Windows 10: DPC Watchdog Violation at same point in boot process Solved

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  1.    04 Jun 2017 #1

    DPC Watchdog Violation at same point in boot process


    Hello blue screen gurus. I could use some help.

    The problem: Can't boot normally - computer freezes (drive light goes off and stays off) at point where desktop icons are filling in. Happens every time at about the same point

    Facts: Dell XPS desktop about six years old, core i7, started on Win 7, upgraded to Win 10x64 about a month before the free install expired. Been working fine 'til now. The last thing I'd done was switch a USB game controller from one port to another, initiated Restart, and retired for night. In morning, BSOD reporting the DPC Watchdog Violation. I had not rebooted for several weeks before that. My WinVer is 1607 (Founders has not reached me yet.) Through the "abnormal shutdown route", I can get to Safe Mode which is entirely stable.

    Things I've done (from safe mode), with observations:
    - Unplugged all usb devices except mouse and keyboard.
    - Did an uninstall on each of the usb drivers.
    - Ran SFC /scannow. No error.
    - Ran chkdsk C: /f /r No event log found (filtered for chkdsk and wininit)
    - Tried system restore, but got error (due to known AppXStaging issue)
    - Switched the SATA driver to windows generic.
    - Switched the video driver to windows generic.
    - After doing one of the last two - don't remember which - the BSOD stopped appearing on normal boot, but the the computer simply dies at the same point each time. Mouse cursor moves, and becomes "busy" when floated over the (empty) task bar, but the drive light stays out. Can only boot from power button.
    - Uninstalled Panda antivirus, at least as far as it would go from safe mode. Not sure if the required reboot completely cleared it, and couldn't run the generic removal tool from the Panda site in Safe Mode.
    - Tried to start Windows Security service but it wont start in Safe Mode (even though the services on which it depends are said to be running.) Now I'm not sure if it's safe to do a safe mode with internet.
    - Spoke with three different people at Microsoft Support. None appeared familiar with DPC Watchdog and had to look it up. They went through simple scripts with me, but in end referred me either to a Win 10 reinstall or a service technician. I'm really trying to avoid either of those. Got my eye on a new computer, and if I'm going to have to reinstall all my stuff - much of it with licenses - would rather only go through that once.
    - I set the dump facility to full kernel dump, and I know you guys would like to see that. I'm prepared to teach myself how to install and use the debugger, but here's the thing: in my Windows directory, the file MEMORY.DMP is dated a year ago July. ie. It appears no dump is occurring. Is that a clue?
    - I have a second internal hard drive (non bootable) and am running chkdsk /f /r on it now, just in case. Don't expect that to change the picture. EDIT - No file structure issue and no bad sector, and the log does appear in the Event Editor, which leaves me wondering harder why chkdsk C: /f/r did NOT leave an event log?

    I'm prepared to accept that the boot drive is bad despite above efforts - I have Acronis and Macrium backups - but would that explain why the freeze occurs in just about the same spot each time?

    Needless to say this is frustrating. I'd appreciate any help or advice. Be glad to supply additional info if instructed on how to acquire it. Many thanks, -Ron

    EDIT - I just thought of something else in case it's relevant. There's a front panel on the Dell with several USB ports and an SD card reader. The ports stopped working couple years ago, so I've just been using those on the top or back of the case. But only recently, probably after the last normal boot, the card reader quit working also. Is there something I should do to ensure the boot process is not trying to "read from that bus" (or whatever the proper terminology)?
    Last edited by rkl122; 04 Jun 2017 at 18:26.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 13,313
    Windows 10 Pro
       04 Jun 2017 #2
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    04 Jun 2017 #3

    Sorry I missed that. I added the three files created by that routine - run in safe mode - to my initial post. There was no prompt to name the zip file - it named itself. Thanks for response.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 13,313
    Windows 10 Pro
       04 Jun 2017 #4

    2 of the 3 are useless, only the zip file we need

    Run the utility again and upload a new zip, the current zip is empty.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    04 Jun 2017 #5

    axe0 said: View Post
    2 of the 3 are useless, only the zip file we need

    Run the utility again and upload a new zip, the current zip is empty.
    Done. Sorry - I didn't notice the zip was empty and can't explain why.

    Incidentally, I made a Win 10 install thumb drive and ran the repair component, hoping it might have improved routines. It went through the usual Diagnosing - Repairing cycle but still reported that Windows could not be repaired. The only change is that the blue screen is back... same point in bootup and same DPC Watchdog Violation error.
    Last edited by rkl122; 04 Jun 2017 at 18:28.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 13,313
    Windows 10 Pro
       04 Jun 2017 #6

    It happens from time to time, I can't explain it either.

    Could you upload the chkdsk logs please, Read Chkdsk Log in Event Viewer in Windows 10 Windows 10 Performance Maintenance Tutorials
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    04 Jun 2017 #7

    axe0 said: View Post
    It happens from time to time, I can't explain it either.

    Could you upload the chkdsk logs please, Read Chkdsk Log in Event Viewer in Windows 10 Windows 10 Performance Maintenance Tutorials
    Done - added to first post. Upload wouldn't send .evtx file so I zipped it. As mentioned above, when I ran chkdsk /f /r on the boot drive (from safe mode) - which took a good number of hours, no events were generated!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 13,313
    Windows 10 Pro
       05 Jun 2017 #8

    I recommend to replace the hard drive, the errors chkdsk find are too consistent.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    05 Jun 2017 #9

    axe0 said: View Post
    I recommend to replace the hard drive, the errors chkdsk find are too consistent.
    I was afraid of that. Thank you very much for looking at the files.

    I increased the pagefile size to a max of 2x memory, but still no MEMORY.DMP after BSOD.

    I notice that the SMART data for the drive contain an "end to end" fail, whatever that means. So the drive fails to boot in normal mode, but not in safe mode. Any logic to that?

    Some questions if I may. I have recent backups but not a disk image. (I also have a Macrium Free rescue CD.) If I can manage a Macrium disk image from Safe Mode, would the image be healthy for restoration of the new drive?

    While I plan to buy a new computer, I'd like to keep this one too, so will get a new drive. I've never actually had to install to a clean drive before. I did make the USB stick as instructed elsewhere in these forums. It has the proper settings as far as they go (English, Win 10x64). I read that there are Win 10 ISO's out there for different builds. But there was no choice of build in preparing the stick. Is that an issue of concern?

    Lastly, would it be gauche to ask for opinions on the quality of a PC I have my eye on - say in the hardware forum?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 13,313
    Windows 10 Pro
       05 Jun 2017 #10

    I increased the pagefile size to a max of 2x memory, but still no MEMORY.DMP after BSOD.
    Caused by the hard drive. While the BSOD process is gathering information, it is performing a few checks to make sure the memory.dmp does not get corrupted data, if any of these checks fail no dump is generated.

    In safe mode only the minimum stuff is enabled, likely chance that no disk problems are present in safe mode.

    I would not recommend to image a system with disk problems, these problems are partly in the file system of Windows. Copying those problems will result in the next OS where you use the image to be unstable too.

    When you download an ISO, you download the build installation files that is at that moment the most recent.
    It is not a true concern, because you can always update the build

    In the Windows 10 Forums I have yet to see something that is gauche, I did the same thing with my custom build before I bought all the parts
    See my thread My 1st pc Solved - Windows 10 Forums
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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