How to Fix the Stop Code DRIVER PNP WATCHDOG

DRIVER PNP WATCHDOG error BSOD primarily occurs due to wrong SATA controller settings in BIOS, broken registry values, Volume Shadow Service issues, malware infections, system service exceptions or Windows Update issues.



After carefully analyzing the user reports we were are able to deduce that this error can occur due to the issues related to software. Some of these issues are:

  • Wrong SATA Controller Settings in BIOS: SATA controller has many modes like IDE, AHCI etc. If the SATA controller mode is wrongly configured in the BIOS, then it can trigger this error.
  • Malware Infections: A system infected with viruses/malware is bound to suffer many errors as this infection can force many important files/services to behave improperly, which can then trigger this issue.
  • Anti-Virus and Firewall Issues: Antivirus software can also block important system components and services. If these are blocked, they will not be able to access the required files and hence the BSOD will be caused.
  • Volume Shadow Service: When VSS is creating a backup, it locks the file/drive as read-only and if VSS is triggered wrongly or stuck in the loop, then access to the file/drive can be restricted which can cause this error.
  • Faulty System Services: Windows system services are the key components of the OS and if any of the system files get into a fault state, you will experience the BSOD.
  • Corrupted System Files and Drives: Updated system files/drivers are required for the proper functioning of the System. If these are corrupt, this error can be triggered.
  • RAM Issues: RAM problems are not as common as compared to other computer problems. Memory usually lasts longer than other computer components but if RAM is having issues in performing its operation, it can result in this issue.
  • Faulty Drivers: Device drivers communicate between the device and OS and if the device driver has become faulty then it can be the cause of this issue.
  • Outdated Device Drivers: Outdated Device Drivers can cause a lot of issues for the smooth running of the system as technology is evolving continuously at a rapid pace and if device drivers are not updated to cater to the new technology, then these outdated drivers can cause the system to throw this particular error.
  • Conflicting Update: Microsoft has a long history of releasing buggy Windows Updates and maybe one of these buggy updates can cause this issue.
  • Problematic Windows Update: If Windows Update was in the process of updating the system but could not complete its operation, then it can result in Driver PNP Watchdog BSOD.
  • Outdated OS: New updates are released by Microsoft to patch the loopholes in Windows and if Windows is outdated then it can have a lot of loopholes in it which can cause this issue.
  • Corrupt Windows Installation: Although with the improvements in technology, Windows is quite resilient against corruption as compared to Windows a decade ago but still, it can corrupt and this corruption can throw this particular error.

Before moving on with the solution provided here, please have a good look and understanding of our article on the common blue screen errors.

Solution 1: Change SATA Controller Settings in BIOS

BIOS is the main component of your system and if it is having a problem in communicating with a device then OS would also have a problem in communicating with the device. When troubleshooting Driver PNP Watchdog error, checking the BIOS is one of the most important steps. Usually, the SATA controller setting is the culprit and changing it from AHCI to IDE may solve the problem.

  1. Ensure your computer is OFF.
  2. Press the Power button to power on your computer, and keep pressing the F2key (depending on your computer brand) to enter BIOS.
  3. Use the arrow keys to select an option like Advanced or Main, then press Enter to access.
  4. Find the option like IDE Configuration, Storage Configuration or Drive Configuration. Then press the Enter

    IDE Configuration in BIOS
  5. Find an option like Configure SATASATA Mode or SATA Configuration.
    Configure SATA as IDE
  6. Change that particular option to ATA, IDE or Compatible.
  7. Save and exit BIOS.

Restart the system and check if the Driver PNP Watchdog error BSOD has been resolved.

Solution 2: Check Volume Shadow Copy Service

The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) manages and implements Volume Shadow Copies used for backup and other purposes. If this service isn’t running properly, it can cause problems. To make sure the Volume Shadow Copy service is running properly, follow the steps below:

  1. Press the Windows key & R simultaneously to bring out the Run box.
  2. Type services.msc and click OK.
    Services in Run Command
  3. Scroll down and double click Volume Shadow Copy.
    Volume Shadow Copy Service
  4. In the Properties Window Make sure that the Startup type is set to the “Automatic”, and the Service status is set on the “Running”. Then click on the “Apply button & then on the “OK button to save your changes.
    Volume Shadow Copy

Restart your computer to check if it is clear of the Driver PNP Watchdog error.

