Symptoms

A blue screen error might occur in Windows 10 while transferring files over a high-speed network, including 5G cellular networks, at speeds over 1.5 gigabits per second (Gbps) when the network interface card driver is based on the NetAdapter Class Extension (NetAdpaterCX) model.

Some blue screen errors that have been reported in this scenario include:

  • PFN_REFERENCE_COUNT (0x0000001C)

  • KERNEL_MODE_HEAP_CORRUPTION (0x0000013A)

  • SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (0x0000007E)

Most high-speed network scenarios, including streaming high-resolution videos or games or downloading files, are usually run at speeds below 1.0 Gbps and are not affected by this problem.  However, file transfer speeds over 1.5 Gbps can be attained in scenarios designed to maximize speed, such as when performing a speed test over a 5G cellular network. 

Cause

Received packets are handled in batches, and when those batches are large enough, one layer in the network stack splits them into sub-batches, with their state cached across the sub-batches. Due to a known issue of Windows, the cached state can become invalid.

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows 10 and are working on releasing a solution in a future Windows update.

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