DPC Watchdog Violation Error Windows 10 [Solved]

If you are a Windows user, particularly the windows 8, 8.1, or 10 versions, you may have come across the DPC Watchdog Violation error. Many users have reported the pop up of this blue screen error while being in the middle of a work. The worst part is it causes your device to shut down or automatically restart, while you may lose your unsaved work.

No worries! It is very much possible to solve this problem. In this article, I will discuss why this error may happen and how you can fix it! 

What is DPC Watchdog Violation?

At first, let me explain the meaning of the DPC Watchdog Violation error. The abbreviation ‘DPC’ stands for ‘Deferred Procedure Call’, whereas ‘Watchdog’ refers to the bug checker that monitors or tracks the Windows programs as well as PC performance. 

When this bug checker is overwhelmed, you experience the DPC Watchdog Violation error with its corresponding a blue screen of death (BSOD). This error may also work as a precautionary alert that halts the system to avoid corrupting data or prevent damaging the device. 

DPC Watchdog Violation

What causes the DPC Watchdog Violation error?

The DPC Watchdog Violation error can occur for several reasons, some of which can be common for BSODs. Typically it occurs when the Windows is unable to get a response from a hardware component, its driver, or a related software program.

For instance, an unreadable hardware component such as a disk drive; software/ hardware incompatibility; or even a malware infestation can cause such a problem. Let me list down some of the common phenomena that can cause DPC watchdog violation:

The driver for your hardware component could be outdated, damaged, or incorrectly installed.

For instance, if you are using a sound card driver that does not support Windows 10, simply plugging in a set of headphones may lead to a DPC Watchdog Violation error. So a manual update of the driver or automatic update with third-party software could be necessary.

Hardware that has been recently installed may not be compatible with your Operating System (OS). 

Note that compatibility is really important for smooth operation. A newly installed hardware device on your old PC may result in a DPC Watchdog Violation error because of incompatibility. For example, an external hard drive, USB flash drive, etc.

You are trying to run two programs that have software conflicts.

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It can happen that software already installed on your device is not compatible with another software you are trying to install on your computer. Suppose a case when a user has launched two antivirus programs on the computer that are conflicting. 

Although not common, a software installation affecting the system software may also lead to a blue screen of death. 

Your Solid State Drive (SSD) Firmware is unsupported or not up to date 

This is one of the most common causes, especially for the Windows 8 operating system.  Many consumers use SSD for high performance and faster speed. 

However, If the firmware or driver of hardware you are connecting to the computer may be outdated, or not supported by the device. Hence, you should ensure that the firmware version of the SSD is up to date.

Unfortunately, the system files are corrupted!

In cases where the system files are corrupted or damaged, booting into the windows becomes unsuccessful. Hence, you may encounter a DPC watchdog violation.

Besides, if BIOS is not up-to-date or if the overclock not done properly, they may also lead to the DPC watchdog violation error.

How to fix DPC Watchdog Violation error?

Based on the reason behind the DPC Watchdog Violation you are encountering, there can be different solutions to fix it. Some common and effective solutions are described as follows:

Solution 1: Check Hardware and Software Compatibility

Hardware Compatibility
Due to some hardware incompatibility, you may experience the DPC Watchdog Violation, particularly for Windows 10 and Windows 8.  Check and disconnect all the recently installed external devices such as external hard drives, solid-state drive, printer, or scanner on your computer.

You may leave your mouse and keyboard connected, hereafter restart your computer. Then try connecting one device at a time to verify compatibility and check if the error has stopped. In this way, you can identify which device is causing the problem. Now you can decide to either remove or replace it. Otherwise, you can also choose to update its driver.

Besides, make sure that all the hardware is installed correctly and power cables are properly plugged in. Sometimes, RAMs are not properly installed. You can try taking the DIMMs out, place them back, and hear the click to ensure proper placement.

If you still cannot figure out the component causing the problem, you should contact the store for further tech support.

Software Compatibility
Similar to the hardware, most often the software incompatibility issue derives from a newly installed application or recent changes in programs. It can happen that a third party application is causing the issue.

