How to fix Windows 10 DPC Watchdog Violation errors

Sounds serious doesn’t it? ‘DPC Watchdog Violation’ sounds like something you would be accused of in court. It’s actually a Windows error telling you there’s a problem with your SSD driver. There are other occasions where a different driver or firmware is at fault but the majority of them we see are for SSDs.

This error has been around for a couple of generations of Windows and even though Microsoft have released fixes for it, the error appears every now and again. We got a Windows 10 laptop in at Dave’s Computers last week and it had this error. The owner thought it was a serious issue but we had it fixed within 30 minutes. If you’re seeing this error and cannot get to our New Jersey computer store, here is how you fix it.

DPC Watchdog Violation

DPC stands for Deferred Procedure Call and you tend to see this error when something delays the reply to this call. Windows will then flag a watchdog error as it didn’t get the response it expected during whatever operation it was trying to do at the time. Usually that’s writing to or reading from the SSD.

To fix Windows 10 DPC Watchdog Violation errors, try this:

  1. Right click the Windows Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Open the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers section and select ‘SATA AHCI’.
  3. Right click SATA AHCI and select Properties.
  4. Select the Driver tab and Driver Details. The correct driver is ‘iastor.sys’. If it is, continue to Step 5. 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.
  7. Go back to SATA AHCI Properties, the Driver tab and Driver Details and check for iastor.sys.

Reboot your computer and watch for the error. If it doesn’t happen again we’ve fixed it. If it does happen again there is a final step and that is to update all your drivers.

  1. Right click the Windows Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Work through your network card, audio, system drivers, motherboard, graphics and any peripheral drivers you may have.
  3. Reboot and retest.

You can allow Windows to keep some of your drivers updated if you wish. Open Windows 10 Settings and Update and Security. Select Advanced options and select ‘Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows. Windows won’t download non-Microsoft drivers but it will keep others up to date.

Driver maintenance is a key part of maintaining system health. As different manufacturers release drivers at different intervals, setting a monthly update schedule is probably the best idea. That way you can capture the maximum amount of updates with the minimum of fuss.

If you have any issues with DPC Watchdog Violation errors or driver updates, we can help. The computer repair guys at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey can help with any computer or networking issue you may have. Bring your computer to our store and we will see what we can do!