Guide: 14 Ways to Fix “Kernel Security Check Failure”

Guide: 14 Ways to Fix “Kernel Security Check Failure”

/ Shayne Sherman

The Kernel Security Check Failure error is one of several errors that can cause the infamous BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). This error means that one or more of your data files is corrupt or has failed a compatibility check.

Sometimes this error is caused by incompatible memory, virus infections, or other problems.

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Windows 10
System Information
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The most common reason you see this error is a recent upgrade to Windows 10. Sometimes it’s an update that caused your drivers to become incompatible with your operating system.

Fix 1: Reboot the Computer Into Safe Mode (and Create a Bootable USB)

To do many of the rest of the methods presented in this article you will need to be in Safe Mode so you can perform the suggested steps. In some cases, you may be able to restart the computer and get to a standard boot screen, allowing you to access Safe Mode before the BSOD appears again.

If that doesn’t work, hopefully, you can use a USB drive to boot into Safe Mode. Many of the ways in that article are safer and should be performed if possible.

However, in some cases, you may not have a bootable USB or be able to use any of the other methods to get to Safe Mode except for a hard reboot. If this is the case, the following steps walk you through how to hard reboot Windows 10.

Please only use this method to access Safe Mode if you cannot get to it any other way.

Step #1

To begin, turn on your computer and press the power button to shut it down before it loads. Repeat this three times.

power button

Step #2

A screen will appear that says “Preparing Automatic Repair.”

At this point, Windows 10 will try to fix the blue screen issue itself.

If this works, you do not need to continue any further.

preparing automatic repair

Step #3

If the repair fails, you will be given two options: “Restart” or “Advanced Options.”

Choose “Advanced Options.”

automatic repair

Step #4

Now, click on “Startup Settings.”

startup settings

Step #5

The Startup Settings screen will appear, all you can do here is click “Restart” on this screen.

Then, you can pick the option you want.

Choose “Enable Safe Mode.”

Note: with this method, restarting the computer normally once you are in Safe Mode will return it to Normal Mode.

startup settings restart

Step #6

At this point, you should create a USB recovery drive so that you can use it to reboot in Safe Mode.

The easiest way to do this is from another computer.

If you are using another computer to create the USB, skip to step 12.

If you do not have another computer, and you want to try creating the USB with the computer you are fixing, you must get into Safe Mode with Networking.

To reboot in Safe Mode with Networking, press the [Windows] and [R] keys together.

Then, type “msconfig” into the box without the quotation marks.


Step #7

A new window will appear, click the “Boot” tab. Under the Boot options subheading, click “Safe boot” and then make sure the box next to “Network” is marked.

Finally, click “Apply” and “OK.”

A new window will appear asking you if you want to “Restart” immediately or “Exit without restart,” choose to restart immediately.

(Note: You will need to undo these changes to restart your computer.)

safe boot options

Step #8

If you see the BSOD when you reboot into Safe Mode with Networking, you will need to create the USB on another computer.

The next time you get back to Safe Mode, return to Step #9 and undo the changes you made in step #9 and #10, uncheck the Safe Boot box, by clicking “Apply” and then “OK.”

This time, choose to “exit without restart so you can create your USB or finish fixing your BSOD error.

Step #9

To create your bootable USB (on any computer), you must first find out which version of Windows you are using and whether it is an x32 bit or x64 bit.

You can learn this by typing “System Information” into the Start Menu and choosing that option.

You will also need to find out which language your version of Windows is using if you don’t already know.

Type “Region and language” into the Start Menu and select that option to see this information.

You must reinstall the same version of Windows that you already have, including the same language option.

system type

Step #10

Go to the Microsoft website and click the “Download tool now” button and select “Run.” You must be logged on as an administrator to run this tool.

microsoft website

Step #11

In the Windows 10 Setup window that opens, the first thing you will see is a Terms of Service agreement. Read and accept this to continue.

microsoft software license terms

Step #12

At this point, it will ask what you want to do. You need to plug a clean 16GB flash drive into the computer and choose “Create installation media for another PC” Then select “Next.”

Create installation media

Step #13

Now, select the language, edition, and architecture that you currently have on your computer. This is just choosing what you learned above. Then click “Next.”

select language architecture

Step #14

Choose the USB flash drive as the media you are using and click “Next.”

