DPC Watchdog Violation in Windows 11 -10 Ways To Fix [2023]

DPC Watchdog Violation in Windows 11 -10 Ways To Fix [2023]


Are you facing the blue screen of death (BSOD) DPC Watchdog Violation error on your Windows 11 PC?

This dreaded BSOD appears when an important process known as Deferred Procedure Call (DPC) is disrupted, meaning something has gone wrong with either a hardware devicesoftware, or even system files.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to identify and fix the DPC Watchdog Violation in Windows 11 PCs for good.

Key Takeaways

  • Common causes for this issue include outdated driverssoftware conflicts & overloading your computer with too many external devices.
  • To fix this BSOD error update drivers & BIOS, and disable overclocking, using reliable hardware components that are compatible with each other.
  • Use Safe Mode to identify and troubleshoot underlying problems causing Dpc watchdog violations as well as diagnostic tools present in Windows 11 like FORTECT Troubleshooter which can access more in-depth debugging programs.

What is DPC Watchdog Violation?

This Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) error triggers the Windows 11 operating system to shut itself down. It occurs when the Deferred Procedure Call (DPC), a component of the Windows 11 Operating System kernel, runs for longer than it should, and the Watchdog bug checker doesn’t receive any response from the DPC in time resulting in an error.

Common causes of this BSOD can include hardware compatibility problems such as incompatible or outdated drivers, missing drivers, or software conflicts between programs on your PC.

Overclocking and connecting too many external hardware devices could also result in the error occurring more frequently.

Symptoms And Effects On Your Computer

It often happens randomly or when certain software is used, resulting in your computer crashing or freezing and not responding to any input.

The violation occurs when the deferred procedure call (DPC), a process within the Windows operating system, don’t respond promptly within 100 microseconds. This will result in your machine becoming unresponsive as well as major performance issues for other programs you’re running simultaneously such as games, web browsers, etc. If left unchecked, this problem can cause more serious problems including data loss/corruption and even permanent damage to your PC hardware.

How To Fix DPC Watchdog Violation In Windows 11?

1. Update Drivers And BIOS

  • Go to “Device Manager” in the Control Panel.
  • RiRight-click on an outdated driver, and select “Update Driver Software…” from the context menu.
  • Follow any prompts to install updates automatically or manually, then restart your device.

How to Update BIOS:

  • Go to your computer manufacturer’s website for instructions on how to update your motherboard’s BIOS.
  • Download and install any relevant provided updates then follow their directions exactly for a successful upgrade.
  • Be extra careful here—BIOS errors can permanently damage system components if not done correctly!

When updating drivers or BIOS remember that device manufacturers post these updates often; check regularly just in case there’s something else more recent available for you!

2. Disable Overclocking And Check For Hardware Issues

Overclocking is a technique used to maximize the performance of your computer by increasing its clock rate which, in turn, increases the speed at which it can perform certain tasks. Though this technique can improve your system’s performance, if not done correctly or with insufficient power supply and cooling systems in place, it may lead to instability or worse.

To identify whether overclocking is causing the problem and/or check for hardware issues follow these steps:

  1. Identify the clock rate of CPU and GPU using diagnostic tools such as RealTemp or HWiNFO respectively;
  2. Check temperature status both idle (low fan speed)and under load(at full CPU speed);
  3. Check memory usage when running applications;
  4. Analyze core voltage value using a multimeter measuring device;
  5. Remove any overclocking utilities that were installed via software before experiencing error;
  6. Revert BIOS settings to default values;
  7. Use only reliable hardware components and ensure they are compatible with each other

3. Use Safe Mode And Diagnostic Tools

To enter safe mode, simply press the F8 key when your computer boots up and use the arrow keys to select “Safe Mode” from the menu options provided.

Once in Safe Mode, users can use Task Manager or any other diagnostic tools installed on their system to identify and fix any underlying problems with their computer’s hardware or software.

It’s important to note that Administrator privileges may be required for some of these operations which can be accessed by right-clicking on Task Manager or using “Run as Administrator”.

Diagnostics tools include Driver Verifier Manager (verifier), Deployment Image Servicing & Management (DISM) utility, System File Checker (SFC) scan tool, Microsoft Memory Diagnostic tool (mdrinfo), etc.

Sadly though, these tools come with some risks; specifically rebooting your system with an incompatible driver or changing device settings without proper knowledge could damage both files and hardware alike.

