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A step by step and useful guide to fix DPC Watchdog Violation (error code:  DPC_Watchdog_Violation) error on your Windows desktop or laptop.

If you are using Windows computer, especially Windows 8 / 8.1 and Windows 10, you may know about the DPC Watchdog Violation error as it has been becoming one of the most common errors in the Windows platform.

If this error is occurring on your Windows computer, you are not alone because I have received many reports from users who faced this issue before. So what the DPC Watchdog Violation error is and how to fix this annoying problem?

DPC Watchdog Violation

What Is DPC Watchdog Violation Error?

DPC Watchdog Violation (error code: DPC_Watchdog_Violation) is a common issue in the Windows operating system. It’s occurred due to some specific reasons, like unsupported SSD firmware, old SSD driver version, hardware incompatibility issues, or system files are corrupted.

By that, if you are using an SSD on your Windows computer, the first thing you need to check is the firmware version of the SSD and make sure it’s up to date.

Also, to eliminate incompatible hardware issues, remove any hardware from your computer that you think they are the problems, especially any new hardware that you have recently plugged in the computer, and then later, this error appears.

How To Fix DPC Watchdog Violation Error?

As I mentioned above, I have received many reports from users who faced this issue before. I have suggested a few ways to the readers to fix the same problem, and it’s very helpful. So, I have made this list with useful methods that may work for you to fix the DPC Watchdog Violation error on your Windows computer.

A few other articles you might want to read:

Remove All Connected External Devices

Before going further or applying any other methods, please remove or disconnect all external devices that plugging onto your Windows PC, except keyboard and mouse to see whether the issue persists or not.

Those devices could be an external hard drive, external solid-state drive, printer, or scanner. Once those devices removed and the problem is gone, then definitely one of those devices cause the error. To determine which one caused the BSOD error, connect one device at a time to check.

Update Firmware Of Your Solid State Drive

In case you use solid-state drive (SSD) on your computer, I would recommend you to download the latest firmware version of it from manufacturer’s website and update your SSD. Sometimes, your Windows can’t handle your SSD correctly until the firmware is updated.

To find out the model number of your SSD, following these instructions:

  1. Press Windows + E to launch File Explorer
  2. Look at the left sidebar, right-click on My Computer and choose Manage. It could have a different name, such as This PC, depending on the version of Windows you are using.
  3. In the Computer Management window, look at the left sidebar and choose Device Manager.
  4. From the list of Disk drives, you can find out the type of SSD you are using, plus the model number.

Find out SSD model number in Windows

After determining the model number of SSD, go to manufacturer’s website, search for the new version of firmware if available, then download and update for your SSD.

Update SSD Firmware Version

Check Corrupted System Files On Your Windows

Corrupted system files are one of many reasons that lead to this Blue Screen error. In order to fix the DPC_Watchdog_Violation error on your Windows computer, you should check and verify Windows system files to make sure they are not corrupted. If there were any problems with those files, the process will fix them automatically.

To get started, open the Command Prompt program with administrative privileges. Next, in the Command Prompt program window, type:

CHKDSK C: /F /R

and then press Enter.

chkdsk

Because the currently drive C:\ is using by Windows system, that’s why the “Check Disk” process can’t start. It will ask you to schedule the checking in the next time when your computer reboots. If you agree, type Y and then press Enter.

After that, restart your computer.

Your Windows computer will be rebooted, and start to verify the system files. It might take a while to complete. Please do not turn off the computer while it’s checking and verifying.

Scan And Fix System Files

Sometimes, scanning and fixing Windows system files will help to fix DPC Watchdog Violation error on your computer. In order to scan and fix system files, open the Command Prompt program as an administrator.

Next, please type the following command in Command Prompt:

SFC /scannow

and then press Enter.

It will automatically scan and fix errors in your Windows system. Wait for the process is completed and then restart your computer.

SFC /scannow

Use BlueScreenView To Find Out The Cause

When the DPC Watchdog Violation occurs on your Windows PC, there was a minidump file that was created and stored at C:\Windows\Minidump folder. The information is also available in the Event Viewer, including the STOP code and other parameters.

