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Solved : DPC Watchdog Violation Error on Windows 10

Getting DPC Watchdog Violation error after Windows 10 update or after installing a new device or third-party application? It typically appears as a blue screen error (BSOD) and is often accompanied by an error message indicating that your system ran into a problem and needs to restart. This error is related to your computer’s hardware and software interaction and is primarily caused by issues with Deferred Procedure Calls (DPCs). Let’s understand the dpc_watchdog_violation error, the reason behind it, and solutions to fix dpc watchdog violation on Windows 10.

What is DPC Watchdog Violation on Windows 10?

DPC stands for Deferred Procedure Call And watchdog is an electronic timer that is used to detect and recover from computer malfunctions. During normal operation, the computer regularly resets the watchdog timer to prevent it from elapsing, or “timing out”. The DPC_watchdog_violation error indicates that the watchdog detects a DPC running too long. So it stops your process to avoid corrupting data or damaging your computer.

Causes of DPC Watchdog Violation Error:

  • Outdated or Incompatible Drivers: The most common cause of this error is outdated or incompatible drivers, especially those related to your computer’s storage controllers or network adapters.
  • Hardware Incompatibility: Certain hardware components might not be fully compatible with Windows 10, causing conflicts that lead to the DPC Watchdog Violation error.
  • Corrupted System Files: Corrupted or missing system files can also trigger this error, as they disrupt the proper functioning of DPCs.
  • Software Conflicts: Conflicts between third-party software or security programs and Windows 10 can contribute to the error.

Disconnect External Devices

Sometimes, the error can be triggered by conflicts or issues with external hardware devices, such as USB drives, printers, external hard drives, or other peripherals. Here’s how you can proceed.

Unplug any external devices that are connected to your computer, except for essential peripherals like the keyboard and mouse. This includes USB drives, printers, external storage, and any other devices.

After disconnecting the external devices, restart your computer. This will allow Windows to start without the potentially problematic external hardware.

Once your computer has restarted, observe if the dpc_watchdog_violation error still occurs. If the error no longer appears, it’s possible that one of the disconnected external devices was causing the issue.

Reconnect them one by one and restart your computer each time to identify the device causing dpc_watchdog_violation on Windows 10.

Start Windows Into Safe Mode

If Due to this DPC Watchdog Violation error, Windows restart frequently, starting Windows into Safe Mode can be a helpful step to troubleshoot and potentially resolve the issue.

Safe Mode loads Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services, which can help identify if the error is caused by a third-party driver or software conflict.

Safe Mode Boot to troubleshoot dpc watchdog violation

Update Device Drivers

Outdated or incompatible drivers can cause communication issues between hardware components and the operating system. The DPC Watchdog Violation error often occurs when a driver encounters a problem during a Deferred Procedure Call (DPC), which is a mechanism used by Windows to prioritize and manage tasks. Updating drivers ensures your hardware compatibility and stability for smooth DPC execution.

Outdated or incompatible drivers are a common cause of the DPC Watchdog Violation error.

  • Right-click on the Start button and select “Device Manager.”
  • Expand categories like “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers” and “Network adapters.”
  • Right-click on each device and select “Update driver.”
  • Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” and follow the on-screen instructions.

IDE ATA ATAPI controllers Driver

Alternatively, you can manually download and install the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website.

Check Hardware Compatibility

Compatibility issues between hardware components and Windows 10 can lead to system conflicts and errors. Windows updates and software advancements can sometimes expose incompatibilities with older hardware. By checking for compatibility information and updating BIOS, you can ensure that your hardware components work seamlessly with the operating system. This helps prevent conflicts that might trigger the DPC Watchdog Violation error.

  • Visit the websites of your hardware manufacturers (motherboard, graphics card, etc.).
  • Look for compatibility information and any available updates or patches.
  • Check if there are BIOS updates that address compatibility issues.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to update your BIOS if needed, as incorrect BIOS updates can lead to further issues.

Run System File Checker (SFC) and DISM

Corrupted system files can disrupt the functioning of DPCs and other critical system processes. SFC and DISM are tools that scan and repair corrupted or missing system files. When these files are restored to their proper state, the operating system can execute tasks like DPCs without interruptions. By repairing the Windows image and system files, you address potential sources of the DPC Watchdog Violation error and promote system stability.

