How to fix BAD_POOL_HEADER errors in Windows 10

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If you’re reading this, chances are that you are seeing BAD_POOL_HEADER errors and a Blue Screen of Death. Not to worry though, the error isn’t terminal and can be addressed in a couple of ways. So if you want to fix BAD_POOL_HEADER errors in Windows 10, read on!

BAD_POOL_HEADER errors are predominantly caused by programs using memory they shouldn’t. Common causes are antivirus programs and old drivers. An issue with Windows 10 updates on older computers occasionally throws up this issue, which is also straightforward to fix. Unfortunately, the error doesn’t tell us exactly what is causing the problem so we have to find out for ourselves.

For some, BAD_POOL_HEADER errors happen immediately after booting the computer while others cause use the computer for a while before it happens. If you can’t use your computer, you will need to perform these steps from Safe Mode. If you can use your computer for a time, use normal mode.

Fix BAD_POOL_HEADER errors in Windows 10

As the most common cause of the BAD_POOL_HEADER error is antivirus and older drivers, let us begin there. First the drivers as the process is faster.

  1. Navigate to Settings, Update & Security and Windows Update.
  2. Click Advanced options and select ‘Give me updates for other Microsoft products’.
  3. Go back to Update & Security and click Check for updates and download any and all updates.
  4. Check your graphics, audio, motherboard and network drivers and install the latest versions of each.
  5. Reboot your computer and retest.

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If the error still occurs, remove your antivirus software.

  1. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode.
  2. Navigate to Control Panel, Programs and Uninstall a program.
  3. Select your antivirus and run the uninstaller.
  4. Reboot when prompted and boot into normal Windows and retest.

If you’re still seeing BAD_POOL_HEADER errors, try turning off Fast Startup. It has been known to cause issues in Windows 10.

  1. Navigate to Control Panel, System and Security and Power Options.
  2. Select Choose what the Power Button does and then click Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  3. Under Shutdown Settings, uncheck the box next to Turn on fast start-up.
  4. Reboot your computer and retest.

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If that doesn’t work, we can use driver verifier to make sure it definitely isn’t a driver causing the error.

  1. Type ‘verifier’ into the Search Windows (Cortana) box to access the driver verifier app.
  2. Select ‘Create custom settings (for code developers)’ and click Next.
  3. Check all the option boxes in the next window except for ‘DDI compliance checking and randomized low resource simulation’ ‘Systematic Low Resource Simulation’ and ‘Force Pending I/O Request’ and click Next.
  4. Click Next and Next again.
  5. Click Select Driver Names from a List and select all drivers except those labeled Microsoft Corporation under provider.
  6. Click Finish.
  7. Reboot and use your computer as normal. After a couple of BSODs (if they happen) driver verifier will create a log file at C:\Windows\Minidump\. Read the file to find out what driver is causing the issue and address it.

BAD_POOL_HEADER errors need a little detective work to isolate but one of these steps will surely find the culprit. Got any other tips for tackling BAD_POOL_HEADER errors? Let us know below.

Posted by Jamie on November 28, 2016

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