The Bad_Pool_Header error typically manifests in the form of a blue screen with the “BAD_POOL_HEADER” stop code, indicating that there has been a problem with the system’s memory pool. The severity of the error can lead to crashes, data loss, and potential damage to your hardware. There are quite a few reasons why the Bad_Pool_Header error occurs in the first place. These reasons include but are not limited to corrupted or faulty RAM (memory) modules, issues with newly installed hardware or software, aggressive third-party antivirus software, etc.
In this tutorial, let me guide you through the troubleshooting steps and methods you can follow to fix the Bad_Pool_Header error on Windows 11. Let’s get started.
Fix BAD_POOL_HEADER Error on Windows 11
Follow the below methods one after another to troubleshoot and solve the Bad_Pool_Header error on Windows 11.
- Unplug/uninstall newly installed hardware
- Uninstall newly installed software
- Disable unnecessary devices from Device Manager
- Update device drivers
- Disable third-party antivirus software
- Run the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool
- Replace memory (RAM) modules
Let’s see each troubleshooting step in detail:
1. Unplug/uninstall newly installed hardware
If you recently added new hardware to your computer and started encountering the Bad_Pool_Header error then it may be the cause for the Bad_Pool_Header error. Incompatible or faulty hardware can lead to memory allocation issues, triggering the error. Begin by unplugging the newly installed hardware, such as external devices or components, and check if the error persists. If you no longer encounter the error, replace the faulty hardware with one that is compatible with your Windows 11 system.
2. Uninstall newly installed software
Just like with hardware, newly installed software can sometimes conflict with system processes, causing memory pool problems. This is especially true if the installed software is not designed or incompatible with Windows 11. So, if you recently installed any applications or utilities before encountering the Bad_Pool_Header error, try uninstalling them. To uninstall an application on Windows 11, go to “Settings” > “Apps” > “Installed apps” and select the recently installed software. Click “Uninstall,” and follow the prompts to remove it.
3. Disable unnecessary devices from Device Manager
After uninstalling newly installed hardware and software, you must disable any and all unnecessary devices from Device Manager. That way, you can boot the system with only essential drivers and see if the error persists. If you no longer encounter the error then you must update the device drivers (next step). To disable devices on Windows 11, open Device Manager by right-clicking on the Start menu icon on the taskbar. Right-click on the following devices and select the Disable option. After disabling, scan for hardware changes and restart your PC.
- Audio output and inputs
- Display adapters
- Game controllers
- Network adapters
Important note: Don’t disable USB devices or your monitor device as that might prevent you from using your system.
If you no longer encounter the Bad_Pool_Header error after disabling all unnecessary devices, then one of the disabled devices is the reason for the error. To pinpoint the device causing the error, enable one device at a time and reboot the system immediately until you encounter the error. Once you know the device, you can update its drivers to address the bad pool header error.
4. Update device drivers
Outdated or incompatible device drivers can disrupt your hardware and triggers the Bad Pool Header blue screen error. So, it is important that all your hardware devices are running up-to-date drivers. To do that, open “Device Manager” by right-clicking the “Start” button and selecting “Device Manager.” Then, expand each category, right-click on individual devices, and choose “Update driver.” Select “Search automatically for updated driver software” to allow Windows to search for the latest drivers online. Alternatively, you can also download the latest drivers directly from the device manufacturer’s website. While downloading, ensure that the driver is compatible with your hardware device model. For example, if you are updating the graphics driver, ensure it is compatible with your specific model (Ex: Nvidia RTX 4070).
5. Disable third-party antivirus software
While third-party antivirus software such as Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, McAfee, etc., offer more features than the built-in Windows Defender, they are often more aggressive and stop Windows from working normally. For example, third-party antivirus software often interferes with system processes, leading to memory allocation problems. So, temporarily disable your third-party antivirus and see if the Bad_Pool_Header error disappears. Since Windows Defender automatically runs in the background, your system is still protected while you troubleshoot.
If you no longer encounter the error, either tone down the security settings in your third-party antivirus software or uninstall the antivirus and use Windows Defender.
6. Run the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool
Windows 11 includes a useful tool called “Windows Memory Diagnostics” that can help identify potential issues with your RAM. To launch it, open the Run window with “Win + R,” type “mdsched” and click “Ok.” Select the “Restart now and check for problems” option. This will restart your computer to run the troubleshooter. When prompted, select the “Extended” option and press “F10”. This will run the troubleshooter.
Once that is done, restart your computer and open “Event Viewer” from the Start menu. In the Event Viewer, find the “MemoryDiagnostics-Results” entry to check if there are any problems with your system memory modules (RAM).
7. Replace memory (RAM) modules
If all the above steps failed to fix the problem then one or more of your system’s memory (RAM) modules may be faulty. In that case, you have to check each module and replace the faulty one with a new one. While replacing, ensure that it is compatible with your motherboard. You can buy new memory modules pretty cheaply from your local computer store or e-commerce websites such as Amazon or eBay. If you don’t know how to replace RAM, take professional help.
That is all. I hope this step-by-step troubleshooting tutorial helped you solve the BAD_POOL_HEADER error on Windows 11.
If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.