dpc watchdog violation

Fixing a DPC Watchdog Violation on Windows 10

Many users of Windows 10 report the DPC Watchdog Violation error. They have to deal with the Blue Screen of Death and a 0x00000133 bug check code. This is a frustrating issue that most users find difficult to resolve. The computer will automatically restart preventing you from saving all your crucial data and any task you were working on when the error occurred. Here is a detailed guide to understanding the DPC Watchdog Violation error, the reasons for it and the fixes that help resolve the issue successfully.

Understanding the DPC Watchdog Violation Error

If you know what a DPC Watchdog Violation error is, you will be able to fix the error efficiently, since you can identify the exact reason for the error and resolve it.

A DPC Watchdog Violation is a type of error associated with your Windows system. DPC is the abbreviation for Deferred Procedure Call. Watchdog denotes a Bug Checker. The Bug Checker helps monitor all Windows processes as well as background performance. Its check value is about 0x00000133. The violation message appears when Bug Checker waits for a longer duration than usual, for example over 100 microseconds. If Bug Checker does not receive a response, it will show the error message.

Reasons Behind the DPC Watchdog Violation Error Occurrence

Several factors cause a violation error message. Here they are:

  • The blank blue screen also known as BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) is due to hardware that is incompatible with your PC or laptop. When you attempt to connect incompatible hardware such as an AMD or NVIDIA graphics card or even an external drive, you see the pop-up screen.
  • If hardware you connected to your device has firmware or drivers that are not supported by your device, you will see the blue screen pop up. This can happen when you connect external hardware for the first time or even when you reconnect hardware after a couple of months.
  • A conflict between two software applications can also cause the violation error. If the software that you install on your device is incompatible with any software present on your device already, it can cause the DPC Watchdog Violation error.
  • DPC Watchdog might occur when the system needs to update all its hardware drivers.
  • The error could also occur when your drive has files on it that are unsupported by the version of Windows 10 you are using.

As you can see, many factors can trigger the bug. You might develop the issue while updating software on your computer or after installing new software. It can also occur randomly.

Five Methods to Resolve a DPC Watchdog Violation

Here are the five primary methods used to solve the violation error:

Change the SATA AHCI Controller

You would use this method when the error’s cause is connected to your computer’s storage device and memory.

To deal with this situation, you have to change the SATA AHCI controller.  This is a driver responsible for the data exchanges occurring between your system’s storage devices and their memory. The driver acts by verifying the data’s compatibility and providing an efficient output. You can quickly solve the violation error if you change the SATA AHCI driver. Here are the steps to make this change:

Step 1:

Press the X key and the [Windows] key simultaneously.

Step 2:

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

Step 3:

When you get into the Device Manager, choose the ‘IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers’ option.


Step 4:

Clicking once on the controller option will cause it to open a drop-down menu. You will find the ‘SATA AHCI controller’ option on the menu under the IDE ATA/ATAPI controller. Right click on this option, and choose the ‘Properties’ option from the SATA AHCI controller menu that appears.

To ensure you have chosen the right controller from the driver choose ‘Driver Details’ from the Driver Tab. Check for iaStorA.sys on that driver list. Now click on the OK button to exit.

Step 5:

Now choose the ‘Driver’ option and click on the ‘Update Driver’ button.

Update Driver

Step 6:

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

Browse my computer

Step 7:

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

Let me pick

Step 8:

From the list that populates, choose ‘SATA AHCI Standard Controller’ and select ‘Next.’

SATA AHCI Standard Controller

Follow the onscreen procedure instructions until the process is complete.

Step 9:

Reboot your system. It is best to repeat this procedure every time there is a Windows update to avoid the error recurring.

Update Your Drivers

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

Step 1:

Press [E] and the [Windows] key simultaneously to open File Explorer, or you can click on Computer/My Computer/This PC from the Desktop.

Step 2:

Find ‘This PC’ from the left side of the window and use right click to open it. Choose the ‘Manage’ option.

Step 3:

In the pop-up window that appears, choose the ‘Device Manager’ option from the left menu.

Step 4:

In the menu that opens under ‘Device Manager’, choose the SSD (similar to the way you did for the SATA drive in the previous method). Write down the important details of the SSD including its model number and related information. Visit the manufacturer’s website and download any necessary updates needed for the SSD.

Run Event Viewer

The Event Viewer can help you identify the cause of a DPC Violation error that displays a Blue Screen of Death.

Step 1:

Press [R] and the [Windows] key simultaneously. Enter ’eventvwr.msc’ into the Run box that appears. Click ‘OK’ to open the Event Viewer.

Step 2:

Click ‘Windows Logs’ from the menu on the left side of the window that opens. Choose the ‘System’ option from the drop-down menu that appears.

Step 3:

You can find the logs that have ‘Error’ or ‘Warning’ marked in the center section of the window. Clicking on them gives you more information about the violation error. This will help you identify and choose the right troubleshooting method to rectify the error.

Check Your Device’s Disk

Corrupt files are the key reason behind most incidences of DPC Watchdog Violations on Windows 10. You need to check your computer for corrupt files. Here is how to do it:

Step 1:

Open the Command Prompt and enter the following:


Now press ‘Enter.’

Step 2:

The system will prompt you to restart your computer or schedule a convenient time to restart. After you make the appropriate selection, press ‘Enter.’

Step 3:

This process may take some time to complete when you do it for the first time. However, with subsequent reboots, it will be easier to verify the files and identify the corrupted ones.

Check Software and Hardware Compatibility

Although you may expect an external device to work smoothly right from the start, this is not usually the case. You may see the violation error. The drive may not be compatible with the newly installed hardware or software on your device.

To test hardware compatibility, use the following steps:

Step 1:

If you are using multiple new devices, you have to plug in each device one-by-one and check its compatibility to identify what is causing the error.

Step 2:

After you identify the device causing the issue, you need to check its specs and find out which similar device is compatible with your system.

Step 3:

Exchange the non-compatible device for another device that is compatible.

To test software compatibility, you must use a similar trial and error method. To determine which software conflict is causing the violation error, you need to uninstall the conflicting software and restart your system to find out if the error persists.

Step 1:

Press [R] and the [Windows] key simultaneously, to open the Windows Run feature. Type ‘Control Panel’ in the dialog box, and press ‘Enter.’

Step 2:

Choose the ‘Uninstall a Program’ option from the control panel.

Step 3:

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

Step 4:

You can uninstall the programs that you suspect to be causing the issue one at a time based on the time and date of their installation.

Step 5:

Once you have uninstalled a program, restart the system to find out if that resolved the issue.


The above five methods will take care of a DPC Watchdog Violation that has been frustrating you. The methods are simple and should effectively rectify the error. You can also use a professional repair tool that corrects PC errors if the above steps are not sufficient.