restarts your computer. By default, this option is enabled. To turn off this option by modifying the registry, type the following information at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
wmic recoveros set AutoReboot = False

Under Write Debugging Information, select the type of information that you want Windows to record in a memory dump file if the computer stops unexpectedly:

  1. The Small Memory Dump option records the smallest amount of information to help identify the problem. To specify that you want to use a small memory dump file by modifying the registry, type the following information at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
wmic recoveros set DebugInfoType = 3
  1. To specify that you want to use the D:\Minidump folder as your Small Dump Directory by modifying the registry, set the MinidumpDir Expandable String Value to D:\Minidump. For example, type the following information at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
wmic recoveros set MiniDumpDirectory = D:\Minidump
  1. The Kernel Memory Dump option records only kernel memory. This option stores more information than a small memory dump file, but it takes less time to complete than a complete memory dump file.

There are other options as well but we recommend you use the Small Memory Dump option as it’s small in size but it still contains enough information for you to solve your issue. Additionally, you will need to use this option in order to read and open the minidump file properly.

Let’s find out just how to open and read the minidump file. You will need to download a certain tool made available by Microsoft. Firstly, it was a part of the Debugging Tools for Windows but Microsoft decided to create a standalone package.

  1. Visit here in order to download Windows Driver Kit. You can also download WinDbg as a standalone package which is actually the only tool you will need.

  1. Download the installer and follow the instructions on screen in order to install it properly.

  1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
  2. Change to the Debugging Tools for Windows folder. To do this, type the following at the command prompt, and then press ENTER:
cd c:\program files\debugging tools for windows

  1. To load the dump file into a debugger, type one of the following commands, and then press ENTER:
windbg -y SymbolPath -i ImagePath -z DumpFilePath
kd -y SymbolPath -i ImagePath -z DumpFilePath
  1. If you decided to save the file in the C:\windows\minidump\minidump.dmp folder, you can use the following sample command:
windbg -y srv*c:\symbols* -i c:\windows\i386 -z c:\windows\minidump\minidump.dmp

  1. Check the file for any errors and bugs related to system files and make sure you google each file next to the error message to make sure it’s a driver or a part of a certain third-party app.

if after analysing dump files you were able to figure out the issue, then most likely it is now resolved but if not then you proceed with these methods below.

Check Display Drivers

Display drivers are one of the most common reason for this error to occur. We will uninstall them and then re-install the latest version of the display drivers. If you can log in to Windows for even a few minutes then skip to Step 2. But if you can’t even log in to Windows then start with Step 1.

Step 1: Boot into Safe Mode

In safe mode, your drivers and services are disabled which are not necessary to run Windows. To boot Windows 8/8.1 and 10 into safe mode, turn your system on and force it to shut down by pressing the power button, turn it back on and repeat the steps until the system starts in repair mode. (you may need to repeat this for 4 to 5 times). The aim is to somehow trigger and push your system to go into repair/advanced mode.

Click on Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt. A black command prompt window will appear. Now type the following command and press Enter.


Now type Exit and press Enter. Click Continue.

Now restart your system and keep tapping F8 (Shift + F8 for some) before the Windows logo appear.  Advanced Boot Options menu will appear. In it highlight Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter. Now log in. You will be running your Windows in Safe Mode now.


If for some reason you can’t get the recovery options to show up, then get an installation media of your Windows operating system, which can be either a DVD or make a bootable USB through Media Creation tool. You will need an 8 GB USB and a computer with internet access.

To create a Windows 10 Bootable USB Installation media, follow our guide on this link.

To create a Windows 8.1 Bootable USB Installation media, go to this link. Scroll down and click on Download Tool Now. Run the tool and follow the onscreen instructions.

Enter the DVD or insert the USB into the target computer. Power on and keep tapping F2 to access Boot menu. The button to enter boot menu may differ by your system’s model. Normally, for Dell it is F12, for HP it is F9. You may have to check your system’s manufacturer’s website for yours.

After accessing the boot menu, highlight and select CD/DVD if you inserted a DVD, or select USB drive if you inserted a USB.

If you are asked to press any key to boot from the media do so. Click Next if the time zone, keyboard layout preference and language are fine for you.

Now in the lower left corner, click on Repair your computer.

Now follow the above given method to open command prompt and get into safe mode.

Step 2: Uninstall Display Drivers

Hold down Windows key and press R. In the Run dialog, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter.


