Recently, I encountered a serious problem with my laptop that runs Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10.
The issue is: when I search for hardware changes from the Windows Device Manager, I almost instantly get a blue screen (the famous Windows Blue Screen Of Death), which means a total crash of the PC with the obligation to restart it… This also happened to me when using software that inspects the computer’s hardware.
The error message displayed at the bottom of the blue screen is as follows: Video Dxgkrnl Fatal Error sometimes also noted Video_Dxgkrnl_Fatal_Error depending on the Windows version.
What Does the Video Dxgkrnl Fatal Error Message Mean?
After some research on the web (and as the title of the error message suggests), this error message is related to graphics card drivers and DirectX causing a fatal error in Windows.
This fatal error can be caused by a bad installation of the graphics card driver (a Geforce 310M from Nvidia for my computer) or a graphics card driver that is not adapted to the operating system. Many people had driver problems when launching Windows 10.
In my case, the graphics card driver worked very well with Windows 7 but much less well with Windows 10 despite a rather recent version of the drivers provided by Nvidia (December 2016) which should normally work well with Windows 10…
How to Fix Video Dxgkrnl Fatal Error?
The easiest way to solve the problem related to Video Dxgkrnl Fatal Error message is to update or reinstall your graphics card driver.
1. How do I reinstall the graphics card driver?
To begin with, you will have to uninstall the current driver that is causing problems, the way to proceed afterwards will be very similar to a classic driver installation for Windows: either you download the driver directly from the manufacturer’s website, or you let Windows manage the driver installation.
- Open the Windows Device Manager: under Windows 10, right-click on the Windows 10 Start menu (bottom left of your screen ) and then click on Device Manager (or open it via the keyboard shortcut Windows key + X).
- In the Windows Device Manager, look for the Graphics Cards section then right-click on your graphics card.
- Select Uninstall device then restart your computer so that the uninstallation is complete.
- Repeat step 1 and 2 then click on Update Driver
- In the next screen, click on Automatically search for updated driver software and let Windows install the driver.
2. Use the generic driver for your graphics card
If reinstalling the driver of your graphics card has not changed anything and you still have a blue screen, it means that the driver is unsuitable… It is possible to use the generic driver of Windows to manage your graphics card. Personally, this is the only option that solved my fatal error problem.
However, if you are a hardcore gamer (which I am not since a few years…), your favorite video games may not work anymore… I am satisfied with the basic version of the driver for my own use, but this situation may not suit you. In short, to test!
Here is the procedure to use the generic Microsoft driver for your graphics card in Windows 10:
- Right click on the Windows 10 Start menu (bottom left of your screen ) and click on Device Manager (also accessible via the keyboard shortcut Windows key + X).
- In the Windows Device Manager, look for the Graphics Cards section then right-click on your graphics card and select Update Driver.
- Choose Browse my computer to find the driver software.
- Click on Choose from a list of drivers on my computer.
- Select Microsoft Basic Video Card to use the generic driver offered by Windows and click Next.
Windows will then use the base driver for your graphics card.
I got an error message at the end of the installation but everything seems to work. In any case, I don’t have a blue screen anymore!