System Service Exception Caused By wdfilter.sys


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The Problem:


I've just built the above computer. I have the Windows Installation Tool on a USB drive, and I boot to that and install it. After the restart during installation, it boots up to a BSOD that states "System Service Exception" caused by WdFilter.sys. I can't get into Windows at all, only my BIOS and the USB Windows Installation. From what I understand, this is a Windows Defender process, but like I said I can't get into Windows to disable it or update my drivers or anything.

What I've done to try to fix it:

I've tried to install Windows many times now - even recreating the USB Installation Tool from scratch on my other computer. I've also tried to install without my Graphics Card connected, just using the onboard graphics in case it was a graphics driver incompatibility issue. I've updated to the latest BIOS. I'm really not sure what else to try without being able to get onto Windows to update my drivers or disable Defender.

This has really been bothering me trying to think of a solution, any help is GREATLY appreciated. Thank you!
 
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Ian

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Welcome to the forums @CraigCorb!

Are you using a recently created version of the USB installation tool? It looks like this is a common problem with some of the latest "Insider" builds, so I just wanted check check when you made the boot USB.

If you happen to have an older build of Windows 10, it may be worth installing from that version.

Alternatively, you could try booting to a command prompt/Linux Live and delete the "wdfilter.sys" file from the following locations and see if it completes the install (you can repair/recover these files after installation is complete):
  • C:\Windows\System32\drivers
  • C:\Windows\System32\drivers\wd
You could also try disabling your network adaptor and any other non-essential hardware during installation to see if that is enough to prevent this error from occurring.
 
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Welcome to the forums @CraigCorb!

Are you using a recently created version of the USB installation tool? It looks like this is a common problem with some of the latest "Insider" builds, so I just wanted check check when you made the boot USB.

If you happen to have an older build of Windows 10, it may be worth installing from that version.

Alternatively, you could try booting to a command prompt/Linux Live and delete the "wdfilter.sys" file from the following locations and see if it completes the install (you can repair/recover these files after installation is complete):
  • C:\Windows\System32\drivers
  • C:\Windows\System32\drivers\wd
You could also try disabling your network adaptor and any other non-essential hardware during installation to see if that is enough to prevent this error from occurring.
Thank you and thanks for your reply!

I've flashed it onto my USB stick three times now, each time from this page in the past two days, so a very recent build but I don't believe it's an Insider build.

Unfortunately, now I can't even boot the USB installation tool anymore. It loads for a few seconds, then quickly flashes a blue screen and the computer restarts. I tried reflashing the Windows installation onto the USB again thinking it got corrupted, and it still crashes.

I like the sound of your idea here. I think when I get home from work I'll try to boot to Linux. That way, if it works I know it's a Windows problem, otherwise I'll know it's a hardware problem and then start troubleshooting my new hardware. Hopefully it's the first one, but either way I'll post an update as soon as I try that. Thanks again.
 
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Ian

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Good luck :). If it's not even booting to the installer now, I'd also try another USB stick to rule that out as a problem.
 
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Good luck :). If it's not even booting to the installer now, I'd also try another USB stick to rule that out as a problem.
Good idea, I'll pick one up on the way home. Fingers crossed it's not a hardware problem!
 

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