On this topic, you will see how to fix blue screen boot loop issue with critical process died error message in windows 10 and windows 11. The value of error code for this BugCheck is 0x000000EF.
CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED or CRITICAL_PROCESS_FAILED may appear while using some apps or games, or after awaking the computer from a sleep state, and this can be troubleshooted and fixed easily. But if your computer failed to start up normally due to CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED, you have to take a deep breath to read the entire topic to see how to troubleshot and how to fix your issue.
In addition to system files inside WinSxS folder and Hive or registry files inside Config folder, the followings system files are the most common root cause of CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED error when corrupted or missed:
conhost.exe, csrss.exe, logonui.exe, smss.exe, services.exe, wininit.exe, and winlogon.exe
Also there are uncommon sources that can lead to Bug Check CRITICAL PROCESS DIED blue screen error, such as, interrupted windows updates, unverified drivers, viruses infection and other sources.
We will show you how to fix all of them either via a specific solution or through general solutions, however, all parts of this topic are related to each other’s, and you can’t apply third solution for example, before reading the previous part of the topic. So you have to read the topic and to watch the entire video 2 or more times before starting to apply the suggested solutions.
FIRST PART: HOW TO CREATE A BOOTABLE USB OF WINDOWS 10 OR WINDOWS 11?
You have to create a bootable USB using your android mobile or in another computer in order to fix this issue more efficiently. To do that you have to download the ISO file of windows 10 or windows 11 with the same language according to which operating system is installed in your computer. i.e., if you have windows 10 installed in your computer with United State English Language, so you have to install windows 10 ISO file in US language, and if you have windows 11 with Russian language, you have to download windows 11 ISO file in RU language.
After downloading the ISO file of windows operating system, you have to install Rufus tool into another computer, or to install Ventoy app into your mobile to create a bootable USB of windows. However, I recommended you to use your android mobile to create a bootable USB, as the created USB will support both GPT and MBR systems at the same time, but in Rufus tool, you have to select to create a bootable USB either in GPT or MBR disk Scheme but not both.
To create a bootable USB using your mobile, do the followings:
Open the app and allow it to access the internal storage and network if you asked for.
Connect an empty USB drive to your mobile and allow the Ventoy app to access it.
Press on install option to install setup files into the USB drive. This step will remove everything from the USB drive, so you have to backup copy for your important files before this operation.
Press on the copy Icon and then press on Plus icon
Navigate to the downloaded ISO file and VMTechs-Critical folder and then copy them into the USB drive.
Read this topic for more details about creating a bootable USB that support both GPT and MBR systems using Ventoy app
SECOND PART: HOW TO BOOT INTO ADVANCED RECOVERY ENVIRONMENT FROM USB DRIVE?
To boot your computer from the bootable USB, do the followings:
1. Power off the computer completely
2. Connect the USB to your computer.
3. Power on the computer and press F12 or another key immediately and repeatedly to open boot menu.
This is the List of common keys used to open Boot Menu for different pc brands:
– Acer: F12, F9 or Esc.
– Asus: Esc. or F8
– Compaq: F9 or Esc.
– Dell: F12
– Fujitsu: F12
– Hp: Esc. or F9
– Lenovo: F12, F8, F10, Novo Button or Fn+F11
– MSI: F11
– Razer Blade: F12
– Samsung: F12 or F2
– Sony: Assist Button, Esc or F11
– Toshiba: F12
In some brands, you may need to press and hold the hot key, instead of pressing it repeatedly.
4. highlight the USB option from the boot list and then press Enter to boot from the USB pen drive
5. Press any key to continue
6. Select the ISO file of windows and then press Enter
7. change input language of the keyboard to English and then press Next.
8. Click on Repair your computer option to open Windows Recovery Environment
9. In some computers, you may need to enable USB boot and or to disable Secure boot from BIOS settings.
Read this topic for more details about how to boot from the USB flash drive.
THIRD PART: SOLUTIONS:
FIRST SOLUTION: RESTORING SYSTEM TO A PREVIOUS RESTORE POINT:
If the recovery was enabled in your system, then you have a high chance of fixing your issue by restoring your system to previous restore point as followings:
From Windows Recovery Environment, select Troubleshoot option
Click on System restore option and then select windows to be recovered
Click Next to proceed to the restore points list
Select any restore point from the list of available points and then click Next.
