Fixing a DPC Watchdog Violation on Windows 10

Fixing a DPC Watchdog Violation on Windows 10

/ James Masterson

Many users of Windows 10 report the incidence of a DPC Watchdog Violation. They have to deal with the Blue Screen and a 0x00000133 bug check code.  This is a frustrating issue that many users find difficult to resolve.

The computer will automatically restart preventing you from saving all your crucial data, or any task you were working on when the error occurred.

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Here is a detailed guide on understanding the DPC watchdog violation error, the reasons it occured, and how to resolve the issue successfully.

​What is a ​DPC Watchdog Violation error?

A DPC Watchdog Violation is a type of error occurring in your Windows system. DPC is the abbreviated form for Deferred Procedure Call. Watchdog denotes Bug Checker.

The Bug Checker helps monitor all windows processes as well as the background performances. Its check value is about 0x00000133.

The violation message appears when the Bug Checker waits for a longer duration than normal such as over 100 microseconds. If the Bug Checker does not find a response, it will show the error message.

​Why Do I Keep Getting Dpc Watchdog Violation? What Causes It?

The violation error message can be caused by several factors. Here are the factors that lead to a DPC Watchdog error:

  • The blank blue screen also known as BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) is due to hardware incompatibility in your PC or laptop. When you attempt to connect incompatible hardware such as an AMD Graphic card or NVIDIA or even an external drive, you will find the popup screen.
  • If the firmware or driver of hardware you are connecting to your device is not supported by your device, you will find the BSOD popping up. This can happen when you connect the external hardware for the first time or even when you connect hardware after a couple of months.
  • The conflict between two software applications can also cause a violation error. If the software you are installing in your device is incompatible with software present in your device already, it can cause the DPC watchdog violation. You can find the details for this in the device manager.

As you can see, the factors behind the bug trigger are aplenty. You can face the issue while updating software on your computer or after having installed software. It can also occur randomly.

DPC Watchdog errors can be caused when the system needs to refresh all its hardware drivers. It may also occur when your drive has files that your present Windows 10 version does not support.

Fix 1: Change SATA AHCI controller

This method is used when the cause of the error is a connected storage device or memory of your computer.

To deal with this situation, you have to change the SATA AHCI controller. This is a driver responsible for data exchange occurring between storage devices in your system and its memory.

The driver acts by verifying the compatibility of the data and providing an efficient output. You can easily solve the DPC Watchdog violation error if you can change the SATA AHCI driver. Here are the steps to perform this change:

Step 1:

Press X button and Windows key button simultaneously.

Step 2:

Choose ‘Device Manager’ option in the menu page that opens.

device manager

Step 3:

When you go to the Device Manager option, choose the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers feature here.


Step 4:

Expand the controller feature.You will find the SATA AHCI controller under IDE ATA/ATAPI controller. Use right-click and choose properties from the SATA AHCI controller.

To ensure you have chosen the right controller from the driver choose Driver details from Driver Tab. Check whether iaStorA.sys is under the driver list. Now click on the OK button to exit.


Step 5

Now choose ‘Driver’ option and click on ‘Update driver’ feature.

Driver Details
Update Driver

Step 6

Next, choose ‘Browse my computer for driver software’ option.

Browse my computer

Step 7

Now choose the, ‘Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer’.

Let me pick

Step 8

Now choose ‘SATA AHCI Standard Controller’ and select ‘Next’ button. Complete the procedure onscreen.

SATA AHCI Standard Controller

Step 9

Reboot your system. To avoid the error from recurring again, it is best to repeat this procedure every time there is a Windows update.

Successfully updated

Fix 2: Update your drivers

If old firmware is present in your solid-state drive (SSD) which your Windows 10 does not support, you have to update the driver to avoid the DPC watchdog error. Here are the steps:

Step 1

Press the Windows button and E simultaneously to open the File Explorer or you can choose Computer/my computer/This PC from the desktop.

Step 2

Find the Computer from the panel’s left side and use right-click to open it. Choose the Manage option.

Step 3

In the pop-up window that appears, choose ‘Device Manager’ option present on the left side.

