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How To Fix DPC Watchdog Violation Error In Windows

All Windows users should be familiar with “Blue Screen of Death” errors, also known as BSoD (You can check our guide on how to troubleshoot BSoD here). When your computer runs into one, there’s no going back without restarting and praying that the system is able to boot up. Many users receive these BSoD errors, accompanied by a code that reads DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION, but not many know what this means or how to fix it.

dpc watchdog

This article goes in-depth about the specific DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error on Windows operating systems. Learn how you can easily fix it and restore your computer with our proven and tested methods.

What is the DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error?

The DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error is known as a blue screen error, meaning it’s one of the more serious issues in Windows. Don’t let this scare you, it’s entirely fixable if you follow the steps below. However, learning more about the issue and what caused it will help you troubleshoot more effectively.

DPC is the abbreviated form of Deferred Procedure Call, while WATCHDOG refers to the Bug Checker. The violation error appears if the Bug Checker takes longer than the normal 100 microseconds to find a response, which results in a timeout and the BSoD showing up.

Possible causes for the DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error include the following scenarios:

  • Your device drivers are outdated, damaged, or installed wrongly.
  • Newly installed hardware is not compatible with your operating system.
  • There is a conflict between two applications installed on your device.
  • The firmware version of your SSD is outdated.
  • Your system files are corrupted.

Now that you know why this error is present on your computer, it’s time to do some troubleshooting.

There are many ways to resolve the DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error on Windows. We’ve compiled the most effective methods for you to efficiently troubleshoot it and get back on track with your computer.

Method 1. Disconnect all external devices from your computer

There have been reports of this error happening because of hardware conflicts. Disconnecting all external hardware from your device is a good place to start troubleshooting.

We recommend removing items one at a time then restarting your computer and seeing if the issue is fixed. This will allow you to identify the faulty hardware and look for a replacement.

Method 2. Change the SATA AHCI controller

SATA (also known as Serial ATA) stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. It’s a technology used to connect modern-day storage solutions such as hard drives to your computer.

If something is wrong with your SATA AHCI controller, it can lead to the DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error. You may want to change the controller manually and see if the error goes away.

  1. Press and hold the Windows key on your keyboard, then press R. This will launch the Run utility.
  2. Type in “devmgmt.msc” without the quotation marks, then hit OK to bring up the Device Manager application.
    device manager
  3. Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers category. Your SATA controller(s) should be listed here.
  4. Right-click on each of the listed items in this category, then select Properties.
    system properties
  5. In the Properties pop-up window, switch to the Driver tab and click on the Driver Details button. Another window should appear shortly after.
  6. Make sure that iaStorA.sys is listed as a controller. If you can verify that it’s there, proceed with this method. If you can’t see it listed, you can still proceed with the same method, but the success rate is significantly lower.
  7. Click OK, then click on the Update Driver button.
    update divers
  8. Choose the Browse my computer for driver software option.
  9. Choose the Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer option.
  10. Select Standard SATA AHCI Controller and click Next. After the installation is complete, restart your device and see if the error is fixed.
    sata ahci controller

Method 3. Update the SSD firmware

Many people utilize SSD drives for faster boot times and such. However, unsupported SSD firmware could lead to the DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error. If you have an SSD, highly recommend performing this method in case the cause relates to your drive.

 

  1. Press and hold the Windows key on your keyboard, then press R. This will launch the Run utility.
  2. Type in “devmgmt.msc” without the quotation marks, then hit OK to bring up the Device Manager application.
    device manager
  3. Expand the Disk drives category. Take note of your SSD’s model number listed in this category.
  4. Go to the manufacturer’s website and search your SSD’s model number to find, download, and install the compatible firmware.

Method 4. Run the System File Checker (SFC scan)

 system file checker

The System File Checker is a tool available in Windows 10 by default. It’s also called an “SFC scan,” and it’s your quickest way to automatically fix corrupted system files and other issues.

Some users have reported that running this scan fixed the DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error from appearing again.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. This is going to bring up the Run utility.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys on your keyboard. Doing so, you’re launching the Command Prompt with administrative permissions.
  3. If prompted, click Yes to allow the Command Prompt to make changes on your device.
  4. Once in the Command Prompt, type in the following command and press Enter to execute it: 

    sfc /scannow

  5. Wait for the SFC scan to finish scanning your computer and repairing corrupt files. This may take a long time; ensure that you don’t close the Command Prompt or shut your computer down.
  6. Restart your device after the scan is complete.

Method 5. Run the CHKDSK utility

 run the chkdsk utility

Another command you can use to repair your PC is CHKDSK, also known as Check Disk. It attempts to identify and get rid of disk issues, which may help you with resolving the DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. This is going to bring up the Run utility.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys on your keyboard. Doing so, you’re launching the Command Prompt with administrative permissions.
  3. If prompted, click Yes to allow the Command Prompt to make changes on your device.
  4. Once in the Command Prompt, type in the following command and press Enter to execute it: chkdsk C: /f /r /x
  5. This command is going to check the C: drive. If your Windows 10 has been installed on a different drive, make sure to modify the command accordingly by replacing “C:”.
  6. Wait for the Check Disk command to finish running. It’ll attempt to fix issues with the drive and recover any readable information.

Method 6. Use the DISM command

The DISM tool allows you to identify and fix corruption issues with your system by simply running commands in the Command Prompt application. It checks for corruption system-wide, and automatically attempts to restore damaged or missing files.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. This is going to bring up the Run utility.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys on your keyboard. Doing so, you’re launching the Command Prompt with administrative permissions.
  3. If prompted, click Yes to allow the Command Prompt to make changes on your device.
  4. Once in the Command Prompt, you need to start the DISM scan which will run and look for issues system-wide. Type in the following command and press Enter to execute it: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth
  5. Next, you need to execute a command to fix any issues found on your system. Simply type in the following line and press Enter again:
  6. DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  7. Wait for the process to finish. Upon completion, close the Command Prompt window and restart your device.

Method 7. Remove newly installed software

If a newly installed software is causing conflict on your device, it could easily produce this error code accompanied by a Blue Screen of Death. You can fix this by uninstalling your newest applications and finding the culprit.

 

  1. Use the Search bar in your taskbar and look up then launch the Control Panel.
    launch control panel
  2. Change the View mode to Large icons.
  3. Click on Programs and Features.
  4. Your latest installed applications in the list. You can click on Date to have the list organized into order.
  5. Right-click on the application and choose the Uninstall option.
    uninstall products
  6. Repeat this with any new applications you’ve installed until the DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error no longer appears on your device.

We hope that this article was able to help you fix the DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error on Windows. If you run into similar issues in the future, don’t be afraid to return to our website and look for a solution. No luck finding a guide? Get in touch with our customer service experts ready to help you out.

 

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