Fix Critical Process Dead, 0x000000EF Error in Windows 11/10 TechRadar

If a critical Windows system process is not running properly, your operating system crashes and displays a Dead critical process Stop the 0x000000EF error or blue screen on your Windows 11/10/8/7 computer. This happens because the process needed to run the Windows operating system terminated abruptly for some reason.

There isn’t much documentation on this on any Microsoft site. One post, however, simply states that:

The CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED bug check has a value of 0x000000EF. This indicates that a critical system process is dead.



Now, if you receive a CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED error message, here are some of the things you could try and see:

  1. Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter
  2. Run Driver Verifier Manager
  3. Run System File Checker
  4. Run DISM
  5. Update your drivers
  6. Perform clean boot troubleshooting
  7. Use System Restore
  8. Disable sleep and hibernation
  9. Update BIOS or Firmware
  10. Run startup repair
  11. Check the system log in Event Viewer
  12. Run Windows 10 Blue Screen Troubleshooter.

If your Windows won’t boot to desktop, you need to enter advanced boot options or boot into safe mode and then access the required tools.

1]Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

Run the hardware and peripherals troubleshooter and see if that helps.

2]Run Driver Verifier Manager

Run the Driver Verification Manager and see if it helps troubleshoot, identify, and resolve device driver issues.

3]Run System File Checker

To run sfc/scannow or System File Checker to find and replace corrupt system files, if any. If you are unable to boot to the desktop, you can run System File Checker in safe mode or offline.

4]Run DISM

You can also run DISM to repair a corrupt system image.

5]Update your drivers

Open Device Manager and see if any devices are marked with an exclamation mark. Update your drivers and see if that fixes the problem. Have you installed a new device or hardware recently? Disable, remove or uninstall it and see if that helps.

6]Perform Clean Boot Troubleshooting

Perform a clean boot. When you start the computer in clean boot, the computer boots using a pre-selected minimal set of drivers and startup programs. Clean boot troubleshooting is designed to isolate a performance issue.

7]Use System Restore

If the problem started appearing recently, use System Restore to restore your computer to a good point and see if that fixes the problem. If it started after you updated your operating system, you may want to stop installing that particular update and report the problem to Microsoft.

8]Disable sleep and hibernation

Disable Sleep and Hibernate in your power setting and see if that helps. You will get these settings in Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Power Options > Change Plan Settings. Use this process to disable hibernation if you previously enabled it.

9]Update BIOS or Firmware

See in a BIOS or firmware update for your system is available.

10]Run Startup Repair

If you are unable to boot into Windows, you can run Startup Repair from Advanced Startup Options.


Once you are able to access the desktop, you can continue to troubleshoot the issue.

If you are unable to start Windows or Advanced Boot Options, you may need to use a Windows installation or recovery disc to troubleshoot.

11]Check the system log in Event Viewer

Check the system log in Event Viewer and see if any error messages point you in the direction of troubleshooting.

12]Run Windows 10 Blue Screen Troubleshooter

Run Microsoft’s online Windows 10 blue screen troubleshooter. This is a wizard to help novice users fix their stop errors. It will help you fix this blue screen error and has helpful links along the way.

If nothing helps, check out this article which shows you some generic ways to troubleshoot blue screens in Windows 10.

All my wishes!

Check this article if you receive kernel security check failed error in Windows 11/10.


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