How To Fix The 'DPC Watchdog Violation' Windows 10 Error

This tutorial was written by Tom's Hardware Community member JamieKavanagh. You can find a list of all their tutorials here.

DPC Watchdog Violation errors were very common when Windows 10 was first released—so much so that Microsoft had to release an update to tackle it. Originally it was caused by an SSD driver that was found to be incompatible with Windows 10, and it's actually a repeat of an issue that occurred in Windows 8 when that was released, too. If you need to fix the Windows 10 error DPC Watchdog Violation, this tutorial is for you.

The actual syntax is ‘DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION’ and the error usually results in a memory dump being taken and a BSOD.

Fix Windows 10 error DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION

The original fault was with the IDE ATA/ATAPI controller installed with Windows 10. The fix was to use a different driver.

  • 1. Navigate to Control Panel, Hardware, and Sound and Device Manager.
  • 2. Open the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers section.
  • 3. Select the controller that says ‘SATA AHCI’, right click and select Properties.
  • 4. Select the Driver tab and Driver Details. Make sure the driver is ‘iastor.sys’. If it is, carry on. If it isn’t, try another or move on to the next step.
  • 5. Select Update Driver Software, Browse, and Let me Pick from a list of devices.
  • 6. Select ‘Standard SATA AHCI Controller’ from the list and install.

This process addresses the vast majority of DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION errors in Windows 10. Otherwise, performing driver updates across the board is also considered effective. As a last resort, some users have said updating their motherboard BIOS has also fixed the error.

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  • Josh Hitchcock
    Getting this issue on my computer semi-rarely to the point where it's enough to be a pain but I don't have an SSD in my system nor do I have that driver.
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  • dizzy_davidh
    Although this error is most notoriously seen due to the mentioned storage driver compatibility issues the error does have a legitimate reason for being presented which is simply a fault somewhere with the chain of driver->firmware->hardware and an exception in the handling of DPC operations (Deferred Procedure Call, see 'wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferred_Procedure_Call' for an explantion).

    Essentially the error is the result of an incompatibility within a driver or firmware component. An unrecoverable fault occurs and produces a BSOD response to a misunderstood or mishandled hardware request.

    It might sound like a cliche but the cure is almost always to ensure all your driver and firmware components are up to date and to ensure they are as compatible with your Windows version/architecture as possible and/or ideally WHQL certified.
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