Solution 3: Run a Full System Scan

Viruses & malware can cause the Driver PNP Watchdog error, as it can affect any important file/service which is required by the system to communicate with any hardware device. Therefore, you should scan your PC for viruses and malware to remove them. You can either use Windows’ built-in antivirus Windows Defender or any third-party antivirus as per your liking (Please read our list of recommended Anti-viruses) to run a full system scan.

  1. Download the Anti-virus of your liking.
  2. Double-click on the downloaded file and follow the prompts to complete the installation.
  3. After installation, Right-Click on the Anti-Virus icon, and then select “Run as Administrator” to open the program.
  4. In the Anti-Virus display, click on the “Scan” button to commence the scanning operation.
  5. After the scan is completed then click on the “Clean” button.
  6. Now, click “OK” when prompted to reboot your PC to complete cleaning.

After the restart of the system check if Driver PNP Watchdog error has left your PC.

Solution 4: Tweaking with Services

System Services are components required by the system to function properly and if there is any of service is faulty then the system can throw multiple errors including BSOD errors. The Driver PNP Watchdog driver error BSOD can also occur due to faulty service. So tweaking with some of the required services can solve the problem.

  1. Press the Windows logo key and type “Command Prompt” and in the resulting list, Right-Click on “Command Prompt” Click on “Run as Administrator”.
    Run Command Prompt as Administrator
  2. Now in command prompt enter the following commands one by one and press enter after each one.
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop cryptSvc
    net stop bits
    net stop appIDSvc
  3. Now go to

    Find SoftwareDistribution and rename it SoftwareDistribution.old

  4. Now go to

    and rename catroot2 to Catroot2.old

  5. Now in command prompt enter the following commands one by one and press enter after each one.
    net start wuauserv
    net start cryptSvc
    net start bits
    net start msiserver
    net start appIDsvc
  6. Now in command prompt enter the following command and press enter
  7. Press the Windows logo key and type “PowerShell” and in the resulting list, Right-click on “Windows PowerShell” and click on “Run as Administrator”.
    Run PowerShell As Administrator
  8. Now in PowerShell enter the following command and press enter
    wuauclt.exe /updatenow

Restart the system.

Check if Driver PNP Watchdog error BSOD has gone, if not move to the next solution.

Solution 5: Run the Windows Updates Troubleshooter

Windows Update is known to create BSOD if it fails to perform a particular operation. And troubleshooting Windows Update is a major step while dealing with BSOD errors. Windows 10 has several built-in Troubleshooter and Windows Updates Troubleshooter is one of them. So running it to troubleshoot Windows Update may solve our problem.

  1. Press Windows Key and in the search field box, type “Troubleshooting” without quotes
  2. Click Troubleshooting
  3. Click “View all” in the left pane
  4. Select “Windows Update
  5. Click Next to run Windows Update Troubleshooter, then follow the instructions on the screen
    Run Windows Troubleshooter

Restart the system and check if the Driver PNP Watchdog BSoD problem has resolved.

Solution 6: Reset the PC to Its Default Settings

Windows 10 allows its users to reset their OS to its factory settings and all the applications, drivers, services that did not come with the computer will be uninstalled, and all changes made by the user to the system’s settings & preferences are nullified. Whereas for the user’s files and data stored on the computer are concerned, the user will be prompted to opt-out from either to keep them or remove them while resetting the computer.

  1. Ensure your PC is off.
  2. Press the power button to turn on your PC and when you see the Windows logo hold the power button down until PC shuts down automatically.
  3. Repeat thrice.
  4. Automatic Repair screen will pop up.
  5. Then wait for Windows to diagnose your PC.
    Diagnosing Your PC
  6. When the “Startup Repair” screen appears and says it could not repair your PC then Click Advanced options.
    Automatic Repair
  7. Click Troubleshoot in the Windows Recovery Environment.
    Troubleshoot in Windows RE
  8. On the Troubleshoot screen, click Reset this PC.
    Reset This PC
  9. Now select if you want to keep your files or delete them.
    Keep or Remove Files
  10. Click “Reset” to proceed and follow the instructions shown on the screen.

Last Words:

Hopefully, you have solved the problem and using your PC normally. If you are still having the same Driver PNP Watchdog error BSOD, then you may have a faulty disk drive or a faulty motherboard. To check your disk drive, replace it with any other drive and try the above methods with that replaced drive. And even if you are still having the Driver PNP Watchdog error BSOD, then it may very likely be a motherboard driver; for which you should take your system to a service centre.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.