If your PC suddenly enters a green screen with a ‘:( notation and some error messages, that’s the Green Screen of Death (GSOD)! Indeed, it’s quite similar to Blue Screen of Death, but there are a few differences between them.
While you’ll encounter BSOD on the main Windows version, you’ll come across GSOD only on the Windows Insider program. Thus, it’s possible that you may have never heard this term before. But if you notice the green screen continuously, it’s probably due to corrupted OS files on the Insider version of your OS.
However, the major cause behind GSOD completely depends upon the error code you’re getting. Hence, in this article, we will discuss what these codes are, what causes them, and their possible fixes.
Table of Contents
Some Common GSOD Stop Error Codes
Basically, GSOD is also a stop error like BSOD. So, most of the codes you’ll encounter on the blue screen are also seen on the green screen.
Well, you can come across both stop error and hexadecimal codes. With their help, we can know the main issue behind the green screen.
- MANUALLY_INITIATED_CRASH: This error occurs when you initiate GSOD manually. For example, you can add the CrashOnCtrlScroll registry file to the Windows Registry to get this error code.
- CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED: The Critical Process Died error is initiated when a critical Windows component cannot run the process and ends for some reason. Often, you come across the hex code 0x000000EF when you see this error on the green screen.
- SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION: This is a much more complex error that happens when an exception prevents the execution of a transaction from kernel to user mode.
- CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT: If you have a multi-processor system and if a clock interrupts on the secondary processor missed out, you’re likely going to encounter GSOD with this error code.
- PAGE FAULT IN NON PAGED AREA: When there are unmatched page files within memory, you may get the PAGE FAULT IN NON PAGED AREA error. Thus, Windows can’t fetch the file it needs, which triggers the GSOD.
Apart from them, some other common codes when encountering GSOD on the Insider version of Windows include BAD_POOL_CALLER, MEMORY MANAGEMENT, INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE, etc.
What Causes Green Screen of Death?
Since Windows Insider Program is just an early version of Windows letting users interact with its new features, there can be several unnoticed bugs that may trigger GSOD.
Indeed, there can be many reasons why you’ve encountered the Green Screen of death. Interestingly, most of these are quite similar to what causes the Blue Screen of death on Windows.
- Corrupted system files and disks
- Failed Windows update
- Corrupted device drivers
- Problematic RAM
- Damaged USB peripherals
- Setting inappropriate page files sizes
- Problematic Windows OS
- Malware and threats
- Overclocked CPU and other hardware components
How to Fix Green Screen of Death on Windows
Well, the fixes of Green Screen of Death depend on the stop error code. Nonetheless, we have included some easy techniques in this section that should solve your problem, no matter the code you’re getting.
But before that, we recommend restarting your PC if you’re only experiencing this issue for the first time. Well, your computer should reboot itself after Windows collects some error information to store as dump files. However, if you have turned off the automatic restart setting, you’ll need to restart Windows manually.
Furthermore, you should try updating Windows to its latest version. This ensures that the critical files are updated and can stop both BSOD and GSOD.
If restarting or upgrading Windows didn’t work, you can now move ahead and try out the following fixes.
Scan For Possible Viruses
If your PC is infected with malware, it may misbehave with other applications or system files. Thus, there’s a possibility that these harmful viruses can eventually crash Windows and cause GSOD.
Although there are plenty of reliable third-party antivirus programs, we highly recommend using the in-built Windows Security software for detecting and removing viruses. Here’s how you can use the application on Windows 11:
- Use Windows + I keys to open Settings.
- Then, go to Privacy & Security from the left side of the window.
- Under Security, choose Windows Security.
- Now, select Virus & threat protection under Protection areas. This opens the Windows Security application.
- Find and press the Quick Scan button.
- Finally, wait until all the files are scanned.
Inspect GSOD in Safe Mode
Well, running Windows on safe mode can help inspect whether the GSOD occurs due to hardware or OS issues. If you stop seeing the green screen on safe mode, it’s probably because of a memory or other hardware failure.
Here’s how you can boot Windows on safe mode to determine the prime reason behind the Green Screen of Death:
- Press Windows + R to open the Run dialogue box.
- Here, type
msconfigand press the Ok button.
- Once the System Configuration dialogue box launches, choose the Boot tab.
- Under Boot options, check Safe boot. This enables four choices: Minimal, Alternate Shell, Active directory repair, and Network.
- We recommend choosing the first option and clicking Ok.
- Then, a warning message pops. All you have to do is press the Restart button.
- Your PC restarts and boots in the safe mode. Now, wait and see if the green screen appears here.
Restore or Reinstall Heavy Applications
When using heavy programs or games, there might be memory allocation errors. Moreover, you may even encounter problems in the page files if you’re using HDD.