USB flash drive

Step #15

Next, you will have the option to select a flash drive. Since you should only have one plugged into your computer at this point, you should see only one option.

select a USB drive

Step #16

Windows 10 will begin downloading onto your flash drive. This could take a very long time, depending on your connection speed.

When the download is finished, Microsoft will verify the download is okay. You will be told when your flash drive is ready.

Once that happens, you can click “Finish.”

USB flash drive ready

Step #17

Now, you need to back up all your files on your computer. To do this, insert another USB for the backup and type “Control Panel” into the Start Menu and click on that option.

control panel on start menu

Step #18

Under “System and Security” (in category view), click on “Backup and Restore (Windows7).”

Backup and Restore

Step #19

On the left of the screen, you will see “Create a system image” Click on that.

Create a system image

Step #20

This will bring up a screen asking you where you want the backup to be stored.

Choose “On a hard disk” and then select an adequately formatted USB that is large enough to store your files.

The USB must already be inserted before you get to this screen for the system to recognize it.

After selecting the correct drive, click “Next” and then confirm your choice by clicking “Start backup.” It can take some time for files to backup. Be patient.

hard disk recovery

Fix 2: Uninstall Programs

The first thing you should do to fix your computer, once you have successfully entered Safe Mode is to uninstall any apps or programs you have recently installed.

Recent changes to your computer might have caused a software incompatibility issue that led to the BSOD. It is also a good idea to delete any software you don’t use.

Step #1

To uninstall programs, open the Start menu and type “Control Panel” without the quotations into it.

control panel on start menu

Step #2

Click “Uninstall a Program.”


Step #3

On the list that populates, find the program you wish to uninstall and click it.

Then click Uninstall/Change and confirm you want to uninstall it.

Repeat this step until all the applications you want to uninstall have been removed.


Step #4

When you finish uninstalling the programs, restart your computer to see if the blue screen error has been resolved.

If it has not been resolved, you will need to use the USB you created to access Safe Mode and try some of the remaining options for resolving the issue.

restart PC

Fix 3: Stop Overclocking

If you don’t know what overclocking is, you can skip this step. There are relatively few processors that can handle overclocking. This is especially true if you do not make cooling modifications.

If you have downloaded any overclocking software, go back to method #3 and remove it. If you have made any modifications in your BIOS, go back into the BIOS and set them back to factory standards.

Fix 4: Update Windows

It is essential to keep Windows 10 updated to keep it running correctly. In some cases, a faulty update may cause the problem, but a more recent update resolves the issue. To update Windows 10 manually, follow these steps.

Step #1

Click on the “Settings” icon in the Start Menu.

settings button

Step #2

In the Settings window, choose “Updates & Security.”

updates and security

Step #3

Choose “Windows Update” from the list that appears on the right. On the left, click the button that says, “Check for updates.”

You can find it under “Update status.”

update status

Step #4

If updates are waiting to be installed, you must restart your computer before they go into effect. To do this, click on the Start menu “Power” icon and select “Restart.”

restart PC

Continue if you still have problems with a Kernel Security Check blue screen.

Fix 5: Update or Uninstall a Third-Party Antivirus

Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender; if you are running a third-party antivirus at the same time Windows Defender is running, this can easily cause the Kernel Security Check Failure.

Here’s a guide on how to deactivate Windows Defender.

If you still have the issue even with Windows Defender off, you should check if the third-party antivirus is causing the problem by interfering with other aspects of Windows.

virus and threat protection

Keep in mind that each antivirus is different; these instructions are general and not meant to be specific for your third-party antivirus program.

Visit your antivirus’ website to get specific instructions on how to update or uninstall your antivirus. You will need to be in Safe Mode with Networking (as described in method 2) to update your antivirus software.

Step #1

You should be able to find an “Update” area as soon as you open your antivirus program.

Sometimes, this is located in a “General” tab. In other cases, it may be under “Settings.” Click the correct button to update the program.

antivirus update

Step #2

Once the update is complete, restart your computer and scan for viruses.

Then, restart your computer again (after removing anything it found) and see if the issue is resolved.