4. Replace The SATA AHCI Device’s Driver File

The SATA AHCI driver is a critical part of the system architecture of Windows 11 that enables the communication between an external hard disk and the operating system. When this driver becomes corrupted or out-of-date, things can go bad!

To fix these issues, you should update the serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) advanced host controller interface (AHCI).

To replace the SATA AHCI device’s driver file:

  1. Go to Device Manager in Windows 11 and look for “Disk drives” under “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers”.
  2. Right-click on your primary storage drive with SATA AHCIA listed next to it and select Update Driver Software from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click search automatically online for updated drivers software – if prompted by user account control click yes – then select install and follow any other prompts arising until finished installing a new version of Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI).
  4. Restart your computer once finished installation is complete
  5. Once restarted get back into the device manager outlined step one here again check to make sure the latest version If haven’t been already used.

5. Update The Firmware For Your PC’s SSD

By updating the firmware for the PC’s SSD you will ensure that even if something goes wrong while processing requests from Windows 11 Operating System the built-in failsafe allows helping to protect your data from being corrupted beyond repair. 

This can help prevent random stuttering issues usually occurring when system resources are overburdened; thus resolution of many kinds of freezing or crashing may be achieved including eliminating Blue Screen Error codes “0x00000133” present during booting up due to outdated drivers conflict between third-party software applications incompatible external hardware components like game controllers printer etcetera as well as providing recent bug fixes released by the manufacturer.

6. Run A System File Checker Scan

Here’s how you can use SFC to try and fix the issue:

  1. Press Win+R on your keyboard to open the Run dialogue box
  2. Type “cmd” into the search field followed by Enter key
  3. In Command Prompt, type sfc/ scannow then press Enter key
  4. Wait until SFC has scanned all your drives for errors
  5. Once completed, reboot the PC as usual

7. Run A CHKDSK Disk Scan

It will search for any inconsistencies that can cause errors, such as bad sectors, lost clusters, file system issues, and more. Running a CHKDSK disk scan can help detect and repair any storage driver or SSD errors.

Here’s how to run a CHKDSK disk scan:

  1. Press the ‘Windows Key + X’ to open the power users menu.
  2. Select “Command Prompt (Admin), which will open an elevated command prompt window.
  3. Type “chkdsk c: /f/r” and press enter to initiate the scan.
  4. When prompted if you want to schedule a check next time you reboot your computer, type Y and press Enter, then reboot your computer to begin the check when it starts again.
  5. Once the CHKDSK closes after it completes its scan, restart your computer so it can find and repair any errors it detected during the scan process.

8. Choose An Appropriate Restore Point

If you are experiencing DPC Watchdog Violation errors from recent system changes, reverting to an appropriate restore point may fix this issue with ease. 

From the same menu described above, select “System Restore” again and choose one of the many restore points listed after clicking next twice on the wizard page. This will return the system in time as far as required – however, if further errors occur another reset may need to add further benefit to having multiple known working restorable states saved during major OS changes or upcoming software updates etc.

9. Repair Upgrade Windows 11

To repair upgrade :

  1. First, start by running an SFC scan to check for any corrupt system files on your PC – this can help fix many problems caused by outdated or corrupted files.
  2. Download and install the most up-to-date version of Windows 11 compatible with your PC’s hardware configuration from Microsoft’s official website (there will likely be multiple versions available; choose one appropriate for updating).
  3. Back up all important data before initiating a repair upgrade so it doesn’t get deleted or lost during repairs/upgrades.
  4. Once your backup has been verified, disconnect peripheral devices like printers, game controllers, etc., as they may interfere with the repair/upgrade process if left connected while performing repairs/upgrades.
  5. Uninstall any third-party software before starting the update process as doing so might resolve potential conflicts between programs or drivers installed on your device.
  6.  Start repairing/upgrading but bear in mind that you should not interrupt its progress or disable power when carrying out these procedures as this could lead to further issues downline.

10. Reset Windows 11

And if that doesn’t work..finally..reset your OS!

This process will reset all of your PC’s settings, including the Windows 11 operating system itself and all of your software applications, back to their factory-default state. Before starting the resetting process it is important to make sure that you have properly backed up any important data on your computer, as setting Windows 11 back to its default settings will erase everything stored on it. 