Step 4

In the list that opens under Device Manager choose SSD. Note down the important details including model number and related details.

Step 5

Visit the manufacturer’s website and download necessary updates needed for the SSD.

Fix 3: Run Event Viewer

The Event Viewer can help you identify the cause of DPC violation error that displays the blue screen of death.

Step 1

Press R and Windows Key simultaneously and enter, ‘eventvwr.msc’ in Run box. Click on ‘OK’ to open the Event Viewer.

Step 2

Find Windows Logs from the left side of the panel. Choose the ‘System’ option.

Step 3

You can find the logs that have Error or Warnings marked in the central part of the panel. You can then diagnose the cause behind the violation error.

This will help you identify and choose the right troubleshooting method to rectify the error.

​Fix 4: Scan your hard drive for disk errors

Corrupt files are the key reason behind most incidences of DPC watchdog violation in Windows 10. So you have to check your computer for presence of corrupt files. Here is how you do it:

Step 1

Open the Command Prompt feature and enter the following


Now press the ‘Enter’ option.

Check disk

Step 2

The system will prompt you to restart the system or schedule a convenient time for restarting. Select accordingly and press Enter.

Step 3

This process may take some time to complete when you do this for the first time. However, when you reboot subsequently, it will be easy to verify the files and identify the corrupted ones.

Fix ​5: Check Software and Hardware Compatibility

While you may expect an external device to work smoothly right from the time you start using it, this is not so. You may face the violation error. The drive may not be compatible with the hardware or software present in your device. Here is a simple way to resolve this issue.

Hardware Compatibility –If you are using multiple devices, you have to plug in the device one by one and check their compatibility to identify the drive that is causing the error.

When you identify the particular device you can check its specs and find out about compatibility with your system and exchange it for another compatible device.

Software Compatibility- For software conflicts causing the violation error, you use the trial and error method as in the hardware compatibility testing. Once you identify the software, uninstall it and restart your system to find out if the error persists. If this does not work out, follow the steps below:

Step 1

Press Windows Key and R button simultaneously, after opening the Windows Run feature.

Step 2

Go to ‘Control Panel’ by entering it in dialog box, and press on ‘Enter’.

Step 3

Choose Uninstall a Program option from control panel

Uninstall a program

Step 4

In the applications list under the ‘Uninstall a Program’ feature find the software, you had installed earlier by checking the installation date and time present on the top portion of the table.

Uninstall a program feature

Step 5

You can choose to uninstall the programs that you suspect to be causing the issue from the time and date in which they were installed.

Step 6

Once you have uninstalled the program, restart the system to find if the issue is has been rectified.

The above 5 steps will take care of the DPC Watchdog Violation that has been frustrating you. You can also use a professional repair tool for PC error correction if the above steps are not effective. But the above steps are simple and can be done to effectively rectify the error.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Fix Attempted Switch From DPC?

The “Attempted Switch from DPC” blue screen error often happens when the computer shuts down during crucial initialization processes led by Windows 10.
A DPC routine will try to undertake an operation that is prohibited and cause the crash. The fix is usually straightforward, simply:

1. Update all of your drivers.
2. Perform a hard uninstall of McAfee Antivirus and tools.
3. Re-Install the latest Windows 10 Update

How Do I Fix Stop Code Clock Watchdog Timeout?

This error is usually caused by a buggy 3rd party application or program and often happens when gamers install mods or add-ons to their favorite games.

The fix again should be relatively simple:

Step 1: Install available Windows Update.
Step 2: Update device drivers.
Step 3: Remove any third-party anti-virus program.
Step 4: Set the BIOS settings to the default stage.

What is a DPC Watchdog violation?

The DPC watchdog error on Windows 10 is a common problem and often caused by unsupported devices, hardware issues, unsupported SSD firmware, or a corrupted Windows installation file.

How to fix the DPC Watchdog violation?

This common issue on Windows 10 can be fixed by installing the proper drivers for your devices, checking for driver errors, and running the System File Checker tool to eliminate any corrupted system files.