Your Windows desktop turns blue and reads a message: Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. Under this message, you’ll see ‘BAD_POOL_HEADER’ in highlighted text.

If this has happened, you need to learn how to fix the BAD POOL HEADER error. Several solutions presented below can fix this issue, so don’t worry.

But, before that, you need to know what triggers the BAD POOL HEADER error in Windows 10/8.

What is a BAD POOL HEADER error?

In Windows, the BAD POOL HEADER error occurs when your operating system is unable to allocate memory to run applications. Whenever you face a Windows memory allocation issue, you’ll see this error in the prompt message.

The BAD POOL HEADER error causes Window to shut down abruptly. Thereafter, you are unable to log on to Windows 10 in normal mode. In this case, you’ll have to get the error fixed by logging into Windows in Safe Mode.

Quick Fix for BAD POOL HEADER Error in Windows 10

There are a total of five solutions to fix the BAD POOL HEADER quickly. However, you need to try each one of them to identify the cause of this error.

#1 Repair your Faulty RAM

Considering how a BAD POOL HEADER error occurs when your Windows faces memory allocation problems, you can try checking your RAM at first.

Fixing a faulty RAM is the foremost and most-effective solution to fix BAD POOL HEADER error in Windows 10/8. The error stems from hardware compatibility issues, which is why a faulty RAM could be triggering this error.

You may need some technical assistance to fix dead RAM sticks. But, if your RAM faces minor faults, here’s how you can fix it on your own.

For CPU users,

  • Shut down your PC and unplug all the cables
  • Dissemble the CPU by unscrewing/removing the side case (computer metal cover)
  • Locate the motherboard area
  • Adjacent to the CPU socket near the motherboard, you’ll see RAM slots
  • There are two tabs on each side of a RAM memory slot
  • Press them down and away at the same time to remove a single RAM
  • Follow this to remove additional RAMs from the slots
  • Use a clean brush to gently whisk the dust off your RAM
  • Clean the empty RAM slots similarly
  • Re-install the RAM after cleanup
  • Check if the problem persists

For laptop users,

  • Turn off your laptop with a proper Windows shutdown
  • Remove (eject) the battery to be on a safer side (you don’t want the laptop to turn on by itself when you accidently press the Power On button)
  • Disconnect any or all cables (including Ethernet and modem wire)
  • You can place a soft cloth to save your laptop from physical damage
  • Flip your laptop and place it down with the bottom facing up
  • Locate the memory module slot cover
  • Use a small-head X-shaped screwdriver to loosen this cover
  • Be careful while unscrewing; keep your hands completely dry
  • After opening the compartment, gently touch the metal surface of the module holder
  • Press the latches to release them
  • Lift the RAMs to a 30-degree angle and gently slide them out of the holder
  • Use a clean brush to gently whisk the dust off your RAM
  • Clean the empty RAM slot (module holder) similarly
  • Re-install the RAM by sliding it back into the module holder
  • Tighten all the screws and get the module case fixed correctly
  • Flip your laptop to the upside
  • Insert the battery and turn your computer on
  • Check if the problem persists

If this doesn’t help, you can consider replacing the RAM as the existing one could’ve been corrupted (dead RAM stick).

Before you repair your faulty RAM, make sure you are able to log into the affected Windows computer. A BAD POOL HEADER error may stop you from logging in. In this case, try restarting your Windows 10/8 in Safe Mode.

Run Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool
There’s a simpler way to check faulty RAMs for fixing the BAD POOL HEADER error. A built-in Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool can diagnose all computer memory problems automatically.

  • Go to search box near the Start menu on Windows 10
  • Type ‘mdsched.exe’ in the search box and press the Enter key
  • Before the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool launches, choose the option to restart the computer and run the tool immediately

Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool

  • After your computer restarts, the Tool runs automatically
  • Press ‘F1’ key to perform more tests
  • Use the ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ keys to set the Test Mix (select between Basic, Extended or Standard)
  • You can press the ‘F10’ key to apply these changes to the tests
  • Let the test complete (your computer restarts automatically after the test finishes)
  • Check the test results when you log on to your Windows

You can look for the diagnosis results from the MemoryDiagnostics-Result entry in the Event Viewer.

