How to fix DPC Watchdog Violation BSoD error in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION BSoD error is caused by a hardware component, its driver, or a software program.
  • To resolve this blue screen issue, make sure to check your data and power cables.
  • You may also try to update and replace the iastor.sys driver or run a full system scan.
How to fix DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION error
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One thing persistent in all Windows versions is the dreaded BSoD (Blue Screen Of Death) and the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error remains one of the most annoying of them.

This is a BSoD bug check that has the code 0x00000133. DPC is an acronym for Deferred Procedure Call and the Watchdog term refers to the bug checker which monitors or tracks your programs and the performance of your PC.

We will try to shed some light on this matter and help you fix the issue on Windows 10 PCs.

What causes the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error?

In some cases, this problem comes along with other BSoDs and they all have a common cause. If you check the official Microsoft website, you will find some information on this error:

This bug check indicates that the DPC watchdog executed, either because it detected a single long-running deferred procedure called (DPC), or because the system spent a prolonged time at an interrupt request level (IRQL) of DISPATCH_LEVEL or above.

The value of Parameter 1 indicates whether a single DPC exceeded a timeout, or whether the system cumulatively spent an extended period of time at IRQL DISPATCH_LEVEL or above.

Microsoft stated that Windows 10 has stopped working because it was unable to get a response from a hardware component, its driver, or a software program that is related to it.

Most often, the hardware component in question is a disk drive, and Windows crashes once the disk becomes unreadable (similar to unplugging the data cable of the HDD when it’s in use).

In some cases, the problem can be a hardware incompatibility, BIOS or UEFI that has not been updated, SSD issues, overclock not done correctly, or even a virus infection.

Other DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION errors

All our solutions below also work if you encounter the following errors:

  • DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION on bootThis problem appears after booting up and might be caused by problems with the hard drive.
  • DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION when connecting to the InternetIt happens after connecting to the Internet and it’s caused by a problematic network card driver.
  • DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION when playing gamesIt occurs when you are trying to start a game or a more complex application, and it is caused by a malfunctioning driver.
  • DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION while installing Windows 10This happens while trying to install Windows 10 and it is triggered by a problem with your BIOS or UEFI.
  • Bugcheck DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATIONThe issue arises randomly, and it is probably caused by a faulty driver.
  • Stop code: DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATIONThis is either a hardware problem or it might be caused by a malfunctioning driver.

And now that you know what this error is and when it occurs, find out how you can put an end to this annoyance.

How can I fix DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION errors?


1. Replace the iastor.sys driver

  1. Right-click the Start icon and select Device Manager.
  2. Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers and select the controller with SATA AHCI in its name (such as Standard SATA AHCI Controller).
    • To check if you’ve selected the right controller, right-click the controller, go to Properties, click the Driver tab, and then Driver Details. Verify that iastor.sys is a listed driver and click OK.
  3. From the Driver tab select Update Driver.
  4. Select Browse my computer for driver software.
  5. Up next, select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  6. Select Standard SATA AHCI Controller and click Next.
  7. Click Close, and then restart the PC.

Microsoft suggests that the problem may be caused by the iastor.sys driver and replacing it with a standard driver will fix the issue.

You can also use software programs that can help you troubleshoot numerous blue screen errors and a lot more other computer issues.

From our tests, the most effective is a tool called Restoro, which will actively fix the system and replace the Windows files that can cause BSoDs.

2. Check your disk

  1. Press the Windows key + S to open search in Windows 10.
  2. Type cmd in the Search tab and click on Run as administrator to start Command Prompt with elevated privileges.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter to execute it (Replace C with the letter of your hard drive partition): chkdsk C: /f

If you do not use the /f parameter, chkdsk displays a message that the file needs to be fixed, but it does not fix any errors.

The chkdsk D: /f command detects and repairs logical issues affecting your drive. To repair physical issues, run the /r parameter as well.

There are also utilities you can use to check health-related aspects of your drives. For more information, take a closer look at our article including the best tools to check your hard drive’s health.

