How to resolve Kernel Security Check Failure

By ivan.diskin | September 16, 2019 |

greater than 15 minutes

One nightmare every Windows user prays not to encounter is the terrifying Blue Screen of Death. Errors that produce this screen signify that Windows has suffered a fatal glitch and the computer must restart. One of these Stop codes, as they’re also known, is the Kernel Security Check Failed error.

If you’re experiencing this error on your Windows 10 machine, you have every reason to panic, but with the solutions provided in this article, you can rest easy and figure out how to get rid of the error message.

What is Stop code Kernel Security Check Failure?

The Kernel Security Check Failure is a blue screen that usually appears whenever you’re dealing with a compatibility check issue, hardware malfunction, or corrupt data file, among other problems.

Certain system issues are possible causes of the error. They include:

  • Malware
  • Incompatible or problematic system memory
  • Corrupt system files
  • Hardware issues
  • Driver conflicts

The Kernel Security Check Failure BSOD can take over your monitor while you’re using certain programs or playing games or after you upgrade your RAM. Most notably, the blue screen shows up after a major Windows update or after you upgrade your computer to Windows 10.

How to fix Kernel Security Check Failure error on Windows 10

There are different methods on how to get rid of the Kernel Security Check Failure error, and we’ll show you what you need to do in detailed steps. Follow the solutions we’ve provided carefully, and your system should be back in business in no time.

1. Check Your Hardware

Usually, Windows 10 first communicates with the peripherals connected to your laptop upon startup. The Kernel Security Check Failure BSOD can appear when any of these devices malfunctions or is loosely connected. To make sure your hardware isn’t responsible for the problem, you need to switch off your computer and remove any device you connected or installed before you saw the error the first time.

It’ll also be a great idea to check that devices such as game controllers, DVDs, headphones, external speakers, USB flash drives, external hard disk drives, and SD cards are connected and functioning properly.

If you’re using a desktop computer, make sure the mouse, keyboard and display cords are properly attached at their respective points of connection. If the cables are in bad shape, replace them. You can also check to confirm that your hard drive and RAM sticks are properly attached to the board.

Regardless of the type of computer you’re using (whether a laptop or desktop), do not open your system unless you’re sure of what you’re doing. You could also be voiding your warranty by opening your PC. In this case, detach the peripherals and check if the issue persists. If you keep seeing the blue screen, try out the solutions we have provided below before you open up your computer.

Tip: Create an installation media before you continue

Most of the solutions that follow require you to boot your system into the Advanced Startup Options screen. The Advanced Startup screen is the main repair location for issues regarding blue screen errors, such as the Kernel Security Check Failure stop code on Windows 10. You need a bootable media to get to Advanced Startup, which means you have to create one if you don’t have a Windows 10 installation DVD. If you don’t know how to create an installation media, follow the guide below:

Firstly, you need to make use of another computer if you can’t access your system. Secondly, make sure you take note of your computer’s architecture (whether you’re using a 32-bit or 64-bit processor). And finally, ensure you have a USB device that has free space of up to 8GB or an empty DVD:

  1. Go to the Microsoft website to download the Media Creation Tool.
  2. Once you download the tool, run it.
  3. Click Accept on the Terms and Conditions page.
  4. Choose the “Create installation media for another PC” option when you get to the “What do you want to do?” page, and then click on the Next button.
  5. Select your Windows edition, language, and 32-bit or 64-bit architecture.
  6. Next, choose between USB flash drive and ISO file (for creating an installation DVD).
  7. If you choose the USB flash drive option, insert a USB flash drive with no less than 8GB of free storage, select it in the next page and click Next to allow the tool to complete the task. Choosing the ISO file option means you have to burn the file to a blank DVD.

That’s it, you’ve created a bootable media that you can use to apply the subsequent fixes in this article.

2. Activate the legacy advanced boot menu

Windows 10, 8.1 and 8, by default, have no option to activate the Advanced Boot Menu, which is usually summoned in previous Windows versions by tapping Shift+F8 or F8. The Advanced Boot Menu lets you get into Safe Mode and access Command Prompt and provides other advanced boot options that are critical for troubleshooting and repairs. Many users found that enabling the Advanced Boot Menu on their Windows 10 had removed the Kernel Security Check Failure blue screen error. Follow the steps below to enable the Legacy Advanced Boot menu:

  1. Insert the Windows 10 installation DVD or connect the bootable USB flash drive and restart your computer.
  2. Click Next when the Windows setup box comes up.
  3. Click the “Repair your computer” option in the next screen.
  4. Select Troubleshoot when the “Choose an option” page opens.
  5. Choose Advanced Options under Troubleshoot.
  6. Click on the Command Prompt label when the Advanced Options screen shows up.
  7. Once Command Prompt opens, type C: and hit the Enter key.
  8. When you get to the C: prompt, enter the command line below and hit enter:

BCDEDIT /SET {DEFAULT} BOOTMENUPOLICY LEGACY

  1. Now, return to the “Choose an option” page and boot up your system normally to check for the error.

If you still see the error, don’t panic, you can try out other fixes below.

