Fix the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION Issue in Windows 8

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The DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION Issue in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is one of the most annoying Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) problems. Read below how you can fix it and put an end to this annoyance.
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One thing that was persistent in all Windows versions was the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) and Windows 8 is no stranger to them. One particular error has been giving lots of users a hard time recently, and this is the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION. For those of you that have witnessed this error, you might be wondering what it is and how to fix it. Today, I’ll try to shed some light on this matter and help you fix the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION issue in Windows 8.

What causes the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION (value 0x00000133)?

In some cases, this problem comes along with other BSODs and they all have a common cause. If you check the official Microsoft website, you will find some information on this error, and it goes like this:

This bug check indicates that the DPC watchdog executed, either because it detected a single long-running deferred procedure call (DPC), or because the system spent a prolonged time at an interrupt request level (IRQL) of DISPATCH_LEVEL or above. The value of Parameter 1 indicates whether a single DPC exceeded a timeout, or whether the system cumulatively spent an extended period of time at IRQL DISPATCH_LEVEL or above.

What they are saying here, is that, basically, Windows 8 has stopped working because it was unable to get a response from a hardware component, its driver or a software program that is related to it. Most often, the hardware component in question is a disk drive, and Windows crashes once the disk becomes unreadable (similar to unplugging the data cable of the HDD when it’s in use). In some cases, the problem can be a hardware incompatibility or even a virus infection. Here’s a short list of what could be the causes of the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION:

  • HDD becomes unreadable
  • SSD Firmware not up to date
  • Old or damaged drivers
  • BIOS that has not been updated
  • Hardware incompatibility
  • Hardware was not installed properly
  • Overclock not done properly (in this case, do a BIOS Reset)
  • Malware infection

Fixing  the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error

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As you can see, there are a number of causes for the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error, but luckily most of them ca be ruled out with no effort. For instance, the first thing you should do is check all the disk data/power cables from your computer. In some cases, if they are not properly plugged in, the system might read that the disk is unavailable and crash.

If all the cables are intact and properly plugged in, you might want to move on and check the health of the disks. There are a number of utilities you can use to check all the health-related aspects of your drives. If you own a SSD, you might want to look for a firmware update (if you didn’t update it from the start). Keep in mind that if you update your SSD’s firmware, you will most likely lose all data from it.

Updating all the drivers from your computer is another way to go if you have stumbled on in the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION. Check your components for their manufacturers and models and then check their websites for Windows 8-compatible drivers, also, if there aren’t any Windows 8-ready drivers, contact them for more information. Also in the updating area, you should check the website of your motherboard’s developer for BIOS updates. Sometimes, if a BIOS is getting old and you add new hardware or operating systems to it, it might not work properly.

Scanning your computer for viruses is something that you should do all the time, even if you don’t have the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error. However, if you suffer from this issue, then you might want to scan your computer thoroughly and seek out any malware that might be hiding in it. There are lots of great antivirus programs out there that can do a great job in searching for all kind of malware and other errors.

If the problem has occurred after you’ve installed a driver or modified anything on the software level of your computer, then you should do a System Restore to a point from before you’ve modified anything and see if the problem still persists. If indeed it was something you did or installed, then this should fix your Windows 8 DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION problems.

Hardware incompatibility is something to take into account also. If you’ve built a new computer and installed Windows 8 and nothing else, and you get this problem, then some components might not work well with each other or with the OS. In this scenario, you should do more research on each component and if you don’t find anything of use, you should contact the store and get some tech support.

Keep an eye out for hardware that wasn’t installed properly. Most of the times, users don’t install the RAM correctly and a part of it doesn’t make contact. If you want to check the RAM, take the DIMMs out and place them carefully back in, ensuring that you hear the click and that they are in place.

I hope that this guide is of use to you, and if you are still having problems, or if you know any other way DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION in Windows 8, please leave a comment and I’ll be sure to respond as soon as possible.