How to Fix Bad Pool Caller Error on Windows 10

A troubleshooting guide for the 0xC2 blue screen of death

BAD_POOL_CALLER, also known by its BSOD STOP code 0x000000C2 (or 0xC2), means that the current processor thread is making a bad pool request.

What does that mean? It could point to a situation where a piece of software tries to use a processor thread that isn't available because a different program is using it. It could also mean that the thread doesn't even exist.

In lots of cases, the 0xC2 Bad Pool Caller error indicates a device driver issue.

BSOD in Windows 10 with a frown face on a blue background
Blue Screen of Death in Windows 10.

STOP 0x000000C2 Errors

The error will always appear on a STOP message, more commonly called a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). You could see it when your computer first starts up, right after you log in when doing something specific like playing a video or opening a program, or even right after a fresh Windows 10 install.

The error screen presents typically with a message like one of these:

  • Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. If you'd like to know more, you can search online later for this error: BAD_POOL_CALLER
  • Stop code: BAD_POOL_CALLER

If STOP 0x000000C2 isn't the exact STOP code you see, or BAD_POOL_CALLER isn't the same message, check our Complete List of STOP Error Codes and reference the troubleshooting information for the STOP message that you are seeing.

How to Fix Bad Pool Caller Error on Windows 10

Follow these steps in order to address possible simple fixes before moving onto the more complex and less helpful tips:

  1. Restart your computer. The error could be so temporary that a simple reboot is all that's needed.

    Since you’re probably on the error screen, the best way to restart is to press the power button (you might need to hold it down). After a few seconds, press it again to start back up.

  2. Remove recently installed programs. Or, at the very least, shut them down completely and see if the error comes back.

    Antivirus tools and other software could be interfering with another part of your computer, like a driver, causing the 0xC2 error. If this works to stop the BSOD, you might need to look for an alternative program.

    For whatever reason, some users have found success in fixing the BAD_POOL_CALLER error by uninstalling Dell SupportAssist. If you have it, use one of the programs from the list linked above to delete it before moving forward with the rest of these suggestions. You can try reinstalling it as well if an outdated version is to blame for the error.

    Unless the BAD_POOL_CALLER error is something you’ve seen in the past and your computer is working fine right now, you’ll need to boot into Safe Mode with Networking to complete this step and most of the others below.

  3. Check for driver updates. Some drivers have bugs that trigger this specific blue screen error.

    Doing this is a standard solution for the 0x000000C2 error, so try your best to try all three of these tips:

    • Scan for hardware changes by opening Device Manager, right-clicking your computer at the top of the list, choosing Scan for hardware changes, and then rebooting. It will trigger Windows to check for drivers, but it might not work for all devices.
    • Boot into Safe Mode (make sure it's with networking support; see step 2) and use a driver updater tool.
    • Update drivers manually. Some users experiencing this error have had to unzip the driver and use Device Manager to update it manually. All the directions are in that link.
  4. Uninstall recent Windows updates. One of them could be triggering the BSOD.

    If you've opened the Advanced Startup Options menu, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Uninstall Updates to delete the latest quality or feature update.

    Uninstall Updates option highlighted in the advanced options screen of the aso menu

    Otherwise, open Control Panel and search for and select View installed updates. Choose the most recent update (or pick the one you suspect could be the issue), select Uninstall and then Yes, and restart the computer.

    Uninstall an update confirmation box with a list of installed Windows updates
  5. Use System Restore to revert the computer to a previous state. It will undo recent system changes that might have been the reason for the Bad Pool Caller error.

    Windows updates installed between now and the restore point will also be removed, which is great if there were some updates in the previous step that you couldn't delete.

    You can start this tool from a Command Prompt with the rstrui.exe command if that's all you're able to access. It also works through the ASO menu mentioned in the previous step.

    If this step fixes the problem, see How to Prevent Windows Updates From Crashing Your PC. You'll need to make changes to how it's configured and follow some best practices regarding installing the updates again, or you could experience the same problem the next time Windows automatically installs those patches again.

  6. Boot to the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool to see if memory is to blame for the error. If so, you might need to replace the bad RAM.

  7. Some BSOD errors are resolved after a BIOS update. With all the above completed without success, this is your next best option.

  8. Run Driver Verifier. It’s included in Windows 10; execute the verifier command in a Command Prompt to get started. If you're not sure which driver(s) to check, select the option to verify all of them.

    Microsoft provides more information about this tool in that link.

    This is an advanced step that you're welcome to skip over if you're not comfortable doing it. But if all else fails, you might need to return here and complete it.

  9. Run a registry cleaner program to fix registry-related issues. Since you've made it this far without any success, consider this a last-ditch effort before the final suggestion below.

  10. Use Reset This PC to reinstall Windows 10. At this point, a software error like this is fixable only through a complete reinstall of the operating system.

    During this process, you can choose to keep your personal files intact or not. See How to Reset Your PC in Windows 10 for help.

    Some people still experience the BAD_POOL_CALLER BSOD in Windows 10 after a reinstall. It's most likely due to a program or driver issue, so be sure you've ruled those things out first by completing steps 2 and 3.

Need More Help?

If you're not interested in fixing this problem yourself, see How Do I Get My Computer Fixed? for a full list of your support options, plus help with everything along the way like figuring out repair costs, getting your files off, choosing a repair service, and a lot more.

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