Fix DPC Watchdog Violation BSOD Error on Windows 10


Fix DPC Watchdog Violation BSOD Error on Windows 10

Overview: There are many Windows 10 users who are receiving blue screen error “DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION”. The system receives this BSOD error and restarts itself making it impossible to use the PC which is very frustrating. Today in this post we will troubleshoot watchdog violation error.

So, let’s start with real user’s practical scenarios!

Scenario 1: Windows 10 DPC Watchdog Violation

Hi there, I have had windows 10 for a few months now and it has been running fine, no issues at all. However, I had to use the Reset this PC due to an issue where I couldn’t use the windows start menu or the search bar. Since reinstalling, I have been getting this DPC watchdog Error  – I have tried the usual solutions, such as Symantec drivers and graphics drivers, but I’m still having no luck. I do have an SSD drive but Windows 10 is installed on it – the model is Plextor PX- 128M5M. Not sure how to fix it – but it occurs at random intervals. Only seems to happen when I am playing any kind of game – so far has occurred when running Minecraft and Skyrim – but it doesn’t occur immediately. The computer freezes for about 30 seconds and then bluescreens with this watchdog violation error. Any assistance would be very much appreciated, as I have no idea what’s suddenly causing the problem.

Source: Microsoft Community

Scenario 2: WatchDog Violation Won’t Go Away

I will begin with the warning that I am not a very tech-savvy person with these types of issues. But earlier this week out of nowhere I got a blue screen I had never seen before with the watchdog violation message. I, of course, freaked out because I had never seen anything like this happen. So my laptop restarted and within minutes of being on Chrome, it did it again. I did a little research and decided to check for driver updates via Driver Easy. The watchdog driver was listed so I updated and installed and after that didn’t seem to have any issue. Then the very next day I got a message I had a Windows update and my computer needed to be restarted. Well apparently this was the October update and it took hours upon hours to finish. I honestly thought my computer was dunzo. But then after the update finally finished everything seemed fine again. Now today out of nowhere yet again I got the dreaded Watchdog screen. The driver is up to date and I assume so is Windows so I can’t figure out why this is happening. All of the troubleshooting I have seen feel a bit above my head so I thought I would reach out to see if anyone might know what’s going on.

Source: Microsoft Community

Like the above two users there are multiple users who are receiving DPC Watchdog Violation error, let’s go ahead and fix this.

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Run Hardware Test

Sometimes we receive DPC Watchdog Violation error because of some hardware issue with the system, so I recommend you to first run the hardware diagnostic on the system.

Steps to run diagnostic for Dell users- Start the system and immediately keep tapping F12 on the keyboard, select diagnostic from the menu and hit Enter on the keyboard.

If you receive any error while running the hardware test then contact the system manufacturer to replace the faulty part.

Disconnect All the External Devices.

Unplug all the external devices from the system except mouse and keyboard. Most of the time external devices connected to the system cause DPC Watchdog Violation error.

These steps are applicable when system boots to Windows.

Uninstall Third-Party Antivirus and Try Using Windows Defender.

Sometimes multiple antiviruses installed on your system can cause DPC Watchdog Violation error. Uninstall all the antivirus and use only Windows defender and check the system.

Uninstall Unwanted Software

Uninstall all the applications which you do not use, may be any particular program is causing DPC Watchdog Violation error. Open Run box by pressing Win +R and then type in appwiz.cpl and hit OK. This will bring up the list of all the programs installed in your PC, select the apps you want to uninstall and click on uninstall as shown below.

Update your System Drivers

All Windows 10 users must update their system drivers provided by the system manufacturers- Dell Users can visit the below link and enter the service tag number of the system and select Drivers and Downloads and click on Detect Drivers to install the latest updates.

Dell Driver Update

All Windows users should always update their system BIOS to the latest. Updating System BIOS can fix multiple issues with your system.

If you have installed any new hardware component such as network card, sound card or video card make sure that you install the latest driver for these components from the device manufacturer website. Most of the hardware install driver automatically but in case the driver is not self-installing then update the driver from Device Manager.

Type Device Manager in Windows search box as shown below and open device manager.


Now select the component which you want to update, make a right click to update the driver as shown below by selecting Search automatically for updated driver software.



Once the driver is installed restart the system.

