Your Guide to Vanquishing the "Machine Check Exception" BSOD on Windows 11
The Machine Check Exception error in Windows 11 occurs when the processor detects a serious problem with the system’s hardware. It usually results in a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) with the stop code MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION.
Common causes of this error include overclocking, defective hardware components, memory issues, outdated, corrupted, or incompatible drivers, overheating, or compatibility issues between the BIOS and hardware. The error can sometimes lead to data loss, so regular backups are crucial.
1. Boot in Safe Mode to Remove Recently Installed Apps or Drivers
Safe Mode in Windows 11 offers a stripped-down environment with essential drivers and services, often bypassing the Machine Check Exception, allowing for troubleshooting and repairs without interference from potentially problematic components. This diagnostic mode can isolate software conflicts and hardware issues.
Here is how to complete this fix:
- Press the Windows + S keys to access the search box, enter Recovery options, and click on the correct app to open.
- Then, find Advanced startup and select Restart now.
- When the next window opens, choose Troubleshoot.
- Then click on Advanced options.
- Afterward, select the Startup setting.
- Finally, choose the following option:
2. Run DISM and SFC Scans
The SFC/DISM scan fixes the machine check exception error in Windows 11 by repairing any corrupt system files that might be causing the issue. While SFC scans and repairs corrupt system files on the local computer, DISM uses Windows Update to download and replace corrupt system files.
Here are the steps:
- 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, copy and paste the commands below and hit the Enter key after each to run the commands:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- Once the scan is complete, enter the following command into the prompt and tap the Enter key to start an SFC scan:
- Finally, it would be best to restart your computer to implement repairs.
3. Repair Bad Drive Sectors With the CHKDSK Scan
Bad sectors are physically damaged or malfunctioning areas on a hard drive. They can cause file corruption, data loss, and system instability. CHKDSK is a Windows utility that can scan and repair bad sectors, which can help improve system stability and prevent future hardware-related errors.
Regularly running CHKDSK can also help identify and address bad sectors early on, preventing more serious problems eventually.
4. Check RAM Issues With the Windows Memory Diagnostic
The Windows Memory Diagnostic tool in Windows 11 helps detect and address RAM issues early, preventing further damage, data corruption, and system instability. It also offers free, detailed information about detected RAM errors to guide further troubleshooting or replacement decisions.
Use the following steps to complete this solution:
- 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.
5. Update Device Drivers to Fix Machine Check Exception in Windows 11
Updating device drivers can resolve machine check exception errors in Windows 11. It offers benefits like resolving compatibility issues, fixing bugs, improving stability and performance, unlocking new features, and addressing security vulnerabilities. Consider prioritizing critical drivers, using reliable sources, and creating restore points before updating drivers.
The following steps will guide you to update your device drivers:
- 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 open, expand the Driver Updates section, select the appropriate drive, Download & Install all the available updates.
- Lastly, restart your computer. Running through this process will prevent backgroundtaskhost exe from crashing.
6. Turn Off Overclocking to Fix Machine Check Exception in Windows 11
Overclocking can cause Machine Check Exceptions (MCEs) in Windows 11. To fix this issue, turn off overclocking. Disabling overclocking reduces stress on components, restores factory settings, eliminates the risk of overheating, improves system compatibility, aids troubleshooting, prevents further damage, and restores default performance.
Use the following steps to complete this fix:
- First, restart your PC.
- Repeatedly press the F2 or Del key to enter the BIOS settings during booting.
- Once you access BIOS, open the Advanced mode and select Performance.
- Then, find CPU Clock Speed and Voltage settings, change their setting to Default.
- Finally, exit BIOS and your PC.
7. Clean Boot the Device to Fix Machine Check Exception in Windows 11
Performing a clean boot in Windows 11 isolates the Machine Check Exception by temporarily disabling non-essential services and startup programs. This fix helps identify if a conflicting software or driver is causing the error, allowing you to pinpoint and solve the root problem more effectively.
Here are the steps for performing a Clean Boot:
- Press the Windows and R keys at once to open the Run dialog, type msconfig, and hit Enter.
- Then, find the Services tab, click on it, and tick on the Hide all Microsoft services box.
- Click on the Disable all button and then click Apply.
- Select the Startup tab and then click Open Task Manager.
- Right-click the first enabled app on the Task Manager tab and select Disable.
- Finally, follow step 6 to disable all enabled applications one after the other.
- After disabling the apps, close Task Manager.
- Restart your PC.
- You may then follow the steps again. But this time, you will enable the apps.
In conclusion, conquering the Blue Screen of Death and its dreaded Machine Check Exception error in Windows 11 doesn’t have to be scary. With any solution from our guide, from cool-headed hardware checks to driver updates, you can expel the error and restore order to your system.
Remember, with patience and thoughtful action, you can decode the error, reclaim your system’s stability, and ensure smooth PC sailing again. Also, see our solution on other BSoD errors like BSoD code 139, inaccessible boot device BSoD, and Whea Uncorrectable BSoD Error.