Click on Finish and then Yes to start restoring process.
This process will take about 30 minutes or more, so be patient.
If the recovery was disabled in your computer, you will see an error message saying that, No restore points have been created on your computer’s system drive. In this case, you have to try the second solution to fix your issue.
If you have a restore point but the recovery wizard failed to proceed or to select the C drive as shown, this may indicate that the Registry files are corrupted or missing in your computer, so you have to go to the solution number 3.5 to see how to repair your registry files.
SECOND SOLUTION: HOW TO REPAIR CORRUPTED SYSTEM FILES USING DISM AND SFC TOOLS?
If the System restore wasn’t enable in your system, the most common solution for critical process Died error is by checking and repairing system files using DISM and SFC tools. For your convenience and to ensure executing both tools correctly, we have created an automatic bat file to help you checking and repairing the corrupted or missing system files by just few clicks instead of typing the entire commands.
To start the automatic bat file, do the followings:
Open Command Prompt and then type NOTEPAD and press Enter
From File tab, select Open option
Click on This PC icon and then scroll up or down to locate the USB drive
If you have created the bootable USB using Ventoy app, you will see two partitions, so you have to open the one with Ventoy label.
Open VMTechs-Critical folder that you have downloaded and extracted previously
Change Files of Type option to All
Right click on DISM-SFC-AUTO bat file and then select Run as Administrator option
This CMD bat will identify the letters of windows partition and mounted installation media of the Bootable USB automatically. After that, it will start searching for missed or corrupted system files in your computer and replace them from installation media. This process may take up to one hour or more, so be patient.
If you have booted into advanced recovery Environment without a bootable USB, you can use DISM-SFC-NO-WIM file instead of DISM-SFC-AUTO, however, the success chance is low, especially if the local backup of system files is corrupted or missing too.
Notice that both operations completed successfully in my computer.
If you can’t see any letter in front of the third line, which says The Windows OS is on Partition:, that mean the bat tool failed to identify your windows partition, which indicates either your windows partition is not available, or windows partition is available but doesn’t have an assigned letter. In first scenario, you have to reinstall a fresh copy of windows to repair your computer, but if there is no assigned letter for windows partition, you can assign any letter as followings:
Press Shift + F10 keys from keyboard to open new CMD window
Type DISKPART and press Enter
Type LIST VOL and press Enter
Identify windows partition according to its total size and then select it using SEL VOL command followed by the number of windows partition.
In my case, windows is installed on volume number 1 as you can see on the video, so I selected it using this command:
SEL VOL 1
Assign any letter using ASSIGN LETTER= followed by a free letter.
In my case, the F letter is not used, so I assigned C to the windows partition using this command:
Back to the bat file and run it as administrator
If the registry or Hive files are missing or corrupted, the repairing commands will probably fail with this error message after executing DISM command:
An initiation error occurred.
And the following error message after executing SFC command:
Windows resource protection couldn’t perform the requested operation.
By opening the log file of DISM, you can know why this error appear.
As you can see, the root cause is the corrupted registry in this computer. If the registry Hive are corrupted or missed, you have to restore them manually as on the solution number 3.
If all commands completed successfully as shown, close all opened windows and restart your computer to see if the Critical error fixed or not.
As you can see on the video, the computer booted into windows successfully. If this solution not helped, you have to apply the third solution to fix your issue.
THIRD SOLUTION: HOW TO REPLACE WINSXS AND/OR REGISTRY FILES MANUALLY?
The next solution will need a hardworking, and you have to install a new copy of windows next to your old one from the bootable USB, after that, replace the corrupted system and registry files from the new windows. So this solution will be divided into several sub parts.
3.3.1: How to install a fresh copy of windows in a separated partition?
After booting into this menu as seen previously in the part number 2 of the topic, you have to select the correct English language for keyboard and then click on Next.
Click on Install Now button
Select I don’t have a product key option if you asked for.
