FIX: Driver irql_less_or_not_equal Windows 10 Error

Windows Driver

Windows is prone to errors, though you should not be worried about all of them. Most of the errors can easily be resolved without having to take your system to a service center. ‘Driver irql_less_or_not_equal’ is one of the errors that can easily be resolved.

There are various troubleshooting techniques and solutions to fix this error in Windows 10. It is a Blue Screen of Death error and is a consequence of corrupted NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification).

In this article, we will see how to fix the ‘Driver irql_less_or_not_equal’ error on Windows 10.

Fixing ‘Driver irql_less_or_not_equal’ Error

Before we proceed with the technical solutions, you need to check some common problems that can lead to this error.

Check for Windows Update

Since the error is caused by network drivers, updating Windows to the latest version can help resolve the issue.

To check for update, right-click on the Start Menu and select ‘Settings’ from the Quick Access Menu.

In Settings, select ‘Update & Security’, the last option.

Click on ‘Check for updates’ at the top to check for updates. If there are any available updates, download and install them and then check if the issue is resolved.

Check Hardware

A faulty hardware can cause ‘Driver irql_less_or_not_equal’ error. Most commonly, it is caused by a malfunctioning sound card so try replacing it to resolve the issue. Moreover, you can check all the other hardware components, and in case there is a fault with them, repair or replace them. It may fix the error.

If you are unable to find any fault with the hardware, try removing all of them to see if the issue is resolved. In case it is resolved, the hardware was causing the error. Replace it or call tech support for a resolution.

Enable Write Caching on Hard Disk

Write Caching refers to the process where your computer does not write a file immediately, rather caches a part of it and completes it at a later time. It considerably improves the performance of the system. After enabling write caching, make sure that your system is not turned off abruptly as it can cause data loss.

To turn on write caching, search for Device Manager in the Start Menu and then open it.

Search for Disk driver and double-click on it to expand. Now right-click on the hard disk and select ‘Properties’.

In the properties window, go to the ‘Policies’ tab and then click on the checkbox right behind ‘Enable write caching on the device’. After ticking the checkbox, click on ‘OK’ at the bottom.

Write caching has now been enabled, reboot your system to see if the error is fixed.

Check Disk

An issue with the disk storing Windows can also cause this problem. Run disk check to ensure that the disk is fine and is not causing the error.

To run a disk check, open Command Prompt. To open it, search for ‘Command Prompt’ in the Start Menu, right-click on it, and then select ‘Run and administrator’.

The Command Prompt will open. Now enter the following command and press enter.

chkdsk /f /r C:

‘C’ at the end is the drive letter in which the Windows is stored. In case you have stored Windows in another drive, mention that drive letter.

Now press ‘Y’ to schedule a check when you restart the system and then reboot the system.

This process may take some time, but it will fix the ‘Driver irql_less_or_not_equal’ error.

Remove Third-Party Apps in Safe Mode

To get to safe mode, go to the ‘Recovery’ section in Update & Security settings and then click on ‘Restart now’ under Advanced startup.

On the ‘Chose an option’ window, select ‘Troubleshoot’.

On the Troubleshoot page, you are given two options. Select the second one, ‘Advanced options’.

Select ‘Startup Settings’, the last option.

Now click on ‘Restart’ at the bottom.

When your device restarts, press 5 or F5 to select ‘Enable Safe Mode with Networking’ when prompted.

Once in Safe Mode, you can now easily remove the third-party app behind the error.

Press WINDOWS + R to open Run, type ‘appwiz.cpl’in the search box, and click on ‘OK’ at the bottom.

Now select an app and click on ‘Uninstall’ to remove it from the system.

After you have removed the app causing the error, close the window and restart your system. Check if the problem is fixed. If it is not, the next step will certainly fix it.

System Restore

The error may be caused due to multiple reasons, maybe an app, a driver update, or a change in setting. Whatever be the reason, system restore is one of the simplest methods to fix the error. If you remember making any changes to the system or other settings that may have caused the error, restore your system to a point before the error started.

To restore your system to a point in the past, search for ‘Create a restore point’ in the Start Menu and click on it.

The System Protection tab will open by default in System Properties. Click on ‘System Restore’.

If you remember when the error started, you can choose a restore point before it. Select ‘Chose a different restore point’ to select one of your choice and then click on ‘Next’ at the bottom.

In the list displayed on this window, you will see the date and time of the various restore points, their description as well as the type. The description tells the event when the restore point was created. Select a restore point and then click on ‘Next’.

Now, click on ‘Finish’ at the bottom to complete system restore. Since your computer will restart after restore, it is recommended that you save any current work and close the apps to avoid loss of data.

After the system restarts, the error will be fixed.


With all the troubleshooting techniques discussed above, you can fix the ‘Driver irql_less_or_not_equal’ error on your system.