If it isn’t, you may need to uninstall your third-party antivirus software. To do this, it should be the same as uninstalling any other program. Press the [X] key and [Windows] key together. Then choose “Settings.”

settings on list

Step #3

In the “Settings” window, click “Apps.” In the “Apps & Features” submenu, scroll down until you find your antivirus program. Click on it and then click the “Uninstall” button.

uninstall antivirus

Step #4

As before, you need to restart your computer.

restart PC

Step #5

If the problem is resolved, you can try reinstalling your third-party antivirus. If the problem appears after you reinstall the antivirus again, you will need to uninstall it and find another antivirus program or use Windows Defender.

Make sure you have one antivirus running on your computer at all times.

Fix 6: Run a System Scan for Corrupt Files

The more files are used, the more likely they are to become corrupt and create the Kernel Security Check Failure. Windows 10 has an automatic file check app built into it that can find and repair some corrupt files. You should run this scan in Safe Mode.

Step #1

Once you have restarted in Safe Mode, press the [X] key and the [Windows] key together. On the menu that appears, select “Windows PowerShell (Admin).”

Select Windows PowerShell

Step #2

When the PowerShell opens, type in “sfc /scannow” or cut and paste the command without the quotation marks. Then, press [Enter].

Run windows command sfc scannow

Step #3

After the scan finished (it could take some time), type “Repair-WindowsImage -RestoreHealth” (without the quotation marks) into the new prompt or copy and paste the command there.

Press [Enter] when you are done. Again, it may take some time for the repair to finish.

Run Repair WindowsImage

Step #4

When it is finished, close the PowerShell window, and restart the computer.

Fix 7: Use File Explorer to Check the Disk

File Explorer has another method of checking a drive for errors. Here is how to run this scan:

Step #1

Type “File Explorer” into the Start Menu and open that option. Alternately, click the File Explorer icon in the Start Menu sidebar.


Step #2

Click on “This PC” in the sidebar and then right-click on the drive you want to check. This is usually the C: drive. On the drop-down menu that appears, pick “Properties.”

Navigate Windows Drive C

Step #3

Click the “Tools” tab and choose “Check” found under the Error-checking subheading.

Navigate windows properties

Step #4

When the process finishes (which can take some time), you will be given the option to fix any found errors automatically.

Fix 8: Use Windows Memory Diagnostic to Test RAM

Windows 10 has an app to check the memory for errors. Here is how to use this app:

Step #1

Type “Windows Memory Diagnostic” into the Start menu and select it.

Open Windows memory diagnostics

Step #2

In the pop-up window that appears, choose “Restart now and check for problems.”

Navigate WMD popup window

Step #3

Your computer will run a memory check and restart.

The test can take a while, but it is crucial not to interrupt it.

When the computer finishes the test and is completely rebooted, type “event” into the Start menu and select “Event Viewer.”

Run Event Viewer

Step #4

On the left side of the window that opens, open the “Windows Logs” menu and click on “System” once.

Select Event Viewer: Windows logs

Step #5

Now, you need to click “System” again, but this time right-click, which will bring up another menu.

Choose “Filter current log.” You would be unable to select this option if you did not left-click “System” first.

Select Filter current log

Step #6

In the Filter Log window, click on the drop-down menu next to “Event sources.”

Scroll down until you find “MemoryDiagnostics-Results.” Place a checkmark in the box next to that and click “OK.”

Navigate Filter Current Log

Step #7

This will return you to the Event Viewer, where you should have about two “Events” listed in the filtered log.

Click each event and look at the information provided. If no errors are detected, go on to the next method.

You do not have issues with your RAM hardware. If you do see an error, you need to continue to Step #8.

Review multiple events

Step #8

If you have a problem with your RAM, the only way to fix it is to replace your RAM sticks. You can test each one by shutting down your computer and removing all the sticks except the one you are testing. Then you can reboot your computer and repeat steps #1-7.

Repeat this with all the sticks. Replace any that have errors. Be sure only to use factory-recommended RAM sticks for replacement. When you have replaced all the faulty RAM sticks, check to see if the error is fixed.

Fix 9: Update or Uninstall Drivers

If you have recently upgraded to Windows 10 or have not updated your drivers in a while, this option will fix any problem you might be having with outdated drivers.

