How to fix the ‘DPC Watchdog Violation’ error on Windows 10 – 0x00000133

When your Windows system runs into a critical system error, the computer will shut down as a protective measure and restart itself in an attempt to repair the issue at hand. When this occurs, it is most commonly accompanied by the infamous “blue screen of death” which is known as a “bug check” or “stop check” and serves as a warning to you that your computer has corrupt or damaged hardware, software, or drivers. The DPC Watchdog Violation error, or error code 0x00000133 is one of these bug check codes that causes the blue screen and is the subject of today’s article. We are going to look into what this code means exactly, why it pops up, when it can occur and outline 7 methods you can use to fix the issue.

What is the DPC Watchdog Violation error?

The DPC portion of the error code is an abbreviation for “deferred procedure call” which is an interrupt-handling mechanism that is built into the Microsoft Windows operating system. It permits drivers, which are a group of files that enables one or more devices to communicate with the computer’s operating system, to process high-level interrupt services quickly while deferring low-level interrupt request levels. Essentially, what this means is that the DPC allows drivers to schedule high-priority operations over low-priority ones by deferring the execution of a lower-priority request. The Watchdog portion of the error code simply refers to the “Bug Checker” or the system that monitors Windows processes and background performances.

When and why does the 0x00000133 error occur?

There are several factors that determine when the DPC Watchdog Violation error with the code 0x00000133 will occur when the bug checker is overwhelmed, when your system gets stuck on an interrupt request level, or when you have unsupported hardware or incompatibility issues.

Some examples of when you may see the DPC Watchdog Violation appear, are the following:

  • You have newly installed hardware that is not compatible. If you try to install newer software or hardware into an older computer, you may get a DPC Watchdog Violation due to incompatibility issues.
  • Your drivers are outdated, damaged, or installed wrong. When your device drivers are outdated or installed incorrectly, you will get a DPC Watchdog Violation error because your devices cannot communicate with the computer properly and thus, input/output executions cannot be sustained.
  • You have a software conflict between two installed programs. If you install two software programs that have a conflict with one another, you may receive the 0x00000133 error. For instance, if you install two antivirus programs or two firewall programs, you’re going to come up with a violation error.
  • If you have a Solid-State Drive, your firmware version could be outdated. If you have a solid-state drive installed in your computer, the drivers or firmware it needs may be outdated, causing an error between it and your operating system.
  • You have system files that have become corrupted.  If you have corrupted or damaged system files, your computer is not going to be able to boot the operating system correctly.

While getting this error may be confusing or frustrating, there are several ways that you can fix the issue with relative ease.

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

Update your drivers

If you have old drivers that are out of date, these can cause a DPC Watchdog Violation error by creating instability, as your computer will not run the drivers due to not supporting them. Here is how to update the driver for your Solid-State Drive. However, this method also works for other devices that are plugged into your computer.

  1. Open up your File Explorer by either clicking on it in your taskbar or searching for it in the Windows search bar.
  2. Under the left-hand side of the File Explorer Window, right-click either on My Computer or This PC and click on the Manage option.
  3. This will bring up the computer management window. In this window, you will want to select Device Manager.
  4. This will bring up a list of all devices that are connected to your computer. You are going to see keyboards, mice, storage controllers, display adapters and more. The one you want is Disk Drives. Click it.
  5. Look for your SSD in the list and right-click it and hit Properties. Make a note of the type of SSD, including the make and model.
  6. From here, you have two choices. You can either right-click your SSD and hit Update drivers or you can make a note of the make and model and head to the manufacturer’s website and get the latest version from them.
Update disk drive drivers via the Device Manager
Update disk drive drivers via the Device Manager

Another option that many like to use are Driver Utility programs that identify which drivers are out of date and update them for you when you run the program. However, the best method for doing this is to manually update the drivers by getting the latest version from the manufacturer’s website.

Check error details in the Event Viewer

If you are unsure of what is causing the DPC Watchdog Violation error to pop up, running the Event Viewer may help you identify which driver, device, or software incompatibility is causing the problem.

