How to Get Rid of the “UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP” BSOD in Windows 10

August 21, 2019 |

greater than 10 minutes

Nobody wants to see a blue screen error take over their Windows computer’s monitor. But, sadly, these errors don’t respect the fears and aversions of any user. A BSOD can come up at any time, as long as there’s a fatal system glitch that triggers it. While you might not be prepared for the coming of a Blue Screen error, the good thing is that it doesn’t necessarily spell the end of the road for your computer.

One BSOD that has caused a lot of headaches, especially for Windows 10 users, is the UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP error. Like other STOP codes (as Blue screen errors are normally called), this particular BSOD, which comes with a bug check value of 0x00000117, snatches control of your system away from you, forcing you to restart your computer before you can regain access. In some cases, you’ll find yourself in an endless loop of turning on your system and encountering the same blue screen.

The blue screen is mainly connected to your system’s CPU and can be caused by a number of system errors. If you’re one of the annoyed users that are facing the frustrating problem, you can apply certain known fixes that have got rid of the issue for many users. In this article, we’ll be sharing the causes of the UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP issue and the steps you can take to resolve it.

What Causes the UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP Blue Screen?

This BSOD is known to occur when the kernel or operating system fails to catch an exception or trap that is generated by the CPU. While this is the direct cause of the blue screen, certain underlying factors make the kernel fail to accomplish its responsibility. Below, we’ll be explaining the common reasons for the problem so that you can have a better idea of what’s going on and easily point out the best solution to the problem on your computer.

Hardware Issues

The error is usually hardware-related. It could be that a piece of recently installed hardware is faulty or incompatible with your device. This could result in the OS having difficulties when trying to interact with the component, triggering the error in the process. If dust has covered some of your system’s hardware components, especially in the case of desktop devices, then this could be the reason.

Problematic Device Drivers

If you have any faulty, missing, or outdated driver on your system, this could be the cause of the error. Unknown to certain users, the drivers they download from certain third-party sites and install on their systems are corrupt, fake, or outdated. In some cases, however, users can download a driver that is incompatible with the device it’s intended for. Performing an upgrade, especially from a previous Windows version to Windows 10, can also cause driver issues.

Broken System Files

Some system files that control certain processes, especially the operating system’s response to exceptions created by the CPU, might become badly damaged or missing for one reason or the other. For many users, scanning for and repairing bad system files resolved the problem. We’ll show you how to do this later on.

Bad RAM Module

The problem could also be the result of a faulty RAM. When your RAM stick becomes problematic, it causes read and write errors, triggering the blue screen when the CPU creates an exception or a trap. We’ll show you how to conduct a RAM test to confirm whether you need to replace the component.

CPU or GPU Overclocking

You might be facing the issue because you’re overclocking your CPU or GPU. Many users found that the issue had been resolved after reverting their overclocking settings.

How to Fix the UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP Error in Windows 10

Now that you know the possible causes of the error, let’s show you how to remove the 0x0000007f error screen. The fixes explained below proved to be the solutions to the problem for many users. Not all the methods here will fix the issue on your computer, as the cause of the error on your system can be different from that of other users. For example, if a driver issue is responsible for the error, the right fix will be to update the driver or perform a fresh installation.
If you’re still finding it hard wrapping your head around the real cause of the issue, then follow the fixes below in the order that they’re arranged.

Firstly, Dust Your Computer

If you’re using a desktop computer, check if some of its components are dusty and clean them up. Power down your computer and carefully open it up. Dust out the CPU fan, the memory stick, peripheral connectors, the motherboard, and the GPU and other PCI sticks. Once done, put your system back together, switch it on, and then check if the error still comes up.

Check for Faulty Hardware Devices

You can troubleshoot your hardware devices by removing any newly installed device and checking for the problem. This could be a peripheral device, such as an on-board card or a USB device.

Fix Faulty Device Drivers

As you well know, bad device drivers are one of the main causes of the error. Fixing the issue requires you to update your device drivers, and if that doesn’t work out, try reinstalling the driver.

Updating Problematic Device Drivers

If the error still shows up, you can check for bad device drivers, using Auslogics Driver Updater. The tool will point you to drivers that are faulty, missing, or outdated. It will go ahead to download and install the latest version of the problematic drivers that the scan detected. This program offers you the easiest way to fix the BSOD error, as long as a faulty driver caused it.

Using Device Manager

If there are faulty or missing device drivers on your system after you performed an upgrade to Windows 10, the devices will be indicated by a yellow triangle and exclamation mark in Device Manager. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Press the Windows logo key and X key simultaneously, then click on Device Manager.
  2. Once Device Manager opens, locate the problematic device, right-click it, and then click on Update Driver.
  3. On the next screen, click on “Search automatically for updated driver software” and allow Windows to download and install the latest driver from the internet.

If Device Manager fails to update the driver, you can mark out the device and manually download the driver from the internet. You have to make sure you go to the device manufacturer’s website and download the driver for your model. In most cases, you can download device drivers from the website of your PC’s manufacturer.

Removing and Installing Device Driver in Safe Mode

If the BSOD is bad to the point that you can’t boot up your system normally or can’t stay on your desktop past a couple of minutes, then try going through Safe Mode. Follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the power button on your system to shut it down.
  2. Tap the power button to turn on your computer but once the logo of your PC’s manufacturer flashes, press and hold the power button to force your system to shut down again. Repeat this step three times again until you see the “Please wait” message on the screen.
  3. Click on the “See advanced repair options” option on the screen with the caption that reads, “it looks like Windows didn’t load correctly.”
  4. On the next screen, click on Troubleshoot.
  5. Under Troubleshoot, click on Advanced Options, and then click on Startup Settings.
  6. Click on the Restart button once you get to the next screen.
  7. Once your system comes up again, you’ll be provided with a list of rebooting options; choose the number beside Safe Mode, which is usually 4, or the number beside Safe Mode with Networking if you want to use an Internet connection.
  8. Once you’re in Safe Mode, open Device Manager.
  9. Locate the faulty device driver, right-click it, and then click on Uninstall Device.
  10. You can now install the driver manually and check if the error has been resolved.

