Fixing the BSOD Error “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap” Full Guide

Fixing the BSOD Error “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap” Full Guide

/ Shayne Sherman

Many aspects of Windows 10 are similar to those of its older versions. However, instability isn’t one of them. Windows 10 is much more stable than previous versions, with far fewer malfunctions, Blue Screen of Death (BSODs), and impossible issues to address.

Although that is the case, it doesn’t rule out the possibility of BSODs and crashes, and Windows 10 isn’t immune to them. One of the most catastrophic BSOD encounters is the “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap” BSOD error.

Here’s everything you’ll need to know about how to resolve an unexpected kernel mode trap BSOD.

Causes of the BSOD Error “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap BSOD”

Several factors cause the “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap” BSOD error. But the most common reason why this error occurs is outdated or incompatible drivers. You would know if this is the case if you are getting this error after updating your drivers.

Another reason why the “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap” may occur is when the hardware component on your PC needs to be reconnected or are just faulty. Either way, determining the exact cause is possible as long as you get the same error message.

Here are more specific error messages that can help you determine what’s causing the “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap” BSOD error.

  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap after updating Windows: Users have reported this issue after installing a Windows update on various occasions. You’ll have to uninstall the faulty update to fix this issue.
  • Virtualbox Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap:  This problem can occur on your computer and when utilizing virtualization software. Users reported this problem on both VMWare and Virtual Box.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap netio.sys, wdf01000.sys, ndu.sys, win32kfull.sys, usbxhci.sys, nvlddmkm.sys, ntfs.sys: This error is usually accompanied by the filename that is causing the problem. A specific driver or third-party program is the most likely reason.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap overclock: This issue can also occur if your computer runs with overclocked settings. To fix that, you should turn off all overclocking options.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap McAfee, ESET Smart Security, Avast, AVG: Most reports about this error message states that it can be caused by the security program installed on the PC.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap RAM: This problem can also be caused by hardware faults. The most common reason for this problem is a lack of RAM.

BSOD “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap” Troubleshooting Methods

Regardless of the cause of the “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap” BSOD error, they can all be fixed by performing any of the methods we are about to share.

First Method – Run the Hardware and Device Troubleshooter Tool

The Hardware and Device Troubleshooter tool identifies and resolves driver issues with newly installed devices. This program looks for and repairs typical faults with freshly installed devices.

  1. Hold down the “Windows” and “R” keys on your keyboard and type in “msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic” and press “enter”
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  1. In the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter tool, click on “Advanced” and make sure to put a check on “Apply Repairs Automatically” and click “Next”
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  1. After clicking “Next”, tool will then start to detect for any problems with the installed devices. Wait for the process to complete and follow the prompts if any.
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  1. If the tool detected any errors, it will show you the possible fixes to that error. You may be required to restart your computer to complete the process.

Second Method – Use the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool)

The DISM command checks for corrupt files or drivers and automatically fixes them. This is an effective tool that can fix any variant of the “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap” BSOD error.

  1. Press the “windows” key and then press “R”. A small window will appear where you can type “CMD”.
  2. The command prompt window will open, type in “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth” and then press “enter”.
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  1. DISM utility will start scanning and fixing any errors. Once completed, restart your PC to see if the error persists.

Third Method – Run the Windows System File Checker (SFC)

You can use a free utility with the Windows operating system to scan for and repair corrupt or missing drivers and Windows files. Follow these procedures to scan your computer with the Windows SFC.

  1. Hold down the “windows” key and press “R” and type “cmd” in the run command line. Hold down both the “ctrl and shift” keys together and press enter. Click “OK” on the next window to grant administrator permissions.
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  1. In the command prompt window, type “sfc /scannow” and press enter. Wait for the SFC to complete the scan and restart the computer. Once done, run the Windows Update tool to check if the issue has been fixed.
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Fourth Method – Run the Windows DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) Tool

The DISM utility checks for and corrects problems with the Windows Imaging Format stored in the system, leading to problems with system files.

  1. Press the “windows” key and then press “R”. A small window will appear where you can type “CMD”.
  2. The command prompt window will open, type in “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth” and then press “enter”.
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  1. DISM utility will start scanning and fixing any errors. Once completed, restart your PC. Open the Task Manager to see if the error persists.

Fifth Method – Use the Windows Check Disk Tool

The Windows Check Disk program searches and fixes your whole hard disk to check for potential faults. Although this application may take time to run, depending on how many files are stored on your disk, it can be a significant help in preventing more extensive problems.

  1. Press the “Windows” key on your keyboard and then press “R”. Next, type “cmd” in the run command line. Hold down both the “ctrl and shift” keys together and press enter. Click “OK” on the next window to grant administrator permissions.
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  1. Type the “chkdsk C: /f command and hit Enter (C: with the letter of the hard drive you want to scan).
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  1. Wait for the check disk to complete and restart your computer. Once you get your computer back, launch the problematic application to confirm if this has solved the issue.

Sixth Method – Check for new Windows Update

BSOD issues like “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap” might be caused by out-of-date Windows files and drivers. You can use the Windows Update tool to check for any available Windows updates to keep your system up to date.

  1. Press the “Windows” key on your keyboard and press “R” to bring up the run line command and type in “control update” and press enter.
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  1. Click on “Check for Updates” in the Windows Update window. If there are no updates available then you should get a message saying “You’re Up to Date”
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  1. If the Windows Update Tool finds a new update, let it install it and wait for it to complete. You may be required to restart your computer in order for it to install.
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Final Words

Regardless of the corresponding error message that comes with the BSOD Error “Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap,” it is essential to fix it immediately. Leaving it unattended for extended periods may lead to more problems in the future.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert at all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie as well as entertaining at his home theater.