Have you ever been in the middle of something when your PC had gone down? It might show a blue screen error with a bug code 0x000000EF and a statement CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED. This error often arises when the critical process can’t run correctly; the operating system will face some trouble loading the default boot files. This will make Windows crash and it’ll not load any programs.

Why does this error occur?

Error 0x000000EF occurs primarily when the operating system accidentally ends a process that needed to boot. Usually, when you perform a system upgrade or install some new Windows operating files this error might pop up on your monitor. How sure are you that your Operating System will evade this kind of critical error?That would depend on your software versions.

Windows is one of the most popular Operating System in existence today. With the Microsoft Corporation launching new upgrades and versions of its softwares and Operating Systems, most of you want to upgrade to enjoy a seamless digital experience. But your upgradation might not end up very smooth; it’s likely to face some critical process died errors. Here are a few reasons why the error occurs:

1. Problem in compatibility – While you’re upgrading the software, the hardware parts in your PC, like drivers, graphic cards, and more might face some compatibility issues, leading to error 0x000000EF.

2. Issues with the RAM – When your Random Access Memory is not working properly, you’ll get the Critical Process Died error.

3. Default system files are corrupt – Sometimes you’ll have to restart your computer a few times because the system files might be corrupt or modified.

4. Virus infected OS – Computer viruses might infest your computer and disorient all the default system boot files, leading to a blue screen with error code.

5. Bad sectors in the disk – If you’ve been using your hard drive for over a very long time, there may be some scratches or bad sectors in it. This might lead to an error code.


1. Restart your PC in Safe Mode

When this error occurs in the middle of your work, you got no other option but to restart your computer. But even after restarting you might keep getting this error code and eventually end up losing track of your work. One quick way to overcome this issue is by restarting your computer in Safe Mode. This might deny access to a few system files, but you still get to open most of the computer windows and avoid any errors along the way.

To restart your computer in Safe Mode, you can follow the below methods:

  • Restart Windows 8 or Windows 10.
  • Press Shift + F8 while the computer is booting.
  • Go to Advanced Boot Options and select Safe Mode to boot your PC in Safe Mode.

You can also enter Safe Mode by pressing the Shift key before giving a PC Restart. A window will open and you can click the Troubleshoot – Advanced options – Startup Settings – Enable Safe Mode – Restart. This will boot your PC in Safe Mode and the files will load without any error code.

2. Upgrade the Drivers and possible hardware in your PC

Generally, many critical process died errors occur when the device drivers aren’t compatible with the Operating Software. You can check if there’s a problem in your device driver by giving the following commands:

  • Open the Device Manager window from the start menu or by pressing Win + X.
  • Then start checking all the drives for any issues. If a drive has a yellow exclamatory mark near its icon, it indicates that the drive is faulty.

You can uninstall and reinstall all the faulty drives. If the drivers are facing compatibility issues, you can easily fix this issue by selecting the Upgrade Driver Software option present in each drive.

3. Make use of SFC/SCANNOW command

Sometimes the Critical Process Died error occurs when some of the system files are missing or get corrupted. In such cases you can make use of a system file checker command, which can find if there are any wrongly overwritten protected files. It will also extract the original system files from computer backup and replace the corrupt files with correct ones.

  • Open the Command Prompt from the Search box using administrator profile.
  • Type the command SFC/SCANNOW and press Enter It will take a few minutes for the scan and you’ll then get the results displayed on the Command Prompt.

If there are no errors the system will show run in normal mode. In case if there are any errors, the Command Prompt will give display a message declaring the status of the error. It will automatically repair the error files or you’ll get a failure message.

4. Boot only selective programs during start-up

You can choose the Selective startup option from the System Configuration and choose to Load system services. This will run only selective boot files and you can hide all other Microsoft services.

5. Uninstall some softwares and restore your PC

You might have installed some virus-infected software in your PC or your system update will not be compatible with your hardware. You can uninstall the software or updates and try re-booting your PC. If you’ve set up a restore point in your computer, you can efficiently restore it to its earlier status.

These fixes will help you get rid of the CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED error in your computer. If the error persists try uninstalling and reinstalling the entire Operating System files. Stop worrying about losing your work for these errors! Fix them yourselves!