You can use the device manager to access each driver and update them one at a time, but this method helps you pinpoint potentially faulty drivers quickly using an internal Windows 10 developer app.

If a simple update does not work, you might want to try a fresh download, especially for the noted drivers. This will take longer, but should completely resolve the issue.

Step #1

Type “verifier” into the Start Menu and right-click on the “verifier run command” to “Run as administrator.”

Click “Yes,” you want the app to make changes to the computer.

Search Windows verifier

Step #2

The Driver Verifier Manager window will open. Select “Create standard settings,” then choose “Next.”

Navigate Driver Verifier Manager

Step #3

First, you should select “Automatically select drivers build for older versions of Windows,” then click “Next.”

Review Driver Verifier Manager Selection

Step #4

If any older drivers are found, they will be displayed. Write down any drivers on the list. Then, click “Back” and select “Automatically select unsigned drivers.” (You will not need to click “Back” if no old drivers are found). Then click “Next.”

Write down any additional drivers you see on the list that you have not already written down. Click “Cancel” or close the program. Using the app to verify the driver can cause your computer to crash and should not be done except by IT professionals.

Review DVM driver list

Step #5

Now, you need to update the drivers. Press the [X] key and the [Windows] key together on your keyboard. This opens the Quick Link menu, where you need to choose “Device Manager.”

Open Quick links

Step #6

Click to open the device for each of the drivers on your list. Then right-click on the noted driver. Choose “Update driver” from the pop-up list.

Navigate Device Manager

Step #7

When you click Update Driver, you will see an option to have the computer automatically search for driver software. Choose this option.

Alternately, you can make a note of the driver version you currently have and check on the device maker’s website for the latest version. If you do not have the newest version, you can download it and install it manually from the manufacturer’s website.

If you choose to manually install drivers, skip to step #9 when you are finished.

Navigate Windows Update Drivers

Step #8

The computer should perform an automatic search. If your driver is up-to-date, you will see a message stating you already have the best driver installed for that device.

Otherwise, the computer should automatically update the driver.

Run Installation of updated drivers

Step #9

Go back to step #6 and repeat the process until you have updated all the drivers from the list. Here, you should restart your computer and see if the BSOD issue is resolved. If it hasn’t, you can return to the device manager window (and Step #5).

Again, go through each of the drivers on the list and “Uninstall” them (instead of clicking “Upgrade”) one-at-a-time. Then restart your computer after each one so that Windows can reinstall it.

Alternatively, you can reinstall it yourself from the manufacturer’s website.

If the BSOD persists, you can go back to step #6 and update every single driver you have in case the verifier missed some that were signed but have newer updates.

Run Windows Restart

Hopefully, the blue screen error is resolved, but if it isn’t, there are more methods you can try.

Fix 10: Perform a System Restore

You already have to have manually created a system restore point before you began having BSOD issues to do this method. This method will cause you to lose some of your information, but it should fix the error.

Here’s our post on how to turn the System Restore feature on and create a restore point.  Unfortunately, if you haven’t already created a restore point, you will need to skip this method.

Step #1

Press the [X] and [Windows] keys at the same time. Choose “Settings” from the menu that appears.

Quick links Settings

Step #2

Click “Update & Security.” When the Update & Security window opens, click on “Recovery” on the left side menu. You should see “Advanced Start-up” on the right. Click “Restart now” underneath that.

Select Windows Advanced Startup

Step #3

Windows will now restart and display the “Choose an Option” menu. Select “Troubleshoot” then “Advanced Options.”

Navigate Windows Troubleshoot Menu

Step #4

Choose “System Restore.”

Navigate System Restore

You may be given an option of multiple restore points if you have more than one saved. Be sure to choose a point from before you began having blue screen issues.

Sometimes the computer may try to reinstall updates that have been applied. Make sure you do not interrupt these updates since that could cause the blue screen to reoccur or other errors.

Fix 11: Reset Your Computer

Resetting your computer to factory standards is one method of getting rid of the blue screen error, primarily if your Windows 10 computer worked well at one time and especially if you do not have a recovery restore point.

You will probably need to do this method in Safe Mode. Make sure you back up all the files on your computer first.

Step #1

Press the [X] and [Windows] keys together. Choose “Settings” from the menu.

