Overcoming the BSOD Code 139 Challenge on Windows 11: Step-by-Step Solutions
The KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK_FAILURE (BSOD code 139) is a critical error in Windows 11 caused by a kernel-mode process violating a security policy or accessing unauthorized memory. Outdated or faulty drivers, corrupted system files, malware, hardware issues, or overclocking can cause this error.
It can lead to system instability, data corruption, or a complete system crash, and it typically causes a sudden system shutdown. Booting or shutting down, installing or updating software, plugging or unplugging hardware, or running intensive applications can trigger this error. Let’s discuss workable solutions.
1. Perform system driver updates
Updating your system drivers can help fix the BSOD error code 139 on Windows 11 if either outdated or corrupted drivers are the cause. This fix essentially replaces the old, outdated drivers with new, updated drivers, helping to enhance the system’s stability. The following steps help to perform the updates:
- Hold the Windows and I keys simultaneously to launch the Settings window.
- Then, click the Windows Update option next.
- Afterward, select Advanced Options.
- Then, tap the Optional updates option next.
- Once the options appear, expand the Driver Updates section, select the appropriate drive, Download & Install all the available updates.
- Lastly, restart your computer.
2. Perform an SFC scan
Performing the System File Checker (SFC) scan can fix the BSOD error code 139 on Windows 11 if caused by corrupted system files. SFC Windows utility scans your computer for missing or corrupted system files and replaces them with correct versions. Use the following steps to run an SFC scan:
- Press the Windows and S keys together and type cmd in the text field.
- Then, choose the Run as administrator option on the right side to start the Command Prompt with administrator privileges.
- Once the User Account Control prompts you, select Yes to continue.
- When the Command Prompt displays, enter the following command into the prompt and tap the Enter key to start an SFC scan:
- Once the scan is complete, copy and paste the command below and press the Enter key to run the command:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
- Finally, it would be best to restart your computer to implement repairs.
3. Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool
Running the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool can help to fix the error if the cause is a RAM issue. The Windows Memory Diagnostic built-in tool scans your computer’s RAM for errors. If the utility finds any errors, it will attempt to fix them. Here is how to use the tool:
- Click the Search icon on the Taskbar, enter memory diagnostic, and then click on the Windows Memory Diagnostic app to launch the tool.
- When the Windows Memory Diagnostic window opens, click Restart now and check for problems (recommended) to run diagnostics immediately.
- Allow the tool to check for memory problems.
- Afterward, Windows will display the test result for you.
4. Check the hard drive for errors (chkdsk)
Running a CHKDSK scan can fix the BSOD code 139 error if the cause is a faulty or failing hard drive or a corrupted file system. The CHKDSK Windows utility scans the hard drive for errors and repairs them if possible. Here is how to do it:
- Hold down the Windows and S keys simultaneously, search for cmd, and then choose to Run as administrator to start the Command Prompt as an admin.
- Enter the following command in the Command Prompt window and press the Enter key:
chkdsk /f /r
- Finally, enter Y and restart your PC so the utility can check for file system errors and search and shield bad sectors.
5. Track malfunctioning driver with Driver Verifier
Tracking malfunctioning drivers with Driver Verifier helps to troubleshoot, identify, and isolate problematic drivers that have the potential to cause system instability or errors, like the BSOD code 139 in Windows 11. The Driver Verifier built-in tool subjects drivers to rigorous stress testing to reveal potential issues.
Use the following steps to implement this solution:
Create a restore point and enable storing mini dump
- Hold the Windows + R keys to start the Run dialog, then enter sysdm.cpl into the text field and click OK.
- Then, open the Advanced tab, find Startup and Recovery, and click Settings.
- When in the window, uncheck the Automatically restart and Write debugging information checkboxes.
- Then, choose Small memory dump (256 KB), set the Small dump directory to %SystemRoot%\Minidump, and click OK.
- Finally, restart your PC to create a restore point and enable storing mini dump.
Run Driver Verifier
- Once your PC is fully on, press the Windows key, type verifier, and click Open.
- Then, click Yes on the UAC prompt.
- Choose the Create custom settings (for code developers) option in the Select a task section and click Next.
- Afterward, check all the checkboxes in the Select individual settings from this full list section except DDI compliance checking and randomized low resource simulation boxes and click Next.
- Then, check the Select driver names from the list checkbox in the Select what drivers to verify section and click Next.
- Click Finish on the next page.
- You will then get a popup requesting you to restart. Click OK on the popup, then restart your PC.
Confirm Driver Verifier is running
- When the system is fully on, confirm if the verifier is running.
- To do that, press the Windows key, enter command in the search field, and click Run as administrator.
- Then, click Yes on the UAC prompt.
- When in the console, enter the following command and hit Enter:
- If running, the console will display a list of drivers.
- Then, reboot your system and wait for it to crash to a Blue Screen, although you can use it normally.
- If it crashes and triggers a BSOD with an error code, note it to localize the problematic driver.
- The Driver Verifier will save comprehensive crash information in a dump file, which you can access and analyse using the Windows debugger tool.
- After identifying the problematic driver, uninstall it using the Device Manager and restart your PC for it to reinstall the update automatically.
- Once your PC is on, open the Command Prompt as an administrator, enter the following command in the console, and hit Enter:
- Finally, restart your PC.
6. Remove Overclock Settings
If you’re encountering the BSOD code 139 on Windows 11, a potential solution involves reverting your computer to its default clock speed by removing overclocking settings. This action aims to enhance system stability and reduce the likelihood of recurring errors.
It’s worth noting that this error might manifest if you’ve pushed your hardware beyond its standard limits in pursuit of improved performance. However, due to the personalized nature of overclocking, we can’t provide specific instructions for this process within this tutorial.
If you’ve experienced the BSOD code 139 following overclocking, your best action is to return to the default configuration, as it may require specialized applications or system settings to address the issue effectively.
In conclusion, the BSOD Code 139 on Windows 11 doesn’t have to be a daunting challenge. With a clear understanding of the potential causes and the troubleshooting strategies outlined in this guide, you’re well-equipped to resolve this error and maintain a smooth computing experience.
Also, ensure that your OS is up-to-date without error. Patience and persistence are critical in troubleshooting blue screen errors, so use the knowledge gained here advantageously. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.