Resolve Device Driver Conflicts

The BSOD might occur if you have an integrated GPU and a dedicated one. If this is the case, especially with Intel and Nvidia GPUs, try uninstalling the integrated graphics card driver and check if that resolves the problem. This had been the issue for some users, and they were able to resolve the problem by removing the driver.

Also, ensure your graphics card and LAN drivers are up to date, as obsolete versions of these drivers can trigger the BSOD error.

Stop Overclocking Your GPU and CPU

If you’re using an overclocking program, such as MSI Afterburner or Rivertuner, to improve your system’s performance, try reverting your overclocking settings and check if that resolves the problem. Also, go to your BIOS and set your CPU frequency to default if you made changes there.

Check Your RAM, Using the Memory Diagnostic Tool

Memory read and write errors, which can be caused by a faulty RAM stick, could result in the UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP Blue Screen error. If your RAM is bad, you need to change it, as you can’t remedy a faulty RAM device. However, you need to confirm before making any rash decisions. You can make use of the built-in memory diagnostic tool to test the health of your system memory. Follow these steps:

  1. Use the Windows + R combination to launch the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “Control Panel” into the text box and hit the Enter key.
  3. Once Control Panel opens, click on System and Security.
  4. Under System and Security, click on Administrative Tools.
  5. A new window will come up with a list of shortcuts.
  6. Click on the “Restart now and check for problems” option once the Windows Memory Diagnostic mini-window pops up.
  7. Your computer will reboot to the diagnostic tool and perform the test on your system memory. The tool will let you know if it finds any issues at the end of the test.

Make Sure Your Windows Is Up-to-Date

The problem might be related to incompatibilities that might be occurring due to an out-of-date Windows 10 build. While you can comfortably use an old Windows 10 version in most cases, you might be running software that requires the latest version of the OS. In certain situations, driver versions that come with an update are all that’s needed to get rid of the blue screen error.

Right-click on the Start button and click on Settings. Click on the Update & Security label once the Settings home screen opens. Click on the Check for Updates button, and then allow Windows to download and install all the available updates for your system.

Repair Faulty System Files

The next step involves checking whether there are broken or missing system files on your computer. Bad system files are known to be the main culprits behind most BSOD errors, and the case isn’t different for the UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP error. To perform the scan and replace faulty system files, you’ll have to make use of the System File Checker (SFC) and the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool.

The SFC tool scans your protected system files for corruption and automatically attempts to repair any problematic file. On Windows 10, you’ll have to run the DISM tool first to provide the files necessary for the repair. You’ll be running both tools in an elevated Command Prompt window. The procedure is quite simple, as long as you know what to do. Below are the steps you should follow:

  1. Open the search utility next to Start by clicking on the magnifier icon in your taskbar.
  2. Type “command” (without the quotes) into the text field.
  3. Once Command Prompt shows up, right-click it and choose Run as Administrator.
  4. Click on Yes once the pop-up dialog prompts for confirmation.
  5. Now, type the following commands into the elevated Command Prompt window to run the DISM tool. Ensure you note the spaces in the command line and press Enter after typing it:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

The tool might take a while to start running, and the command could take more than 25 minutes to complete. Once you see the completion message that reads, “The operation completed successfully” in the Command Prompt window, move on to the next step.

  1. Next, type the line below into the black screen and hit the Enter key to run the System File Checker:

sfc /scannow

  1. Once the “Verification 100% complete” message shows up, exit the elevated Command Prompt and check for the error.

Reset Windows 10

If you still experience the blue screen error after applying every other fix in this article, consider resetting your Windows 10 installation to regain access to your PC. Resetting your PC reinstalls Windows 10 on your computer. You can choose to keep your files, but note that your apps and settings will be removed. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and launch the Settings app.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Recovery in the left pane.
  4. Now, go to the right pane and click the Get Started button under Reset this PC.
    If the BSOD is bad to the point that you can’t boot up your system normally or can’t stay on your desktop past a couple of minutes, then try going through Safe Mode. Follow these steps:

    • Press and hold the power button on your system to shut it down.
    • Tap the power button to turn on your computer but once the logo of your PC’s manufacturer flashes, press and hold the power button to force your system to shut down again. Repeat this step three times again until you see the “Please wait” message on the screen.
    • Click on the “See advanced repair options” option on the screen with the caption that reads, “it looks like Windows didn’t load correctly.”
    • On the next screen, click on Troubleshoot, click on Advanced Options, and then choose the Reset option.
  5. Once the Choose an Option screen comes up, click on either “Keep my files” or “Remove everything,” depending on your choice.
  6. The setup will ask you if you want to clean your drive if you choose the Remove Everything option.
  7. Click on Next when the following screen issues you a warning that you won’t be able to roll back your Windows 10 version after the reset.
  8. Click the Reset button on the next screen, and then click on Continue.

Once your PC boots up, reinstall your apps and the problem should be resolved.

That’s it! You can now resume operations on your computer. Remember to take precautions in the future to keep your system out of harm’s way. Use Auslogics Anti Malware to keep your computer protected against malicious programs that might tamper with your system and cause serious issues. If you have other issues you’d like us to help with, tell us about them in the comments section below.

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