Blue screen errors like the “critical structure corruption” error are some of the most complex Windows operating system (OS) problems. They prevent the device from running until a restart occurs. In the worst scenario, the user must resolve the root cause of the issue before they can access their system again.
The critical structure corruption error is a prime example of an issue that can make accessing the OS difficult. It will not explicitly damage files held within the device, though it can harm them later down the line.
Unfortunately, there is no definite cause for the critical structure corruption error. However, user communities have identified two factors that contribute to its occurrence.
What does the critical structure corruption error mean?
The primary cause of the critical structure corruption error is the improper installation or seating of a hardware component. When damaged, these tools can negatively impact the Windows kernel, a hidden system responsible for interacting with the hardware.
By acting as a middleman between you and the hardware, the kernel prevents accidental hardware components changes. If you decide to interfere with this process and directly interact with the hardware, you risk damaging the kernel and inducing a critical structure corruption error.
One of the most worrying aspects of the critical structure corruption error is that it can arise from an issue with the kernel – most of which causes the entire system to break down.
Another leading cause of this error is device drivers. Each device uses specific software to inform the system of the actions it can perform. External speakers, for example, will use their software to tell the computer they can play sound. This piece of software is called a driver.
Drivers must interact with the system software to perform their intended operation. Sometimes, they may overstep the mark and alter a critical element of the kernel. A change like this can lead to a critical structure corruption error, though there is no definite evidence that this is the only cause.
Since a driver’s behavior is not as predictable as a hardware failure, resolving the critical structure corruption error may be quite challenging.
How to solve the critical structure corruption blue screen error
You may identify the critical structure corruption error by reading the code presented on the blue screen or in the system logs.
Before you start: Back up your data
Though a critical structure error will not directly affect the file system, it is still a good idea to back it up before attempting to resolve the issue.
A cloud service is the best way to back up the data in these circumstances since there is a possibility that malware is causing the critical structure corruption error. If you use a spare hard drive or a USB, there is a possibility that the malware may enter the USB and corrupt those files too.
Method 1: Restart your computer
As common a suggestion it is, restarting your computer often works, especially when the critical structure corruption error occurs as a result of an improperly loaded hardware module. Since no definitive cause is identified for error, it is worth a try.
Method 2: Uninstall known potential error causing apps
Some applications are known to induce critical structure corruption errors. The cause of such issues remains unknown, though you can try removing the programs completely.
These include BlueStacks, Daemon Tools, Alcohol 120%, VirtualBox, Intel Hardware, and Accelerated Execution Manager. DropBox has, in some cases, also contributed to critical structure corruption errors.
Follow the below steps to uninstall an app:
- In the Search bar, type “control panel”.
- You will see a window like this one.
- In this window, click on “Uninstall a program” in the Programs sub-menu.
- A new window opens up.
- In this window, select the app that you want to uninstall and click uninstall.
- A window pops up asking if you’re sure. Click “yes”.
This process allows you to view and uninstall all the apps and software in your system. Do one at a time to avoid long waiting times. There is an alternate method to uninstall an application you feel has caused a critical structure corruption error.
- First, type “settings” in the windows search bar.
- Open the Settings application. It’ll take you to a window similar to this one.
- In the Settings, go to Applications.
- You’ll see a list of all the applications in your system.
- In the applications list, click on the app you want to uninstall and select the uninstall button.
Note: If you cannot locate an application in the Settings section, do so through the Control Panel as mentioned above.
You can use both methods to remove the applications mentioned above. The Control Panel will provide more flexibility.
Method 3: Update your graphics driver
Updating your graphics driver may also prevent a critical structure corruption error, since an older version may result in incompatibility issues.
To update a graphics driver, follow the steps below:
- In the Windows search bar, type “device manager“.
- The Device Manager will list the details and properties of the drivers and devices connected to your system.
- In the Device Manager, click on the Display adapters dropdown item.
- All the display adapters installed in your system will be revealed beside your graphics card driver. So now, all you have to do is right-click on the GPU driver and click on Update driver.
- Windows automatically finds the latest driver and updates the system.
If this method fails, try uninstalling and reinstalling the driver.
- Follow steps one to three above.
- However, upon reaching step 4, click on the Uninstall device option instead of clicking on Update driver.
- Restart the system, and Windows will automatically install the missing drivers.
If reinstalling does not work either, you will need to update the driver manually.
- Visit the manufacturer’s website, search for the driver for your device, and download it to perform a manual update.
- After downloading the driver, double-click the executable file, and install the latest stable version.
If the critical structure corruption error remains, move on to the next method.
Method 4: Run the system memory diagnostic tool
Running a Windows Memory Diagnostic tool can solve various issues associated with critical structure corruption errors.
To perform a diagnosis on your system’s memory, follow the steps below:
- First, type “Windows Memory” in the search bar.
- Open the Windows Memory Diagnostic application that you see under Best match.
- You’ll see a dialog box similar to this one.
- Click on “Restart now and check for problems (recommended)“.
- The system will immediately restart and boot in diagnostic mode.
- It will then automatically check for any memory issues and reboot again normally.
- The system will then send you a report if it finds any issues after restarting.
Though the critical structure corruption error may not be directly related to the memory of your system, the kernel can still impact it and the file system in many ways. Therefore, it is best to diagnose your system’s memory even if the issue is fixed by following the other methods.
Method 5: Check the logs
The Windows OS contains an events log that provides information on the activities performed across your device. Though you may not have interacted with this directly, it can be helpful when resolving issues like the critical structure corruption blue screen error.
Logs are especially useful since they allow you to check for multiple issues at the same time. They enable users to prevent errors before they occur. To open the Windows Event Viewer, follow the below steps:
- First, type “event viewer” in the search bar.
- A window pops up with all the administrator tools.
- The window may be a little complex to comprehend at first, but you’ll get used to it.
- In this, click on “Windows Logs” in the sidebar.
- In the Windows Logs dropdown, click on “System logs”.
- You will probably see thousands of events in the log, so it may take time to load.
- You can filter the logs based on their type. Select the “error” and “issues” types.
You may initially struggle to understand what the logs mean, especially if you lack experience with system administration. However, by reading the error message and searching for additional information about the errors you see in your log, you will be one step closer to eliminating the critical structure corruption error.
Fixing the critical structure corruption error is not an easy task. However, with the help of the methods listed above, you can rid your life of this issue in no time. Please leave a comment about which method worked for you or if you have found additional solutions to this Windows blue screen error.