Fixing the ‘WDF_violation’ error on Windows machines – including Dell, HP, Lenovo

WDF_VIOLATION is triggered by a Windows Driver Framework (WDF) error. The Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) appears on machines using Windows, when a fatal system error has been detected. This helps protect your machine and prevent any further damage to your system. You should see a bright blue screen with a stop error message reading:

Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We’re just collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you.

This should be followed by an error message that can be used to identify and troubleshoot the problem, displayed in all capital letters. In this case the error appears as WDF_VIOLATION with an error code of 0x0000010D.

Sometimes a BSoD is only triggered once, while other times your system will continue to crash and display the general error code. It’s important not to ignore these errors as the problem can get worse.

This WDF_VIOLATION error has appeared on devices from a variety of manufacturers. Users have reported this problem with Lenovo, HP, and Dell computers. The solutions listed in the article should be applicable to any of these manufacturers, unless otherwise noted.

What causes the WDF_VIOLATION error?

The WDF architecture is included in the Windows operating system to allow users to develop Windows compatible drivers. This set of tools and libraries, WDF, has been included in the Windows operating system since Windows 2000. Most of the technical understanding on different driver types, driver objects, and how I/O works is unnecessary to solving the error. But users have reported their experience with this error and what has and hasn’t worked for them. Other users can be some of the best sources of solutions.

Based on collective user data, the WDF_VIOLATION error appears to be triggered by one of the following problems:

  • USB peripherals – Peripherals work through the use of drivers. Incompatible peripheral drivers may be causing this BSoD.
  • Outdated Drivers – Your computer may have an outdated driver causing compatibility issues. This is more common if you’ve recently updated your machine. The Bluetooth driver has specifically been identified as a problematic driver.
  • Corrupt system files – Restoring your machine or reinstalling Windows should fix any unidentified system files that are corrupt.
  • Recent Windows Update – With a new Windows update, older drivers can be rendered incompatible purposefully or accidentally by Windows. HP users have experienced problem with incompatible HP keyboard driver following Windows 10 update versions 1803 and 1809.
  • Malware – Malware can infect and damage nearly any system file in your PC. It’s important to regularly run anti-malware software to keep your machine safe and secure.

NOTE: If you are unable to successfully boot your system, you can enter Automatic Repair. Restart your computer a few times before it completely finishes booting. After 3 or 4 times you should automatically enter the Repair menu. From there you can enter different menus as needed, including Safe Mode, the Command Prompt, and more.

How to fix the WDF_VIOLATION error

This problem is generally fixable, because it is due to a driver framework issue and not your hardware. The solutions are straightforward and mostly involve updating drivers, checking for malware, and restoring your computer to an earlier state. The least intrusive options will be listed first, so it’s suggested to start at the first solution unless you’ve already identified the exact cause.

1. Disconnect All Peripherals

Your peripheral devices are all controlled by drivers. Peripherals like your keyboard and mouse are typically plug and play devices, or PnP, meaning when you plug them in your computer automatically detects any necessary drivers. If you’ve upgraded your peripherals, maybe you are using a gaming mouse, wireless headset, or HD webcam, you may need to do some extra work to download the necessary drivers. But usually your system will handle most of this.

These drivers can cause the WDF_VIOLATION error. Disconnecting all USB peripherals sometimes fixes this problem. Through the process of elimination you can determine which USB peripheral has the problematic driver and update it if necessary.

If unplugging the peripherals didn’t fix the problem, you can try to disable all USB ports in the Device Manager. Remember that you will need to turn them back on to regain the USB port functionality.

Here is how to disable USB ports using the Device Manager:

  1. Right-click the Start icon (Windows icon) and select Device Manager.
  2. Scroll down to Universal Serial Bus controllers and double-click to expand.
  3. Each of these USB devices can be disabled as long as nothing is plugged in. Right-click on each device and select Disable device.
Disabling USB Composite Device
  1. Restart your system to see if the problem has been resolved.

You can also try to enter your BIOS and disable your USB ports to see if this will fix your problem, if unplugging the peripherals and disabling in the Device Manager failed to work.

Warning: Always be cautious when editing anything in the BIOS.

  1. Enter the BIOS after starting your computer by pressing F12, F2, Delete, or Esc (the exact button depends on the manufacturer).
  2. At the top of the BIOS screen, navigate to the Advanced Tab, and press Enter. You will need to use your keyboard to move around the BIOS. The bottom of the page should tell you the hotkeys for navigation.
BIOS dashboard
  1. Find Miscellaneous Devices at the bottom of the list and press Enter.
BIOS Advanced Tab
  1. You should now see the option, External USB Ports. You want to change that from Enabled to Disabled.
  2. Press F10 to Save and Exit. Select YES when the Exit Saving Changes box pops up.
  3. Your system will attempt to restart.

