DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL is a critical system error that should be resolved as soon as possible. DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error may occur randomly or in connection with specific events. A typical DRIVER IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL error message looks like this:



DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL is the name of STOP 0xD1 bugcheck that may occur on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error message means that a driver tried to access pageable memory using the kernel process IRQL that was too high. IRQL stands for Interrupt Request Level. Interrupt requests are used in computers to manage hardware operations. All devices such as sound cards, video cards, and keyboards can address interrupt requests to the processor when they need to run a process. As a result of such request, the processor then interrupts its current process to allow, say, the video card run its process.

The higher the IRQ of a device, the longer it takes to process its request. A device with IRQ 14 will have to wait longer that the device with IRQ 1. Two device drivers having the same IRQ cause Windows to crash with a the STOP 0x000000D1 DRIVER IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL message.


The most common cause of DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error is low quality (faulty) or incompatible drivers or system services. Other causes may include:

  • Hard drive corruption
  • Corrupt RAM memory, motherboards or power supplies
  • Corrupt virtual memory page file
  • Plugging or removing a USB device.


If you have installed or updated drivers before DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL occurred, remove them or rollback the updates. Replace 3rd party drivers with the latest vendor drivers. Alternatively, you can try to rollback system configuration to the point when DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL didn’t occur.

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If STOP 0X000000D1 error remains, check STOP 0X000000D1 section for more specific DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL solutions.