Device manager window will appear. In it, double click Display adapters to expand it. Under it will be your graphic card installed. (write down the full name of your display driver, before uninstalling it) once done, Right click on it, and chose Uninstall.


Then click Delete the driver software for this device and click OK. Restart your system normally. After restarting, video drivers will get installed automatically. If not, or if you are having the same issue again, then you will have to install the updated version of the drivers manually. Follow step 3 to see how.

Step 3: Install/Update Drivers

To get an updated version of drivers for your graphic card, visit your graphic card manufacturer’s website. Search by the card’s model and download the appropriate drivers compatible with your operating system and system type (x64 or x86). To know them both, hold Windows key and press R, type msinfo32 and press Enter.

In the system information window, note down OS type and System type in the right pane. The downloaded files will probably be an executable. Simply run it and follow the onscreen instructions.

If you don’t have an external graphic card installed, then you will have a integrated display adapter embedded on your motherboard. Visit your motherboard’s manufacturers website (The one whose logo splashes when you power on your system) to get updated drivers for your onboard graphic adapter. In addition to operating system and system type, you will also need your system model, which is also mentioned in the System Information window. The downloaded file here will also be an executable. Simply run it and follow the onscreen instructions.

Uninstall Your Sound Card Drivers

Sometimes this error message is caused by a faulty driver called C-Media USB Audio Class 1.0 and 2.0 DAC Device Driver which can be found with some Xerox sound cards. Updating the driver may not fix the issue properly so you might try uninstalling the driver completely and letting the Device Manager replace it with the default sound card driver.

  1. Click Start and type Run. Select Run, A Run dialog box will appear.
  2. Type “devmgmt.msc” in the run box and click OK button. This is to open Device Manager Window.
  3. In Device Manager, expand category “Sound, video and game controllers“. Under this category, right-click on anything related to C-Media USB Audio Class 1.0 and 2.0 DAC Device Driver. A context menu will pop up. Then select Uninstall device.

  1. You may be required to confirm the uninstallation. Check the box next to “Delete the driver software for this device” and click OK button.
  2. Restart your PC for the change to take effect. After restarting, Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver and replacing it with the manufacturer’s driver.
  3. If Windows doesn’t replace the sound card driver, open Device Manager again, select Action and click on the Scan for hardware changes option.

Rename the Faulty Driver

If next to SYSTEM THREAD EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED, you can see a file name such as atikmdag.sys, nvlddmkm.sys, etc.. in a bracket, then we can rename the culprit driver into something that the windows can’t find, hence it will fetch a new copy of the driver file.


Get into the command prompt through steps shown in first solution.

In the black window, type the following commands, and press Enter after each.



If the results of the dir command shows a folder named “Windows” then it is the target drive. If not, type d: and press Enter.

Now type the following commands and press Enter after each line.

cd windows\system32\drivers

ren drivername.sys drivername.old

In the above command, drivername is the name of the fault driver, e.g atikmdag.sys.

Restart your system. The driver we deleted will be installed automatically. If not, log in normal mode, hold Windows key and press R. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter.

The uninstalled device driver will have a yellow exclamation mark. Right click on it and click Update Driver Software.

Click Search automatically for Updated Driver Software. Windows will search for the driver online and install it once it finds it

Reset your PC

Resetting our PC is considered to a last resort for this issue but it is definitely efficient and it’s able to fix most of the BSOD issues, including the one described in this article. Here’s how to reset your PC in Windows 10.

  1. Navigate to Settings. You can get there by clicking the gear icon on the Start menu.

  1. Select “Update & security” and click Recovery in the left pane.

  1. Windows presents you with three major options: Reset this PC, Go back to an earlier build and Advanced startup. Reset this PC is the best option for starting fresh. Advanced startup lets you boot off a recovery USB drive or disc and “Go to an earlier build” is made for Windows Insiders who want to roll back to a previous version of the OS.
  2. Click Get started under Reset this PC.

  1. Click either “Keep my files” or “Remove everything,” depending on whether you want to keep your data files intact. Either way, all of your settings will return to their defaults and apps will be uninstalled.
  2. Select “Just remove my files” or “Remove files and clean the drive” if you chose to “remove everything” in the prior step. Cleaning the drive takes a lot longer but will make sure that, if you are giving the computer away, the next person will have a hard time recovering your erased files. If you are keeping the computer, choose “Just remove my files.”

  1. Click Next if Windows warns you that you won’t be able to roll back to a prior version of the OS. Click Reset when prompted.

  1. Windows will then restart and take several minutes to reset itself. Click Continue when prompted.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.