Windows updates are rife with issues, and they have been since Microsoft’s early days. Things keep breaking down and users are often faced with dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) error. The same goes for the recent October update. You will find the message “What failed: hardlock.sys” at the bottom of the screen. Another error that you may view is “Page Load_in_Non-Paged_Area”.
You can find the hardlock.sys file in the folder location below.
What’s remarkable is that the file is not essential to run your Windows 10 computer. It was developed by a third party vendor but has been signed by Microsoft. This does not mean that you have to completely delete the file. There are ways to fix the problem, and we’ll all discuss them below.
1. Registry Editor
Always set a restore point before making system level changes or even installing a major Windows update.
Step 1: Find and open Registry Editor from the Start menu. You will be asked to give administrator rights.
2nd step: Navigate to the folder structure below.
Step 3: Do nothing if the Hardlock folder is missing from your computer. Suppose you can view it, double click the Start entry in the right pane and set the value data to 4. Remember to save all changes.
Reinstall the latest Windows 10 update and check if you are still experiencing the hardlock.sys BSOD error.
2. Hardlock device driver
We have written detailed guide on drivers, but not everyone can access the system normally due to BSOD error. So, I’m going to share a CMD (Command Prompt) hack that you can use in safe mode instead. We will uninstall the Hardlock device driver.
Step 1: Open the Command Prompt from the Start menu by selecting the “Run as administrator” option.
2nd step: Download this Haspdinst utility and unzip it.
Step 3: Write the command below in CMD.
haspdinst.exe -kp -r -fr -v -purge
Restart your computer once and try to update Windows again. Check if you are still getting the hardlock.sys error.
3. Uninstall the Sentinel driver
Once again, open your computer in Safe Mode if you cannot access the drivers from Device Manager normally.
Step 1: Find and open Device Manager from the Start menu. This is where you will find all the drivers installed on your Windows 10 computer.
2nd step: Scroll to the bottom of the window to find Universal Serial Bus Controllers. Double click on it to expand it. You should find a driver entry that says “Sentinel HASPKey” or “Sentinel USB Key”.
Right click on the key to select Uninstall the device.
4. Suspend Windows Update
You can pause or delay current updates and wait for Microsoft to correct the problem in subsequent updates. Many users have turned off automatic updates and prefer to postpone them, so that they have time to assess later whether it is safe to install them or not.
Here’s how to pause updates in Windows 10.
Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open Settings and click Updates & Security. There you can at least “Pause updates for 7 days”.
You can then pause updates for an additional 7 days using the same option.
2nd step: Click on Advanced Options below to find more update options.
Step 3: Scroll down a bit and you can delay or pause Windows updates for up to 30 days.
5. Uninstall Windows Update
What about the current situation? You will need to uninstall the current updates that are causing all problems and put them on hold until a stable version is released.
Step 1: Go back to Settings> Update & security and click on Show update history.
2nd step: You would display a list of all recent Windows updates here with an option to Uninstall updates also.
Just follow the onscreen instructions and restart your computer once to complete.
For those who like to use the command line, try this line of code instead.
wusa /uninstall /kb:1234567
We all want that to happen, don’t we? the hardlock.sys the error in Windows 10 is frustrating as it leads to blue screen of death or BSOD error. You have no other option left but to restart your computer and you have to do it forcefully. Press and hold the power button for a few seconds before the computer turns off.
Hope one of the solutions mentioned above worked for you. Again, I recommend that you use caution before installing new updates on any Windows 10 computer. Particularly notable or major updates. Keep an eye on the news to check for any reports of broken computers. Otherwise, you can update manually quite easily.
Updating single apps can be boring and time consuming on Windows. Click the link below for how to batch update all Windows apps at one time.
Last updated Oct 30, 2020
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