How to get rid of blue screens of death after installing Surface Updates?

October 8, 2018 |

greater than 10 minutes

Windows updates, in theory, are supposed to provide patches (for a wide variety of issues) and bug fixes (that bring about improvements in the stability and security of the Windows operating system environment). Contrary to expectations, some releases probably cause more problems than they solve.

The Windows April Update, for one, caused many people to complain of bugs they encountered after they downloaded and installed it. Some users experienced problems quite differently—they were unable to fetch the update or install it.

We have seen enough reports that confirm the spike in the occurrence of Blue Screen of Death errors on computers. Most users with Surface Pro 3, for example, saw the error at startup. Others encountered the same or similar problem while they were working on their system.

There are numerous Blue Screen of Death errors. Most errors are usually accompanied by a STOP code that is unique to them since this piece of information more or less defines and identifies them. From the lot, the Critical Process Died Blue Screen of Death error is relatively common. The STOP code in view here is 0x000000EF.

In this guide, we will explore the problems affecting Microsoft Surface Pro devices given the events we described. By this, we mean we will show users how to get rid of Blue Screen of Death after installing Surface updates. Furthermore, if you came here to find out how to fix the Firmware Critical Process Died issue on Surface Pro computers, then you will also find practical solutions for the problem in your case.

How to get rid of Blue Screens of Death after the installation of Windows updates on Surface Pro devices and other computers?

Begin with the first solution on the list. If it fails to work as expected, then you must move to the next one. Continue your troubleshooting journey this way by going through the solutions in the order we have outlined them here until you reach the ideal fix meant for you.

  1. Work on the log file:

First, you are going to examine the log file for the error or crash, then move on to fix the underlying issue. These instructions will guide you in running the necessary commands:

  • Launch a File Explorer window: Press the Windows button on your keyboard, and while you are holding it, hit the letter E key.
  • After the required program window shows up, you must navigate through the required path on your device to arrive at C:windowsinf, and there, you must check for log file and open it
  • Now, you must locate the error titled “Failed to install device…”. The inf file responsible for the problem you encountered should be visible now above the error in view. For example, you might find this file: oem69.inf

After you identify the problematic file successfully, you can move on to the next operation. Here, all you need to do is run a specific command in an elevated Command Prompt window. Continue with the instructions below:

  • Open an elevated Command Prompt window (one with administrative privileges or rights):  Press the Windows button on your keyboard, and while you hold it, hit the letter X key to bring up the Power User menu. From the programs and options you see, select Command Prompt (Admin)
  • The Administrator: Command Prompt window should be up by now. It is time you typed in the following command and followed up your action with a tap of the Enter key to run the inputted code: pnputil -d {YourFileName}

If you found oem69.inf (as the file responsible for the issues), then this is the code you should be running: pnputil -d oem69.inf


  • Once you finish executing the stated command, you are free to close the windows you have running. You can move on to check if you can recreate the specific Blue Screen of Death error you encountered.

If the BSOD refuses to come up no matter what you do, then the operation you just carried out probably did enough to resolve the problem in your case.

  1. Use a troubleshooter to check the state of your hardware devices:

The vast majority of Blue Screen of Death errors have something to with malfunctioning hardware devices, their drivers, crashes affecting them, and so on. Therefore, it is only natural that you take a good look at your hardware components to see if you can identify faults with them.

Well, you must understand that your computer is made up of far too many hardware parts or devices, so it is incredibly difficult to go through all of them. What you should do instead is use a troubleshooter to run checks on them.

Fortunately, Microsoft provides Windows with a reasonable number of troubleshooters that users can run to diagnose or resolve problems on their system. On Windows 10, there is an unprecedented number of troubleshooters, so you have got a good chance of finding a useful tool whenever you encounter a problem.

Follow these instructions to run the troubleshooter needed in this scenario:

  • First, you must open the Settings app. Press the Windows button on your keyboard, and while you hold it, hit the letter I key. Once the program window comes up, click on Update and Security
  • From the list of items you see on the left pane, click on Troubleshoot. On the right pane, go through the sections or menus you see. Scroll down until you locate Hardware and Devices. There, you must click on the Run the troubleshooter button
  • The troubleshooter will spring into action. Follow the displayed instructions to ensure that the tool does its work correctly. The troubleshooter will probably scan your PC for problems and present its findings and operations it carried out to you.

From the final report, you will know what line of action you must take next. The troubleshooter might ask you to carry out a specific task, or you might not have to do anything. Whatever happens, after all is done, you will do well to verify that the BSOD can no longer bother you.

  1. Check your device drivers:

If you got to this point, then we can easily infer you have not had much success with the previous fixes. Earlier we established that problems affecting drivers have a lot to do with Blue Screens of Death Now, we are going to expand on what we said then.

The hardware components that make up your computer and the software or programs running on it interact with one another through operations in which drivers play a critical role. If a driver goes missing, becomes corrupted or outdated, then severe crashes or fatal errors associated with Blue Screens of Death come into play.

Bad drivers are one of the most common causes of the BSOD with the Critical_Process_Died description, for example. Well, to fix the problem, you will have to identify the affected drivers and update them to their latest versions or stable builds. The operations involved here are far from easy or straightforward to carry out, though.

The sheer number of drivers available on your PC constitutes a problem in that you cannot check every driver to see which one is faulty or bad. The chances of you missing something or misinterpreting clear information are too high when you have to repeat a specific operation many times.

