How to Fix Driver Irql_Less_or_Not_Equal on Windows?

Fix Driver Irql_Less_or_Not_Equal on Windows 11 – DRIVER IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL is an error that Windows 10 users often see. It triggers the BSOD and Windows 10 tells you to Google the solution. This error is complicated and difficult to pin on any one thing. Here are a few things you can try to resolve the DRIVER IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL error.

Causes of The Driver Irql_Less_or_Not_Equal Error

This error has been known to occur as a result of one of the following causes:

1. Corrupt system files

The most common cause for this error is a corrupted system file that is required to boot the system. This can happen because of virus attacks, power outages, or disk write errors.

2. Incompatible device drivers

Another common cause is a newly installed faulty device driver. In that case, reverting to an old version of a driver would be the best solution.

3. Faulty hardware items

This error can also be caused by a damaged motherboard or a bad RAM module.

4. Incorrect software installation

Sometimes, this error may be caused by a misconfigured Windows service.

5. A downgraded Windows installation

The least common cause for this error is when an older version of Windows 10is installed on top of a newer one. Sometimes, the system files are not replaced properly, and if that is the case, then the user should back up the files and perform a clean install to make sure there are no conflicts between different versions of Windows.

How to Fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL In Windows? 

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode

If you cannot boot into your PC normally, you will have to boot your PC into safe mode. To boot your PC in safe mode, follow the steps given below-

  • Turn off your PC, and wait for it to shut down completely.
  • Once your PC has been shut down, press the power button to turn it on.
  • As soon as your PC begins to boot up, turn it off again by pressing and holding the power button. Do this a few times.
  • This interrupts the normal boot process, and you will enter automatic startup repair. On the next screen that appears, select troubleshoot. 
  • Next, select advanced options, and then select startup settings. Now click on the restart to restart your PC.
  • Next, you will see the key to access safe mode on your screen. Press the associated key, and you will be able to boot into safe mode.

However, if you can boot normally into your PC, then booting into safe mode is optional.

2. Check Memory And Hardware Issues

You may try running Windows Memory diagnostics to scan your PC for any problem related to memory and hardware.

  • In the start menu, search for Memory Diagnostics and open it.
  • In the Windows Memory Diagnostics, you will get two options-
    1. Restart now and check for problems
    2. Check for problems the next time I start my computer
  • Select any of the above options, and you will get to know what the problem is.

If you are encountering this error due to memory issues, this tool will return the error you are facing, and you may fix it.

3. Resetting Your PC

If any of the above solutions don’t solve the issue for you, you may prefer resetting your PC. To reset your PC, follow the steps given below-

  • Open the start menu and search for the reset this PC option. Select the first option that appears.
  • Now on the next window that opens up, click on reset PC.
  • Now you will be given two options- keep my files and remove everything. Choose any of the given options as per your preference.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions, and you will be able to reset your PC.

Resetting the PC should fix the error for you. However, if it doesn’t fix the issue for you, you should prefer installing Windows again.

Also Read: How to Enable and use wake on LAN on Windows?

4. Run SFC Scan

If you encounter this IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows 11 due to corrupted system files, then you should run an SFC scan on your PC. SFC (System File Checker) will scan your PC for any corrupted files causing the issue and fix them. To run the SFC scan, follow the steps given below-

  • In the start menu, search for CMD. Right-click on the command prompt and then click on the run as administrator. 
  • Now in the command prompt, type the command SFC /scannow and hit Enter to execute it.
  • This will start scanning your PC for any corrupted files. Don’t close the command prompt, and wait for the process to complete.

Once the process is completed, you may now not face the error that you were facing. However, if you still encounter the error, then you may move ahead to the next troubleshooting step-

5. Check Your Disk For Error

You may try checking your disk for any errors. You may face the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows 11 due to disk errors. To check for any disk errors, follow the steps given below-

  • Firstly run the Command Prompt as an administrator. Open the start menu,  search for CMD. Right-click on the command prompt, and then click on the run as administrator. 
  • In the command prompt, type chkdsk C: /f and hit Enter. This will scan drive C on your PC. To check all the other drive partitions, replace the drive letter with the C.

6. Scan Your PC With Antivirus

If you still face the issue on your PC, you may prefer scanning your PC with antivirus software. Many times this issue may be caused due to the virus on your PC. Therefore, you must prefer scanning your PC with an antivirus program.

If you are using third-party antivirus software on your PC, then you may try scanning your PC with it. If you do not use any third-party software, you may prefer using Windows Defender to scan your PC for any virus and malware.

7. Perform A System Restore

If you still encounter this error, then you may prefer performing a system restore. However, note that this method will only work if you have created a system restore point earlier. To perform a system restore, follow the steps given below

  • In the start menu, search for the create a restore point and open it. This will open the System Protection tab in System Properties. 
  • Here click on the system restore option.
  • Now on the next window, click on choose the preferred restore point.
  • Next, select the restore point, and click on next. Now follow the on-screen instructions to revert your system.

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