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 must deal with the Blue Screen error and a 0x00000133 bug check code, a frustrating issue many users find difficult to resolve.

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

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

​What is a ​DPC Watchdog Violation Error?

A DPC Watchdog Violation is an error occurring in your Windows system. DPC is the abbreviated form for Deferred Procedure Call. Watchdog denotes Bug Checker, which helps monitor all Windows processes and the background performances. Its check value is about 0x00000133.

The violation message appears when it waits longer than usual such as over 100 microseconds. It will show the error message if it does not find a response.

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

Several factors can cause the dpc watchdog violation error message. Here are the factors that lead to a DPC Watchdog error in Windows 10:

  • The blank blue screen error, also known as BSOD error (Blue Screen of Death), is due to hardware incompatibility in your PC or laptop. You will find the popup screen when you connect incompatible hardware such as an AMD Graphic card, NVIDIA, or even an external drive.
  • If the firmware or driver of the hardware you are connecting to your device is not supported by your device, you will find the BSOD pops 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 blue screen error. You can find the details for this in the device manager.
  • Corrupt system files may also contribute to this issue. Your system files may get corrupted for several reasons, but malware infection is the most common.

As you can see, the factors behind the bug trigger are plenty. You can face the issue while updating your Computer or installing software, which 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.

How to Fix DPC Watchdog Violation Error

There are several ways to fix the DPC Watchdog Violation BSOD error.

Fix 1: Change Standard SATA AHCI Controller

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

To deal with this situation, you must change the Standard SATA AHCI controller. This is a driver responsible for data exchange between your system’s storage devices and its memory.

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

Step 1:

Press the X button and Windows key button simultaneously.

Step 2:

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

windows search device manager

Step 3:

When you go to the Device Manager option, expand the IDE ATA ATAPI controller feature here.

chipset controller

Step 4:

Expand the controller feature and select Standard SATA AHCI controller under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Use right-click the Standard SATA AHCI Controller and click properties.

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

chipset controller properties

Step 5:

In the Driver tab, choose the ‘Driver’ option and click on the ‘Update Driver’ feature on the IDE ATA ATAPI controller.

chipset controller driver details

Step 6:

Next, select Browse My Computer for the driver software option.

chipset controller browse for driver software

Step 7:

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

pick list of drivers

Step 8:

After choosing “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer,” choose ‘SATA AHCI Standard Controller’ and select the ‘Next’ button to update the driver software. Complete the procedure onscreen.

install chipset driver

Step 9:

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

chipset driver installed successfully

Fix 2: Update Your Drivers

If an old firmware version is present in your Solid State Drive (SSD), which your Windows 10 does not support, you have to update the SSD firmware version to avoid the DPC watchdog error. Here are the steps:

Step 1:

Press the Windows button and E simultaneously to open File Explorer or choose Computer/My/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 popup window that appears, choose the ‘Device Manager’ option present on the left side.

Step 4:

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

Step 5:

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

Fix 3: Run Event Viewer

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

Step 1:

Press R and Windows Key simultaneously and enter ‘eventvwr.msc’ in the 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 with Errors 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 proper troubleshooting method to rectify the dpc watchdog violation error.

​Fix 4: Scan Your Hard Drive for Disk Errors

Corrupt system files are the key reason behind most DPC watchdog violations in Windows 10. So you have to check your Computer for corrupt files or disk errors to try and fix the DPC Watchdog Violation error. Here is how you do it:

Step 1:

Press Windows + R on your keyboard to open the Command Prompt feature and enter the following:


Now press the ‘Enter’ option.

chkdsk command

Step 2:

The system will prompt you to restart your Computer or schedule a convenient time for resuming. 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 restart your Computer, verifying the files and identifying the corrupted ones will be easy.

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. You may face a violation error, and 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 must plug in the device one by one and check their compatibility to identify the driver causing the error.

When you identify the particular device, you can check its specs, 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 and restart your system to determine if the error persists. If this does not work out, follow the steps below:

Step 1:

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

Step 2:

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

Step 3:

Choose Uninstall a Program option from the control panel

programs and features

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 on the top portion of the table.

uninstall program

Step 5:

You can uninstall the programs you suspect are causing the issue from when and when they were installed.

Step 6:

Once you uninstalled the program, restart the system to determine if the issue has been rectified.

The above five steps will take care of the DPC Watchdog Violation that has been frustrating you. If the above steps are ineffective, you can also use a professional repair tool for PC error correction. But the above steps are simple and can be done to rectify the error effectively.

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 a prohibited operation and cause the crash. The fix is usually straightforward:

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 the 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 is 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.

James Masterson
Meet the author

James is a software engineer and an information architect with a keen eye for detail. Among his key interests are enhancing the usability of our Windows 10 content, troubleshooting errors, and tech news.