Update Windows 10

Open Windows 10 Settings by pressing Window + I on the keyboard and go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Check for updates. From here you can update the Windows 10.

Update Graphics Drivers

Visit your system manufacturer’s website to update system BIOS, sound card and all the necessary driver especially the graphics card driver.

NVIDIA Users: GeForce Experience can be used to check and update the drivers automatically, visit the below link to auto update or update it manually.

Update Nvidia Driver

AMD Users: Visit the below link to autodetect or manually select your driver.

Update AMD Driver

Uninstall Windows 10 Update If Required

Sometime after installation of recent Windows update also causes DPC Watchdog Violation error so uninstalling it may fix the problem.

Go to View update history in windows update settings


Now click on View update history and then click on uninstall updates which installed recently and after which you started facing DPC Watchdog Violation error. Refer screenshot posted below.


Uninstall update one by one

Once uninstalled restart the system.

Perform System Restore

If you think that after installing some driver, updates or installing any app might have caused DPC Watchdog Violation error then you can restore your PC from a system restore point. Restoring your PC undoes recent changes made to the PC.

Please keep in mind that restoring your PC will not affect your personal files but it will remove apps and updates that were installed after the restore point.

To perform the system restore type System Restore in Windows search box and click on Create a restore point


Under System Protection click on System restore


Once you click on system restore it will give you two options, recommended restore or Choose a different restore point as shown below. Select a date which you think is related to the app, driver or update which has caused the DPC Watchdog Violation error and then click on next. Select the restore point created before the DPC Watchdog Violation error appeared.



Select the date and click on Next


Now confirm your restore point and click on Finish.


It will take time to complete restore, your system may restart several times during the process.

Steps to Follow When System does not boot to Windows

Use Safe Mode to Troubleshoot DPC Watchdog Violation error

Sometimes you face DPC Watchdog Violation error as soon as you log in to the windows and the system restarts and this goes in a loop and you are unable to troubleshoot. In that case press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard and while holding the shift key click on the restart on Windows login screen as shown below to go to the Advanced Boot Options screen.

Windows login screen

In case your system does not go to the login screen in that case you have to let your system fail to start at least 2 or 3 times to trigger the Windows Recovery Environment. You have to start your PC and as soon as you see your device manufacturer logo force shut down your PC, try this until it takes you to Advanced Boot Option. Follow the steps below to start Windows in Safe mode.

Click on Troubleshoot


Now click on Advanced options and then click on Startup Settings


Click on Restart


The system will restart, now press F4 or the 4 key on the keyboard to select Enable Safe Mode



After you are in safe mode uninstall windows update, bad driver or software which is causing DPC Watchdog Violation error. Follow the same steps mentioned above to uninstall recently installed Windows update.

Uninstall unnecessary app and software which may be causing DPC Watchdog Violation error.

Open Run box by pressing Windows+ R key on the keyboard and type in appwiz.cpl and hit ok.

Run-box appwiz.cpl

Now click on uninstall to uninstall unnecessary software from the system


Perform System Restore from Advanced Boot Options

As the system is not booting up so you have to let your system fail to start at least 2 or 3 times to trigger the Windows Recovery Environment. You have to start your PC and as soon as you see your device manufacturer logo force shut down your PC, try this until it takes you to Advanced Boot Option.

Click on Troubleshoot as shown below


Now Select Advanced options and then click on System restore

Advanced-option-system restore

The system will restart now, select your account and sign in then click Next


Select the restore point created before the DPC Watchdog Violation error appeared and then click on Next and then Finish to initiate System Restore.

Once system restore is done successfully, it will uninstall all the recent updates and drivers which might fix the DPC Watchdog Violation error.

Reset Your PC/ Reinstall the OS

If all above steps do not fix DPC Watchdog Violation error then you might have to reinstall the Windows 10 on the system as it might have gone corrupt. Please note that you will lose all the data and the apps you installed on the system so please backup your data before you reinstall Windows 10. To know how to reinstall the Windows 10 on your PC you can visit the below link.

Reinstall Windows 10

Wrap Up

Getting DPC Watchdog Violation error is quite frustrating but all the troubleshooting steps provided will help you fix DPC Watchdog Violation error. In case even after trying all the troubleshooting steps the issue remains the same then you may contact the system manufacturer who can sometimes fix the issue.

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