Windows automaticallay downloads faulty driver resulting in BSOD loop

david-cslu 31 Reputation points


I have a PC here with a very strange but reproducible issue:

  • I wipe the SSD and do a fresh Windows 10 install from an USB stick.
  • As long as the PC isn't connected to the internet during/after the install it will run fine for hours
  • As soon as the PC is connected to the internet it is a matter of 30 - 90 seconds before it crashes (freeze or BSOD).
  • Once this (the crash) happened the PC can't be booted into Windows anymore, it will always freeze or BSOD during boot

So my assumption is that Windows will download some kind of faulty driver from the internet and by doing so permanently break itself.

I can reinstall Windows from the stick again and I will always see exactly the same. Machine runs 100% stable as long as you never connect it to the net. As soon as it's connected, Windows "self destructs".

What I tried:

I already disabled "Automatic Download of manufacturer's Apps..." which doesn't help.

I also disabled automatic driver install via Windows Update in the registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DriverSearching) which indeed seems to prevent Windows from destructing itself after 30 - 90 seconds.

However as soon as you manually search for Windows updates, it will still download drivers & self destruct. So that's not really a solution.

Now how to further troubleshoot & solve such a ridiculous issue?

I'd like to find out which driver/device causes the problem but of course as soon as it starts downloading drivers from Windows Update it's like 10 drivers that get downloaded & installed at the same time so I can't really say which causes the problem. (Also after the initial crash it can't even boot into safe mode anymore.)

Windows 10
Windows 10
A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.
8,806 questions
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2 answers

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  1. Reza-Ameri 16,141 Reputation points

    Try performing Clean Boot and then connect to internet and see if the problem persists?

    Have a look at:

    If not , enable services one by one to see which one causing this problem.

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  2. 2023-09-05T11:07:13.39+00:00


    Safe mode starts Windows in a basic state, using a limited set of files and drivers. If a problem doesn't happen in safe mode, this means that default settings and basic device drivers aren't causing the issue. Observing Windows in safe mode enables you to narrow down the source of a problem, and can help you troubleshoot problems on your PC.

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