Indeed, these issues can potentially crash your system in the middle of your work. So, we recommend restoring them if you encountered GSOD after updating recently. Else, you can uninstall such programs and reinstall them from scratch.
Let’s first learn how you can restore an application on Windows 11. However, the steps below may only be compatible with some programs:
- Launch Windows Settings and navigate to Apps > Apps & Features.
- Under App list, search for the heavy application you recently updated.
- Click on the kebab menu and select Advanced options.
- Scroll down and under Reset, click on the Repair button.
- Once the application is repaired, you’ll find a tick mark indicating it’s done.
However, if you do not see this option on your desired program, it’s because it doesn’t support restoring to the previous version. In such a case, the only option is to reinstall it:
- Launch the Run application and type
appwiz.cplto launch the Uninstall a program window on Control Panel.
- Now, right-click on the heavy app and choose Uninstall.
- Once a warning message pops up, press the Ok button.
- Then, proceed with the final on-screen steps and finish the uninstallation.
- Restart your PC and see if the problem is now resolved.
- Now, you can reinstall the program from the manufacturer’s official site.
However, if you see the GSOD again, we recommend not to use the app as it might not be compatible with Windows.
If you’ve overclocked your CPU top more than it can support, there’s a high probability you may experience GSOD issues. So, we recommend resetting BIOS, and here’s how you can do just that:
- Restart your computer and use the dedicated key to enter BIOS.
- In the BIOS menu, look for a Reset option and select it. In some motherboards, you may find Load Setup Options or Load Setup Settings.
- Finally, save the changes and exit BIOS. This will reset your BIOS and revert the overclocking settings.
Try Running SFC, CHKDSK, and DISM Commands
SFC, CHKDSK, and DISM are the three utilities that help fix OS glitches in no time. Each of these commands has its own purpose that lets you navigate through system errors and solve them.
In this section, we will discuss how you can use these system tools to eradicate the Green Screen of Death on Windows.
- SFC: System File Check or SFC examines the system files, locates bugs, and replaces the incorrect versions with the right ones. To use this command, all you have to do is open Command Prompt or Windows Powershell and run the following line:
- CHKDSK: Check Disk or simply CHKDSK inspects any errors inside a disk, displays its current status, and fixes the critical bugs. Like SFC, you can run the following line on any Windows terminal:
chkdsk /r /x C:
- DISM: Deployment Image Servicing and Management or DISM scans the operating system and repairs all the problems. Here’s the command you need to use:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth
Run Driver Verifier
Most Windows versions have an in-built utility that lets you troubleshoot graphics and kernel-mode drivers that might be responsible for the GSOD. Here’s a complete guide on how you can use the Driver Verifier Manager tool on Windows 11:
- Launch Command Prompt from the Start Menu on the Windows taskbar.
- Here, type
verifierand hit enter. This opens up the Driver Verifier Manager utility.
- Now, select one of the five tasks. We recommend choosing the first one – Create standard Settings and hit Next.
- Then, you’re asked to select what drivers to verify. Choose Select driver names from a list and click on Next.
- Next, tap the Select All option from the top-left corner of the dialogue box and choose Finish. Here, you can also deselect the drivers you do not wish to disable.
- Finally, select Ok and restart your PC.
Update, Roll Back, or Uninstall Device Drivers
If the Driver Verifier Manager didn’t do the trick, you might need to manually update or uninstall the corrupted device drivers, especially the display and graphics ones. Generally, the outdated adapters have an exclamation sign. So, if you find one, here’s how you can update them:
- Press Windows + X and select Device Manager from the list.
- Search for the driver with an exclamation sign and right-click on it.
- Then, hit the Update driver option.
- Next, click on either of the two options – Search automatically for drivers or Browse my computer for drivers (if you have an update file).
- While the first option upgrades the driver automatically, you’ll need to select a driver from your PC for the second one.
- Finally, choose Finish and restart your PC. Now, you should no longer face the Green Screen of Death.
If you’re facing the green screen error after updating a certain driver, it’s probably because the version doesn’t support Windows or has bugs. In such a case, you can roll back the driver to its previous state:
- Navigate to Device Manager and right-click on the recent driver you updated.
- Click on Properties that open up a new dialogue box.
- Now, move to the Driver tab and click on Roll Back driver.
- Next, select the reason you’re doing so and choose Yes.
- Finally, restart your PC and see if the Green Screen of Death is resolved.
If updating and rolling back doesn’t help, it’s time to reinstall the device driver. Here’s a simple way to do it:
- Open Device Manager and right-click on the outdated driver.
- Choose Uninstall device.
- Again, click on the Uninstall button to confirm your action.
- Then, restart your computer to reinstall the driver. Now, you should no longer see the green screen error.
