Have you seen the ‘Critical Structure Corruption’ error come up on your screen out of the ‘blue’? It’s a particularly annoying and commonly seen Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) on Windows 10 and Windows 11 systems. It’s sometimes seen while you’re working on a document or playing a game and sometimes during the boot itself. Once your computer encounters it, you have no other resort than to restart your system and pray it doesn’t appear again.
Usually caused when a critical Windows process stops working either due to faulty hardware or corrupted drivers, the ‘Critical_Structure_Corruption’ BSOD takes a few tries to diagnose and fix. Here are the most common ways to try to fix this error in Windows 10/11:
1. Boot into Safe Mode
Booting Windows into safe mode enables you to perform a boot with only the most essential files and programs. Any unnecessary drivers and programs are not loaded and hence, you can diagnose whether the cause of the Critical Structure Corruption BSOD was a faulty driver or software.
If your system remains stable in safe mode, then you can conclude that the BSOD was likely caused due to a faulty program or driver.
To boot into safe mode, follow the steps below:
- Open Advanced start-up by searching for it in the Start menu
- Click on Restart Now to restart your system in recovery mode
- Now, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options
- Select Start-up Settings > Restart
Your system will now restart and load the Startup Settings from where you can select the safe mode option.
2. Perform a clean boot
A clean boot allows you to manually boot your system with the bare minimum drivers and programs so you can pinpoint the ones that might be causing the Critical Structure Corruption BSOD.
To perform a clean boot, follow these steps:
- Open sysconfig from the Start menu
- In the Services tab, select the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox and then select Disable all
- In the Startup tab, select Open Task Manager
- Disable each app under the Startup tab in Task Manager
- Close the Task Manager and click OK in the sysconfig tab
Now when you restart your computer, it will boot into a clean environment. If the BSOD still persists, you can move on to the next method. But if the system is stable, you need to open sysconfig again and start enabling each app one by one to find the one causing the BSOD.
You’ll have to perform a number of restarts before you’re able to single out the faulty program but it might be worth the effort.
3. Run an SFC and DISM scan
SFC and DISM are short for ‘System File Checker’ and ‘Deployment Image Servicing and Management’ respectively. While SFC can sometimes identify and replace corrupt system files with cached copies of those files, DISM can help you to repair issues in your Windows image.
To run an SFC scan, follow the steps below:
- Open the Command Prompt by searching for ‘cmd’ in the Start menu. Start the program as an administrator.
- Type the command ‘sfc /scannow’ and press Enter
- Once the scan is complete, restart your computer
Once you’ve restarted your computer, follow the steps below to run the DISM scan:
- Open the Command Prompt again with administrator rights.
- Copy and paste the following commands one by one and hit Enter after each one to execute them:
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- Once the scan is complete, restart your computer
The SFC and DISM scans should be able to resolve some of the probable causes of the Critical Structure Corruption BSOD. If you’re still facing the error, however, proceed to the next method.
4. Run hardware checks
Your hard disk and memory might be behind the pesky BSOD error you’re facing. Faulty disks and RAM sticks can cause several issues in your system. To check for issues with your hard disk, run the CHKDSK scan by following the steps below:
- Open the Command Prompt by searching for ‘cmd’ in the Start menu. Start the program as an administrator
- Type ‘CHKDSK /r C:’ in the window and press Enter. Replace ‘C’ with your boot drive letter if you’ve installed Windows in a directory other than the ‘C’ drive
- Wait for a while for the scan to finish and then restart your computer
See if you’re still encountering the dreaded BSOD. If not, you might have fixed the issue. If yes, proceed to check your memory sticks for issues with the memory diagnostic tool:
- Open the Windows Memory Diagnostic by searching for ‘mdsched’ in the Start menu and running the program as an administrator
- Click on Restart now and check for problems (recommended)
- Your computer will restart and the tool with check your memory for errors
Once the scan is done and your computer restarts, see if you’re still facing the BSOD issue. If yes, proceed to the next method.
5. Check Event Viewer
The Event Viewer is a Windows utility that keeps track of every single ‘event’ occurring in your system. An event can be anything from the user execution of a program and background system processes to errors and system failures.
Checking the Event Viewer log can help you uncover the source of the Critical Structure Corruption BSOD. Follow the steps below:
- Press Win + X and select Event Viewer
- Select Windows Logs > System to get a list of all events
- Now, try to identify the event that occurred just before you encountered the BSOD error. If you can manage to pinpoint a faulty application, uninstall it and see if it solves the issue.
If you still face the BSOD error, proceed to the next method.
6. Update all device drivers
Device drivers are known to cause many system issues, including BSOD errors. An easy fix is to update al your device drivers through Windows updates. Follow the steps below to do this:
- Open Settings and select Update & Security
- Click Windows Update > Check for updates
- Click on View optional updates > Driver updates
Any new updates will be shown on the screen. Select them and click Download and install. Restart your computer after the updates.
If none of the methods above solve the Critical Structure Corruption BSOD, you can consider installing a fresh copy of Windows after backing up important data. You can also take your system for repairs if the fresh Windows install doesn’t solve the issue.