You can try uninstalling the particular program through the following steps:

Step 1- Go to Start

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Step 2- Type Control Panel

Step 3- Select the program(s) recently added
Step 4- Click Uninstall.
Step 5- Restart the computer and check if the issue persists.

Sometimes, an earlier version of a software may not work well with an updated OS. You can run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter that can automatically detect and fix most of the common issues. In the case of Windows 10, you can follow the steps below:

Step 1- Go to the Settings
Step 2- Select ‘Troubleshoot’ under ‘Update & Security’, 
Step 3- Find the ‘Find and fix other problems’
Step 4- Select the ‘Program Compatibility Troubleshooter’
Step 5- Run it.

Solution 2: Change SATA AHCI controller driver

SATA AHCI controller driver facilitates data exchange between storage devices in the system and its memory. It acts through verifying the compatibility of the data. 

It is often suggested to change or update the SATA AHCI controller driver to address an old or incompatible firmware or driver existing on the computer. Follow these simple steps below to solve the violation error in Windows 10:

Step 1- Launch Device Manager by pressing the Windows key and X button simultaneously and selecting Device Manager from the menu.

Step 2- From the options in Device Manager, select and expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Find the SATA AHCI controller. Right-click and select Properties. Click the Driver tab and check Drive Details. Verify that the iaStorA.sys is listed as a driver and click OK

Step 3- Now click Update Driver and choose Browse my computer for driver software. Next select ‘Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer’  and choose Standard SATA AHCI Controller and click Next.

Step 4- Now restart your computer for the action to take effect and check if the DPC_Watchdog_Violation blue screen appears again. If the issue persists, you may need to update the SSD firmware. 

Solution 3: Updating the SSD Firmware

As mentioned before, an unsupported or outdated SSD firmware may lead to the DPC Watchdog Violation error. To address this issue, download the latest SSD firmware version from the website of the manufacturer and update your SSD. Here the steps:

Step 1- Start the Device Manager either by simultaneously pressing Windows and X key or by right-clicking the Start menu and choosing Device Manager.

Step 2- Now expand the Disk drives and note the Model number of your SSD.
Step 3- Then you can go the website of the manufacturer and look for the updated version of the SSD firmware
Step 4- Finally download and install the updated SSD firmware for your computer.

Updating the SSD Firmware

Solution 4: Check and Repair Disk Error

To check the health of the hard drive, you can perform a disk check. If you are using a Windows 10, run a CHKDSK-

Step 1- Start Command Prompt as administrator. To do so, input cmd in the Windows search box, right-click the best match and click Run as administrator
Step 2- Type the chkdsk c: /f command and hit Enter.
Step 3- Type Y and hit Enter.

You can replace c the letter of the partition that you want to check. Note that without the /f parameter, chkdsk displays a message saying ‘the file needs to be fixed’. The command chkdsk c:/f can detect and repair logical issues that are affecting your drive. You can also repair physical issues by run the /r parameter.

Apart from this method, you can also use a hard drive repair software to detect and fix errors.

Solution 5: Scan and Fix System Files

You can scan and fix Windows system files to ensure they are not corrupted or damaged. To do so, just like the previous solution step, start command prompt as administrator. Then Input sfc /scannow and press Enter.

The process can take a while. If no corrupted file is found, you can close the window. However, if it detects and repairs the corrupted files, restart your PC for the action to take effect.

Solution 6: Run Event Viewer

You can find the driver or device which causes the DPC Watchdog Violation blue screen error by running the Event Viewer. Please follow the steps below:

Step 1-Press the Windows logo and X simultaneously and click Event Viewer.
Step 2- From the left side of the panel click Windows Logs, followed by System.
Step 3- Check the events listed in the center part of the panel. Choose the ones that are marked  by Error or Warning
Step 4- See details of the error-occurrence within a specific time range.

In case the issue persists, performing a clean installation, or a system restore in your computer may assist you to fix the problem. 

Hope this article helped you get an insight into the DPC Watchdog Violation error. I tried to provide you the best possible solutions. Now it is your turn to apply them and fix the error efficiently. Wish you all the very best!

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