The DPC watchdog error was very common when Windows 10 was released. It was due to a compatibility issue with certain devices. Windows released an updated to fix this problem, but not all system configuration were targeted, and you might still encounter this problem.
If you are stressing your CPU, memory and/or video card and receive the BSOD with the error DPC Watchdog Violation, then follow these methods to fix the problem.
Method 1: Do a clean re-installation of drivers by uninstalling first using Display Driver Uninstaller
There are two situations here, 1) where you are able to login, 2) where you’re not able to login, the aim is to boot the system into Safe Mode so it can load with basic drivers and minimal settings but before you go with the steps below, make sure you download DDU from here and copy it to an External Drive or if you were able to login, then have it downloaded and saved on your Desktop before you boot into Safe Mode.
For Windows 8/10
If you’re able to login, then Click the Start button from the lower right corner, Hold the SHIFT Key and whilst Holding the SHIFT Key and choose Shutdown -> Restart to get into Advanced Options.
If you are not able to login, then restart PC and interrupt the reboot process when you see the Windows (logo)
screen, interrupt it 3 times and you the text below the logo shows “Preparing Automatic Repair”, when you see this and stop and wait for the system to take you to the Advanced Mode.
For Windows Vista/7
However, if you are using Windows 7 or Vista then Restart your computer and repeatedly tap F8 until you see the Advanced Boot Menu. If you do not see this menu, start over again and repeatedly tap F8 key on your keyboard until you see this. When you see this select Safe Mode. You will be able to login into safe mode fine.
Windows 7 will take you straight to Safe Mode after you choose the Safe Mode option but for Windows 8 and 10, after the Preparing Automatic Repair message, it should take you to Advanced Options from there choose Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> Startup Settings -> (wait for the system to reboot),after the reboot choose Option 4 by pressing 4 on the keyboard to start into Safe Mode.
Once in Safe Mode, either copy the DDU file to your Desktop in a new folder if you saved it onto a USB or locate the file where it was downloaded and move it to a new folder, so the extracted files can stay within the folder, else it will be extracted where you’ve got the file saved. Once done, click the Display Driver Uninstaller icon and run it. Don’t worry, if it shows “Windows 8.1” as the system detected. Go ahead, and choose the Card Type from the drop down, then choose Option 1 which is Clean and Restart. After the Driver Cleaning has finished, the system will reboot back into Normal mode. Now, you can go to the manufacturer’s site to download and install the latest driver for your Graphic Card.
Method 2: Update the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller drivers
- Hold down the Windows Key and Press R
- Type down devmgmt.msc
- Open the IDE ATA/ATAPI controller section and choose the one called SATA AHCI.
- Right click on it, select Update Drivers.
- Choose manual update.
- When prompted with the location, select Let me pick from a list of devices driver in my computer.
- Select Standard AHCI Serial ATA Controller and click next.
- Restart your computer.
Method 3: Update the SSD firmware if available
- Open the start menu and select the Control Panel.
- Click on View By: Small Icons, and search for System
- Click on Device Manager from the left panel.
- Double click on Disk Drives.
- Save the Model number from your SSD and search for the firmware on Google.
- Search for the specific firmware and instructions on how to install the firmware for your drive.
Method 4: Uninstalling Synaptic default drivers (Need a USB mouse to accomplish this)
- Hold the Windows Key and press R. Type down devmgmt.msc
- Expand Mice and other pointing devices.
- Right click on Synaptics SMBus TouchPad and click on Uninstall.
- Restart your computer, and wait for Windows to install the most updated drivers for it.