Quick links Settings

Step #2

Click on “Update & Security.” Then click “Recovery” on the left side. You should see “Reset this PC” on the right side. Click the “Get started” button found underneath that.

Select Recovery options

Step #3

Now choose whether you want to “Keep files” or “Remove everything” and continue.

The computer will reset to Windows 10 factory conditions and save any documents you have if you choose to keep your files. Otherwise, your files and documents will all be removed.

Keep in mind that you should still make a backup of all your data before continuing if you haven’t already done that.

Select Reset PC

Fix 12: Perform a Clean Install From a USB Drive

If you want to perform the clean install from a flash drive, this is the method you need to follow. Please note, if you have Windows Enterprise version a or Windows Education version, this process will not work.

Stop and Do This Before You Continue!

  1. You will need an Internet connection, sufficient storage (16 GB is recommended), and a computer that meets Windows 10 system requirements.
  2. Make a backup of all your documents and files. These will all be lost during the process. You should also perform a separate system backup in case something goes wrong with the clean install.
  3. Make a copy of your recovery drive. Also backup any partitioned drives. All partitions and the data on them will be removed with a clean install.
  4. Create a Microsoft account (if you don’t already have one) and make sure your version of Windows and other installed Microsoft software is activated on that account. This makes it easier to maintain your product registration after you perform the clean install, especially if something goes wrong.
  5. A clean install deletes all apps that do not come with Windows. You might be surprised to find out that Office and manufacturer’s apps are no longer on your computer after the install, including manufacturer support apps. You will have to reinstall these apps manually after the clean install if you wish to keep them. Make sure you have copies of the software, licenses, and product registration keys.
  6. In addition to losing apps, you will probably lose your digital app content, digital licenses, and in some cases, you may no longer be able to use apps even if you paid for them. You need to visit manufacturer websites, even Microsoft’s Office website, and learn if it is possible to keep your license and how to do it through this process if you wish to maintain any of these.
  7. Make a note of the drivers you need for your hardware and download these on a flash drive in case you need to reinstall them later. You can do this by accessing the device manager, right-clicking each device, and looking at the properties for the driver name, manufacturer, and version. The drivers are available on the device maker’s website.
  8. If you are upgrading from a previous version of Windows, you should make sure your BIOS is set to compatibility mode or UEFI.
  9. After finishing all your backups and downloads, disconnect any external drives, hard drives, flash drives, etc. from your computer. During the installation process, only the flash drive with the Windows 10 installation software on it should be connected to the computer to prevent the installation from overwriting your backup information.

Step #1

You should have already created a bootable USB drive in method #2.

If you have not, go back and create one using steps #12-19 of that method when you have your bootable USB, type “Settings” into the Start Menu.

Navigate Windows Settings

Step #2

Choose “Updates & Security.”

Select Windows Setting - Updates & Security

Step #3

Click “Recovery” on the left and then choose “Restart now,” which is found under “Advanced startup” on the right.

Navigate Settings - Recovery

Step #4

You should see the “Choose an Option” menu. Click on “Use a device.” Then, choose your device from the list.

Navigate Choose option menu

Step #5

At this point, you need to follow any onscreen prompts, answering questions about your language and keyboard preferences until you get to the “Install now” button, which you click.

Click Install Now

Step #6

You can skip the product key step(s) if you do not have one.

Make sure you choose the right edition for what you previously had (Home or Pro).

You cannot change rebooted when you are doing a clean install using this method. If you attempt to, you will have to start over from the beginning.

Click “Next” after you select the correct configuration.

Select Windows 10 Home

Step #7

You will need to wait a bit and then be asked to agree to Terms of Service- review these, make sure the box is checked, and click “Next.”

Navigate Windows 10 - License Terms

Step #8

At this point, click “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).”

Note: If you get a driver missing error after clicking this, restart the setup.

When you come to this screen, make sure your flash drive is not active and remove your flash drive before clicking “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).”

Once you have removed the drive, you should be able to continue the process. You will be prompted when you should reinsert the drive at a later time.

Removing the flash drive while it is active can erase it or corrupt the files on it, so be careful if you need to do this.

Windows Installation Type

Step #9

Next, you will be asked where you want to install Windows. You should only have one option available. (If you have multiple options, it means your drive is still partitioned.

