DPC Watchdog Violation Blue Screen [Fixed]

Sophie Luo, in Blue Screen Error Tags: blue screenBSOD

Blue screen of death error, sure is a nightmare for all Windows users. When your PC screen goes into a blue screen, there is nothing left for you to do except to restart your machine and risk losing all your unsaved work. 

In all the blue screen of death error, DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION is one of the most commonly seen error message on Windows 10 and Windows 8. Luckily, there are always fixes for you to try. 

If you’re seeing DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION appearing on your screen, and you have no idea what to do next, you’re not alone. As mentioned, this error is quite common, and you have access to 5 solutions here in this post. 

What does DPC Watchdog Violation mean? 

First off, this blue screen of death error bug check has a value of 0x00000133. [1]

DPC stands for Deferred Procedure Call. Watchdog refers to the bug checker, which usually monitors or track your Windows programs and your PC performance.

When you see the Violation message, your PC watchdog (aka bug checker) is overwhelmed. Probably because a DPC is running too long a time, or your system is stuck at an interrupt request level (IRQL) of DISPATCH_LEVEL or above. [1]

Why do I have this blue screen error?  

In most cases, you will see this error when your device driver(s) is outdated or installed wrongly. For example, if you haven’t installed the video card driver for your new operating system, DPC Watchdog Violation could easily happen when you try to watch a video online. 

In some cases, incompatible hardware with your operating system can be the cause as well. For example, if your external hard driver is not longer supported by Windows 10, or that you have recently installed a new hardware device on your older computer, you will see DPC Watchdog Violation error as well. 

Sometimes, this error could be caused by software conflict, although not as common as the two causes above. 

How do I fix the DPC Watchdog Violation problem?  

Here are 5 fixes for you to try. You may not need to try them all; just work your way down until you find the one works for you.  

Method 1: Change SATA ACHI controller driver
Method 2: Update all available drivers
Method 3: Check hardware and software compatibility
Method 4: Perform a disk check
Method 5: Run Event Viewer

IMPORTANT: You’ll need to be logged into Windows on the problem computer to try any of these solutions. If you can’t log into Windows, power on and off your PC 3 times to perform a hard reboot and restart it in Safe Mode, then try these solutions. 

Method 1: Change SATA ACHI controller driver 

This is the most effective method according to a wide range of Windows users. So you might want to try it first: 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and X at the same time, then click Device Manager

2) Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers

3) Right-click SATA ACHI controller and click Properties

To verify that you’ve chosen the correct controller: go to the Driver tab, click Driver Details

Make sure the iaStorA.sys is listed as a driver. Click OK to exit. 

If you’re seeing storachi.sys listed here, move on to method 2 for more help. 

5) Click Driver and then Update Driver…. 

6) Click Browse my computer for driver software

7) Click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.

8) Click Standard SATA AHCI Controller, then click Next. Finish the rest of the procedure as instructed.

9) Restart your computer after for the change to take effect. 

Note: You may need to repeat the same procedure again every time after your Windows update. This is a normal situation. So there is no need for you to worry about it.

Method 2: Update available drivers

If you’re seeing storachi.sys listed in the properties of SATA ACHI controller driver, you should update your driver in this way.

In addition, one reason for DPC Watchdog Violation is outdated drivers for your hardware devices. You should verify that all your devices have the right and latest drivers, and update those that don’t. 

If you’re not confident playing around with drivers manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing. 

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee):

1) Download and install Driver Easy

2) Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers. 

3) Click the Update button next to all flagged devices to automatically download and install the correct version of their driver (you can do this with the FREE version).

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All). 

Method 3: Check hardware and software compatibility

As mentioned, incompatible hardware devices with your PC operating system, and/or conflicted software programs could be one of the causes of the DPC Watchdog Violation error as well. 

Check hardware compatibility

If you have some external devices plugged or installed on your PC, such as external hard drive or a USB flash drive, disconnect them all (leave your mouse and keyboard connected), then restart your computer. 

If the error stops, plug your external devices back, only one at a time, then restart your PC. If you get the error again after certain device, you have got the culprit already. You can either replace this device completely from your PC, or update its driver as instructed in Method 2. 

Check software compatibility

If this error only happens very recently, try to reflect if you have made some changes to your PC. For instance, have you installed a new application, or have you upgraded some programs. 

If you are not sure what changes you have done, you might want to do a system restore, to help you go back to the previous stage of your PC. 