2. Remove Bluetooth Driver

Some users have reported the WDF_VIOLATION (0x0000010D) blue screen error when they plug in or connect Bluetooth devices. This points to the Bluetooth driver as a possible problem point. You can uninstall the Bluetooth driver in the Device Manager:

  1. Right-click the Start icon (Windows icon) and select Device Manager.
  2. Scroll down to Bluetooth and double-click to expand.
  3. Right-click on the controller and select Uninstall Device.
  4. Restart your system and the driver should automatically reinstall.

If this doesn’t solve the problem you may need to disable automatic driver downloads in Windows 10. This setting can be found in the Control Panel, under System and Security.

3. Update Drivers

Windows has improved their Device Manager with tools to help you identify outdated drivers and quickly find the most up-to-date drivers. You can use these tools to check that all of your drivers are compatible with your PC. If you think a new Windows update has created the problem by rendering one of your drivers incompatible, you can roll back the update as long as it’s been less than 10 days.

  1. Right-click the Start Menu button and select Device Manager.
  2. You want to start at the top and systematically move down the Device Manager list, checking that all drivers are updated.
  3. Double-click to expand each section and click on each device listed. Either right-click and select Update driver or click the USB icon with the green arrow on the taskbar. 
  4. A new window will open for each device, asking how you want to search for drivers. Select Search automatically for drivers. Windows will search your machine and the internet for the best driver.
Driver Update
  1. When you’ve checked each device in the list, restart your device to see if the problem is fixed.

4. Malware Check

Unmitigated malware on your PC can cause all sorts of problems. Different malware has different goals and different methods of attacking your machine. Some malware will target critical Windows drivers and lead to BSoD errors. One of the most highly recommended software for targeting and removing malware from your machine, is Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes is free (unless you opt for Premium) and provides excellent security for your machine.

Once Malwarebytes has been downloaded and installed, you should run a complete scan. This may take some time, but you will find any malware hiding out in your system files. You can set the program to regularly scan your computer, during off hours. This will help prevent a problem like this from cropping up again.

With your machine free of Malware, restart and see if the WDF_VIOLATION (0x0000010D) is fixed!

5. Use System Restore

Windows has a tool specifically designed to help fix data corruption or registry errors. This tool is called System Restore. System Restore regularly takes ‘snapshots’ of important system files. System Restore can’t fix any and all problems, but is best used to fix software problems and drive conflicts. By reverting to a previous point in time, known as a Restore point, you can hopefully fix the error:

  1. Click the Start Menu button and search for System Restore.
Create a restore point
  1. Select Create a restore point. Click the System Restore… button.
  2. Another window will open, click Next. Now Select Show more restore points, if this option is available. The points listed are generally Automatic Restore Points that Windows has created for you.
Automatic System Restore points
  1. Select the point that you believe is before the WDF_VIOLATION issue started appearing. Click Next and follow all instructions.
  2. When the restoration process is complete the computer will restart and your problem will hopefully be solved.

NOTE: If you cannot boot to this point, System Restore can be accessed by entering the Automatic Repair menu during boot. Next select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System Restore. You will need to select your account and enter your password before you can choose a restore point.

6. Reinstall Windows 10

Reinstalling Windows 10 is the most intrusive option in this list. As such, it should be only used when all other solutions have been tried. But a fresh installation of Windows 10 can solve the WDF_VIOLATION (0x0000010D) error by fixing the problem that you were unable to identify. Sometimes there can be a critical system error or registry problem, but you just can’t find the source.

You will need a USB stick with at least 8GB of storage capacity and it should be checked for any important files beforehand. Another computer will need to be used to create a bootable USB. During installation all of your applications will be uninstalled, but you should have the option to keep your files, such as music, pictures, and documents.

  1. Use Windows 10 Create Installation Media tool to load Windows 10 installation media onto a USB flash drive.
Download Windows 10
  1. Connect the USB to the intended installation computer and turn the machine on.
  2. Load into the boot-selection menu by pressing F12, F2, Delete, or Esc (depending on the manufacturer).
  3. Select to boot from the USB and follow all directions to install Windows 10.
  4. When the installation is complete, remove the flash drive.
  5. Restart your PC and the problem should be fixed.

WDF_VIOLATION (0x0000010D) Fixed

The WDF_VIOLATION BSoD has been experienced by many users over the years. These users have posted in forums and help groups, about different solutions they’ve found. This information helps others tackle the problem when they experience it!

In this article you learned about 6 solutions proven to solve the WDF_VIOLATION error. The first three solutions are directly related to fixing driver incompatibilities and problems. Solution four is about checking for any malware that could be creating the problem. While solutions five and six are more intrusive, but can be very effective at fixing software or Windows registry issues that you can’t identify.

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