Tips To Prevent DPC Watchdog Violation In Windows 11

1. Avoid Overloading And Close Unnecessary Programs

When the system can’t handle the number of programs and processes that are open, it may generate this error or cause other issues such as lag, slow boot times, and more.

Additionally, closing out unnecessary programs can free up RAM and allow your computer to run more smoothly – potentially preventing the issue from occurring again in the future.

For example, If you have multiple browsers open along with several games and a few music streaming services then your computer will become quickly cluttered – leading to slower performance speeds than normal (which could result in this Error).

2. Keep Your Computer Clean And Dust-Free

Dust and other debris can easily accumulate on your device, which can slow down its performance and limit airflow from the system fan.

Too much dust build-up can start to block vital components such as cooling vents, causing them to overheat quickly and putting stress on other hardware.

To help keep dust buildup at a minimum, it’s recommended that users regularly open their systems up and use compressed air cans to blow away any dirt inside the tower or laptop without touching parts directly with fingers as static electricity could damage essential circuitry.

Keeping a microfiber cloth handy also helps for quick surface wipes of sensitive electronic components like USB ports — just never mix liquids around these components! 

3. Update Windows And Security Software Regularly

Keeping your operating system and security software up-to-date is an essential part of maintaining a stress-free computing experience. Not only does it help to protect against the latest cyber threats but updating Windows and security software can also prevent such errors from occurring.

Common examples of security software include anti-virus, firewall, malware protection, and other forms of web filtering designed to keep out malicious intruders.

This helps ensure that certain corrupt data packets or text strings don’t cause issues on your computer such as unexpected shutdowns, Blue Screens, or even boot failures.

4. Use Reliable Hardware And Check For Compatibility

Incompatible hardware can be either internal or external and could cause errors later on, so users should always check that all installed hardware is compatible with Windows 11 before making a purchase.

Internal components such as RAM modules, motherboards, and GPUs need to be carefully chosen since they will make up most of your system’s architecture and performance capabilities.

For external devices such as game controllers or printers, confirming compatibility beforehand can save you from having trouble down the line.

Also See: Fix DPC Watchdog Violation error in Windows 10


Although it can be tricky to diagnose, following certain preventive measures will help reduce the chances of a PC crashing due to this issue.

Make sure that your device drivers and operating system are running the latest versions, use reliable hardware components with good compatibility ratings, and close unnecessary programs when not in use to avoid overloading your computer.

Q: What causes this error on Windows 11?

A: The dpc_watchdog_violation error is a blue screen of death error commonly caused by outdated or incompatible device drivers, hardware issues, corrupted system files, or incompatible software. These factors cause Windows to crash and display the error message.

Q: How can I fix it in safe mode?

A: To fix the problem in safe mode, restart your computer and press the appropriate key (usually F8 or Shift + F8) to enter safe mode.

Once in safe mode, you can try updating device drivers, uninstalling recently installed software, or running a system file checker to repair corrupted system files. 

Q: Can updating my device drivers help fix it?

A: Yes, updating your device drivers can help fix the dpc_watchdog_violation error. 

Outdated or incompatible drivers can cause Windows to malfunction, resulting in this error message. 

Q: How do I know if my hardware is causing it?

A: If you suspect that hardware is causing the error, try unplugging any recently added devices or peripherals, one at a time, and restarting your computer. If the error stops occurring when a specific piece of hardware is removed, then it may be the cause!

Q: If the DPC watchdog violation error occurs after installing Windows 11, what should I do?

A: If the error occurs after installing Windows 11, the issue may be related to a device driver or software incompatibility. Try entering safe mode and updating device drivers, uninstalling any recently installed software, or checking the system for hardware compatibility.

You may also need to perform a clean installation of Windows 11.

Q: Can uninstalling recently installed software help fix the dpc_watchdog_violation error?

A: Yes, uninstalling recently installed software can help fix the dpc_watchdog_violation error if it is causing a conflict or incompatibility with your system. To uninstall problematic software, open the Settings app, go to ‘Apps’, find the software in question, and click ‘Uninstall’. Restart your computer to check if the error has been resolved.

Q: What should I do if none of the above solutions work?

A: If you have tried all of the above solutions and are still unable to fix the dpc_watchdog_violation error, it’s possible that there may be an issue with your system’s hardware or operating system that requires professional assistance.

Contact a qualified PC technician (like us! 🙂 ) for further diagnosis and support.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...