Method 4: Perform a disk check

A blue screen of death error could indicate a disk problem. You may want to make sure that your disk is at a good state: 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key, type cmd in. Right-click Command Prompt and click Run as administrator

When prompted with the administrator permission, click Yes to continue. 

2) Type chkdsk /f /r, then press Enter on your keyboard.  

3) Press Y on your keyboard. 

IMPORTANT: Disk check will start the next time you boot your PC and it might take some time to complete (could be a day for some). If, when you restart, you don’t have time to wait for the disk check to complete, you can skip it. You’ll need to reschedule it again, as described above, though. 

Method 5: Run Event Viewer

This method does not provide you with a solution, but you might be able to find the culprit driver or device that is causing you the DPC Watchdog Violation blue screen error. 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and X at the same time. Then click Event Viewer

2) On the left side of the panel, click Windows Logs, and then System.

3) In the middle part of the panel, you will be able to some entries. Check the ones marked by Error or Warning, then you should be able to see the detailed information of what exact went wrong at a certain time range.


[1] Microsoft debugger bug check 0x133 

Help Us Improve Article
  • Ethan Cobos

    I really really need help, nothing is working at all. On my Alienware with Nvidia GTX 970m with no prompting at all the same screen appears, I don’t know what to do or what to check at first I updated the drivers but that doesn’t seem to do the trick I rolled back to an earlier version but I honestly don’t know if what I did is right. Can somebody direct me? I don’t know what I should do or what exams or how to proceed. It crashes just starting sometimes, sometimes it takes more time but same result. Help please, somebody help, I am desperate.

    • Sophie.Luo

      Hi Ethan,
      So sorry for what happened.

      We need more information from you to know for sure what exact went wrong. If it’s not too much to ask from you, would you please provide us with more information?
      We will be more capable of helping you with the crash dump file information from you:
      1) Go into the safe mode as instructed in this post: https://www.drivereasy.com/knowledge/how-to-enter-safe-mode-in-windows-10-7-8-8-1-xp-vista/
      2) Download the tool: http://www.resplendence.com/download/whocrashedSetup.exe
      3) Run the tool to find out what exactly is causing your BSOD.
      4) Send us back the scan result and we will see what more we can do.

      If you need any assistance, feel free to ask.
      Look forward to fixing this problem for you.

  • Tracy Knapke

    thank you for the above directions!! My laptop is only two months old and shuts down at least twice a day with the watchdog blue screen and shuts down. I’m currently waiting as my computer is running through step 4. Should I be concerned that something is wrong with my new computer????

    Another issue is my computer freezes up often (at least 1 to 2 times every time I’m using it typically about 4 hours) task manager is not even an option when it freezes. I am forced to remove the battery.
    Will following the direct above help the computer to stop freezing???? Again I’m very concerned as it’s very new computer.

    • Sophie.Luo

      Hi, Tracy. The problem you have doesn’t sound right on a new computer. Please make sure that you have updated all needed chipset drivers for your computer first. If possible, we recommend you take your PC back to have it checked to see if the problem is with the hardware. Regarding the freeze of your PC, here is another post from us: https://www.drivereasy.com/knowledge/solved-windows-10-freezes-locks-up-randomly-easily/ hope you find it helpful. If not, you should get your PC hardware checked by the professionals. Feel free to let us know what more we can do to help. Have a nice day.

      • Tracy K.

        This is Tracy again. I finished running the 4 steps it took several hours however, the watch dog issues went away. Until recently it has started up again. I’m using the same process to clear it. It seems like after any updates is when the watch dog starts again. Is there anyway around having this repeatedly happen?

  • Islam Aboauf

    I can’t find iaStorA.sys at driver list ,all I can find is storachi

    • Aldrin de Guzman

      then perform method 2.

  • Jay D

    Performed all 4 tasks to the tee. Ran a test with counter strike global offensive and low and behold, BSOD. It’s strage because I play much more graphics and CPU demanding games but the problem only ever presents with CS:GO.

    • quatermass

      You need to check the temperature of your CPU and GPU. If not high, then likely the hardware is getting stressed playing those types of games. Do a SFC /SCANNOW fix files corrupted, not found probably a hardware fault with the GPU.

  • Nadine Brandt

    Ugh, mine is frozen ! Screen says it will restart and it’s at 100% and not moving. Help.

  • Erin Williams

    I have this problem and am running the second choice here. I’ve reset my computer but it needed to update first, and now it’s stuck on loading screen, saying Scanning and Repairing drive (C:) 10% complete. It’s not moving on from 10%. Only started having problems since I. Downloaded and installed sims3.