3. Start up your computer in Safe Mode and run the System File Checker tool

The Kernel Security Check Failure error can be the result of faulty system files. To fix this, you can scan and repair or replace any problematic or missing system file using the SFC (System File Checker) tool. This procedure can be performed in Safe Mode if you can’t boot your computer normally to desktop level. Entering Safe Mode loads your OS with minimal programs and drivers, which means some of the files and programs causing the error won’t be loaded. Here’s how to run the SFC tool in Safe Mode:

  1. Insert the Windows 10 installation DVD or the USB bootable media and reboot your PC.
  2. Get to the “Choose an option” page as shown in the above fix and then navigate to Troubleshoot >> Advanced Options.
  3. Click the Startup Settings label under Advanced Options and then click Restart.
  4. Choose the Safe Mode with networking option so you can access the internet.
  5. When your computer boots into Safe Mode, click Start, search for Command Prompt, and when it comes up, right-click it and then choose the Run as Administrator option.
  6. Once Command Prompt shows up, type the following command line and hit the Enter key:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

You should enter this command before you run the SFC tool as it provides the necessary files needed by the tool to repair or replace any faulty or missing system file it finds.

  1. Now, enter this command in the elevated Command Prompt and press Enter:

sfc /scannow

Now that should do it. Check if the problem persists. If you can’t boot into Safe Mode with networking, follow the steps below to run the SFC tool:

  1. Restart your computer with the bootable media attached.
  2. Click on the Next button and select the Repair your computer option.
  3. Now, go to Troubleshoot >> Advanced Options.
  4. Select Command Prompt in the Advanced Options screen.
  5. Upon restart, select a user account, enter the sign-in details and click on Continue.
  6. Typesfc /scannow

    once the Command Prompt window shows up and press Enter.

  7. Reboot your computer normally if the command executes successfully.

Check for the blue screen, and if it still shows up, move on to the next fix.

4. Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool

Issues with memory are possible triggers of the annoying BSOD. Your system memory (RAM) could be faulty, and you can check it for errors using the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. Some users reported that this had helped them solve their Kernel Security Check failure blue screen problem. Going through Safe Mode is the best way to fix the issue if you can’t boot up your system normally. Follow the steps below to apply this fix:

  1. Insert or attach your bootable media, restart your computer and boot into Safe Mode (preferably without networking).
  2. In Safe Mode, open Control Panel.
  3. Go to System and Security and then click Administrative Tools.
  4. Locate Windows Memory Diagnostic, right-click it, and then select Run as Administrator from the context menu. Click Yes in the User Account Control pop-up.
  5. Now, click on the “Restart now and check for problems (recommended)” option in the Windows Memory Diagnostic dialog.
  6. Your computer will restart, and the tool will check for problems.

To find out the results of the test, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the magnifier icon in your taskbar and type “event” (without the quotes) when the text box opens.
  2. Select Event Viewer from the results.
  3. Once the Event Viewer application shows up, go to the left pane and expand Windows logs.
  4. Make sure you single-click System and then right-click it.
  5. Click on Filter Current Log from the context menu, which would be unclickable had you not single-clicked System before right-clicking it.
  6. Once the Filter Current Log dialog opens, go to the Event Sources drop-down, scroll down and check the box for MemoryDiagnostics-Results.
  7. Click Ok.
  8. The main window of the Event Viewer will come back up, and you’ll see event logs displayed in the main screen. Click each log to find out if your RAM has a problem.
  9. If the report suggests that your RAM is faulty, you’ll have to change it.

5. Scan your PC for malware

Malicious programs can attack different files and drivers on your computer, which can trigger the blue screen error. Some of these malicious programs camouflage themselves as system processes and wreak considerable havoc. The best way to fish them out and get rid of them is by running a full malware scan. If your computer can boot up normally, launch your antivirus program and perform a full scan. The procedure is different for different third-party programs, but it’s quite simple and straightforward for each one.