For reading this information easier, you can download BlueScreenView from Nirsoft to load, view and diagnose what is the cause that stands behind this BSOD error.

Use BlueScreenViewer to find cause of DPC Watchdog Violation BSOD error

The software is very easy to use. All you need to do is that download, install and then use. It will automatically search for the minidump file and display the result to you. Based on the result, you will know which is the reason of the DPC Watchdog Violation BSOD error. From that, it’s easier to find a right solution to troubleshoot.

Restore Your Windows System To Fix DPC_Watchdog_Violation Error

If all methods above can’t help you solve the DPC_Watchdog_Violation issue, then I would suggest you restore your Windows system.

First, turn your computer into Safe mode, and then restore your computer back to the previous restore point. If you don’t know how to use “Windows System Restore” to restore your computer back to the work point, then I have written another article to tell you how to do that. It’s a step by step article which you can read it here. Or you can reset your computer with these steps, make it be a fresh installed Windows computer without any error.

You could also repair your Windows computer with the bootable DVD/USB flash drive that contains Windows .ISO image file.

Unable To Boot Up Your PC When Getting DPC Watchdog Violation BSOD Error?

Instead of successfully accessing your Windows PC after getting this Blue Screen of Death error, your computer sometimes puts itself in a loop:

Boot up -> Display BSOD error -> Restart -> Repeat

So, if you want to get rid of the DPC Watchdog Violation error, you have to do it in Windows Safe Mode.

How To Access Safe Mode In Windows 7

To access Safe Mode in Windows 7, press F8 immediately after your PC is restarted or powered on. I often press F8 when I hear the “beep” sound, and I press it several times.

In the Advanced Boot Options menu, use the up & down arrow keys to select the mode you want to access: Safe Mode, or Safe Mode with Networking. Then press Enter.

Advanced Boot Options - Windows 7

How To Access Safe Mode In Windows 10

To access Safe Mode in Windows 10, you need to prepare a Windows installation media and then boot up from it. It could be a DVD installation or a USB bootable device.

Note: This method is only used when you are getting a BSOD error, and it prevents you from accessing your PC. If you can access your computer normally, then there are some other easier ways to access Safe Mode.

After booting up from it, choose “Repair my computer” -> “Troubleshoot” -> “Advanced options” -> “Startup Settings“.

Next, choose “Restart” and then press F5 to access Safe Mode with Networking mode. You can choose other options that fit your needs.

Access Safe Mode in Windows 10

Updated Tips

Update #1: According to a few unconfirmed reports from users, after turning off/disabling AVG antivirus software, this BSOD error is no longer occur. I   haven’t tested this solution yet because I wasn’t in the exact situation. I also don’t know the relation between this error and AVG antivirus yet. So this is just a reference tip.

Updated #2:

Many users reported after reinstalling the display driver that the DPC Watchdog Violation error is fixed. So, you want to try, boot up your PC to Safe Mode.

After that, open Device Manager, and then locate and expand the Display adapters option. Choose your display adapter and then right-click on it and select Uninstall.

In the next step, check the “Delete the driver software for this device” checkbox and then click the “OK” button.

Then reboot your Windows PC, but in normal mode and install the display driver. If you are using Windows 10, it will do it automatically with an Internet connection.

Updated #3:

Update Chipset Driver To Fix DPC Watchdog Violation Error In Windows 10

When you upgrade from Windows 7, or Windows 8, 8.1 to Windows 10, sometimes, you may get this annoying BSOD error. It occurs because of the iaStorA.sys driver that isn’t fully compatible with Windows 10.

To resolve this BSOD error, you can replace that problematic driver with the storahci.sys driver from Microsoft. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Press Windows + X and then press M to bring up Device Manager.

Locate and expand the “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers” option on the list.

Right-click on the “Standard SATA AHCI Controller” or any other controller that has “SATA AHCI” in the name.

Note: To verify that you have chosen the correct one, click on the Driver tab -> Driver details. If the iaStorA.sys is on the list, then you have selected correctly.