Select the edition from this list that is similar to your installed windows. If not sure which edition is installed on your PC, do the following:
Press Shift + F10 keys from keyboard to open CMD window
Type Notepad and press Enter
From file tab, select Open option.
Click on This PC icon and then open Windows partition
Open Users Folder and memorize your user profile name
Back to the main folder of windows partition and then navigate to this path:
Open any folder inside Neutral folder to know which windows edition you have in your computer.
In my case, the edition of installed windows is Professional, so I will select Windows Pro edition from the list of windows installation.
Note: If your computer contains a license key for windows stored in the firmware, the setup wizard will select which edition to install according to your license, so you will not be asked to enter the license key or to select which edition to install.
After selecting the edition, click Next to continue.
Accept Microsoft terms and conditions and then click Next to continue
Select Custom installation
If you have an empty disk or partition with at least 30 gigabytes, you can select it and then click Next to start windows installation.
If you don’t have an empty partition, you have to shrink the C or another partition that has at least 35 gigabytes of free space as following:
Press Shift + F10 to open CMD
Type DISKPART and press Enter
Type LIST VOL and press Enter
Select your windows partition or another partition with enough free disk space.
Execute the following command to shrink the selected partition:
Create new partition from shrank space using this command:
CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
Format the new partition and add a label to differentiate it from other partitions using this command:
Format FS=NTFS QUICK LABEL=SecondOS
Close CMD window and back to installation wizard
Click Refresh button to show the new partition
Select the new partition and then click Next to start windows installation process.
Select your country and input language and then click Yes to continue.
Add another keyboard input if you want, otherwise click skip option
Connect to the internet to activate your windows if you have a license key and to install additional windows components, or click I don’t have internet and then select continue with limited setup.
Type your old user profile name that you have memorized previously and then click Next.
Add a login password similar to the old password if you have, otherwise click on Next to continue.
Add a recovery questions and answers if you have added a password in previous step.
Disable or enable Microsoft privacy options and then click Accept to continue.
Try to install the graphic and other drivers if you have, to prevent facing new error messages related to missed registry keys as you can see later.
After installing drivers, shutdown your system and boot again from the USB.
Select the keyboard language and click Next
Click Repair your computer to open Windows Recovery Environment.
3.3.2: How to Copy System and registry files to the old windows?
Open Troubleshoot and then open Command Prompt
Type Notepad and press Enter
Click on File and then select Open option
Click on This PC and then open SecondOS partition and navigate to Windows/System32 folder
Rename Config folder to Config.New and do refresh for display to see the new name.
Now copy the Config.new folder to the System32 folder in the old windows.
If the partition of the old windows not shown, you have to assign any letter as shown previously in the second solution.
Back to Windows folder of the SecondOS and rename WinSxS folder to WinSxS.new
After that copy it to the windows folder of the old OS
NOTE: This step will take longer time, and the mouse cursor will become unresponsive until the end of copy process, so be patient.
3.3.3: How to remove new windows partition and rebuild BCD file?
Now you have to remove the partition of Second OS and related settings as followings:
Press Shift + F10 keys from keyboard to open new CMD window
Type DISKPART and press Enter
Type LIST VOL and press Enter
Select the volume of the new partition that has the SecondOS label using SEL VOL command followed by the volume number.
Type the following command to remove it:
DEL PART OVERRIDE
Now select EFI or system partition that contain the BCD file to remove the boot setup of the new windows.
The EFI or system partition usually has a size of 100 to 200 megabytes but not more than 400 megabytes.
In my case, the EFI is the volume number 3, so I will select it using this command:
SEL VOL 3
Execute DEL PART OVERRIDE again to remove the system partition.
If you are unable to identify EFI or System partition, refer tothis topic for more details.
Now select the volume of the old windows partition using SEL VOL command followed by its number or letter.
Type EXTEND and press Enter to add the removed disk space to the partition of your old windows.
Close the active CMD window and go back to the USB drive
Open the VMTechs-Critical folder
Change files of type option to all.
Right click on FixBCD-Both file and select, Run as administrator option.
Type N in capital letter and press enter
Type Y and press enter to create and rebuild the EFI or system partition.
Type Y and press enter to add the old windows to the BCD file.
