A DPC Watchdog Violation is an error that is most common on a Windows platform, leading you to the “blue screen of death.”
In this detailed guide, you will learn about the possible fixes associated with a DPC Watchdog Violation.
What is a DPC Watchdog Violation?
DPC stands for Deferred Procedure Call and Watchdog refers to the bug checker integrated into your system. The basic purpose of the Watchdog is to monitor or track your Windows programs and your system’s performance.
This bug check has a value of 0x00000133. This indicates that either your system has a single DPC running for a long time, or it may have cumulatively stuck at an interrupt request level (IRQL) of DISPATCH_LEVL or above.
Ideally, the DPCs on your system should not run more than 100 microseconds, and the IRQLs should not take more than 25 microseconds. However, the timeout values set on your systems are much higher.
Causes of a DPC Watchdog Violation
One of the most common causes of this error is the outdated device drivers or the same being wrongly installed. For example, if the video card driver on your PC is not installed properly, then this error could easily occur while trying to watch an online video.
In other cases, having incompatible hardware for your operating system can also trigger this error. For example, if your sound drivers are not properly installed or are outdated, then simply plugging in an external audio hardware can also lead you to BSOD.
In rare cases, a DPC Watchdog Violation can also occur due to software conflict, which is not as common as the other two causes.
DPC Watchdog Violation — Fixes
There are quite a few ways to fix this error. Below are some simple and easy methods, which you can use to prevent your system from getting a DPC Watchdog Violation on boot.
1) Update Chipset Driver
According to many Windows users facing this issue, changing the SATA AHCI controller device is one of the most effective ways to fix the error. Here is what you need to do:
- Press Windows Logo Key + X on your keyboard and click on Device Manager from the list that appears
- Once the Device Manager Window is opened, locate IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers and click on it to expand it
- Then right-click on SATA AHCI Controller and select Properties
- To verify whether you have the right controller or not, click on Driver Tab, then click Driver Details
- If sys is listed in the Driver Details, then move on to fix 2
- However, if you see sys listed as a driver, then continue with the process; click Ok to exit the Driver Details
- Under the Driver tab, click on Update Driver
- In the prompted Window, click on Browse my computer for driver software
- Then click on Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer
- Select Standard SATA AHCI Controller and then click Next
- Follow the rest of the procedure to finish the process and then restart your computer for the change to take effect
Most of the time, this process works to solve the DPC Watchdog Violation error. However, if storahci.sys is already listed in your Driver Details or you are looking for an alternative method, then proceed to the next fix.
2) Turn Off Fast Startup
Turning off Fast Startup on your system is also a quick way to get rid of the BSOD error. Here’s how you can do it:
- From the Start Menu, open Control Panel
- Change the viewing category of Control Panel to Small Icons
- Locate Power Options from the list
- Then on the left side of the panel, click on Choose what the power button does
- Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable
- Scroll down and find Turn on fast startup (recommended) and then uncheck this option
- Then click on Save Changes to save and exit
- Once done, restart your computer and you are good to go
This is one of the quickest ways to prevent a DPC Watchdog Violation. However, if your system is still crashing, then try the next method.
3) Reinstall the Display Driver in Safe Mode
In most cases, reinstalling the display driver in safe mode is very effective in preventing this boot error. Follow the steps below to do so:
- Type and search Run in the Start Menu to open Command Prompt on your Windows PC
- Once open, type in msconfig and then press enter
- The System Configuration Window will open
- Open the Boot tab and then check Safe boot and choose Network
- After that, click Ok and then choose Restart
- Your PC will enter Safe Mode now
- Then open the Device Manager by clicking on Windows Logo Key + X and then selecting the Device Manager from the list
- Locate and expand the option Display adapters
- Right-click on the display adapter you have and then choose Uninstall
- To confirm, check the box saying Delete the driver software for this device and then click Ok
Restart your computer and this will fix the error on your PC.
Encountering the blue screen of death on boot because of the DPC Watchdog Violation is a major problem for Windows. If the system crashes, the only option is to restart the PC, losing all the unsaved sensitive data you have been working on.
The error usually occurs due to outdated or wrongly installed drivers and incompatible hardware. You can never predict the occurrence of a system crash because even the slightest command can trigger the BSOD.
The only way to prevent this from happening again is by keeping all the device drivers and system updates installed in the right way. However, if you do not know what the cause is, then following any or all of the three methods can solve this boot error.
The most effective solution is to update the Chipset Driver. If that doesn’t work, then either turning off fast startup or reinstalling the display driver in safe mode will definitely solve the DPC Watchdog Violation.
Petr is a serial tech entrepreneur and the CEO of Apro Software, a machine learning company. Whenever he’s not blogging about technology for itechgyan.com or softwarebattle.com, Petr enjoys playing sports and going to the movies. He’s also deeply interested about mediation, Buddhism and biohacking.