In the Properties of Standard SATA AHCI Controller, select the Driver tab, and choose “Update Driver…” option.

Next, choose “Browse my computer for driver software” option and then select, “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer“.

Select “Standard SATA AHCI Controller“, click on the “Next” button, and then restart your Windows 10 PC.

Is the problem resolved yet?

[alert-note]I will keep update the article with more useful tips. The best way is to locate your minidump file, compress and upload to a cloud service like Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box.net and then leave your comment below, plus the download link. I will start analyze the file and post back the result with recommended solutions, if available.[/alert-note]

I hope these methods will help you fix DPC Watchdog Violation error (with error code: DPC_Watchdog_Violation) on your computer. If you have any questions about this guide or still can’t fix the problem, leave your comment below.

Show Comments

65 Replies to “How To Fix DPC Watchdog Violation Error In Windows”

  1. Tom says:

    I have done all the steps listed above, and almost daily my computer gets this error. This is a new phenomenom, within the past two or three weeks. Everything was fine before then. I have not added any hardware to my system.

    1. Tony Tran says:

      Do you use solid state drive (SSD)? If yes, have you tried to update the firmware of it?

      1. Tom says:

        My computer is about 10 years old. Don’t have an SSD. Like I said, this is something recent. I haven’t changed anything on the computer. It seems to have started after the last Windows Update.

        1. Tony Tran says:

          I would suggest you try to scan your system files to find any corruption files by using above methods. If you are unable to access your Windows PC via normal mode, try access it through Safe Mode. Sometimes, corrupted system files can cause this problem.

          In case you have enabled Windows System Restore before, just use it to restore your computer back to previous working point.

          1. Tom says:

            I’ve run sfc, scannow, and gone to a system restore point. It must be something else, unless Windows Update reloaded updates after I went back to a system restore point.

          2. Tony Tran says:

            Then try disable Windows Update temporarily and try it again.

    2. Craig says:

      Same. Every day I get this. I’m trying this method above to see if it will fix it. I haven’t changed anything on my system. My computer is older too. Never had any issues until Windows10 and all the automated update crap.

      1. Tony Tran says:

        If you are using Windows 10, you should try to restore your Windows back to previous working points, or reset it in case methods above can’t help.

        1. Tom says:

          I’m not sure if I have found a possible problem and wanted to update on my previous posting, but for some reason I couldn’t post a reply there. I was away for the weekend, and got the bsod once. My daughter turned the computer back on, and it hasn’t experienced it again. The only difference between then and what I experience is that I am using Google Chrome, and I’ve got about multiple (sometimes up to six) different tabs running. When she turned it back on, she didn’t restore the Chrome tabs. I’m wondering if there’s some issue between Chrome and this bsod, or if for some reason it’s happening because I max out on memory and CPU. Do you know of any issue with keeping Chrome running? Also, this has not happened on my laptop, and I do the same thing there (multiple Chrome tabs) when I’m using it, it’s also about five years old, and it’s got all the updates.

          1. Tony Tran says:

            Most cases, this type of BSOD errors isn’t related to Google Chrome at all.

            However, some rare cases, when you hit restore previous tabs in Google Chrome, it can’t read the saved data on the hard drive properly, which can cause this issue.

            Have you resolved this problem yet? Does it repeat?

          2. Tom says:

            I can’t reply under you. It has not happened again, but I just got home yesterday, and didn’t start using the computer until this morning. Restoring the tabs is not the problem; I’ve been working a couple hours with the restored tabs and more tabs running. It normally takes a long time of inactivity (like overnight) for this to happen. It’s only happened to me once when I was actually using the computer.

          3. Tom says:

            It happened again. After a couple days of no issues, it went bsod. The only difference? Multiple Google Chrome tabs running. I will get rid of most of them today before I go to work, and will see what happens while I’m gone.

          4. Tony Tran says:

            How is your computer?

            Without the computer in front of me, I can’t help you to fix. I can only give a few common methods that you can use to resolve it.

            Can you export the BSOD logs and send it to me?