You need to remove the partitions by clicking on the bottom option and deleting it. Do not accidentally select your USB drive and delete that.

Continue deleting partitions until there is only one drive option left that should read something like “Drive 0 Unallocated Space.“)

Select the drive and click “New.”

Then you need to click “Apply,”

Finally click “OK.”

Now you have created an adequately partitioned drive. Part of the drive will be reserved for system restore. Click the main (largest) partition and then click “Next.”

Install Windows - Select OK

Step #10

Again, have patience because this process takes time. When the clean install is finished, Windows will restart a few times and guide you through some setup screens.

After everything is complete, begin readjusting your settings (such as screensavers and wallpaper) to reflect your preferences, check immediately for updates, re-install any apps and drivers that you want, and re-download your saved files.

Fix 13: Roll Back to a Previous Version of Windows

In some cases, your software or the apps you are running may not be compatible with Windows 10. The only way to resolve the issue may be to roll back to a previous version of Windows.

Keep in mind; you only have ten days after an upgrade (as of the Windows 10 Creators Update) to roll your computer back to a previous version of the operating system using this method.

Also, if you used disk cleanup to delete the C:Windows.old folder, or if you manually deleted it to free disk space (and the folder cannot be restored from your recycle bin), you will not be able to use this method and will be told you “can’t go back” when you attempt to do it.

If you created a recovery disk before upgrading or have the product key for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you should always be able to use that to roll back your system.

This method will probably need to be performed in Safe Mode. Make sure everything is backed up on your computer before you start this process.

Step #1

Click on the “Settings” icon in the Start Menu.

Select Start Menu - Settings

Step #2

Now, choose “Update & Security” from the Settings window.

Select Windows Setting - Updates & Security

Step #3

Click “Recovery” on the left side of the “Updates & Security” window. If you can use this method, you will see a subheading on the right that says, “Go back to the previous version of Windows…

Click the “Get Started” button underneath that.

Restore Previous Windows

Step #4

You will see a screen telling you Windows is getting things ready for the rollback. Then, it will ask you why you want to return to a previous version. You must choose a reason and click “Next.”

Navigate Windows Troubleshoot Survey

Step #4

Windows will ask if you want to check for updates to try to resolve the blue screen problem. Since you already did this in method 10, you can skip this step by clicking “No, thanks.”

Windows Update checking for updates

Step #5

Now you will see a screen informing you that you need to plug in your laptop (and leave a desktop plugged in throughout the process) and that you will need to reinstall apps as well as adjust settings when the computer finishes rolling back to the previous version.

It will also ask if you have backed up everything (creating a file backup as well as a disk image backup on an external USB drive is recommended). Click “Next” to confirm you know this and that you have made your backup drive.

Windows - What you need to know

Step #6

The next confirmation screen asks if you remember your old login information. If you forgot the password you used when you had the previous version you are rolling back to, you will not be able to login to the computer after you perform the rollback.

If you do remember it, click “Next” and continue.

Windows - Dont get locked out

Step #7

Windows then thanks you for trying this version, and once again, ask you to confirm you want to rollback. Click “Go back to an earlier build” to continue the process.

You will then see a loading screen telling you that Windows is restoring the previous version. This can take a long time (even a full day), so be patient.

Windows Thank you message

Fix 14: Update Your Computer’s BIOS/ UEFI Firmware

While this is a rare cause of the Kernel Security Check Failure, it can occur. On modern machines, the UEFI Firmware is the updated version of the BIOS, so you will see it referred to as that.

Since most people are used to BIOS, we will use both terms interchangeably throughout this even though they are slightly different.

When you do a BIOS update, it could help with Kernel Security Check errors related to the inbuilt hardware and motherboard of the system.

However, updating the BIOS can also cause severe problems in your computer if something goes wrong with the update. For this reason, it should only be done if you are an advanced user and you know the problem is related to the motherboard or hardware.

Also, directions for updating the BIOS vary from motherboard to motherboard. Please check with the manufacturer for steps specific to your computer.

That said, it is best to access the BIOS through Windows and not using a Windows-based flashing tool that operates in Windows without rebooting into the BIOS. In cases of older BIOS, these flashing tools were available from the BIOS manufacturer but should not be used because of their tendency to fail.