If you want to check the status of a driver, for example, you can quickly follow these instructions:

  • Open the Device Manager app. You can do this by pressing the Windows button on your keyboard, and while your finger is on it, hitting the letter X key to see the Power User menu consisting of some essential programs and options from which you must select Device Manager
  • Now, the list of driver categories should be visible. While you go through them, you can double-click on any category to expand it and see the drivers under it
  • If you see any device driver with a yellow exclamation mark beside it, then something is probably wrong with that driver. Nevertheless, you must know that you cannot identify other problematic drivers this way.

It is time we told you there is not much point in you trying to identify the problematic drivers, especially since the operations you must carry out to fix them are even more complicated than the one you are struggling with currently. A different approach is in order.

You should download and run Auslogics Driver Updater. Once this superb app gets on your system, you can use it to scan your computer. It will help you to identify the missing, corrupted or outdated drivers without much trouble.

After the process of identifying problematic devices is complete, you can move on to use the options available to update a specific driver to its latest manufacturer-recommended version or even update all the device drivers on your PC to ensure that nothing gets left out.

From the description of the procedures we gave involving the recommended app, you can see how easy the resolution of problems affecting drivers becomes because we managed to introduce a program capable of doing the required work on your behalf. You will do well to take advantage of it.

If you started seeing the Blue Screens of Death not long after you installed an updated firmware version, then there is a reasonable probability that the DisplayLink drivers on your computer are responsible for the problem in your case. Some users figured out the incompatibility issue between Intel drivers and Display link drivers.

Well, in that case, you probably ended up on this page to find out how to fix Surface book BSODs after the firmware update. If you are yet to solve the problem even after going through the fixes above, then you must consider getting rid of the DisplayLink drivers. Of course, we cannot ask you to remove the Intel drivers because they are not expendable.

After you complete all the work involving your drivers, you must restart your PC because most of the changes that occurred will become effective only after a reboot of Windows. Finally, you will get to check if the BSOD issue still plagues your device.

  1. Use System Restore:

With System Restore, you can go back in time or restore your system to an old state where the problem you are struggling with currently does not exist or the factors and events that trigger it never come to be. In other words, you will get to reverse some changes to get rid of the Blue Screen of Death, or you might end up making specific alterations to ensure it never shows up.

Note: You can use System Restore only if your computer created the required restore points when everything was fine.

Follow these instructions:

  • Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter S key. Input the following keywords into the text field you see to perform a quick search for them: System Restore

Windows will display some results from which you must click on Create a restore point.

  • The System Properties window should be up and running by now. Click on the System Restore button (under the System Restore menu or description). The System Restore window will show up soon.
  • You can go through the description if you like. Click on the Next button to begin. Now you will see the list of restore points available for selection.

If you did not see your preferred restore point, then you must click on the Show more restore points button. Windows will now move to display anything it left out initially.

  • Click on your preferred restore point to highlight it. Click on the Next button. At this point, you must continue on your own. Follow the instructions you see to complete the process. It might take a while.
  • After Windows restores your system to a point in the past, your PC will undoubtedly stop suffering from Blue Screen of Death errors. If the problem in view persists, then you most likely have a damaged hardware component.
  1. Disable Windows Hello:

Windows Hello is a nice feature which users often employ to sign into their computers, using their fingerprints or faces. If you use this functionality, then there is a good chance that its activities have something to with the Blue Screen of Death error you saw.

A considerable amount of users insisted that the Windows Hello feature was the source of their problems, and once they got rid of it, things became better. Perhaps, the same or a similar scenario might play out in your case. Follow these instructions to disable Windows Hello:

  • Open the Settings app by hitting the Windows button on your keyboard, then selecting Settings from the programs and options that show up. Once the needed program window appears, click on Accounts to enter its menu.
  • From the options displayed on the left pane, click on Sign-in options. Now, look to the right pane, go through the options you see and locate the Windows Hello section. There, you will see a Remove button, which you must click on to disable the feature.
  • After you disable Windows Hello, you must move on to verify that the disturbing Blue Screen of Death can no longer be triggered.

Other things you could try to fix Blue Screen of Death errors on Windows 10 affecting Surface Pro and other devices

If you are yet to resolve the BSOD issue (mainly because some of the fixes were not applicable to you or they failed to work as expected), then you will be pleased to go through this list of additional solutions. You might come to notice that we have included them using fewer words, but this does not mean much. The fixes here are every bit as effective as the previous ones given the right conditions.

  1. Go into Safe Mode:

If you came here to find out how to fix Surface Pro 3 Blue Screen at startup, then you probably cannot get Windows to boot normally, and this means that your desktop screen, for example, is inaccessible. You must trigger Automatic Startup Repair (interrupt Windows while it is booting three times consecutively), navigate through the necessary options and menu, then select Safe Mode to enter it.

Safe Mode will provide a platform you can work on for now. This way, you can quickly troubleshoot the problem to identify its source or resolve it directly using some of the fixes we provided.

  1. Run some scans to fix corruption and repair your system image:

You can begin by launching an elevated Command Prompt window, then running scans to check for corruption and replace corrupted files with good copies, using the SFC (System File Checker) tool. You can follow up this operation by performing another scan, utilizing the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) to fix issues with your system image (if there are any).

If either or both procedures are successful in giving you a reprieve from the Blue Screen of Death errors, then you might want to run a scan for viruses and malware to ensure your computer remains in a good state. After all, malicious items are known to alter system files and essential processes to cause problems like the ones you just resolved.

If all else fails, then you must consider refreshing or resetting the Windows on your device.

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