14 Quick Fixes to Kernel Security Check Failure

All Windows users know the Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) and how annoying it can be. It is pretty frustrating when your monitor displays a blue screen, while you are using the computer and you are not able to boot it again to get rid of it. The Kernel Security Check failure is one of the most troublesome blue screen errors. This article contains all the details that you will need to get over this tiresome system error.

What is stop code KERNEL SECURITY CHECK FAILURE?

The error code KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK_FAILURE is one of the many BSoD errors that can occur on your Windows 10 computer. The OS in the computer scans for incompatibility and the integrity of system files.

If the search results find a number of incompatible files and corrupt data, users will witness this error. This is an indicator of errors that occur because of memory issues, conflicts between two or more programs, incompatible drivers, or malware infestations in the computer. 

KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK_FAILURE BSoD error

This is the error message that you’ll see on the blue screen if your system detects any of the above complications and your system decides to crash, without being able to deal with it:

🙁

Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We’re just

collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you. 

If you’d like to know more, you can search online later for this error: KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK_ERROR

System Scenarios that can bring up the Kernel Security Check Failure error

Windows users have reported that they have noticed their computer crash and display the Kernel Security Check Failure issue when they were doing the following functions or after these changes were made on their computer.

  1. Users were gaming. 
Screen Capture from Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Valhalla

This issue has been spotted while users were in the middle of playing a game. We don’t need to imagine how annoyed they should have been.

  1. The error occurred after the PC woke up from sleep. 
Sleep option in the Windows 10 Start menu interface

Users have experienced this issue, right after they opened their computer. 

  1. An extra RAM was attached. 
Two RAM sticks attached to a GIGABYTE motherboard

A RAM upgrade was succeeded by a Kernel Security Check failure blue screen, right after the computer was booted up again.

  1. Certain programs are being run in the system.
List of Programs in the Windows Task Manager

People have seen this blue screen of death when they launched some specific programs on their computer

Factors responsible for the Kernel Security Check Failure error in Windows 10

  1. Outdated Operating System

An out-of-date OS is more prone to errors than an updated version. It is important to download updates for your Windows system as the latest versions can eradicate existing bugs and problems on the computer.

  1. Out of date drivers

Older version drivers can be responsible for almost every issue that can arise on your computer. Just like the OS, it is important for the drivers to be updated regularly. If it isn’t updated, users will have to update them when their drivers become incompatible with the hardware and/or software.

  1. Corrupted System data

Corrupted System files on computers are the remains of functioning files that were vulnerable to viruses and thereby, suffered from viral damage. If files like this exist, they will dig away at the system’s health and performance. 

  1. Presence of Malware

Malware is a universal cause for all kinds of errors that you face on your computer. Removing these invisible threats that can, otherwise, cause a lot of harm to your system. Regular scans will keep them at bay.

  1. Antivirus Programs

Antivirus Software can stand in the way of a lot of processes that you want to carry out on your system. Disabling it while you carry out your tasks can be helpful to you.

Techniques to fix the Windows 10 Kernel Security Check Failure BSoD error

Even though Blue Screen errors like the Kernel Security Check Failure, Video TDR Failure, and others are critical issues, it does not mean that they cannot be fixed. It is quite easy to resolve the stop code KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK error.

These are the procedures that you can execute to fix this:

  1. Look for Memory-related errors in your PC
  2. Take a look at the Memory Slot and the Hard Disk
  3. Scan for Hard Drive Errors and fix them
  4. Turn the Antivirus off, temporarily
  5. Launch Windows 10 in Safe Mode
  6. Activate the Legacy Advanced Boot menu
  7. Uninstall and Reinstall, or Update the Physical Driver(s)
  8. Check for OS updates
  9. Run a Full system scan
  10. Perform a CHKDSK (Disk Check)
  11. Execute a System File Checker scan
  12. Troubleshoot the Blue Screen issue
  13. Run System Restore
  14. Perform a Clean Install of Windows 10
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Fixing the Kernel Security Check Failure error on Windows 10

1: Look for Memory-related errors in your PC (Windows Memory Diagnostics tool)

The RAM plays a very important part in the functioning of your computer. In fact, it is essential for the system to boot. The higher your CPU memory is, the better the performance of your computer. If one of them fails, your system becomes slow. If the entire RAM collapses, the system does not work at all.

It is very important that you find and fix issues that come up on your system, displaying systems of a damaged or failing RAM. This can be done with the help of the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool.

