After accidentally dropping my PC from my table last weekend, I just picked it up and placed it back on the table. But when I powered it on a few days later, it took a long time before flashing the dreadful blue screen of death (BSOD) error. The error code was DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION. According to Microsoft’s error reference, it means that there was a long delays in the deferred procedure call (DPC) and it could be because of many reasons. The most likely reason is the PC hardware. DPC related errors mean that Windows is not able to read to write data as fast as it should from the hard disk or other memory device.
The error could indicate possible problems with the motherboard, SMPS (power supply unit), hard disk drive or solid state drive, data cables and the power cables. You should open the PC cabinet and remove both the data cables and the power cables and then re-attach them firmly. If this does not work, then you can use the substitute & eliminate method to check if various things are working fine, for example, try attaching a known good SSD or HDD to see if your HDD/SSD has problem. Similarly, you can check if the faulty cables are causing problem or the power supply has become old and not supplying proper voltage or current.
Sometimes, your motherboard becomes just too old and starts to act up or it develops some fault. In my case, it was the 2 year old hard disk – I could hear the spinning sound of the disk platters – it was trying to spin and then halting again and again. I checked it by attaching in another PC with same results. So I had to buy another storage disk and this time I bought the faster SanDisk Z410 SSD (from Amazon of course).
Conclusion: If you are receiving DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, then it is possibly your faulty hard disk or some other hardware that needs replacement. If unsure, you should have your PC checked by a good technician.