#2 Turn Off the Fast Startup Feature

In Windows 10 and Windows 8, the Fast Startup feature is enabled by default. You can try to turn off this feature to see if it fixes the BAD POOL HEADER error.

The Fast Startup feature can interfere with system memory. This can corrupt the pool header, which is why we can fix the error by disabling the feature.

To turn the Fast Startup feature off,

  • Press the shortcut keys ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ on your keyboard – at the same time click on Power Options on Windows taskbar
  • Click on Choose what the power button does
  • Now, select the option that says ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable
  • Then, uncheck the ‘Turn on fast startup (recommended)’ option
  • Click on ‘Save Changes

Now, to put this change into effect, restart your computer. Check if you see the BAD POOL HEADER error after you log on to your Windows.

#3 Unplug External Devices

One of the main reasons causing the BAD POOL HEADER error is a faulty hardware. Just how you checked for a faulty RAM in Solution #1, you need to ensure no hardware or device is triggering this error.

In most cases, it is the external device that causes memory allocation problems in Windows. There’s no other way to go about it but disconnecting these devices altogether.

To fix the BAD POOL HEADER error, Windows 8 and Windows 10 users can unplug all devices – except the keyboard, display monitor and the mouse.

External devices could include a light pen, a gaming joystick, scanner, trackball, speakers, Ethernet cable, modem wire, or even an external hard drive.

Update Drivers
The BAD POOL HEADER error in Windows 10 gets triggered by faulty, outdated drivers. You can manually update the drivers and system adapters to ensure this doesn’t happen.
  • Press the shortcut keys ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ to launch the Run application
  • Type ‘devmgmt.msc’ in the Run dialog box and click on OK
  • Right-click on each system adapter and driver
  • Click on ‘Update Driver Software
  • Select the ‘Search automatically for update driver software’ option
  • Complete the update installation wizard
  • Restart your computer

#4 Temporarily Deactivate All Third-Party Anti-Viruses

As much as hardware could cause the BAD POOL HEADER error, the faulty software can be equally problematic. Your Windows faces memory allocation problems when software such as an antivirus interferes with it.

You don’t need to uninstall the third-party antivirus software. You can disable it temporarily to fix the BAD POOL HEADER error.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users can disable it as follows:

  • Go to Windows taskbar
  • Locate the antivirus icon in the notifications area on your taskbar
  • Right-click on the icon
  • Click on ‘Disable temporarily’ or ‘Disable
  • Check if this resolves the BAD POOL HEADER error

Learning the steps to briefly disable the protection of a third-party antivirus depends on the software itself. Each antivirus software has the option of ‘temporarily disable’ in its settings menu.

Uninstall Newly-Installed Software
Along with the third-party antivirus software, your Windows may face the BAD POOL HEADER error owing to any other software. You can uninstall such newly-installed apps and software to fix the issue.

  • Open the Start menu
  • Click on the Settings app (gear icon)
  • Go to Apps
  • Select the recently-installed software and click on it
  • Now, click on Uninstall

Restart your computer to see if the BAD POOL HEADER persists.

#5 Clean Boot your PC

The last solution to fix this issue is clean-booting your computer. A clean boot can restore your computer settings to default and allow Windows to allocate memory properly.

You need to log on to your Windows with the administrator account. To clean boot Windows 10, follow these steps.

  • Go to Start menu
  • Search for ‘msconfig’ and click on System Configuration app
  • Go to the Services tab
  • Check the box for ‘Hide all Microsoft services
  • Click on ‘Disable all
  • Now, go to the ‘Startup’ tab
  • Click on ‘Open Task Manager
  • Select the enabled items and disable them by right-clicking on each of them
  • Close the Task Manager
  • Click on OK
  • Restart the computer

This will certainly fix the BAD POOL HEADER error. Even still, it is recommended that you try out all the solutions presented above to understand the root cause of BAD POOL HEADER error in your Windows 10/8 computer.

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