  2. Andie says:

    Im doing this right now and is stuck on 11% HELP

    1. Tony Tran says:

      Can you tell me which method you were using?

  3. bonnie says:

    will affect my installed file?

    1. Tony Tran says:

      Can you explain a bit further about your situation?

  4. Parth says:

    Stuck at 11℅ since an hour.

    Method : CHKDSK C: /F /R

    Help needed ASAP

    1. Tony Tran says:

      CHKDSK sometimes takes a lot of time to complete. You should wait 🙂

      1. Dev says:

        Absolutely the right thing to do here mine was stuck at 13 % for roughly 3 hours and it went through after clearing bad sectors on the HD watchdog violation was cleared after this

        1. Tony Tran says:

          So have you resolved your problem yet?

    2. Bruce Lightfoot says:

      if chkdsk hits a bad sector, it will retry it multiple times in an attempt to read the data there. The purpose is to recover as much of the data in a damaged sector as possible and copy it to a good location for possible recovery and use later before locking out those bad sectors so that additional new data will not be written to a bad area. There are a lot of places to check – a terabyte drive has (approximately) 1,000,000,000 bytes of data made up of 8 bits each – and (I may be wrong here because it has been 50 years since I took that course) each one has to be checked individually and then as a group. I suggest you do not try counting that high!

      In some instances there will be quite a few sectors that have been damaged (perhaps because a bit of smoke, dust, or other material got between the read/write head and the platter and essentially plowed a furrow along the path of the head) and chkdsk has to try to recover each of these sectors / locations sequentially. If the data there is important, the time taken to do the most effective data recovery is your friend. Only when chkdsk reports there are too many bad sectors to recover in a reasonable time should you be concerned. Then it is time to add the drive to a working system and copy off as much as you can before it is too late.

  5. Rosie says:

    I, too, have an older computer (2009) and have not added any hardware. I never had this problem until a few weeks ago when apparently Microsoft hijacked my computer for a huge Win 10 upgrade. I have tried to do the CHKD5K as above. However, it says I cannot as I am not the administrator, which I am. Next?

    1. Tony Tran says:

      To run the CHKDSK command with administrator privilege, you need to run Command Prompt as an Administrator. To do so, press Windows + X, then press A.

  6. TSVI says:

    I tried all methods and it didn’t work out for me. Configured my windows 10 to start in safe mode but now it never passes the start screen and I don’t know how to go back to normal mode.

  7. Rosie says:

    Thanks! That one slipped by me. Got chkdsk scheduled.
    Rosie

  8. j winters says:

    same problem. daily dpc violation error. computer running win 10 fine until after win 10 1607 update applied. confirmed this by backing off to an image before 1607 applied and problem went away. occurs daily. checked all the items I’ve found on internet (no ssd, no trackpad, chkdsk, sfc check, etc. all show no problems. Microsoft support tried to look at it twice and finally said only options are to backoff to 8.1 by rebuilding computer or back off to win 10 version 1511 (last version before 1607 anniversary update) and turn off win update.
    tried to find scheduled tasks but there are sooo many windows task I don’t know which to try and stop. event logs and system logs posted after errors occurred but no responses re: if they showed anything to target to fix. very disappointed I may have to return to win 8.1 so I can keep my system secure with win update. hope someone can come up with a way to either trap the cause or revise the timing to stop the error from occurring.

    1. Tony Tran says:

      I think the problem came from something else, it’s not a fault of 1607 Aniversary Updata at all. I’m currently using this pack and so far so good. Have you tried to reset your Windows 10 yet?

  9. jwinters says:

    thanks for the reply.

    it sure is interesting that the problem went away as soon as I backed off of 1607 (I took an image just before that update applied). I, too, am running 1607 on other computers and they don’t have this problem. reinstalling 1607 on this hp a1720n computer with plenty of disk and and memory space has RESULTED IN THE DAILY RECURRENCE OF THIS ERROR. Others have similar issues from what I see around the internet. Can you suggest some way to get Microsoft attention on this issue. It appears it is being ignored. I’d really like to avoid having to completely reset and rebuild my computer. It has taken a long time to get all the settings, etc. set and I don’t want to lose them and have to rebuild it all.
    what do you mean reset win 10? go back to day one win 10 without all the updates that have applied since then? I’ve run chkdsk, sfc, checked event and system logs, changed monitors, all to no avail.