The Memory Diagnostics Tool is a utility that searches your system’s RAM for issues and fixes them. These are the steps to fix the problems related to the CPU memory:

  1. Open the Run tool on your computer by pressing the Windows key and R key together. 
  2. In the open field, Type in mdsched.exe and hit the Enter key.
Run command for Windows Memory Diagnostics tool
  1. Another option to open this tool is the search box, where you can search for the Memory Diagnostic tool.
Windows Memory Diagnostic utility dialog box
  1. This will open the Memory Diagnostics tool in the form of a small dialog box with two options, namely-
    • Restart now and check for problems
    • Check for problems and next time I start my computer
  2. You can choose from one of these options. Either way, the RAM will be tested for issues. Proceed with the instructions from the windows that appear on your screen.

If there are any issues detected, you might have to fix the issue by attaching a new RAM to your motherboard. If you are unable to launch the Memory Diagnostics Tool, try to launch your computer in Safe Mode and then open the tool. 

2: Take a look at the Memory Slot and the Hard Disk

This problem can be caused by a loose RAM (Random Access Memory) stick or a loose hard disk. You will have to open up the CPU cabinet to take a look at them since they are connected to the motherboard.

The RAM may have popped out of the slot or the retention tab may have broken causing a loose connection between the RAM and the motherboard. 

Two V-Data RAM sticks on a motherboard

In this situation, the RAM will not be detected. If you have more than one RAM stick, the others will be detected excluding the one that is poorly connected. If only one RAM is present, your system will not boot up till the issue is addressed.

500mb Apple RAM

An improper hard disk connection or damages to this hardware can also cause this problem. You can check if the problem exists on a different hard disk if you are in possession of an extra disk.

500 GB Western Digital Scorpio Blue HDD

3: Scan for Hard Drive Errors and fix them

The hard drive errors can be a causing factor for the Kernel Security Check Failure. You can see if you have errors and get rid of them to stop this issue from throwing a Blue Screen of death at you. The File Explorer has a scanning feature that can detect errors.

These are the steps to check and find the errors:

Note: This method is needed to be done by the Administrator as some aspects of this procedure require system access through an Administrator profile. 

  1. Press the Ctrl and E keys together to bring up the File Explorer. The easiest way to open this is to click on the Folder icon in the taskbar.
File Explorer icon on the Taskbar
  1. If you have made hard disk partitions, you have to know which partition has the Windows system files and the Operating System. This is usually the C:/ drive. This is known as the System drive.
  2. Right-click on the drive and select the Properties option from the pop-up menu.
Properties option in C:/ Context menu
  1. The system drive’s properties windows will appear on your screen. Go into the Tools tab in this dialog box.
  2. Under the Error checking section, press the Check button. This needs to be done by an administrator.
Tools tab in the C:/ Properties window
  1. Select the Scan Drive option to initiate the error check. The duration of this scan relies on the number of files in the system drive.
Error Checking scan window for system drive
  1. When the results come out and you notice problems on your drive, the tool offers instructions to fix the issue.
  2. Do as the window instructs to get rid of this issue. 

4: Turn the Antivirus off, temporarily

Antiviruses are helpful software. But not all the time. They are over-protective and can get in your way while trying to perform some functions, with intentions of offering security.

They block some processes and programs from running when they are acting. These absent processes can possibly cause the Kernel Security Check Failure on your computer. You can disable the antivirus and see if the problem exists.

These are the steps to deactivate the antivirus:

  1. Open the Task Manager through the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) or by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting Task Manager
Task Manager option in the Task bar context menu
  1. Click on the More Details button to see a list of all the processes that are running in the computer.
Task Manager window with less details
  1. Go into the Startup tab and locate the antivirus program on your computer. 
Startup tab and the processes that run on system startup in the Task Manager
  1. Select the process and the Disable button on the lower-right corner of the window will get highlighted. 

Click on it to stop the application from starting up when the computer is restarted the next time. 

  1. Restart your computer. If the antivirus was the culprit, you will not be seeing the Kernel Security Check Failure anymore.
  2. If the antivirus is not the cause, you can follow the above steps and go to the Startup tab, where you have to click on the Enable button after selecting the antivirus program. 
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Before you consider disabling the antivirus on your system, you have to remember that this software is what keeps viruses and malware away from your computer. Deactivating this may put your computer at risk. If you are unwilling to endanger your system, skip this method.

5: Launch Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a Windows feature that lets the OS launch with minimal and essential features. If the Kernel Security Check Failure vanishes in the Safe Mode, you can safely assume that one of the applications on your computer is the cause for this error. Removing this program will help. 