3. Update the firmware for your SSD (if present)

Note icon
NOTE
Updating the firmware of your SSD will erase all data from it so if you really need to perform the update, back up your data first.

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager from the list.
  2. Click on Disk drives to expand the section, then right-click the SSD drive and select Properties.
  3. Next, select the Details tab.
  4. Click on the Property menu and select Hardware Ids.
  5. Now write down the model number of the drive from the upper part and the firmware version listed after its name in the Value window. In our example, the model number is UMIS RPJTJ256MED1OWX and the firmware version is 2311.1.0.
  6. Now you have to go to the SSD manufacturer website or the PC/laptop manufacturer website and see if there is a new firmware for your component.
  7. In our case, we reached for the Lenovo support webpage, and we found out that there was no firmware update for the drive. However, you might find one for your device, in which case you will be able to download and install it just like regular software.

4. Update your drivers

  1. Right click the Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Click on the Disk drives section, then right-click on your disk and select Update driver.
  3. Next, select the first option, Search automatically for drivers.
  4. The system will look for a driver and if it finds a new one, it will install it and you will have to restart your PC.
  5. If you receive the message that The best drivers for your device are already installed you can click on Search for updated drivers on Windows Update.
  6. The Windows Update section will open and you need to click on View optional updates (You won’t see the option unless you have at least one optional update pending).
  7. Click on the checkboxes for the drivers you want to install and click on the Download and install button below. In our example, we found an unrelated driver but if you see a driver for your disk drive, you should definitely install it.
  8. After the installation, you have to restart your PC.
  9. Repeat the process for all your drives if you have more than one.

5. Update your OS

  1. Click the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. Now click the Check for updates button.
  4. If there are any updates, they will appear under the same button and you only need to click on the Download button underneath.
  5. After the download and installation of the updates, you will be prompted for a restart in order for the changes to take effect.

Make sure that you’re running the latest Windows OS updates on your machine. As a quick reminder, Microsoft constantly rolls out Windows updates in order to improve the system’s stability and fix various issues.

Installing the latest Windows updates on your computer could also help you eliminated the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error.

If the update process is not functioning, take a look at our dedicated article on what to do if the Windows Update is not working.

6. Run a full system scan

  1. Go to Start, type Windows Security, and click on the app from the results.
  2. Select the Virus & threat protection option.
  3. In the new window, click on the Scan options.
  4. Check the Full scan option and click on the Scan now button below to launch a full system malware scan.

Scanning your computer for viruses is something that you should do all the time, even if you don’t experience the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error.

However, if you have this problem, then scan your computer thoroughly and seek out any malware that might be hiding in it.

Windows Defender is a great tool but there are lots of other antiviruses out there that can do a better job in searching for all kinds of malware.

Check our best antiviruses for Windows 10 list to see what tools we recommend to install on your computer.

7. Check software and hardware incompatibility issues

7.1 Software incompatibilities

  1. Click the Start button and select the Settings option.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. Now choose Troubleshoot.
  4. Click on Additional troubleshooters from the right pane.
  5. Next, select the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter and click on Run the troubleshooter below.
  6. The system will detect any software incompatibility issues and will try to fix them during the troubleshooting process. If it doesn’t, you can pick any problematic software from the list and select Next.

Most programs created for earlier versions of Windows will work on newer OS versions. However, some older programs might run poorly or even cause severe errors, such as the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error.

Run a System Scan to discover potential errors

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You can run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter as indicated above to automatically detect and fix some of the most common issues.

7.2 Hardware incompatibilities

  1. Click the Start button, select the Power button and choose Shut down from the menu.
  2. Wait until the computer shuts down completely, then unplug the power cord from the back of the PC or the outlet.
  3. Open the case. If opening the case will void any warranty policy for the device, stop and ask for maintenance services from the manufacturer or the selling point.
  4. Unplug the data and power supply cables from your hard drives and plug them back and make sure they are connected properly.
  5. Verify if the RAM modules are properly installed. Take them out and place them back in carefully.
  6. Verify any cable connection for proper contact. Plug them out and in again if necessary.