An effective tool that you can use to rid your system of malware is Auslogics Anti-Malware. The tool performs regular scans on your computer to detect and delete malicious programs that can potentially cause significant harm. A superb benefit of the program is that you get to use it as an additional layer of security as it can run alongside your third-party antivirus to catch any missed threat. Auslogics Anti-Malware can also work as a stand-alone system protection tool and keep you your PC safe.

To perform a full scan using the built-in Windows Virus & Threat Protection tool, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Win+I combination to go to the home screen of Windows Settings.
  2. Click Updates & Security and then switch to the Windows Security tab.
  3. Open the Windows Defender Security Center and click on the Virus & Threat Protection label.
  4. Locate the Advanced Scan option and click on it.
  5. Click the Full Scan bubble to select it and then click the Scan now button below.
  6. Allow the tool to scan your whole system as this could take a while.
  7. Once the tool completes the process and removes unwanted programs and processes, reboot your computer and check for the error.

6. Update your drivers

Problematic and outdated drivers are also possible culprits of the blue screen error. If you have not updated your driver for a while or you recently installed a driver before seeing the blue screen error, then this explains why you’re encountering the issue. An effective fix for this is finding out which device drivers on your computer are bad or out-of-date and updating them.

To easily find faulty or outdated drivers, use Auslogics Driver Updater. The program is an automated tool designed to scan computers for malfunctioning or outdated device drivers. When such drivers are found, the tool then downloads and installs them from the right source.

Another method for doing this is looking for problem drivers using the Driver Verifier Manager and updating them via Device Manager. This method can be quite lengthy but will resolve the blue screen issue if faulty or outdated drivers are responsible. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the R key and Windows key together to launch Run.
  2. Typeverifier

    in the Run dialog box and hit Enter.

  3. Click Yes in the User Account Control permission pop-up.
  4. Select the “Create standard settings” option and click Next once the Driver Verifier Manager window comes up.
  5. Under “Select what drivers to verify”, choose “Automatically select drivers built for older versions of Windows” and then click Next.
  6. Note down any driver that shows up on the list.
  7. Go back to the “Select what drivers to verify” screen, click on “Automatically select unsigned drivers” and then click the Next button.
  8. Note down every driver that is displayed.
  9. Now, close the program and open Device Manager (typedevmgmt.msc

    in Run and hit Enter).

  10. Go to the device of each driver you noted, right-click the device and select Update Driver.
  11. Click the first option in the next screen to allow Windows to search for the latest driver and install it. Make sure you repeat this step for every affected device that you found using the Driver Verifier Manager.

Restart your system once you’re done and check for the error. If this doesn’t solve the problem, go back to Device Manager and, one by one, uninstall each driver you noted down and then restart your computer after completing each uninstallation to check for the error. This method will help you isolate the problematic device that’s causing the error.

7. Uninstall the problem application in Safe Mode

If you began to experience the BSOD error after installing a program, then that application could be the reason for the problem. You can fix the issue by simply uninstalling the program. Even if you can’t boot into your system normally, boot into Safe Mode to remove the error. Here’s how to do just that:

  1. Use the bootable media you created to open the Advanced Startup page and then navigate to Troubleshoot >> Advanced Options.
  2. You can enter the Advanced Startup page without using the bootable media. What you have to do is switch off your computer and switch it back on, and when the Windows logo shows up, force your system to shut down by holding the power button down; repeat these steps until you see the Automatic Repair page, then click Advanced Options.
  3. Click Startup Settings in the Advanced Options page and click the Restart button in the Startup Settings screen.
  4. When your computer reboots, click Safe Mode.
  5. In Safe Mode, open Control Panel by searching for it in the Start menu.
  6. Click Uninstall a Program under Programs.
  7. Locate the program you recently installed, click it and then click the Uninstall button at the top of the list.
  8. Follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the process.

Now, go to Start and reboot your system – it will boot up in normal mode. Check for the error.

8. Perform a system restore

If you’re experiencing this problem after making major software changes to your computer, then you can take your computer back to a previously working state, provided a restore point exists. Windows regularly creates automatic restore points after you install a program or make significant modifications to your computer. To restore your computer:

  1. Open the search bar close to the Start menu and typeRestore

    .

  2. Click on Create a Restore Point in the results.
  3. The System Protection tab in the System Properties dialog will appear.
  4. Click on the System Restore button.
  5. Click on the Next button, select a restore point and then click Next again.
  6. When your PC reboots, check for the blue screen.

