by Olivia Morelli - -



I’m running Windows 8 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



Netio.sys file is a constituent of Windows system. To be more precise, it belongs to Windows’ I/O subsystem. Thus, even though it causes an error, it can’t be deleted or modified.

Possible Causes of this BSOD:

Specialists claim that DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (netio.sys) BSOD is caused by malware, third-party anti-virus, torrent software or network adapter drivers.

How does BSOD error emerge?

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 torrent, 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.


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Solution 1. Check your anti-malware

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. Click Start – Control Panel – Uninstall a Program under Programs. (Windows XP/7)
  2. Click Windows icon (at the bottom left corner) and simultaneously click X. Select Control Panel – Uninstall a Program under Programs. (Windows 10/8)
  3. After that, locate your anti-virus, click on it, and select Uninstall.
  4. Then enable Windows Defender. For that, click Start and type Windows Defender in the search box.
  5. Click on it and press Turn On. Beware that if you install another antivirus, Windows Defender will be automatically disabled.

Solution 2. Check torrent software for cache

  1. Netio.sys error is triggered by network threshold. To check your Torrent software, you have to open BitTorrent and go to Options – Preferences – Advanced.
  2. Uncheck Enable caching of disk reads and Enable caching of disk writes under Disk Cache.
  3. Now you should use your PC without seeing SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (netio.sys) or DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (netio.sys) error.

Solution 3. Reinstall network adapter drivers

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. Click Start (or Windows icon depending on the Windows type that you’re using)– type Windows Update in the search box and hit Enter.
  2. Select Check for Updates. Wait until the system is looking for available updates.
  3. If any of them are found, click Run the Update.

If automatic Windows Update doesn’t find any available updates, then you should try using Device Manager, which can be by:

  1. Click on Start  – Control Panel – Device Manager (Windows XP/7).
  2. Right-click on Windows icon and then select Device Manager (Windows 8/10).
  3. Find Network Adapter in the list of devices. If you see an exclamation mark alongside it, it means that there is a problem with it.
  4. To fix it, right click on the Network Adapter and select Update driver option.

Solution 4. Reinstall Windows

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 Windows system from scratch.

NOTE: Our piece of advice would be to install Reimage or RegCure Pro software to fix and maintain Windows performance and security. In case of netio.sys error fix, these programs may also help because they troubleshoot the problems, fix 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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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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