by Olivia Morelli - -


Issue: How to fix DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (netio.sys) or SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (netio.sys) BSOD error?

I’m running Windows 10 on my laptop and recently ran into BSOD Window that reports about DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (NETIO.SYS). I’ve noticed that it appears when I open Torrent in particular. I tried using uTorrent and BitTorrent services, but both of them deliver the mentioned screen of death. What I did to solve this issue was scanning the system with antivirus, but that did not help. I don’t know what further actions I should take to fix this mess?

Solved Answer

DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (NETIO.SYS) and SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (NETIO.SYS) are Blue screens of Death[1] that are related to the Netio.sys system file which is related to the computer's network card and its drivers.[2] It is a constituent of Windows system, so modifying or deleting it may cause your card to stop working entirely. Instead, you should focus on how to fix DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (NETIO.SYS) and SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (NETIO.SYS) errors.

Specialists claim that DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (NETIO.SYS BSOD is caused by malware,[3] third-party anti-virus, torrent software or network adapter drivers.

DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (NETIO.SYS) or SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (NETIO.SYS) appears as a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). It may occur when downloading updates, running software like a torrent client, when downloading data, and so on.


This BSOD window freezes the system, causes crashes, which is why you may lose the work that you’ve been currently working. Therefore, it is vital to fix DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (NETIO.SYS) and SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (NETIO.SYS) error, so please follow the below solutions.

Solution 1. Check your anti-malware software

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As we’ve mentioned, SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (NETIO.SYS) or DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (NETIO.SYS) BSOD may be caused by the conflict between antivirus and your system. According to Windows specialists, McAfee and Zone Alarm are the ones causing problems. Therefore, we would recommend uninstalling them. This can be done by doing these steps:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc simultaneously to launch Task Manager
  2. Locate McAfee/Zone Alarm
  3. Click on the application and select End TaskStop McAfee via Task Manager
  4. Type in Control Panel into Cortana's search bar and hit Enter
  5. Go to Programs > Uninstall a program
  6. Locate McAfee or Zone Alarm and double click it
  7. Proceed with on-screen instructionsUninstall anti-virus

Please remember that leaving your system unprotected can cause it serious harm due to malware infections. You can simply rely on Windows Defender (which is a built-in security software from Microsoft) or find a comprehensive security program online.

Solution 2. Check torrent software for cache

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

Netio.sys error is triggered by network threshold. To check your Torrent software, you have to:

  1. Open BitTorent client
  2. Go to Options and pick Preferences
  3. Click on Advanced and pick Disk Cache
  4. Untick Enable caching of disk reads and Enable caching of disk writes
  5. Click Apply and OKChange Bittorrent settings


Solution 3. Reinstall network adapter drivers

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (NETIO.SYS) or DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (NETIO.SYS) error is said to be triggered by netio.sys and drivers incompatibility. Therefore, you should try upgrading the drivers. For that, do the following:

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager
  2. Expand Network adapters
  3. Right-click on your network adapter, and choose Update Driver
  4. Next, click on Search automatically for updated software
  5. Wait till Windows installs new updates and installs them automatically
  6. Reboot your PC

Solution 4. Roll back drivers

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

In some cases, running back the driver helps users fix SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (netio.sys) or DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (netio.sys) BSOD:

  • Go to Device Manager > Network adapters
  • Right-click on the network adapter, and select Properties
  • Select Driver
  • Next, click on Roll Back Driver
  • Pick a reason for rolling back and click OKRoll back driver

Solution 5. Reinstall Windows

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

This is the last thing that you should do if nothing else helps to fix SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (netio.sys) error. If none of the aforementioned fixes help, it means that the core of the issue is a corrupted Windows file. Therefore, the only solution would be to install a Windows system from scratch.

NOTE: Our piece of advice would be to install Reimage software to fix and maintain Windows performance and security. In the case of netio.sys error fix, these programs may also help because they troubleshoot the problems, repair them, and take care of the updates automatically.

Repair your Errors automatically team is trying to do its best to help users find the best solutions for eliminating their errors. If you don't want to struggle with manual repair techniques, please use the automatic software. All recommended products have been tested and approved by our professionals. Tools that you can use to fix your error are listed bellow:

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Prevent websites, ISP, and other parties from tracking you

Private Internet Access is a VPN that can prevent your Internet Service Provider, the government, and third-parties from tracking your online and allow you to stay completely anonymous. The software provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, ensuring optimal performance and not slowing you down. You can also bypass geo-restrictions and view such services as Netflix, BBC, Disney+, and other popular streaming services without limitations, regardless of where you are.

A VPN is also crucial when it comes to user privacy. Online trackers such as cookies can not only be used by social media platforms and other websites but also your Internet Service Provider and the government. Even if you apply the most secure settings via your web browser, you can still be tracked via apps that you are connected to the internet. Besides, privacy-focused browsers like Tor is are not an optimal choice due to diminished connection speed.

Therefore, to stay completely anonymous and prevent the ISP and the government from spying on you, you should employ Private Internet Access VPN. It will allow you to connect to the internet while being completely anonymous, prevent trackers, ads, as well as malicious content. Most importantly, you will prevent the illegal surveillance activities that NSA and other governmental institutions are performing behind your back.


Recover your lost files quickly

Unforeseen circumstances can happen at any time while using the computer: it can turn off due to a power cut, a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) can occur, or random Windows updates can decide to reboot the machine when you went away for a few minutes. As a result, your schoolwork, important documents, and other data might be lost.

Additionally, you might also be attacked by malware that can corrupt your Windows or encrypt files with a robust encryption algorithm, and ask for a ransom in Bitcoin for the decryption tool. Cybercriminals might not deliver what they promised, however, so it is better to attempt alternative file recovery methods that could help you to retrieve at least some portion of the lost data.

Data recovery software is one of the options that could help you recover your files. Once you delete a file, it does not vanish into thin air – it remains on your system as long as no new data is written on top of it. Data Recovery Pro is recovery software that searchers for working copies of deleted files within your hard drive. By using the tool, you can prevent loss of valuable documents, school work, personal pictures, and other crucial files.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - PC & Mac repair expert

Olivia Morelli is a young, but a perspicacious IT expert who is currently just a year away from a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Systems. Her primary passion is cyber security, however, thanks to her detailed understanding of computer networks, operating systems and hardware, she can find a fix for any PC or Mac issue...

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