  • Open Command Prompt as an administrator by searching for “cmd” in the Start menu, right-clicking on “Command Prompt,” and selecting “Run as administrator.”
  • Run the command: sfc /scannow This command will scan and repair corrupted system files. Wait for the process to complete.

System file checker utility

  • If issues persist, run the command: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth This command will repair the Windows image using online resources.

Be patient, as this process may take some time, once done reboot your computer and check if this help fix dpc_watchdog_violation error on Windows 10.

Turn Off Fast Startup

Fast Startup is a feature in Windows that aims to reduce the time it takes for your computer to start up after being shut down. While Fast Startup can be beneficial in speeding up boot times, it has been known to cause compatibility issues and conflicts with certain hardware configurations, which can lead to errors like the DPC Watchdog Violation.

  • Press Windows key + R, type powercfg.cpl and click ok to open Power option window
  • Click on “Choose what the power buttons do” from the left sidebar.
  • Now click on Change Settings that are Currently Unavailable.
  • Here uncheck the Turn on Fast Startup option (recommended) As shown below image.

Fast Startup

Uninstall Problematic Software

Conflicts between third-party software and Windows 10 can interfere with system processes, including DPCs. Uninstalling recently installed or suspicious software removes potential sources of conflicts, reducing the likelihood of encountering the error. Safe Mode provides an environment with minimal drivers and processes, making it easier to uninstall software that might be causing issues in normal mode.

  • Right-click on the Start button and select “Apps and Features.”
  • Scroll through the list of installed applications and select the recently installed or suspicious software.
  • Click “Uninstall” and follow the prompts to remove the software.
  • Restart your computer to see if the error persists.

uninstall applications on windows 10

If you’re having trouble uninstalling software in normal mode, you can try Safe Mode.

Check Disk Drive For Errors

As discussed Before this BSOD mostly occurs due to incompatible Hardware. A problematic HDD Drive like Bed Sector or Disk error may Cause Different Blue Screen Errors to include DPC Watchdog Violation Errors. You Can Check the Disk Drive for errors using Windows CHKDSK Utility.

Note: CHKDSK command only Check Disk for Errors not fix them. For Error Fix purposes we need to Add some Extra parameters.

To get started, open the Command Prompt program with administrative privileges. Next, in the Command Prompt program window, type the below command and hit enter key to execute.


Check disk utility

Command Explained: Here CHKDSK command for Check Disk Driver. C: Letter is your Windows Installed drive letter. /F parameter Fixes errors on the disk. /R Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information and /X Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary.

As currently drive C:\ is used by the 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.

Check for Windows Updates

Windows updates often include bug fixes, security patches, and compatibility improvements. Ensuring your system is up to date addresses potential vulnerabilities that could lead to the dpc_watchdog_violation error. Updates not only enhance system stability but also optimize the interaction between hardware and software components, reducing the chances of encountering errors.

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

windows 10 update may fix dpc watchdog violation

Perform System Restore

System Restore allows you to revert your computer’s state to a point where it was functioning correctly. If the error started occurring after a recent change or update, performing a system restore can undo those changes and potentially eliminate the source of the dpc_watchdog_violation error. It provides a way to return your system to a stable configuration when other troubleshooting methods might not be successful.

  • Press the Windows key and search for “Create a restore point.”
  • In the System Properties window, click the “System Restore” button.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to choose a restore point before the error started occurring.
  • Confirm your selection and let the system restore process complete.

How to Perform system restore

Check for Overheating

Overheating can cause hardware components to malfunction or perform suboptimally. High temperatures can disrupt DPC execution and lead to system instability, including the DPC Watchdog Violation error. By ensuring proper cooling and temperature management, you create an environment where hardware components can operate efficiently, reducing the likelihood of encountering errors due to overheating.

  • Check that your computer’s fans and vents are clean and free from dust.
  • Consider using software utilities to monitor your CPU and GPU temperatures.
  • If temperatures are too high, you might need to clean the components or improve ventilation.

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