12 Fixes: Critical Structure Corruption in Windows 10

You’re using your computer surfing the web, running a program, or playing a video, and suddenly everything shuts down and you see a blue screen with a message that your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart.

This is a blue screen of death error and many types of it. One of them is the Critical Structure Corruption error. You can see the error name at the bottom of the BSOD.

Causes Of The Critical Structure Corruption BSOD Error

  • A driver problem connected to your computer’s kernel
  • Power supply unit problems
  • Corrupted system files
  • Corrupted or outdated graphics drivers
  • Bad sector on the hard drive or a hardware failure
  • An unsupported hardware or USB device connected to the PC
  • Overclocked CPU, RAM, or GPU

Top Fixes For The Critical Structure Corruption in Windows 10 Error

  1. Unplug USB Devices
  2. Boot in Safe Mode
  3. Run Memory Diagnostic Tool
  4. Scan the Hard Drive and System Files
  5. Update or Uninstall the Graphics Driver
  6. Uninstall Potentially Problematic Apps
  7. Perform a Clean Boot
  8. Use Microsoft’s Online Blue Screen Troubleshooter
  9. Undo Overclocking
  10. Inspect the Power Supply Unit (PSU)
  11. Update Windows and All the Device Drivers
  12. Create a New User Account

1. Unplug USB Devices

When beginning troubleshooting for this BSOD error, removing as many variables from the equation as possible is recommended. So, unplug all the USB devices like mouse, keyboard, printers, flash drives, and similar devices from the PC and reboot it.

In the case of a computer, leave the mouse and keyboard plugged in and remove other devices.

2. Boot in Safe Mode

The Windows operating system comes in-built with a free utility that’s a lifesaver in errors like the critical structure corruption Windows 10 error. Safe mode boots your Windows only with essential programs and drivers, leaving out all other drivers.

Use these steps to boot your Windows into safe mode:

  • Turn on your computer and long-press the power button when the Windows logo appears to turn it off.
  • Start the PC again and do the same as above.
  • When you turn on your computer again, Windows will boot the Automatic Repair Environment.
  • On the ‘Your PC did not start correctly’ screen, select ‘Advanced options’.
Automatic Repair of Windows 10
  • Navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
Advanced recovery options of Windows 10
  • The next screen will show which settings will be enabled. Choose ‘Restart’.
Startup settings on Windows 10
  • When Windows will boot again, it’ll show a blue screen showing different options. Press F4 on your keyboard to start Windows in safe mode.
Startup settings on Windows 10

3. Run Memory Diagnostic Tool

RAM issues are known to result in system crashes and critical structure corruption in windows 10. So, run the Windows memory diagnostic tool to test the memory state. It can fix some problems, while for some, you may need to replace your PC’s RAM.

  • Click the Start menu, type ‘memory diagnostic tool’, and select the best match.
  • Make sure to close and save your work and select ‘restart now and check for problems (recommended)’.
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool dialog box
  • Your computer will restart and the memory diagnostic tool will run automatically.
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool running memory checks
  • Once it’s done, Windows will boot normally and you’ll receive the memory diagnostic report in notifications. This will show if any errors were found and/or fixed.
  • If the tool cannot fix the issues, you would need to get a new RAM.

4. Scan the Hard Drive and System Files

There are three types of in-built hard disk and Windows files checking tools. And as we’re dealing with critical structure corruption In Windows 10, we may need to use all three of them one by one.

4.1 Hard Disk Error Checking (CHKDSK)

For user-friendly disk error checking, use these steps:

  • Open File Manager.
  • Go to ‘This PC’.
  • Right-click the local drive that has Windows 10 installation files and choose ‘Properties.
  • Switch to the ‘Tools’ tab.
  • In the ‘Error Checking’, click ‘Check’.
Tools tab selected in Properties of local Drive D
  • In case everything is fine, Windows will show that you don’t need to run the scan. Select ‘Scan drive’.
  • After finishing the scan, if there are errors, the wizard will show you the actions you can take to fix them.

For more control, run this check on the command prompt:

  • Click the Start menu, type cmd, and select ‘Run as administrator’.
  • Copy-paste chkdsk /f /r C: and press the enter key.
Running chdsk on C drive using command prompt on Windows 10
  • This will check and fix the C drive errors and bad sectors. It will take some time.

4.2 SFC Scan

The System File Checker also checks the file system of hard drives, but it’s more geared towards finding and fixing problems in the Windows file system.

  • Open the Start, type cmd, and choose ‘Run as administrator’.
  • Type sfc /scannow and hit enter.
  • Wait while the system files are checked and fixed.

