The DPC Watchdog Violation error is a BSOD error or critical system error that can occur in Windows OS. It shows that a Deferred Procedure Call (DPC) routine, a system process responsible for handling hardware and software interactions, takes too long to respond, leading to a blue screen with a DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION message.
This error typically manifests as a sudden system crash. It can lead to data loss or system instability if not addressed. Outdated or faulty drivers (e.g., graphics cards), software conflicts, hardware issues, system file corruption, or overclocking CPU stable limits can lead to this error. Let’s see solutions to this error.
1. Disconnect peripheral devices
Disconnect any peripheral devices currently not in use, including portable hard drives, printers, scanners, smartphones, digital cameras, and any other non-essential hardware. If the error disappears after this step, it indicates a potential hardware issue among these devices.
Gradually reconnect them one by one to identify the specific hardware causing the error. If the issue recurs, consider updating the device drivers, connecting the hardware to a different USB port, or formatting the problematic device as potential solutions.
2. Perform an SFC scan
Performing the System File Checker (SFC) scan can fix the DPC Watchdog Violation Error error if the cause is corrupted system files. SFC Windows utility scans your computer for missing or corrupted system files and replaces them with correct versions. Use the following steps to run an SFC scan:
- Press the Windows and S keys together and type cmd in the text field.
- Then, choose the Run as administrator option on the right side to start the Command Prompt with administrator privileges.
- Once the User Account Control prompts you, select Yes to continue.
- When the Command Prompt displays, enter the following command into the prompt and tap the Enter key to start an SFC scan:
- Once the scan is complete, copy and paste the command below and press the Enter key to run the command:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
- Finally, it would be best to restart your computer to implement repairs.
3. Update Windows
Windows updates can help to fix the DPC Watchdog Violation Error by removing bugs with Windows updates bug fixes for known issues and installing new drivers for your computer’s hardware. Use the following steps to update Windows:
- Firstly, press the Windows + I key combination to open Settings or do it with the Windows icon on the Taskbar.
- Once Settings opens, select the Windows Update option and click the Check for updates button to discover new updates.
- Then, follow the on-screen instructions step by step to install the update.
- Finally, restart your computer.
4. Check the hard drive for errors (chkdsk)
Running a CHKDSK scan can fix the DPC Watchdog Violation Error if the cause is a faulty or failing hard drive or a corrupted file system. The CHKDSK Windows utility scans the hard drive for errors and repairs them if possible. Here is how to do it:
- Hold down the Windows and S keys simultaneously, search for cmd, and then choose to Run as administrator to start the Command Prompt as an admin.
- Enter the following command in the Command Prompt window and press the Enter key:
chkdsk /f /r
- Finally, enter Y and restart your PC so the utility can check for file system errors and search and shield bad sectors.
5. Update the SATA AHCI device driver file
Updating the SATA AHCI device driver file helps to fix the DPC Watchdog Violation error in Windows OS. The SATA AHCI driver manages communication between the system and SATA storage devices, such as hard drives and SSDs. Outdated or faulty SATA AHCI drivers can cause conflicts or errors that lead to this error.
Use the following steps to complete the update:
- Hold the Windows + R keys together, enter devmgt.msc and click OK to open Device Manager.
- Then, expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, right-click the Standard SATA AHCI Controller option and click Properties.
- When in the Properties window, open the Driver tab, select Driver Details.
- If the Driver File Details window displays that your device includes an iaStorA.sys file, it requires an update. Click OK to close the window.
- Then, click the Update Driver button in the Properties window.
- Next, click Search automatically for drivers and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Then, click the Let me pick from a list of available drivers option.
- Finally, choose the Standard SATA AHCI Controller in the selection box, and click the Next button.
- Restart the PC after update.
In conclusion, the DPC Watchdog Violation error can frustrate Windows users, but in this guide explored five effective fixes to address this issue. Whether it’s updating drivers, addressing hardware conflicts, or addressing software conflicts, these solutions comprehensively help you overcome the error.
It also helps to maintain the stability of your Windows system. By applying these methods, you can not only resolve the DPC Watchdog Violation error but also enhance your overall Windows experience, ensuring a smoother and more reliable computing environment.