For those who do not know how to boot up Windows in Safe Mode:

  1. Open the Windows Settings by pressing the Windows + I keys on the keyboard. You will also be able to find the Settings icon on the left side of the Start menu.
  2. Enter the Recovery tab in the Update & Security settings window.
  3. When you are in the Advanced Startup section, click on the Restart Now button to reboot the system,
Recovery Page in Windows Settings
  1. The computer will restart and the Choose an option window appears. 
  2. Follow this path:

Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart

  1. The system will restart again. 
  2. In the next window, press F4 on your keyboard to start Safe Mode. If you need internet in the Safe Mode, press F5 to launch Safe Mode with Networking.

6: Activate the Legacy Advanced Boot menu

The Legacy Advanced boot menu or the F8 Safe Mode is one of the most integral factors needed to access and boot up the computer in Safe Mode. Users have no way to launch the Safe mode on their computers, in situations of crisis, if this boot menu is disabled. Enabling this is also a solution to fix the Kernel Security Check Failure error on your system.

These are the steps to enable the Legacy Advanced Boot menu on your system:

  1. Download the Windows 10 installation media from the Microsoft website and install it on a USB drive. This will convert the USB into a bootable disk.
  2. Restart your system and plug the bootable disk into the USB slot.
  3. This action will launch the Windows Setup window. Select Next to proceed.
  4. From this window, proceed in the following path:

Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt

  1. You will be shown an elevated Command Prompt tool.
  2. First, type in C: and press Enter.
  3. Then, enter the following command:

BCDEDIT /SET {DEFAULT} BOOTMENUPOLICY LEGACY

Legacy Advanced Boot Menu activation command line
  1. Hit the Enter key to enable this.
  2. Close the window and return to the Choose an option page.
  3. Select Continue and boot up the system.

7: Uninstall and Reinstall, or Update the Hardware Driver(s)

Older versions of drivers can cause an enormous deal of trouble to users. The only two ways to solve the Kernel Security Check Failure if it is caused by driver errors are by removing and reinstalling the driver or by updating it.

  1. Search for the Device Manager in the search bar and open the best result.
  2. In the Device Manager window, find the Disk Drives segment and click on it.
Disk Drives section in Device Manager
  1. Right-click on the hard drive driver that you suspect of causing troubles. The context menu drops down.
  2. Select Properties from the pop-up and open the Drivers tab.
Properties option in the popup menu for the Hard drive
  1. If you wish to uninstall and reinstall the driver, click on the Uninstall driver and follow the instructions. You can download a new driver from the hard drive manufacturer’s website, using the model number of the hard drive. 
  2. If you want to download updates, select the Update Driver button. 
The Disk Drive properties

Either of these options can be used to get new drivers for the device.

8: Check for OS updates

Windows updates are the cure and precaution to most issues that come up on your computer. There is a huge possibility for the latest Windows version to contain the solution to the Kernel Security Check Failure error.

  1. Bring up the Windows Settings using the Start menu or the keyboard shortcut (Windows + I).
  2. Click on the Update & Security tile to open it.
Update & Security tile in Windows Settings
  1. Choose the Windows Update tab from the left pane and select the Check for Updates button. 
Windows Update page in the Windows Settings
  1. If you find pending updates, press the button named Download and Install. 
  2. Restart your computer and wait for the installation to complete. It will take few seconds to run.

9: Run a Full system scan

Scanning the device is traditionally done with an antivirus tool. If there is no antivirus available on the computer, you can check your system for viruses and malware with an in-built scanner. 

  1. Open the Start menu and Type Windows Security.
Search results for Windows Security

Click on it to open the first result.

  1. Alternatively, you can follow this path:

Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Security tab > Open Windows Security.

  1. Open the Virus & Threat Protection tab on your left.
Windows Update page in Windows Settings
  1. Click on the Scan options link and check the Full scan radio button.
  2. Select Scan Now for the OS to start scanning the computer.

10: Perform a CHKDSK scan (Disk Check)

Damaged files can be the source of the stop code Kernel Security Check Failure issue on Windows 10. A Disk Check can help fix Kernel Security Check Failure on Windows 10 computers and get rid of the BSoD error.

  1. Search for the command prompt in the search bar and run it as a system administrator. 
Search Results for Command Prompt
  1. In the cmd window, type in this command and hit enter on your keyboard.
chkdsk “disk letter”: /f /r /x
The Check Disk command
  1. You will be asked if you want to schedule a disk check when the computer restarts again. Press the Y key and hit Enter.
  2. Restart your computer for the command to check the files.
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11: Execute a System File Checker scan

The System File Checker or SFC scan is a Windows command that can help test the device drivers for corrupted files and return the functioning versions of them. You can use this to get a configuration where the Kernel Security Check failure does not exist.