Step #1

Find out the exact make, model, and revision number of your BIOS. To do this on a desktop, you need to look at the motherboard itself.

Again, opening your machine if you do not know what you are doing can cause problems and void your warranty.

If you have a laptop, you usually need the make and model of the laptop itself to find the information without opening it.

Review Motherboard

Step #2

Once you have the make and model, check your BIOS version to determine if it needs to be updated. If it is the newest version, you do not need to continue with this method.

To check the BIOS version, type “msinfo” without the quotes into the Windows search bar and click on the “System Information” option. 

Compare the version already installed on your computer with the latest version available on the support page for your motherboard, which can be found on the company’s website.

Windows System Information

Step #3

If your BIOS version is not the newest, download the latest version onto your computer from the manufacturer’s website. Unzip the file, if necessary, and then transfer the unzipped file to a USB drive.

Step #4

Now, you need to back up all your files on your computer if you did not already do this in Method #2 (steps #20-22).

If something goes wrong, they will still be there, but you will no longer be able to access them. To only backup your file history (and not everything), type “Settings” into the Start Menu and click on that option.

Then, click “Update & Security.”

On the left side of the window, you will see “Backup.” Click on that.

Insert a USB drive large enough for your files, then click “Add a drive” on the right and select it.

Automatic backup should be chosen once you add the drive. If it isn’t, turn it on.

Then click “More options.”

At this point, you can choose all the folders you want to back up and then click “Back up now.”

It can take some time for files to backup. Be patient.

Windows Update and Security

Step #5

It is recommended that you back up the current BIOS files. You should be able to find directions for doing this on the manufacturer’s website. In some cases, this may be a part of the update process.

If it is, you can wait to back up the BIOS until the manufacturer recommends doing it during the update. Keep in mind, if the BIOS update fails, you would need to do some very advanced methods to recover the old BIOS, and in some cases, you may want to purchase a new BIOS chip from the manufacturer.

The BIOS backup is still a recommended step since you could take it to an IT person to perform the restore if you have a backup copy and cannot purchase a new chip.

Step #6

Read the manufacturer’s instructions about what is necessary to update the BIOS. You may need to adjust your computer’s settings or follow different instructions than the ones provided here.

The manufacturer’s website is always the best source of information for this process.

Step #7

Once you have backed up all your files and you have reviewed the manufacturer’s instructions and made any changes to your settings that are necessary, you will usually have to get into your computer’s BIOS/UEFI to update it.

To do this, you need to type ‘Settings‘ into the search bar and open that window.

Navigate Windows Settings

Step #8

Click on the ‘Updates & Security‘ option. Now, Click ‘Recovery‘ and find the  ‘Advanced Start-up‘ option. Click the ‘Restart now‘ button.

Select Windows Advanced Startup

Step #9

Next, you should see a menu that prompts you to “Choose an Option.” Pick “Troubleshoot.”

Navigate Windows Troubleshoot

Step #10       

Then choose “Advanced Options.”

Navigate Troubleshoot - Advanced Options

Step #11       

Finally, choose “UEFI Firmware Settings.”

Navigate UEFI Firmware Settings

Step #12

At this point, you will be in the BIOS/ UEFI. Usually, you will need to look for an option to “Flash” the BIOS and then follow the onscreen instructions.

Make sure nothing disturbs your computer while it is doing the update. If something does cause an issue (for example, a power outage), check and see if the computer is still functioning.

If it is, you can close the updated app and restart the process. Do not shut the PC down until you are sure you have completed the update correctly.

Step #13

Once you have finished the update, you will have to restart your computer. Ideally, you will reenter the BIOS/ UEFI after you have restarted and checked all the settings. Make sure the time and date are accurate.

Step #14

Finally, restart your computer. Your files and Windows10 should not be affected, but you can also restore anything if needed with the image or file backup you created.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kernel Security Check Failure?

Kernel Security Check Failure is a type of blue screen error that could indicate a virus infection on your hard drive, outdated or corrupted drivers, hard drive errors, and even corrupted system files.

How to fix the Kernel Security Check Failure?

The kernel security check failure error can be fixed by running Windows Defender to eliminate possible virus infections. Other solutions such as driver re-installation and running the SFC scan tool can also be viable.