  10. j winters says:

    I disagree. all indications are that the issue began and continues with the install of 1607. it goes away if you back off to just prior to install of 1607.

  11. Tapio says:

    Tried most of the software methods described on this page. Finally, as a ultimate step of desperation, a reinstallation of win10 . The DPC watchdog violation error (0x00000133) persisted. Wasted a number of hours to accomplish nothing but lot of fuzz. Apparently something in the hardware? Tried a silly removal and reseating of the RAM-capsules (took 5-10 minutes to do) and the watchdog is seemingly happy ever since. Should have started with the last step.

  12. Kenia says:

    I have a pretty new laptop (bought it in July of 2016) so it’s been pretty well updated. This keeps happening and my computer is also freezing, so I don’t know what to do, other than return it

    1. Tony Tran says:

      Have you installed any programs or drivers lately?

      1. Kenia says:

        Yes, Spotify, iTunes, sims 4, I downloaded chrome and Mozilla from internet explorer, Hulu and Netflix from the App Store. I’m not sure what a driver is but now it’s worse and the majority of the time it won’t let me on for more than a minute without it freaking or freezing.

        1. Tony Tran says:

          Can you upload the dump file and send to me?

          1. Kenia says:

            I’m not very texh savvy so I wouldn’t know how to do that

          2. Tony Tran says:

            It often stores at C:\windows\Minidump

  13. Bruce Lightfoot says:

    There are several threads on MS Technet that all agree the problem started with the 1607 update and i have two systems in front of me now that confirm this. In my case, the issue is with the SATA drivers for the drive controller chipset on the motherboard. This is not fixable unless MS patches or undoes whatever changed in this area between 1511 and 1607 or the chipset provider issues a firmware patch. So far, neither is forthcoming. Since this issue is appearing in systems from a variety of OEMs and board manufacturers, and MS does not look kindly upon a request for a win 10 license transfer from one mobo to another, we are at the mercy of MS and hardware vendors who have little interest in systems over 18 month old, although KENIA’s experience indicates this affects both old and new systems.

    For now, I just keep as little open at a time as possible when my systems have been running for 24hours, 16 minutes and 33 seconds because within a second or two that is when the system freezes and goes belly up. I am sure that due to system architecture and personal habits other systems will have different times, but I have seen lots of reports in the 24 hour 15 minute +/- range.

    In one instance I have run a trial, and get the same results on a system with only a clean ISO install of Win 10 Pro on a new drive. This points pretty squarely at 1607 as the culprit in my book. I am not sure if it will work to go out and buy a PCIe SATA card and hopefully bypass the chipset on the MOBO. I am considering an 8-port card for about $80 on A, since I am running 7 HDDs (11+ TB total) for my own use. Folks with a laptop are probably stuck for now.

    I sure hope this is not a “plot” to ramp up holiday season PC sales!

  14. Tony Tran says:

    Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

  15. Lyle Stephens says:

    Bruce, I have the identical problem with the identical timing.

    Tony, how do we get Microsoft to give a shit?

    1. Tony Tran says:

      Hi Lyle,

      I don’t understand your question!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Visitor Rating: 2 Stars

  17. Lizzy Robot says:

    The same thing as happened to the other commenters happened to me. My computer was running fine, then installed an update November 1st, and computer totally tanked.

    Tried reinstalling the OS on a freshly formatted HD, and the problem is still happening. Clearly something about this Windows update caused a problem with some preexisting hardware. Microsoft has still not rolled out a fix! This is insane! I had a functioning computer, and because of Windows 10 forced updates, I can’t use my computer (which I need for work!) for any length of time because it crashes every 30-90 minutes!