These are the steps that have to be taken:

  1. Open the Command Prompt window with administrator exclusivities. Input command prompt or cmd in the search bar and select Run as Administrator from the results.
  2. Enter the following command line and hit Enter on your keyboard:
sfc /scannow
System File Checker command

The SFC will take a long time to finish. After this operation completes, all the damaged files will be removed. 

12: Troubleshoot the Blue Screen issue

There are exclusive troubleshooters for the BSoD in the Windows Settings. This will not only identify the issue but also fix it with no or minimal user effort. 

These are the steps to open the BSoD troubleshooter:

  1. Open the Windows Settings. You can open the Start menu and choose Settings from the left panel or press Windows + I to bring up the same.
Settings option in the Start Menu
  1. Enter the Update & Security tile.
  2. Click on the Troubleshoot tab from the panel on the left.
Troubleshoot page in Windows Settings
  1. Choose the Blue Screen option. You may not be able to see the Blue Screen option. 
  2. If you are unable to see this, go into the Additional Troubleshooter link at the bottom. The BSoD troubleshooter will be present in the Find and Fix other problems section.
  3. Click on the Blue Screen option and click on Run the troubleshooter.
  4. The Troubleshooter window will be opened. Follow the troubleshooter’s instructions and make the needed choices.

The troubleshooting interface requires a little interaction to detect the problem and a little more to fix them. If it cannot be fixed, you can manually fix the errors. 

13: Run System Restore

Creating a System Restore point is not a method to fix Kernel Security Check Failure on Windows 10 but a precaution you can take to jump back to the previous error-free state of running Windows, in case of a system crisis. 

These are the steps you need to create a Restore point on Windows 10:

  1. Plug in a USB drive with the OS installation media and restart your computer.
  2. Click on the Troubleshoot settings and open Advanced Options.
  3. When inside the Advanced Options page, click on the System Restore option. Alternatively, You can also search for the System Restore interface in the search bar and open the first result.
Search results for Restore Point
  1. In the System Properties window, press the System Restore button from the System Protection tab.
System Properties window
  1. Set the desired restore point and click Next at the bottom of the System Restore window.
System Restore initiation dialog box
  1. If available, you will be able to see existing restore points and information on them.
  2. Click on the Finish button and then click Yes to close the window. 

These are the steps to make a system restore point on your computer. You can move back to this state of the system if you run into issues.

14: Perform a Clean Install of Windows 10

A clean install refers to a fresh installation of the Operating System on the computer again. This will bring all the settings back to default and in a way, fix the Kernel Security Check Failure on Windows 10.

Here’s how you can install a brand new OS onto your device:

  1. Connect a USB storage unit with a storage capacity of over 8 GB to your computer.
SanDisk Cruzer Glide 16 GB USB drive
  1. Use the Windows Media Creation tool to convert the USB disk into a bootable device.
The Windows Installation Media Creation tool window
  1. Restart the computer. If the installation device is on top of the boot sequence, you’ll be taken to the installation window directly.
  2. If the boot sequence is not in the order for installation, you will have to re-arrange the boot sequence with the USB drive on top.
Boot Sequence on a Dell BIOS
  1. In the installation wizard, click Next and click on the Install now button.
  2. If you have the product key code, enter it. If you do not, click on the I don’t have a Product key link.
  3. Accept the terms and press the Next button to advance.
  4. Select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) for a clean installation.

If you do not have the product key, you’ll keep seeing the Activate Windows watermark. We have an article that has instructions on How to remove Activate Windows 10 watermark permanently.

These are the steps that you can take to fix the Kernel Security Check Failure error in a Windows 10 OS-based computer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix a kernel security check failure?

Users can fix this error by updating their Windows version, updating their drivers, or launching Windows in Safe Mode, running CHKDSK and SFC scans, and with the help of a troubleshooter.

What causes kernel security check failure?

An outdated driver, old OS, malware, or corrupt files can be responsible for the Kernel Security Check Failure.

How do I fix the kernel security check failure in Windows 8 and 10 blue screen?

You can update the OS and drivers, troubleshoot the error or reinstall the system to fix the Kernel Security Check Failure error in Windows 8 and Windows 10 based computers. 

What does a kernel error mean?

A kernel error is a symptom displayed to Windows users when the system takes a critical hit from an error.

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