How to Fix DPC Watchdog Violation Error in Windows 10

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dpc watchdog violation

DPC Watchdog Violation is a common error that Windows 10 users might encounter. This error, which appears as a blue screen of death (BSOD), can be frustrating and disruptive. It usually indicates that your system is having trouble processing certain operations. 

Fortunately, there are several methods for fixing this error. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to resolve the DPC Watchdog Violation error in Windows 10.

What is the DPC Watchdog Violation Error

The DPC Watchdog Violation error occurs when the system’s watchdog timer detects a Deferred Procedure Call (DPC) or interrupt service routine (ISR) running for too long. This can be caused by hardware incompatibility, outdated drivers, or software conflicts.

Common Causes

  • Outdated or incompatible drivers
  • Hardware compatibility issues
  • Software conflicts
  • Corrupted system files

Steps to Fix the Error

Follow these steps to troubleshoot and correct the DPC Watchdog Violation error:

1. Update Drivers

Outdated or incompatible drivers commonly cause the DPC Watchdog Violation error. Updating your drivers can often resolve the issue.

  • Press the Windows key + X and select “Device Manager.”
  • In Device Manager, look for any devices with a yellow triangle next to them. These devices may have driver issues.
  • Right-click on the device and select “Update driver.”
  • Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” and follow the on-screen instructions.

2. Check for Hardware Compatibility

Ensure that all your hardware components are compatible with Windows 10. Sometimes, older hardware may not be fully supported, causing the DPC Watchdog Violation error.

  • Visit the manufacturer’s website for your hardware components.
  • Check if there are any known compatibility issues or updates available for your hardware.

3. Run a Full System Scan

Malware and corrupted system files can also cause the DPC Watchdog Violation error. Running a full system scan can help identify and fix these issues.

  • Open Windows Security by pressing the Windows key + I, then going to “Update & Security” > “Windows Security.”
  • Select “Virus & threat protection.”
  • Click “Quick scan” or “Full scan” to check your system for malware.

4. Check Disk for Errors

Disk errors can lead to the DPC Watchdog Violation error. Checking your disk for errors and repairing them can help fix the problem.

  • Open Command Prompt as an administrator by pressing the Windows key + X and selecting “Command Prompt (Admin).”
  • Type chkdsk /f /r  and press Enter.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to schedule a disk check on the next restart.
  • Restart your computer to allow the disk check to run.

5. Run System File Checker (SFC)

Corrupted system files can cause various errors, including the DPC Watchdog Violation. Running the System File Checker tool can help repair these files.

  • Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  • Wait for the scan to complete and follow any instructions to fix the errors.

6. Update Windows

Keeping your Windows operating system up to date is essential for system stability and security. Updates often include fixes for known issues, including the DPC Watchdog Violation error.

  • Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.
  • Go to “Update & Security” > “Windows Update.”
  • Click “Check for updates” and install any available updates.
  • Restart your computer to apply the updates.

7. Change SATA AHCI Controller Driver

Sometimes, the DPC Watchdog Violation error can be related to the SATA AHCI controller driver. Changing this driver can help resolve the issue.

  • Press the Windows key + X and select “Device Manager.”
  • Expand the “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers” section.
  • Right-click on the SATA AHCI controller and select “Update driver.”
  • Choose “Browse my computer for driver software” and then “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.”
  • Select “Standard SATA AHCI Controller” and click “Next.”
  • Restart your computer.

8. Perform a Clean Boot

A clean boot helps eliminate software conflicts by starting Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This can help identify if third-party software is causing the DPC Watchdog Violation error.

  • Press the Windows key + R, type msconfig, and press Enter.
  • Go to the “Services” tab and check “Hide all Microsoft services.”
  • Click “Disable all.”
  • Go to the “Startup” tab and click “Open Task Manager.”
  • Disable startup items.
  • Close Task Manager and click “OK” in the System Configuration window.
  • Restart your computer.

9. Reset or Reinstall Windows

If none of these solutions work, consider reinstalling or resetting Windows. This should be a last resort, as it will remove all your files and installed applications.

  • Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.
  • Go to “Update & Security” > “Recovery.”
  • Under “Reset this PC,” click “Get started” and follow the instructions to reset your system.

Conclusion

The DPC Watchdog Violation error in Windows 10 can be frustrating, but following the steps outlined above can resolve the issue and get your system running smoothly again. 

Whether you update drivers, check for hardware compatibility, or run system scans, these methods should help you identify and fix the problem. If the issue persists, seek professional assistance to ensure your system is healthy.

Some Questions

What causes the DPC Watchdog Violation error?

The error is usually caused by outdated or incompatible drivers, hardware compatibility issues, software conflicts, or corrupted system files.

Can updating drivers fix the DPC Watchdog Violation error?

Yes, updating drivers can often resolve the issue. Ensure all your drivers are current, especially those for your graphics card and storage devices.

What should I do if the error persists after trying all the fixes?

If the error continues, consider performing a clean boot or resetting Windows. If these steps do not help, seek professional assistance to diagnose and fix the problem.

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