    • Dani Quinn

      Give it at least 3 hours to scan and repair. Mine took over 3 hours to complete.

  • Pheziwe Mkhalane

    I perfomed option 2 but now it’s been scanning and repairing drive for an hour and it’s still at 10% completion( Has been for most of the hour). How long does it take on average? ( Am I being impatient?)

    Also, will I lose any of my things?

    • Erin Williams

      I have the same problem. Not sure whether to intervene or not. What did you do. Did it get moving or still on 10%?

      • Pheziwe Mkhalane

        I gave up. I removed the battery and unplugged it and waited for a few minutes before I switched it on. It gave me the option of pressing any key if I wanted to discontinue and I pressed a key and the scan stopped. I’ll try it again when I have more time. I think I waited for about 3 hours before I gave up.

        • Anatolle Samodeed

          It took about 4 hrs. Went for a nap. It was at 11% for all this time.

  • Utsukushi Saigai

    Hi, I’ve had the bsod pop up 3 times today. This is the first time. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ca9ae3ba970ea48c28231259e050207747a90b7e63e06b1af8df62c75abbaaf.jpg
    I opened up the Sims and went to take a shower. I came back and the blue screen was up.

    This is the second time
    After restarting my laptop I deleted some programs I recently installed and a few that I’m not using anymore and restarted again. I opened up the Sims again and a few minutes later the blue screen happened again.

    And this is the last time, it happened while I was opening CMD to check my drive https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75d13429f5fb81065e5fc597cd28a6d69f8781fc9a7d352986ecbadac03227a4.jpg

    • Sophie.Luo

      Hi Utsukushi.

      Please try the following options to see if they help you with the BSOD problems.

      1) Please update your display adapter first. You can choose to update via Device Manager or Windows Update. Or go to the manufacturer support website to see if you can locate the latest version of your display card driver.

      2) Please update your network card driver. You can choose to update via Device Manager, Windows Update or manufacturer website.

      If you are not sure how to update your display card driver or network driver, you can have a try at Driver Easy, it will help you detect and download the best-matched driver for your PC. Detecting and downloading features are totally free to use. If you need more help installing the downloaded drivers, please refer to this post here: https://www.drivereasy.com/help55/update-drivers-free-version/

  • Katie

    My laptop has done this 4 times now, how am I able to attempt any of these fixes if I can’t get to the desktop? It restarts before I get there each time?

    • quatermass

      Go into SAFE MODE.
      If you can’t do that, you’ll need a external boot disk and check for HD errors, system file corruption, hot GPU/CPU. Check air intake isn’t clogged.

  • Gerry Gee

    I keep having the blue BSOD screen come up at least 3 times a day.. also, in between, my desktop does a hard hang and locks.. I get the message Kernel Power 41 error code when checking in the events manager? Are the two related?

    I have done all the checks, HD OK, all my drivers are up to date (according to Microsoft) done all the above you have given switching off quick boot.
    Interestingly, I did the scan disc for errors got the command prompt box, set it to scan the C drive when next startup… and put a ‘Y’ to confirm this.. next startup, nothing happened… no disc check????

    I’m at my wits end on this now… the only thing I suspect is the HD is corrupt or on it’s way out…

    • Sophie Luo

      Hi, the disk check will begin the next time you reboot your PC.

      Please runt he disk check command again and try restart your machine after.

  • Alex

    Thanks a lot for this! The error happens so much on my PC, however, that I cannot even attempt these. I remember it only happening after I downloaded something, so could it be something forced by a virus/internet malware?

    • Sophie Luo

      Hi, Alex.

      From what we know, this error is rarely caused by virus or malware.

      In most of the cases, it is caused by failed device drivers. Therefore, it is suggested that you update all the device drivers first to see if the BSOD continues.

      If the problem continues, you may need to delve into the Event Viewer Checker of yours to see if you can spot any unusual events from there. There should be error codes that you can refer to in the Event Viewer Checker.

      If you need more help, please feel free to ask. We’d be glad to help.

  • t Larson

    You say
    Option Two: Check for corrupted hard drive

    1) Press Windows key, then in the search box, type in cmd

    What does the search box look like???

    • Sophie Luo

      Click Start button, and you should be able to see the indicator of your mouse flicking in the search box. Or click the Start button, then just type in cmd. The letters will show in the search box.