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System Thread Exception Not Handled BSOD in Windows 10 likely caused by obsolete AMD GPU driver (23.20.780.2), as newer releases would interfere with Windows 10 causing OS corruption

Question asked by jeffb0918 on Feb 14, 2018
Latest reply on Feb 23, 2018 by jeffb0918

Hi guys,

I have recently run into this issue with AMD driver for my RX480. I did several "experiments" to prove that indeed the two latest driver and software packages for my GPU are for some reason incompatible with my Windows 10 Pro. The following are my findings:

- I have tried installing the latest driver and software package (18.2.2) using both the web installer or the "local" installer. These results in corruption in several of my Windows 10 files, particularly consistent at corrupting my start menu.

- I have tried installing the driver and software package (18.2.1) using both the web installer or the "local" installer, either by rolling back from 18.2.2, or by first removing the current package with DDU and do a fresh install of the 18.2.1. These also result in corruption in several of my Windows 10 files, particularly consistent at corrupting my start menu.

- I tried to prove this by uninstalling the AMD graphics driver in device manager and letting Windows to obtain a driver automatically and getting the latest one available via device manager. This gives me back my start menu, ie. removes all my corruption/conflict issue, but only gives me version 23.20.780.2 for the graphics driver.

- All of these results are highly reproducible (at least 10x). What I did to reproduce the issue is by doing an in-place upgrade for Windows 10 whenever my start menu stopped working. Upon in-place upgrade, even though I started with a version, let's say 18.2.2 or 18.2.1, the driver will simply revert back to the package with 23.20.780.2, and this gives me my start menu back in working order. Then I will try to reinstall the latest AMD driver, either by first removing the obsolete one with DDU or just simply "overwriting" it with the new one. These both result in my start menu stopped working again, the second the drivers were installed.

- If and whenever I stick to the obsolete driver obtained by Windows automatically, I will get the System Thread Exception Not Handled BSOD upon increasing the GPU load, nearing 100%, like in gaming scenarios, rendering, etc. Mind you, this is at stock GPU settings, without any OC. Based on some Googling, it is well-known that the BSOD is related to an obsolete graphics driver.

- To further prove my point, I ran a GPU only stress test with AIDA64 at stock GPU settings and it gives me the exact aforementioned BSOD in less than a minute. On contrary, I stress tested my OCed CPU and memory also in AIDA64 and it ran perfectly fine, thus eliminating the possibility of a bad CPU or memory OC.

- Additionally, with a Windows 10 Insider's Build and the latest 18.2.2 driver package installed, the system straight up won't boot. It will loop in the System Thread Exception Not Handled error upon startup on the login screen before reaching the desktop, restart the system, and keep doing the same thing until the system enters recovery mode. I can, however, boot into safe mode and then remove the AMD driver using DDU, and then boot normally to Windows without the presence of the latest AMD driver.

- Note that I have talked to Microsoft support regarding the issue and they were unable to find a fix aside from me reverting to the obsolete driver, which is shown to be the latest in device manager. They suggested me to communicate the issue with AMD staffs so that it can be soon addressed as it is becoming very annoying to have my PC randomly crashing at times when I am working.


So, has anyone experienced the same issue? Or has there been any fix for this? Thanks.


FYI, my system is an ASUS RoG Maximus VIII Ranger MB, Intel i7 6700K CPU, Scythe Mugen 4 PCGH Edition CPU cooler, Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM, MSI RX480 Gaming X 8G GPU, 120GB Samsung 840 Evo SSD, 2TB WD Blue HDD, and Corsair Silent Pro Gold 550W PSU



- I have tested and apparently, the Adrenaline drivers (up to 18.2.1) works well with my 1709 Windows 10 Pro on my older i5 4670K and Gigabyte Z87-G41 PC Mate. But for some reason, it doesn't work with my current main system.

- I observed another form of Windows 10 corruption by the Windows Store to be crashing constantly and closing itself down every time I launch it. Similarly, I also notice Netflix app exhibiting that behavior. I suspect that the Netflix, in particular, is crashing because it uses the GPU in some way to play the media, and the issue is not regarding Netflix app's compatibility with the Windows 10 1709. Aditionally, I also noticed that the drivers have somehow corrupted DirectX as well, as attempting to run Unigine Heaven, Valley, and Superposition in DX11 or DX9 would simply crash the program. Similarly, games like ROTTR or Hitman with a DX12 mode, simply won't launch and will eventually crash. These DirectX issues, are, again, I believed to be related to the GPU drive incompatibility and not the programs/games itself. I proved my belief by testing this on a different system with also Windows 10 Pro 1709, which is not using an AMD GPU, and both Netflix and Windows Store are working fine, including the start menu and everything. Additionally, DirectX are also working just fine.

- I have also noticed that the latest version of driver I can install and not corrupting my OS is the Crimson 17.11.4 which is version 23.20.793.1024 on Windows driver database. Worth noting that the latest supported AMD driver in the Windows driver database itself is the 23.20.780.2 which belongs to Crimson 17.11.2. Anything above Crimson 17.11.4 (which by definition is Adrenaline series) will corrupt my OS in the sense that the start menu will be broken, Windows Store crashing constantly, along with Netflix app, and DirectX malfunctioning. Everything will be back to working order on my Windows 10 if I rolled back to Crimson 17.11.4, but then I gave up supports of the newer driver on the more recent games and also some of the Radeon settings' features.


I feel like this shouldn't be how you treat costumers of your product in the recent few years. The product should still be fully supported on any platform it was supported initially and not just dropped off support arbitrarily


Message was edited by: Jeff Bastian Wongso Wijaya