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To fix this issue it’s strongly advised to keep your drivers up to date.

5. Run the BSOD Troubleshooter 

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Update & Security section.
  2. Select Troubleshoot from the menu on the left.
  3. Select BSOD from the right pane and click Run the troubleshooter.Troubleshooting BSoD
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

The next thing we’re going to try is Windows 10‘s built-in troubleshooting tool. This tool can be used for resolving all sorts of issues, including the BSOD problems.

6. Run the SFC scan

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button, and open Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Enter the following line and press Enter: 
  3. Wait until the process is done (it may take a while).
  4. If the solution is found, it will automatically be applied.
  5. Now, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

The next troubleshooting tool we’re going to try is the SFC scan. This is a command line troubleshooter that can also resolve System Exit Owned Mutex error.

7. Run DISM

  1. Right-click Start and open Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Paste the following command and press Enter:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  3. Wait until the scan is finished.
  4. Restart your computer and try updating again.
  • With the Windows installation media
  1. Insert your Windows installation media.
  2. Right-click the Start menu and, from the menu, choose the Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. In the command line, type the following commands and press Enter after each:
    dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
    dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
  4. Now, type the following command and press Enter:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:WIM:X:SourcesInstall.wim:1 /LimitAccess
  5. Make sure to change an X value with the letter of the mounted drive with Windows 10 installation.
  6. After the procedure is finished, restart your computer.

DISM is a command line tool that deploys the system image all over again. That process can lead to resolving various problems, including BSOD issues.

8. Check the hard drive

  1. Enter the Advanced Startup (Restart your computer while holding the Shift key).
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options.
  3. Select Command Prompt from the list of options.
  4. When Command Prompt appears, enter the following lines and press Enter after each line in order to run it:
    bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd
    bootrec.exe /fixmbr
    bootrec.exe /fixboot
  5. Some users are also suggesting that you need to run additional chkdsk commands as well. To perform these commands, you need to know drive letters for all your hard drive partitions. In Command Prompt you should enter the following (but remember to use the letters that match your hard drive partitions on your PC):
    chkdsk /r c:chkdsk /r d:
  6. Restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.

If your hard drive is not in the best shape, BSOD errors susch as System Exit Owned Mutex will occur.

In that manner, you should run a drive diagnostic tool, that will tell you if your hard drive is damaged.

9. Reinstall your Sound Blaster driver

  1. Press Windows Key + X and select Device Manager from the list.
  2. When Device Manager starts, locate your audio driver, right-click it and choose Uninstall. If available check Delete the driver software for this device and click OK.
  3. After deleting the driver, restart your PC.
  4. If the error is fixed and sound is working properly, you can continue using the default driver. If there are any sound problems, feel free to update your audio driver.

Although users reported problems with Sound Blaster audio driver, you can try this solution even if you don’t have to use Sound Blaster audio.

Sometimes updating your drivers isn’t going to fix the BSoD error, therefore, you’ll have to remove the audio driver beforehand.

Few users reported issues with Sound Blaster drivers, and they managed to fix SYSTEM EXIT OWNED MUTEX BSoD error simply by removing the Sound Blaster driver and reinstalling it.

10. Clean your PC and reseat your RAM modules

rearrange ram modules

Many BSoD errors are caused by RAM problems, and if you’re getting the SYSTEM EXIT OWNED MUTEX error you might want to check your RAM.

To complete this step, you’ll need to open your PC case, so make sure that your computer isn’t under warranty.

Once you open your PC, you’ll need to clean it from dust with a pressured air can. When your PC is clean from dust, carefully remove your RAM modules and switch their places.

Several users reported that reseating the RAM modules permanently fixed the SYSTEM EXIT OWNED MUTEX BSoD error, so make sure to try that.

11. Check for hardware problems

check hardware system exit owned mutex

As previously mentioned, BSoD errors are commonly caused by faulty RAM, so it’s always a good idea to test if your RAM is working properly.

To do so, you can remove one or more RAM modules and check if your PC works well without it.

You might have to test all RAM modules one by one before you find the one that is causing this error.

In addition to removing RAM modules, you can also use tools such as MemTest86+ to test your RAM.

Simply create a bootable USB or CD with MemTest on it, and boot your PC from that USB flash drive or CD. Start MemTest and let it test your RAM for a couple of hours.

To find the faulty module, you might have to test one memory module at a time before you find the faulty one.

In addition to your RAM, any other hardware component can cause this error, so be sure to check your motherboard and hard drive as well.

It’s also worth mentioning that any recently installed hardware that is not fully compatible with your PC can cause this error, so make sure to remove it or replace it and test if your PC runs without it.

SYSTEM EXIT OWNED MUTEX is a problematic error, but in most cases, you can fix it by reinstalling and updating your drivers or by reseating your RAM modules.


  • What is the SYSTEM EXIT OWNED MUTEX error?

The SYSTEM EXIT OWNED MUTEX error is a BSoD error that is apparently triggered by some HDMI devices having problems with the X-Fi sound cards.

  • How can I fix the SYSTEM EXIT OWNED MUTEX error?

First, try to disable the HDMI device from Device Manager and see if you have any Windows 10 or driver updates. If the problem is still there, follow our full guide to solve the problem completely.

BSoDs or stop errors are critical errors triggered by your operating system when it encounters a problem that cannot be solved by normal means. Read our in-depth article about the causes of BSoD.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2016 and was revamped and updated in February 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

This post was written by Milan Stanojevic and was first posted to WindowsReport

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