4.3 DISM Tool

When SFC scan can’t repair files, you should use the DISM tool. Follow these steps:

  • Open the command prompt with administrator privileges.
  • Use the below commands and press enter with each one:
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

5. Update or Uninstall the Graphics Driver

Often, critical structure corruption in windows 10 is due to an outdated or faulty graphics driver. When the driver doesn’t work properly, Windows crashes and shows the BSOD error.

Try updating the graphics driver:

  • Right-click the Start logo on the taskbar and choose ‘Device Manager’.
  • Double-click ‘Display adapters’, right-click your graphics device driver, and pick ‘Update driver’.
Display adapter options on Device Manager
  • Choose ‘Search automatically for drivers’.
Searching for display drivers on Windows 10
  • It will search for the drivers and install them if available.
  • Reboot your PC.

In cases where updating the drivers isn’t fixing the critical error, uninstall your GPU driver. Windows will automatically install it again. Moreover, if you’re using a special application for your display driver, like NVIDIA GeForce Experience, uninstall it as well.

  • Use the same steps as above but when you right-click your graphics device driver, choose ‘Uninstall device’.
Display adapter options on Device Manager
  • Confirm the action and reboot your computer.

6. Uninstall Potentially Problematic Apps

Some apps are reported to cause Windows BSOD errors. So, if you have installed Alcohol 120%, Intel HAXM, MacDriver, or Daemon Tools, remove them.

  • Navigate to Settings > Apps.
  • Select the application you want to remove and click ‘Uninstall’.
Apps & features settings on Windows 10

7. Perform a Clean Boot

Clean boot enables you to remove all the third-party apps from starting when you boot Windows. This allows you to deduct if any installed program is causing critical structure corruption in Windows 10.

If your Windows can boot in safe mode, try a clean boot to know if the software problem is related to Windows files or third-party apps. Smooth functioning during a clean boot will show you that the BSOD error is caused by third-party software.

  • Press the Windows logo + R to have the run command.
  • Type msconfig and press enter.
Running msconfig
  • Navigate to the ‘Services’ tab.
  • Check the box ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ and then click the ‘Disable all’ button.
System Configurations > Services tab on Windows 10
  • Then, go to the ‘Startup’ tab and choose ‘Open Task Manager.
  • Right-click each item and select ‘Disabled’.
Startup tab selected on Task Manager
  • Close Task Manager and go back to the System Configuration window.
  • Click ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’.
  • Reboot your computer.
  • Now see if the PC runs into any problems upon startup. If not, perform the same steps and allow one third-party app, and restart your computer. Keep enabling one app each time to find out the culprit.

8. Use Microsoft’s Online Blue Screen Troubleshooter

Windows 10 has an in-built BSOD troubleshooter, but it has been discontinued. But for diagnosing the problems behind the critical structure corruption BSOD error, you can still use the online blue screen troubleshooter.

Microsoft online black and blue screen troubleshooter

9. Undo Overclocking

Overclocking can cause many problems and fatal errors. So, when troubleshooting a BSOD error, take this factor out of the equation by switching back to the stock settings and undo the overlocking of RAM, CPU, and GPU.

10. Inspect the Power Supply Unit (PSU)

In some cases, a damaged or inferior-quality cable can cause critical structure corruption in windows 10. So, perform a hardware checkup of your computer and ensure that all the wires are properly connected to the correct ports and are not loose. Moreover, check for any damaged cable.

11. Update Windows and All the Device Drivers

I showed you to update or uninstall the display driver because it usually causes Blue Screen of Death errors. If your critical structure corruption error isn’t fixed, update all the drivers.

  • Go to Settings > Update & Security.
  • Press the button ‘Check for updates’.
  • Let updates and then restart your PC.
  • Now, navigate Settings > Update & Security again and click ‘Optional updates’.
Windows update page on Windows 10
  • Afterward, select ‘Driver updates’, checkmark all drivers, and press ‘Download and install’.
Options updates on Windows 10

12. Create a New User Account

The problem could be related to the user account you commonly use. When the system files of a user are missing or corrupted, a BSOD error is triggered. Create a new account and try again. These steps are for creating a local account on Windows 10.

  • Disconnected from the internet.
  • Navigate to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users.
  • Select ‘Add someone to this PC’.
Family & other users settings on Windows 10
  • Type a username and password.
  • Select the account type.
  • Restart the computer and sign in to the new account.


The most common reason for critical structure corruption in windows 10 is faulty display drivers and hard disk problems. If the above solutions don’t fix the error, you should reinstall Windows.

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Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.