What Causes a Reference By Pointer BSOD Error in Windows 10?
A reference by pointer BSOD error (also referred to as a reference_by_pointer or 0x00000018 error) usually points to a problem together with your system files or device drivers.
To help prioritize system resources, Windows internally refers to running elements (such as an open window) as “objects” with numbers that identify what percentage times the weather are referenced (or used) elsewhere.
This value decreases until the thing is removed, freeing up your system memory for other running services.
When a reference_by_pointer message appears, Windows is seeing an incorrect reference count for a running object. As this might be a significant security issue, Windows will stop and display a BSOD, forcing your system to restart and clearing all active memory within the process. ” Fix a Reference By Pointer BSOD on Windows ”
In almost every case, however, this is often usually caused by a buggy piece of software. Hardware drivers are the foremost common cause, with graphics cards and other components like network devices often causing the message. However, it also can be caused by other issues, like corrupt system files or maybe failing hardware.
Before you are trying anything , you ought to check your BSOD memory dump files for more information. you’ll find vital clues behind the explanation for a reference by pointer BSOD, like a driver file (with a .sys file extension) or a system process (such as ntosknrl.exe).
Once you’ve located a possible cause (such as a malfunctioning driver), you’ll follow the steps below to resolve the difficulty .
Switch to Safe Mode for Troubleshooting
Following a BSOD, your PC is forced to reboot. If stuck during a reference_by_pointer BSOD loop (with each reboot causing another BSOD message), you’ll got to boot into Safe Mode to start the troubleshooting process.
Safe Mode runs Windows with the foremost basic set of drivers and system processes required to function properly, allowing you to troubleshoot driver issues without risking another BSOD.
You can also use Safe Mode to research your BSOD dump files before you start the other attempts to repair the matter .
- To boot into Safe Mode, you’ll got to interrupt the Windows boot-up sequence a minimum of 3 times . to try to to this, power up your PC and wait until the Windows logo appears. Press your PC’s push button (or press and hold your PC’s power button) to force a reboot, then repeat this a minimum of two more times.
- Windows will boot into Automatic Repair mode to undertake and resolve a boot loop after three failed attempts else up. Once you reach the automated Repair menu, select Advanced Options > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart to access your boot-up options.
- After a couple of moments (and a fast reboot), select your preferred Safe Mode boot-up option using your keyboard number keys. for instance , select 4 for normal Safe Mode, 5 for Safe Mode with networking features enabled, or 6 for Safe Mode with only a prompt terminal visible.
Windows will proceed else up using your chosen Safe Mode option, where you’ll then continue with the troubleshooting steps outlined below.
Update System Files and Device Drivers
A bug in Windows or a tool driver can cause a reference_by_pointer BSOD. to beat this issue, you’ll got to confirm your system files and drivers are up-to-date using the Windows Update system.
- To begin, right-click the beginning menu and choose Settings to open Windows Settings.
- In the Settings menu, select Update & Security > Windows Update. Windows should check for updates automatically but, if it doesn’t, select Check for Updates. Select Install Updates if any updates are available for you to put in manually.
- Allow time for Windows to download and install the new updates for your system. Once this is often complete, restart your PC to load the new updates and drivers and complete the method . you’ll quickly do that by right-clicking the beginning menu and selecting pack up or sign out > Restart..
Roll Back a Recently Installed Driver or System Update
While system updates undergo a rigorous testing process, bugs and issues can still occur. ” Fix a Reference By Pointer BSOD on Windows ”
If you simply see a reference_by_pointer BSOD error after you’ve recently updated your system files or device drivers, you’ll have introduced a bugged set of files. Thankfully, Windows allows you to roll back a driver on Windows and uninstall any recent Windows updates that are causing issues.
How to Roll Back a Device Driver
- To roll back a recently installed driver , right-click the beginning menu and choose Device Manager.
- In the Device Manager window, locate the device with the recently updated drivers. Right-click the device and choose Properties.
- In the Driver tab of the Properties window, select the Roll Back Driver option. this may remove the recently installed driver and restore the previously used version. After selecting Roll Back Driver, follow any additional on-screen instructions to finish the method .
- Once you’ve rolled back your driver, restart your PC to finish the method by right-clicking the beginning menu and selecting pack up or sign out > Restart.
How to Remove a System Update
- To uninstall a recent system update, right-click the beginning menu and choose Settings.
- In the Settings menu, select Update & Security > View update history > Uninstall updates.
- An old-style instrument panel menu will appear. To sort updates by date, select the Installed On category title to sort them. Locate the update you would like to get rid of , then select Uninstall to get rid of it. If the Uninstall option isn’t available, the system update is taken into account essential and can’t be removed.
- Follow any additional on-screen instructions to get rid of the update. Once it’s uninstalled, restart your PC by right-clicking the beginning menu and selecting pack up or sign out > Restart.
Check Your System Files for Errors
Windows files are constantly changing, with settings and files updated regularly. Unfortunately, your Windows installation will face more catastrophic changes from time to time, from malware infections to disk drive sector failures.
If you think that that your Windows installation is failing somehow and causing this BSOD error, you’ll check it for errors using the SFC and DISM tools.
- To run these tools, you’ll got to open a replacement Windows PowerShell window. Right-click the beginning menu and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin) to try to to this.
- In the PowerShell window, type dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth and choose Enter on your keyboard. this may check your Windows system image (used to reset your installation files) for integrity issues. If there are missing or corrupted files, DISM will replace them.
- Once the DISM tool is complete, type sfc /scannow to use the System File Checker tool to scan your Windows installation for errors. If it detects them, it’ll plan to replace them using the fresh DISM-generated system image files, ensuring your installation is functioning properly.
Restart your PC once the SFC tool finishes a scan of your Windows installation files. If it can’t update or repair your files, you’ll got to check out more drastic options, like resetting Windows 10 with a fresh installation.
Test Your Hardware (and Replace If Required)
Corrupt or buggy files don’t only cause system instability. for instance , if your hardware is overheating, overworked, or simply plain failing, system errors sort of a reference by pointer BSOD are subsequent step before a full PC failure.
If heat is a problem , you’ll got to clean out your PC and consider upgrading your cooling to assist resolve the difficulty . Your next step is to check your hardware thoroughly, using CPU stress tests and memory testing tools, also as checking your disk drive for errors. ” Fix a Reference By Pointer BSOD on Windows ”
If your hardware is that the problem, your only answer is to exchange it. you’ll replace individual components (such as your motherboard or CPU), but if the PC is just too old to repair, you’ll got to consider an entire upgrade, replacing your PC entirely with a fresh pre-built PC or building your new PC instead.
Recovering from BSOD Errors on Windows
A reference by pointer BSOD error isn’t usually something to stress about, but without regular system maintenance in situ , it could point to a significant problem together with your PC. confirm to stay your important files protected elsewhere so you don’t lose your files when your PC crashes and make sure you have system restore enabled.