Perform Disk Cleanup
Undoubtedly, disk error is another prime cause of the Green Screen of Death. When you have corrupted program files, temporary internet files, or temporary installation files, these can create system crashes. So, the easiest way to remove them is by performing a disk cleanup:
- Navigate to the Search icon on the Windows taskbar and launch the Disk Cleanup utility.
- Now, wait until the tool figures the space you can free up.
- As the application opens up, a list of files will be enlisted that you can delete. Select the unwanted programs and press Ok.
- If that didn’t solve the GSOD problem, open the utility again and select Clean up system files.
Perform Windows Memory Diagnosis
If your PC is rebooting continuously, showing the green screen of death, there’s a possibility of memory errors. So, we recommend using the built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic app that helps troubleshoot any errors causing the issue:
- From the Start Menu, search and open Windows Memory Diagnostic.
- Then, press the Restart now and check for the problems option.
- Now, your PC reboots and opens up the diagnostic tool. So, all you have to do is wait for the troubleshooting to complete.
Unplug Peripherals and Check for Other Hardware Components
All hardware components connected to the ports need drivers, and they must be regularly updated. If one of them is corrupted or isn’t compatible with Windows, there’s a high chance you’ll encounter GSOD.
So, we recommend unplugging all the cables and seeing if the problem still persists. If this solves your issue, connect them individually and identify the defective device. Then, you can update the driver, or in the worst case, you may need to stop using the peripheral to prevent GSOD.
Mostly, users have experienced the Green Screen of Death when using USB devices. If this is the case, you may notice the SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED error pop up. This is probably due to issues in the nvlddmkm.sys, and the best way to resolve it is by dumping the file.
Furthermore, you can also try reseating RAM, GPU, CPU fan, and other major hardware components to check for vital errors. While doing so, we recommend cleaning the ports to eliminate possible dust.
Inspect Mini Dump Files
Whether you’re experiencing BSOD or GSOD, the main issue causing this error is difficult to know. Nevertheless, you can directly access the dump files created by Windows as soon as your PC enters the green screen.
Well, these files are present inside the Mini Dump folder, and you can easily determine the reason behind the crash using the WinDbg Preview application:
- If you haven’t downloaded the program yet, navigate to Microsoft Store to search and download WinDbg Preview.
- Then, launch the app and navigate to File > Open dump file.
- Now, click on Browse and type
%windir%\Minidumpin the address bar.
- Next, select the dump file and press the Open button.
- Navigate to the bottom section of the application and run the following code:
This will automatically list the major issue behind the error.
- Finally, you can visit Microsoft Community, where you can search for possible fixes.
Perform Clean Windows Boot
If neither of the aforementioned solutions worked for you, an underlying error within the startup programs is likely causing the GSOD. So, you can clean boot Windows and check if the green screen appears again:
- Press Windows + R and run
msconfigto open the System Configuration window.
- Move to the Services tab and check the Hide all Microsoft services option.
- Next, press the Disable all button from the right side of the dialogue box.
- Then, tap Apply and switch to the Startup tab.
- To manage the several startup items, choose Open Task Manager. This takes you to the Startup tab in Windows Task Manager.
- Here, disable all the items and restart your PC.
- Wait to see if the GSOD pops up. If it doesn’t, you now know that the problem lies within the startup app.
- Next, start enabling each item and determine what is causing the GSOD.
- After that, you can uninstall or update the related driver of the defective program.
Restore Windows to Default
If you recently updated Windows or installed new programs, they might be responsible for GSOD. So, reverting Windows to its previous state may solve this issue.
Basically, this feature resolves the critical errors within your recently installed apps and drivers. So, without further delay, let’s get right into the necessary steps to restore Windows 11 to default:
- Use Windows + R and run rstrui.exe.
- As soon as the System Restore window opens up, hit Next to move forward.
- Then, select the restoration point saved by Windows and click Next.
- Now, press Finish, and wait until Windows restores all the files and settings.
- Once the process is completed, your computer restarts, and you’ll be notified that the restoration was successful.
Switch From Insider Preview to Stable Build
Even if system restore didn’t help, it’s time to leave the Windows Insider Program and update your Windows to the stable version.
As mentioned earlier, the Insider version might contain underlying issues that may not support many features. So, we recommend using the normal version as far as possible.
Here’s a complete guide on how to switch from the Windows 11 Insider Preview build to the Stable build:
- First, download the stable build ISO file from Microsoft’s official download page.
- Once done, right-click on the file and select Mount.
- Next, navigate to the mounted drive and right-click on the setup file.
- Run it as an admin and start the Windows 11 installation.
- Once the installation is complete, you should no longer see the Green Screen of Death.
However, if you encounter a blue screen with similar error messages, you can refer to our other post, where we have included the necessary fixes for BSOD on Windows.