To use the Event Viewer, follow the next steps accordingly:

  1. On your computer, search for the application called “Event Viewer” and click on it.
  2. Once opened, click on the “down arrow” beside Windows Logs, which will be located on the left-hand side of the application.
  3. Click on System under Windows Logs.
  4. In the middle portion of the panel, you will see a list of events at the top. The ones that state an “Error Level” are the ones you want to look at. Click on these to see more details about their timing, their source, and their event identification.
Error details in the Windows Event Viewer
Error details in the Windows Event Viewer

Change data exchanges via SATA AHCI controller.

If you notice that the DPC Watchdog Violation error only occurs when you have a connected storage device, the error is more than likely occurring due to a data exchange problem between your system and your storage device’s memory. This is fixed by changing the driver that is responsible for the data exchange.

Here is how you can do this by changing the SATA AHCI Controller:

  1. Right-click on your Windows button and choose Device Manager from the list. Or simply search Device Manager in your Windows search bar.
  2. In the Device Manager list, look for the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers’ menu and expand it.
  3. Right-click on the controller that is within this drop-down menu and choose the Properties option.
  4. In the properties menu, click on the Drivers tab at the top and then click on Driver Details.
  5. Make sure that the driver that is selected states that it is a “iaStorA.sys” or “storahci.sys”. Hit ok.
  6. Now click on Update Driver. Choose to “Browse” your computer for a driver software and instead of clicking the “Browse” button, choose the “Let me pick from a list of available drivers” underneath the browse box.
  7. In the window that pops up next, make sure the “Show compatible hardware” box is checked and choose the Standard SATA AHCI Controller option and hit next.
  8. Complete the steps on screen and reboot your system.
IDE ATA/ATAPI controller details in the Windows Device Manager
IDE ATA/ATAPI controller details in the Windows Device Manager

Look for hard drive disk (HDD) errors

While you can use a third-party program designed to find and repair hard drives, you can also use Windows CHKDSK Utility.

Here is how to use the latter one:

  1. In your Windows search box, type in “cmd” and right-click on the Command Prompt application that comes up and choose the “Run as administrator” option.
  2. A black box will pop up that will show you what Windows version you are running.
  3. Type in the following command: “chkdsk c: /f” and hit enter.
  4. If you are met with the option to choose Yes or No, type in “Y” and hit enter again.
  5. The CHKDSK will run for a while to check and fix any hard drive issues that you might have.

Scan for corrupted system files

If you have any system files that are damaged or corrupted, these can cause a 0x00000133 error. You can scan for corrupted files and fix them with an SFC check.

  1. In your Windows search box, type in “cmd” and right-click on the Command Prompt application that comes up and choose the “Run as administrator” option.
  2. A black box will pop up that will show you what Windows version you are running.
  3. Type in this command: “sfc /scannow” and hit enter.
  4. Wait for the scan to complete.
  5. If corrupted files are found, they will be fixed automatically and will require you to restart your computer. If no corrupted files are found, the program will tell you and you can close out the application safely.

Note: If you run into an SFC /Scannow error when starting the scan, don’t worry. We have written dedicated articles on what to do if SFC scannow is not working, including:

Look for a hardware incompatibility

When you have external devices plugged into the computer, you can get hardware compatibility issues. If you are using multiple devices, try unplugging all devices one by one and plugging them back in one by one to see which one is causing the problem. If it isn’t hardware, it is likely software incompatibility. For this, you will need to use the next method below.

Remove newly installed software

If the DPC Watchdog Violation (0x00000133) error started occurring only after you downloaded and installed a new application or upgraded an existing application to a new version, remove the installed software. You can do this by searching up your Control Panel, clicking on the Programs Menu and hitting Uninstall a Program. This will bring up a list of all of your installed pieces of software. Either search for your newly installed software or scroll through the list until you find it and hit uninstall. Once the uninstall is done, restart your computer for good measure. See if the 0x00000133 error occurs and if it doesn’t, the issue was with the software.

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