This automatic bat file will create new EF/System partition and then rebuild the BCD automatically, so the dual boot menu will not be shown anymore.
If you have done everything correctly, you will see that all commands executed successfully as shown on the video below.
3.3.4: How to replace system files manually?
Navigate to Windows partition of your old operating system
Rename WinSxS folder to WinSxS.original
Rename WinSxS.new folder that you have copied from the new windows previously to WinSxS
Close all opened windows and then click on Continue to restart your computer to the old windows.
3.3.5: How to repair windows registry manually?
If you have an older version of windows operating system such as windows 10 version 1802 or older versions, windows 8 or windows 7, a backup registry hives are stored automatically inside RegBack folder on this path:
Replace the “?” by the letter of your windows partition
However, in windows 10 version 1803 or newer, and in windows 11, a backup copy of registry hives are not stored in the RegBack folder automatically.
How to restore registry files manually from RegBack folder in older windows?
if you have an old OS or have enabled registry backup manually in newer windows editions, you can replace the corrupted or all registry files manually as followings:
Make sure that the size of all files inside RegBack is not equal to zero
Copy the Default file from RegBack folder
Back to Config folder and rename the Default file to Default.orig or whatever you want.
Paste the copied file to the Config folder.
Repeat previous three step with all registry files one by one.
After replacing all registry files, close all opened windows and restart your computer.
How to Replace the corrupted system file manually from the new installed windows?
If there is no a backup copy of registry files inside RegBack, you have to replace the corrupted file manually from the Config.new folder that you have copied from the new windows previously.
For example, if you know that the Software hive is the corrupted one as we have seen in the second solution, you have to copy the Software file from Config.new to Config folder after renaming the original file.
Now, back to the first or the second solution to see if they can proceed after replacing the Software file or not.
For example, if you have a restore point but failed to proceed due to a corruption in the system file, then try again after replacing the System file to see if you can do it. Also, if the DISM and SFC tools failed to fix the system file due to corruption of Software registry, then you have to try again after the replacement step.
How to replace the corrupted hive file manually if you are not sur which corrupted file is?
If not sure which registry file is the corrupted one, you can try to rename the old files and then replace them from the Config.new folder one at a time, after that, try the first or the second solution after each replacement.
If the first and second solutions filed after renaming and replacing all files inside Config folder, then you have to close all opened windows, after that, click on Continue to restart to your windows using new registry files.
How to replace the entire Config folder from new installed windows?
If the individual replacement for registry files not helped, you can try to replace the entire registry folder by renaming the Config folder to Config.orig, and then rename Config.new to config.
Then back to VMTechs-Critical folder and Run DISM-SFC-AUTO as administrator.
After that, run FixBCD-Both as administrator after deleting the EFI or system partition as you have seen earlier on the topic.
Now, close all opened windows and then click Continue to restart your computer.
It will take longer time for the first booting, and you may need to force stop the computer by pressing the power key for 10 seconds or until the computer shutdown completely.
After the first successful boot, you may face new error messages related to installed drivers or apps, especially if you didn’t install them into the second windows as instructed previously.
So to fix that, you have to reinstall all installed drivers and installed apps again to add then into the new registry, and to get rid of the new error messages if any.
FOURTH PART: USEFUL TOOLS
There are some tools that can be used to show some information about blue screen of death error or installed driver and more.
BlueScreenView tool can be used to show dump file that contains details about blue screen error. To open dump file, click on Options and then select Advanced options. Replace the X with the letter of your windows partition and click OK.
The dump file shows that the error caused by address ntoskrnl.exe+417d40 as you can see on the video, which indicate that the error occurs exactly at the process number 417d40. These data can be sent to Microsoft online support or another maintenance team to get help if you failed to fix your issue by yourself.
DevManView or Devices Manager View tool can be used to show all connected devices. It can be used also to disable or to enable any device if you are sure that the selected device is the source of your blue screen error. Don’t try to disable any device randomly!
DriverView is a tool that help you to show List all device drivers currently loaded on your Windows.
FIFTH PART: THE VIDEO:
Finally, you have to refer to the following video to see how to fix Critical Process Died error step by step: