Kernel Security Check Failure

If the kernel security check has failed on your computer, you have most likely seen the infamous “Blue Screen of Death” (BSOD) and read the not overly reassuring message “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We’re just collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you.”

This error mainly happens when the kernel detects corrupted files or devices. For example, a corrupted USB driver can easily trigger a kernel security check failure. It’s one of the most common errors Windows 7, 8, and 10 users experience.

Though it might appear catastrophic, there are ways to solve this problem. Read on to find out how.

Go Through the Error Log

When you get the ominous Blue Screen of Death, you should first use Event Viewer to scan through the error log and determine the cause of the failure. Here’s how it’s done.

  1. Press the “Win” key on your keyboard.
  2. Type “Administrative Tools” in the text field.
  3. Pick “Administrative tools” from the list. It should be the top result.
  4. Next, double-click on the “Computer Management” shortcut to open Computer Management.
  5. Once Computer Management opens, click on “Event Viewer” in the pane on the left side of the window to expand it.
  6. Expand the “Windows Logs” section.
  7. Select “System”.
  8. When Event Viewer populates the list, you should search for messages which could help you find the problematic device. If you find it, disable it (or its driver) and reboot your PC.
  9. Once the PC reboots, check whether the error message appears again.

Use Driver Verifier

When the BSOD appears, you can also try solving the problem via the Driver Verifier utility. It can identify corrupt drivers and files for you and help you zero in on the problem. To run the check, follow these steps.

  1. Press the “Win” and “R” keys simultaneously to launch the “Run” box.
  2. Once the “Run” box opens, type “cmd” into the text field and press “Shift” + “Ctrl” + “Enter” simultaneously to run the Command Prompt as an administrator.
  3. When the Command Prompt opens, type the “verifier” command and run it by pressing the “Enter” button.
  4. Tick the “Create standard settings” box and click “Next”.
  5. Pick the “Automatically select all drivers installed on this computer” option.
  6. Click the “Finish” button.

Here’s how to perform tests on specific drivers.

  1. Press the “Win” key on your keyboard.
  2. Search for “verifier” and click on it.
  3. Pick the “Create custom settings” option.
  4. Click the “Next” button.
  5. Here, you should select all items found on the “Select individual settings from the full list” list. If you are on Windows 8 or 8.1, you should leave out “DDI compliance checking and randomized low resource simulation”.
  6. Then, pick the “Select driver names from the list” option.
  7. Click the “Next” button.
  8. Select every driver that’s not by Microsoft.
  9. Click the “Finish” button.
  10. The Driver Verifier will run a check and create error logs. If you find the Kernel Security Check Failure on the list, you should troubleshoot the driver.


Optionally, you can try to solve the issue using System File Checker (SFC). Follow these steps.

  1. Press “Win” + “R” keys and search for “cmd”.
  2. Press “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “Enter” to run the Command prompt as the administrator.
  3. Once the Command Prompt opens, go to C:\WINDOWS\system32 and type the “sfc /scannow” command.
  4. The command will take some time to execute. This way SFC will check and replace all corrupted files.
  5. Reboot the computer when the process ends.

Perform a Clean Boot

To determine whether you’re getting the Kernel Security Check Failure message because of a 3rd-party program, you should perform a clean boot. Here are the steps.

  1. Press the “Win” and “R” keys to open the “Run” box.
  2. Search for “msconfig” and hit the “Enter” button.
  3. Once the System Configuration window opens, select the “General” tab.
  4. Next, tick the “Selective Startup” button.
  5. Uncheck the “Load startup items” box.
  6. Then, click on the “Services” tab.
  7. There, you will see the list of all services. Check the “Hide all Microsoft service” box beneath the list.
  8. After that, click the “Disable all” button.
  9. Click “Apply”.
  10. Click “OK”.
  11. Reboot your PC.

Update Windows

Finally, you can try updating your Windows. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Press the “Win” key on your keyboard.
  2. Search “update” and click “Windows update” if you’re on Win7. On Win 8, press “Win” and “C” keys to launch the Charm Bar and go to “Settings, then “Change PC Settings”.
  3. Click the “Update and Recovery” tab.
  4. Click “Choose how updates get installed”.
  5. Pick “Install updates automatically”.
  6. Tick the “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates” box.
  7. Click the “OK” button.


While the dreaded Blue Screen of Death can cause great problems, it is not impossible to solve. With the solutions presented in this article, you will be able to troubleshoot and solve the problem quickly and easily.

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