Are you experiencing system crashes due to a mysterious “Unexpected Store Exception” error? It is a blue screen error caused by internal corruptions in the Windows kernel memory. Currently, there is one main approach to fix the “Unexpected Store Exception” error in Windows 10 and 11, as also acknowledged by Microsoft. We’ll also share some extra troubleshooting tips.
Note: “Unexpected Store Exception” has no relation to Microsoft Store.
What is the “Unexpected Store Exception” Error in Windows
The “Unexpected Store Exception” error is caused by various hardware and file integrity issues associated with the kernel memory module. The bug is also known as UNEXPECTED_STORE_EXCEPTION, and has a value of 0x00000154 which refers to a “stop code”, a special category of blue screen errors.
This kernel memory module manages the RAM used by some core components in Windows along with device drivers. The Windows operating system uses it to talk to device hardware.
You can view your device kernel memory on the Task Manager under the Memory tab. Compared to physical RAM, kernel memory is only a few hundred MB in size. It is further classified according to paged and non-paged pools.
Anyway, here’s how to start tackling the “Unexpected Store Exception” error in Windows.
1. Debug with WinDbg
To debug the “Unexpected Store Exception” error, we will use a Microsoft debugging program called WinDbg. While it involves a little bit of coding, it is very easy to learn.
WinDbg Download and Installation
WinDbg, the official Windows debugger. can be downloaded from this link as part of Windows Software Development Kit (SDK). For installation, choose the “Install SDK” file based on your operating system, and latest version number. Windows 11 users have it relatively easy. If you’re a Windows 10 user, it’s better to update your system first and then install the latest SDK.
- After downloading the executable file, install it on your system by specifying a location. Or you can choose the automatic install path. Follow the on-screen instructions.
- This step is very important. For debugging your Windows software, you don’t need all the features of the Windows SDK. You only need to check “Debugging Tools for Windows” and deselect everything else.
- Wait a few minutes for the installation to complete as Windows SDK acquires debug tools for Windows.
- You will see a final welcome message once Windows SDK is installed on your device.
- Now, locate the installation directories depending on whether you have an x64 (“C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Debuggers\x64”) or x86 (“C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Debuggers\x86”) system. You can check your CPU configuration in “About your PC” from the Windows 11/10 search menu.
- Go inside the installation directory and locate the WinDbg executable file as shown below for x64 folder.
- Double-click to launch the WinDbg executable. From “File-> Open Executable” menu, you can view any executable file on your PC.
- Locate the “Notepad.exe” file on your system which is usually based in System32 folder. Open this executable using WinDbg.
- For testing this debugger, enter
.sympath srv*in the WinDbg command line located at the bottom.
- The output will be shown within the Notepad window. Here we see a symbol search path which tells WinDbg where to look for symbol (PDB) files.
Symbol search path is: srv* Expanded Symbol search path is: cache*;SRV
Option 1: Create a User Mode Dump File
After downloading and installing WinDbg, we can use “Crash mode” analysis to solve the Exception error. This involves causing a fake crash and noticing the Dump file as shown below.
- Open Settings on your PC.
- On the right side, scroll down all the way to the bottom and select About.
- Select “Advanced System Settings”.
- This will open a “System Properties” window.
- Select the Advanced tab at the top and press on “Settings” under “Startup and Recovery”.
- A new “Startup and Recovery” window will open.
- Take note of the location of the “Dump file”. It can be easily overwritten without any issues.
- Now go back to WinDbg command line, and enter the following to create a user mode dump file.
.dump [options] FileName .dump /?
You can also operate it as a kernel mode dump but the procedure is different and it’s unnecessary.
- Instead of “?” you’ll have to enter
mawhich refer to a variety of dump files. Also replace FileName with the Dump file path used earlier.
- Your exception analysis has begun. If there are any exception errors on your system, they will be highlighted here. The problem files will be mentioned in the log and you will be able to take corrective action from there.
- Apart from WinDbg, we can use another simple method to create a fake crash. It is called “NotMyFault” by SysInternals. Download the zipped file and extract it.
- Following that, click on NotMyFault application to launch a new window where you can emulate a crash. Close all the other applications so that corrupted memory is not written to the disk after Restart.
Option 2: Using the !Analyze Extension Command
To find out the root cause of a “Store Exception” error, you can use another WinDbg command called “!Analyze” extension.
- Go back to the WinDbg command line and copy-paste the following:
!analyze [-v] [-f | -hang] [-D BucketID] !analyze -c [-load KnownIssuesFile | -unload | -help ]
- The exception analysis has started. If there are any problem files on your PC, they will be recorded in the log.
- Remove those files or uninstall any programs associated with the “Store Exception” error. If there are no issues, you won’t see any results.
- The “Bucket ID” refers to the exact event ID connected to the “Store Exception” error.
- As soon as you notice a blue screen on your laptop display, you can see the “Bucket ID” prominently highlighted. If you miss recording it, then you can find the same “Bucket ID” from “Event Viewer” in Windows 11/10.
While WinDbg is the best method to debug the “Unexpected Store Exception” problem, if you don’t want to learn the programming, Microsoft recommends a few other options.
2. Perform System Restore Based on Update History
If any blue screen errors are caused by some recent events, you can perform a simple System Restore to take your Windows device to an earlier configuration.
- From Windows search menu, open “View your Update history.”
- Look for a recent event at least few days before you noticed the “Store Exception” error. Its date will be used to send the system to an earlier point of time.
- Open “Create a restore point” from a Start menu search.
- Check the “Show more restore points” option at the bottom and select the event date where you want to go back again.
- Confirm your restore point and the device will restart to return to the older configuration.
3. Use Windows Memory Diagnostic
You can use Windows Memory Diagnostic app to take care of bad memory sectors that might be behind the “Unexpected Store Exception” crash.
- Launch Windows Memory Diagnostic from the Windows search menu.
- As soon the app is launched, you will be asked to restart the device and check for memory problems.
- You can either restart your PC straightaway or schedule the diagnostics for any other time.
4. Look for Exclamation Point in Device Manager Hardware
If hardware issues are causing the blue screen problem, then you may need to replace the older or outdated hardware.
- To do this, open Device Manager from Start menu search or
devmgmt.mscfrom “Run” command.
- Under each hardware device, look for exclamation points (!). If you have any faulty external webcams, SD cards, pen drives, or external drives, remove them first. A worn-out battery should be replaced quickly as it can lead to major issues.
5. Perform System File Checker and ChkDsk
The best way to restore the integrity of your Windows system is using the System File Checker (SFC) tool. It helps repair missing or corrupted system files.
- Open Command Prompt from the Windows search menu and run it as administrator.
- Run a basic SFC scan using
- If any system repair restart is pending, go ahead with it and run SFC again.
- You can also use the ChkDsk utility to repair any problems in the hard disk.
chkdsk /f /c:
We’ve outlined some of the most effective methods to troubleshoot the UNEXPECTED_STORE_EXCEPTION error in Windows, and hopefully one of them will help you fix the issue for you. You can also use all of our techniques to resolve other kinds of blue screen issues such as Kernel Data InPage error and Critical Process Died error.
Image credit: Wikipedia | All screenshots by Sayak Boral
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