If you can’t boot into your system normally, follow these steps:

  1. Insert or connect the Windows 10 installation media and go to the Advanced Options screen.
  2. Click System Restore under Advanced Options.
  3. In the next screen, select a restore point when your computer was in tip-top shape.
  4. When your system reboots, allow it to install necessary updates, and you can check for the blue screen error.

9. Stop overclocking your CPU

An overclocked CPU can trigger the Kernel Security Check Failure blue screen error. If you’re using a third-party program to overclock your CPU to boost speed and performance, it’s vital that you undo the changes you made to your system using the application. Better still, remove the application from your computer. If you can’t boot to the desktop environment, go into Safe Mode and remove the program as explained in solution eight above.

10. Use the CHKDSK tool to scan your hard drive for errors

Faulty hard drive sectors and partitions are another reason for the blue screen error. To fix the issue in this case, use the in-built check disk tool. You can use File Explorer and Command Prompt to apply this fix, and we’ll show you how:

  1. Open File Explorer (Win+E).
  2. Go to the left pane of the File Explorer and click on This PC.
  3. Right-click the drive where Windows is installed (which is normally the drive C:).
  4. Click Properties in the context menu.
  5. Switch to the Tools tab and click on the Check button under Error checking.
  6. The tool will scan for errors on your hard disk, and if it finds any, you’ll be prompted to check the drive. If the tool doesn’t find any error, a dialog will inform you that you don’t need to check the disk; click Scan drive to activate CHKDSK anyway.
  7. Allow the tool to scan your hard disk for problems (this may take quite a while).
  8. If you see the “Restart your computer to repair the file system. You can restart right away or schedule the error fixing on next restart” message, allow your computer to reboot.

You can now check if the error persists.

Another alternative is to use Command Prompt:

  1. Search for Command Prompt in Start, and when it shows up in the results, right-click it and choose the Run as Administrator option. Confirm the User Account Control prompt.
  2. Once the elevated Command Prompt shows up, type the command line below and hit enter:

chkdsk C: /f /r /x

Replace

C

with the letter of the drive you wish to scan and repair. Note that the parameters in the command tell CHKDSK to fix any error it detects on the drive (/f), find faulty sectors on the disk and retrieve any readable file (/r), and forcibly unmount the drive before it executes the command (/x).

  1. Once the tool is done, reboot your computer and check for the blue screen error.

11. Perform a rollback to an older Windows 10

Like we mentioned earlier, compatibility issues are part of the possible reasons you’re experiencing the error. You could be running programs that are incompatible with the Windows 10 build on your computer. What you should do in this case is roll back to a previous version where things worked well. To do this, go to Settings (Windows+I) >> Update & Security, click on Recovery in the left pane and then click Get started under “Go back to the previous version of Windows 10”. At the first prompt, provide a reason why you’re rolling back, then click Next. Follow the subsequent instructions on the screen to complete the process.

12. Update your computer

If you haven’t updated your Windows 10 PC for a while, there might be incompatible software that is clashing with other system programs and processes. This conflict could be the reason you’re experiencing the issue. To fix this problem, update your system. Go to the Settings app (Win+I), click Update & Security, click on the Check for updates button and then allow Windows Update to search for updates and download and install them. Once your computer restarts, check for the error.

13. Reset your PC

This method is ideal if no recovery point exists on your PC and if things worked properly before. The caveat here is that you will lose your applications. If you can’t boot into the desktop environment or stay there for long due to the blue screen, you can reset your PC in Safe Mode. Here’s how to reset your PC:

  1. Click the Start and then click the cog icon to open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security in the home screen of Windows Settings.
  3. In the left pane, switch to the Recovery tab.
  4. Now, under Reset this PC, click the Get Started button.
  5. If you wish to start from scratch, click on Remove everything, otherwise, click on the Keep my files option to prevent Windows from wiping out your files.
  6. If you choose Remove Everything, the next screen will prompt you to “Just remove your files” or “Remove your files and clean drive”; choose one option.
  7. Click Next under the Warning screen and then click Reset.
  8. Wait for Windows to reset your PC, then click Continue when it finishes.

The Kernel Security Check Failure should no longer appear.

Concluding

We’re confident that you’ll no longer have to break a sweat about the Kernel Security Check Failure Blue Screen of Death. Resetting your PC should be the furthest you have to go. However, if that doesn’t work, you might need to perform a clean installation of Windows 10, but we believe it won’t get to that. If you need guidance on any issue, you can let us know below!

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