The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.

How To Fix The system_thread_exception_not_handled ( athwbx.sys ) Error

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, I upgraded my computer from Windows 8 64 bit to Windows 8.1 and ever since it has been restarting with a blue screen. The error reads: system_thread_exception_not_handled (athwbx.sys). Please help!“ - Paul Y., New Zealand

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP and 2000 – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer: This error has many different possible causes so it has a few different solutions as well. In this blog post we will look at how the system_thread_exception_not_handled (athwbx.sys) error can be resolved.


Athwbx.sys is a .sys file related to the driver software of Qualcomm Atheros Network Adapters. The problem occurs when Windows loads or due to certain functions that use the network driver. As a result, the computer crashes while showing a blue screen with one of these error messages:

  • IRQL_NOT_LESS_EQUAL – athwbx.sys


Some causes of these errors are:

  • Attempt to access the corrupt or damaged driver of the network adapter.
  • Damaged Windows system files.
  • Complications in the Windows registry.
  • Damaged network hardware or other damaged hardware.


Here are some ways to resolve athwbx.sys relate errors:

Update Or Reinstall The Device Driver

There is a good chance that the problem is solely driver related. Follow these instructions to update the network driver.

  1. Use Windows Key+X > click Device Manager
    athwbx.sys -  Windows Key + X -  Device Manager -- Windows Wally
  2. Here you will see a list of all devices installed on the computer. Click the arrow next to Network Adapters.
    athwbx.sys - Device Manager - Network Adapters -- Windows Wally
  3. Right-click the name of the device and click Update Driver Software…
    athwbx.sys - Device Manager - Network Adapters - 2 -- Windows Wally
  4. Windows will search for driver updates and install the new driver if it is available. You can also delete device drivers from here if no driver updates were found.

The problem with this method is that you need to go looking for device drivers every time. It is much easier to use a driver utility like DriverDoc that automatically notifies you when a new driver is available.

Scan Your Computer For Corrupt System Files

  1. Press Windows Key+X
  2. Click Command Prompt (Admin) and type sfc /scannow > Press Enter
  3. Wait for the scan to end.
    athwbx.sys - sfc scannow - 2 -- Windows Wally

Fix The Windows Registry

Blue screen errors like this can result from problems in the Windows registry. Fixing the registry using a known and reliable registry cleaning software can help solve this and other such problems in the future.

Install Windows Updates To Fix Athwbx.sys

Chances are that Microsoft has already fixed this issue in a Windows update. Here’s how to use Windows Update:

  1. Press the Windows Key > type Windows Update > Click Windows Update
    athwbx.sys - Metro - search - Windows update -- Windows Wally
  2. In the Windows Update window, click Check for updates
    athwbx.sys - Windows update - check for updates -- Windows Wally
  3. Click Install updates and follow instructions.

Reinstall Windows Using Windows 8 Reset And Refresh

Windows 8 enables you to reinstall it really fast. This can be used to get rid of most software related problems. This sort of thing should only be done when no other solution is left. Click here to learn how to perform Windows Reset and Refresh to fix athwbx.sys errors.

I Hope You Liked This Blog Article! If You Need Additional Support on This Issue Then Please Don’t Hesitate To Contact Me On Facebook.

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

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About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.