The BSOD DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error shows when your machine crashes to a blue screen of death and you need to restart your machine manually to recover. Sometimes you are unable to boot to the windows desktop and the error appears at every reboot.

The DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL blue screen of death error looks like in the screenshot below

Your system will crash to a blue screen of death when this issue occurs to prevent damage to your operating system.  This issue affects the following operating systems

  • Windows XP
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 10


The cause of this crash is usually due to one of the following reasons

  • Issue with a device driver
  • Corrupt operating system files
  • Virus infected on your machine
  • Hardware issue

Issue with a device driver

If the DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error started to appear after you changed a device driver (upgraded / downgraded / changed driver) then this will be the reason for the crashes.  You can try to upgrade the driver to the latest version, or if you have tried that uninstall the driver, reboot then reinstall the driver again.

If you have not changed any driver recently you can find out what driver is causing the issue by taking a look at the blue screen of death and look for what file caused the crash (Should be bottom left) below you can see the NDIS.sys file caused the crash.  Google the file name to find out what device driver uses it.

Corrupt operating system files

A corrupt operating system can also cause this issue, usually when its a corrupt file your machine will not be able to boot to the desktop. For this issue you will need to create a windows recovery media and run a chkdsk command from the command prompt.

Virus infected on your machine

Do you have anti virus installed and running on your system? If yes make sure it is up to date and perform a full scan on your system.  If you do not have anti virus I recommend you install AVG because it is free 🙂 and a very good anti virus software.

Hardware issue

Remove any USB devices you might have attached to your machine, One of the devices could of become faulty and causes these issues.  Newly installed hardware can also cause this issue, if you have installed any new hardware recently try removing it from your system.


If you are suffering from this issue do not worry as its quite easy to resolve.  I have seen this issue many times and have many fixes.

If you want to see a more detailed guide on how to fix this issue take a look at this article. You can also leave a comment below if you need more help or you can post for more help in a forum like this One