System crashes and BSoDs, although rare, can still happen out of the blue to any Windows user. The cause behind one can be anything from a botched Windows update to corrupt drivers or broken hardware.
In this article, we’re looking at the causes of NMI hardware failure error and giving you nine fixes to solve the problem.
What causes NMI hardware failure?
NMI or Non-Maskable Interrupt is a hardware interrupt that prioritises a particular thread or process. There are two major reasons why these interrupts are triggered.
- Critical hardware failure
- Watchdog timer errors
These errors can be seen after installing new hardware on your computer or even during driver installation.
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How to fix the NMI hardware failure?
Here are nine fixes you can try to fix the NMI hardware failure error.
Update your PC
The first thing you should do is to update your PC. Updating your PC will, in most cases, update your drivers and fix any issues in the process.
Uninstall recently installed programs
Next up on the list is removing any programs you have installed recently. Often a program installed with admin privileges can cause conflicts with Windows’ functioning leading to a BSOD or other less severe errors.
Programs like Virtual CloneDrive, CiscoVPN, Xsplit, MSI Live Update, Asus GameFirst Service and even antivirus like McAfee and BitDefender can trigger the NMI hardware failure error. Do keep in mind that this also applies to any cracked or pirated software that you may have recently installed on your computer.
Since the error is related to a hardware failure, shut down your PC and unplug all unnecessary peripherals, including printers, external hard drives, docking stations, and restart your PC. If the issue persists, chances are there’s some internal hardware damage; if not, one of the disconnected peripherals was causing the issue.
Update your drivers
Updating (or uninstalling the problematic driver can also fix the problem.
Step 1: Right-click Start and select Device Manager from the menu
Step 2: Expand the problematic driver, right-click on it and click Update driver.
Step 3: Click on Search automatically for drivers. Windows will then automatically look for and download the latest drivers.
While this should help fix the NMI hardware failure error, in case it doesn’t, click Uninstall device and restart your PC to force Windows to install the required drivers. You can then update them later.
Run an SFC scan
Corrupt files are the number one reason your PC might behave weirdly. Here’s how you can get rid of them and potentially resolve your issue.
Step 1: Press Windows Key + S to bring up the Cortana/Search box and search for Powershell. Open Windows Powershell from the search results.
Step 2: Type sfc /scannow to scan your system for issues.
Step 3: If the SFC scan finds any problems, use the following command to resolve them.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Restart your PC, and the NMI hardware failure error should be gone.
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Run the Windows hardware troubleshooter
Windows comes with a few handy troubleshooters that can resolve many issues. However, for some reason, Microsoft has removed the hardware troubleshooter from the troubleshooter’s menu. So here’s an alternative way to run the hardware troubleshooter.
Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run prompt. Type cmd and hit enter.
Step 2: Type msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic and press enter. This will launch the hardware troubleshooter.
Proceed along as instructed by the troubleshooter.
Run the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool
If your RAM is seated properly but is failing, it can trigger this error. Follow these steps to check if there’s an issue with your RAM.
Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for Windows Memory Diagnostics. Then, click the corresponding search result.
Step 2: Run the tool and click the Restart now button to check for problems.
Try running the auto-troubleshoot to resolve the NMI hardware failure error.
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Perform a clean boot
To isolate the problem, perform a clean boot and then start the missing processes one at a time to find your culprit.
Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for System Configuration.
Step 2: Head over to the Services tab.
Step 3: Uncheck the Hide all Microsoft Services checkbox. Now click the Disable All button.
Step 4: Now head over to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.
Step 5: Click the Startup tab again, select all the services and click the Disable button.
Now try starting programs one at a time until your computer crashes. The last program you opened is the cause of your problems. Reinstalling the program will usually fix the NMI hardware failure problem.
Repair your system
If nothing else works, the best way to get rid of the error is by simply reinstalling or repairing your OS.
The Windows Media Creation tool is a great way to install Windows and repair the OS. Using this, you can perform a clean installation or repair your OS without affecting your data.
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