9 Ways to Fix DPC Watchdog Violation in Windows 11

Software updates and driver swaps can get your PC working again

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If you've ever run into the black screen with a DPC Watchdog Violation error in Windows 11, you may have found yourself frustrated about how to fix it. Fortunately, there are a few different methods you can try to get your PC or laptop working again.

Causes of the DPC Watchdog Violation Error

The DPC Watchdog Violation error is most commonly caused by hardware compatibility problems, most often with PCs with an SSD and external devices, but it doesn't always happen when you install a new component. It can also happen when you're missing a driver, or with software conflicts between different applications.

The specific cause of your DPC Watchdog Violation error will be hard to pin down, but there are several different fixes we can try, which may reveal what was the problem in the first place.

How To Fix a DPC Watchdog Violation Error

Although removing the problematic piece of hardware can be the simplest solution to your DPC Watchdog Violation error problem, it's not necessarily the easiest. Here are a number of potential solutions to this problem, listed from easiest to most demanding.

  1. Unplug any external devices you're currently using, such as portable hard drives, printers, scanners, smartphones, digital cameras, and other unessential devices. If the error resolves after doing so, you know that it's one of those pieces of hardware. Begin to plug them all back in again afterwards to see what caused the error. If they did, try updating their device drivers, plugging them into a different USB port, or formatting the device.

  2. Try running a Windows SCF Scannow command to fix any corrupted system files. Once it's complete, see if the error repeats itself.

  3. Run a Windows Chkdsk scan to fix any errors with your storage drivers. This process can fix any errors with an SSD which may be causing the DPC Watchdog Violation error.

  4. If your SATA AHCI driver is outdated, updating it can fix the problem. Press Windows key+X and select Device Manager, and then go to Disk drives > Standard SATA AHCI Controller. Right-click or tap and hold on it and select Properties. Select Driver Details and select Update Driver. Select Search automatically for drivers and follow the on-screen instructions.

  5. Update Windows 11 to the latest version to make sure this problem isn't being caused by a bug that has recently been patched out.

  6. If you suspect the problem is your SSD, visit your drive's manufacturer website and see if there is a firmware update you may need to install. You can usually find these on the support page.

  7. Reverting to a previous restore point can be a great way to get around all sorts of problems, DPC Watchdog Violation errors included.

  8. If all else fails, you can reset Windows 11 to its defaults. Note however, that this will erase all of your personal settings, so you'll want to back up anything important. It's also a good idea to backup the most sensitive of data, as even though it's not likely to be deleted, this ensures that even if something goes wrong, you can still access you data.

  9. If that still doesn't fix the problem, you'll need to remove the hardware that's causing it, as it may be that the problem is unfixable. If you think it's your main boot drive that's causing the problem, try installing a new drive or running the system from a secondary drive temporarily to see. If it is your main boot drive, remove it and install a new boot drive with a fresh copy of Windows 11.

  • How do I fix the DPC Watchdog Violation error in Windows 10?

    The above fixes should work for earlier versions of Windows. First, unplug all of your devices, and then check for driver updates. As a last resort, reinstall Windows.

  • How do I fix an "Attempted Switch from DPC" error?

    The "Attempted Switch from DPC" error is another issue that gives you the Blue Screen of Death; its error code is 0x000000B8, and it usually happens when third-party software is interfering with Windows. To fix it, you may have to start up your computer in Safe Mode, and then go to Settings   > System  > Apps & features and uninstall the apps that may be causing the error.

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