Driver cannot load (rtkiow10x64.sys*) on Windows 11

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Yesterday, Oct. 28, 2021, my PC installed Windows 11 via auto-update (not user-initiated). So, I expected few, if any, issues upon installation. But there is one: "A driver cannot load on this device" error occurs during every bootup. Driver: rtkiow10x64.sys. My PC is about one year old, and passes the Windows 11 compatibility test from Microsoft. The PC is a Lenovo ThinkCentre M75q-1 model with processor AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400ge (has four cores, etc.). I'm hoping that a future Windows update will fix the problem (i.e., provide a new driver or remove the driver from the blocked list, for example). I have confirmed the driver is currently on the blocked list, but I do not know why; I didn't add it.

2 Replies
Hello, the problem should be resolved when the updated Realtek drivers are installed. I know that the rtkiow10x64.sys problem is caused by the sound driver.

@techworm  Hello,

Indeed, the driver is from Realtek, but research shows that the rtkiow10x64 driver is associated with the application Realtek DASH Client Service. (Realtek makes H/W and S/W for a number of I/O-related areas, including audio, Ethernet, COM ports, and USB ports.) The program and driver in question allow remote control of a PC and records keystrokes, etc. It is potentially malicious, and is automatically listed in the block list for drivers in Windows 11. The driver itself may be properly signed, but red flags for me are: 1) the remote control of PC potential, 2) Realtek is based in Tiawan; I'm in the U.S., and 3) Realtek has e-mail-only tech support (in Canada for North America) and they did not respond to my e-mailed question about it.

So, I used WIndows' Uninstall utility to remove the program Realtek DASH Client Service. Now, it no longer appears in WIndows' Task Manager list. But the best part is that the "driver fail to load" error upon startup no longer occurs. For anyone reading this: Please ensure that no app on your PC needs this service before uninstalling it. I think this is a better solution than just suppressing the error message per the error dialog option; it's more secure now.