If you’ve built a new computer, you just installed Windows 10 and you get this problem, then some components might not work well with each other or with the OS.

In this scenario, you should do more research on each component and verify their technical specifications to see if they are compatible with each other and especially with the motherboard.

Note icon
NOTE
This is an advanced procedure that requires technical skills and knowledge. If you are not properly prepared, you should ask for specialized help to avoid damaging your PC.

8. Remove the recently installed software

  1. Click the Windows Start button and select Settings.
  2. Now, choose Apps.
  3. Next, select the problematic software from the list and click the Uninstall button.
  4. After the uninstallation process has finished, restart your computer.

9. Restore your PC to a previous point

Note icon
NOTE
Restoring your system to a previous point will erase all files and programs you installed since that moment so make sure you back up any valuable data before proceeding with this solution.

  1. Press the Windows key + S to open Search, type create a restore point and select the app from the results.
  2. Click on System Restore.
  3. Select Choose a different restore point and click Next.
  4. You will see one or more options. Check the time and date when the restore point has been created and choose one before the blue screen error occurred, select it from the list and click on Next.
  5. Click the Finish button.

If the problem appeared after you’ve installed a driver or modify anything on the software level of your computer, then you should do a System Restore.

This procedure will roll back your system to a point in time before all this happened so perform the steps above and see if the problem still persists.

10. Run system reset

  1. Click the Start menu button and choose Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. Now click on Recovery from the left pane and hit the Get started button under Reset this PC.
  4. Select the Keep my files option.
  5. Next, you need to decide whether you perform a Cloud download or a Local reinstall. Although it requires at least 4 GB of available space on your drive and Internet connection, we recommend the first option unless you already have the installation kit readily available.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset.

How to prevent the DPC_WATCHDOG _VIOLATION error

If you managed to get rid of this BSoD error now, it doesn’t mean that it can’t happen again so it’s important to take some actions to prevent this from ever occurring.

Keep your computer clean

As this problem can happen because of an improper connection or hardware problem, make sure you keep the insides of your PC clean at all times.

Dusting your computer from time to time can also prevent a lot of other issues and can even boost the performance of your PC because dusty components will heat up quicker and will slow down in time.

However, this can be a complicated procedure that requires technical skills so if you’re not prepared, you can ask for help from professionals.

Also, it requires opening the PC case but if you are at risk of voiding any warranty of the product, call the manufacturer or the point of sale for maintenance services.

Protect your PC from malware and viruses

Malware and viruses can cause havoc on your system and produce such BSoD errors as the one we just tackled.

Microsoft Windows Defender does a great job protecting your PC but it has its limitations so getting a strong antivirus can make a lot of difference in preventing BSoDs and many other issues.

If you don’t have such a tool installed already, check our list including the best antiviruses for Windows 64-bit systems to raise your defense level.

Make sure you have the right drivers and update them

Old or malfunctioning drivers can cause a huge mess on your system and can produce a lot of errors, including the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error.

So, make sure you constantly update them. The manual procedure can be a bit time-consuming, but you can also get help from one of the best driver update software that will do that automatically.

We hope that this guide helped you understand and fix the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION BSoD error and you’re now using your computer at full efficiency.

BSoD bugs are usually caused by hardware problems, and you need to take action whenever they occur, but they can also appear out of nowhere, driven by software conflicts or driver problems.

When you first see a blue screen, write down the error message and the stop code. For this one, the error message was DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION and the error code was 0x00000133.

Knowing the name and/or the code will help you further in troubleshooting the problem by searching for it online and look for a complete solution as we provided.

If you have any questions or suggestions, leave us a comment and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Check if there is any issues with your data cables. If not, use our guide on how to fix DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION errors.

  • Blue screens are usually caused by hardware or driver problems. If you want to learn more, take a look at our guide including the main causes of BSOD errors.

  • Unfortunately, these errors will never solve themselves. However, you can use any of these best BSOD repair software to fix them.

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