    This is an absolute disaster. Microsoft is doing nothing. I repeat, I had a fully functional computer, installed one lousy upgrade (which I put off installing for a bit, so it’s the same upgrade people were installing October when they started getting this issue) and now I can’t make my living. I’ve lost money on lost wages and paying for computer repairs that do nothing, because even if I restore my computer back before the update, Windows 10 forces the update to install again.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

  19. Azam Jauhari says:

    My laptop poppin a message that says I can’t access after entering CHKDSK C: /F /R

    1. Tony Tran says:

      Can you explain further the situation that you get this message?

      1. Azam Jauhari says:

        It’s said that I don’t have sufficient privileges to access

        1. Tony Tran says:

          You mean access to Windows or access to Command Prompt?

          In case you can’t access to Windows, can you tell me which version of Windows you are using?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

  21. Edin says:

    Stop code:DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION

  22. Martin says:

    Installed 1607 just now (I disable updates and update manually) and that BSOD just startet popping up. I would be surprised if it is not from the update

    1. Tony Tran says:

      I would recommend you to uninstall the update to check if it’s the cause or something else.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

  24. Muiz says:

    if nvidia laptop is on and when I would play games always bluescreen.but if nvidia my laptop is not activated and when I would play the game do not appear bluescreen.why?

    1. Tony Tran says:

      Can you explain simpler? I don’t really understand what you were saying.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

  26. Anonymous says:

    Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

  27. Bill Richards says:

    Tony T– I also have been thru heck with the new update. Talked to Tech support in India and ended up upgrading to Win10 Pro. And guess what: it still happens. I have a laptop with Win10 home and the main computer with Pro and this is the worst thing I have dealt with sine the first WinDos (a few years ago). I have run the scndsk and scannow, have tried a repair program, but, I can sit here with computer on, nothing open, and boom, blue screen. And the it reboots to start screen, and reboots from that. Over and over. This is absolutely maddening. I don’t want to put in a new hard drive and load win10 to it, but that may be next step. No external drives, no “new” hardware not programs. I do use NVIDIA, and new monitor board and current software. Except for getting a new mother board, or completely new computer, this is ridiculous. I go to event viewer but can find nothing specific for bsod. Very frustrating.

    1. Tony Tran says:

      Can you upload the minidump file to Dropbox or any cloud service and then send the link to me? I will help to analyze it to find the cause.

  28. Diane says:

    My stop code error (Windows) happened while AVG was trying to update.
    I have lost many services, cannot access network because there is nothing there when I go to Network Connections.
    I really can’t do much of anything. I can still access my files locally.
    I just do not know what to do.
    This version of Windows 10 was the free upgrade from Windows 7 offered by microsoft. This was over a year ago.

    1. Tony Tran says:

      I’m confused. You are getting DPC Watchdog Violation error or something else?

  29. j says:

    just got this error, cause was a bluetooth headset that was plugged in to charge…

    1. Tony Tran says:

      Have you resolved it yet? If it was fixed, can you share more details to help others when they face the same situation like you.

      If it wasn’t fixed yet, post back more details so I can assist 🙂

  30. andre says:

    but i cant get that far .. i cant leave the booting part

  31. scott says:

    I have a Dell XPS13 9360 that i bought a year ago and almost immediately started getting this message every 45min to 2 hr. I opened multiple tickets with tech support to try to troubleshoot, all to no avail. We removed the OS and reinstalled and that didn’t work, updated drivers, etc. Eventually i removed windows and loaded Ubuntu and I’m obviously not getting the exact same error message, but the computer will still enter what i imagine to be the BSOD equivalent where the text gets extremely small and it looks like its printing the name of every file on the computer from a command-like window. My warranty ends next month so i’m sending in to Dell tech depot for a diagnostic and repair. I hate that i spent so much for a top of the line laptop only to fast forward one year later and not have a reliable machine. The reason i waited so long is because i wanted them to send me a brand new replacement rather than open it up and repair the one i had – making it essentially a $2k refurbished machine. They said no to that, so my last option is just to take them up on a repair before the warranty expires. I know its two years after the article was published but thought i’d share.

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