A Windows 11 BSOD is caused by an Intel sound driver, according to Microsoft.

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An Intel sound driver is behind a Windows 11 BSOD, Microsoft posts workaround

Drivers that have been updated and repaired should be available.

If you’re receiving a blue screen of death on Windows 11 and you have Intel Smart Sound Technology installed, you should verify the version of its driver. This week, Microsoft raised awareness of the problem and provided a remedy.

This week, Microsoft added a compatibility problem with the Intel Smart Sound Technology driver to its list of known issues in Windows 11. In addition to causing blue screens, the bug may prevent users from upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

Microsoft says the affected driver is located in Device Manager > System Devices under Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) Audio Controller. The file name should be IntcAudioBus.sys, and the file version should be either 10.29.0.5152 and earlier or 10.30.0.5152 and earlier.

It’s important to note that versions starting with 10.30 aren’t necessarily newer than those starting with 10.29. It can be a bit counterintuitive, but the two appear to be from separate version histories. When looking at the files, the last section of numbers—the “5152,” is the most important. Microsoft’s workaround is to upgrade those drivers to version 10.29.00.5714 and 10.30.00.5714. You’ll have to check with your computer’s manufacturer for those drivers.

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“You will need to check with your device manufacturer (OEM) to see if an updated driver is available and install it,” writes Microsoft.

Updating those drivers should let users upgrade to Windows 11, but the listing says it can take up to 48 hours before the upgrade offer appears.

Microsoft also says to contact your device manufacturer if an upgrade isn’t available yet. It warns that users should not manually upgrade using the “Update now” button or the Media Creation Tool until the issue is resolved.

Ironically, Microsoft brought the old blue screen of death back to Windows 11 just this week. It had initially switched to a black BSoD, but users apparently preferred the soothing blue of the famous Windows crash screen.

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