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AaronMk

The legend of the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION

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So, sometime back - a month or two now - my computer was experiencing errors and crashing a lot. It didn't have the decency to throw up a Blue Screen, it would just freeze up and restart. Perplexed by this, I began investigating things and going through the hardware and systems in an attempt to locate or isolate and fix whatever was making it crash. I drifted between suspecting a virus, and ran boot scans and normal scans to try and unearth the source. Nothing came up, I was clean as far as the anti-virus was concerned. Next was investigating the hardware. On a friend's lead I investigated possible over-heating issues.

 

Not only did I find out that the fan on the head-sink was half-detached, I also discovered when trying to get a CPU temperature monitor for the desktop that for whatever reason I couldn't install new shit. This is when I began suspecting it was a virus and began aggressively pursuing this route however I could (scans ranging from the normal sort to a boot scan). But from being incapable of installing stuff, the situation began degrading to the point I also couldn't uninstall stuff, or access task manager or event viewer. But with all scans coming up clean I couldn't say it was a virus.

 

Computer being roughly five years old though, I had to conclude it was an aging hard-drive. So I bought a solid-state for the OS and a regular hard-drive (a single terabyte, I had forgotten the old one was a two-terabyte drive). I managed to get those installed, and thinking all my issues were behind me I settled into an effectively fresh rig.

 

Except, things hadn't normalized. I got new errors.

 

I'm getting the BSOD now, so I can identify the error that's causing my computer to crash. And now that my computer boots nice and fast I'm not stuck having to wait fifteen minutes to get back to where I was. However, I am finding myself unable to fix it and I'm coming up on my wits end.

 

The error that the Blue Screen is giving me is: DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION.

 

I am running Windows 8.1, for future reference.

 

Looking up the error, it turns out it's an issue with drivers or the computer is unable to read something specific on the hard-drive when it comes up to it which causes it to freeze up and shut down. You can force one of these errors by disconnecting the hard-drive while the computer is on. And there are some things I can do, and have done.

 

I have checked the power and data cables running into my computer, I had to get a second data cable to connect the terabyte drive, which has a dumb-ass bit towards the back-end that sorta mushrooms out and butts up on the power cable for that drive. I can get it on, and it's tight; but talking to my cousin as long as the metal contacts are touching I should be good and it's on far enough that I'm sure it's got contact. I am considering this a possibility but one lower on the list than any unknown option currently.

 

The other option was to update the firmware on my solid-state drive. I have downloaded the tools for that, but apparently I don't need to do anything. This I suppose was done at the factory. I have no updates for it.

 

I can run a system check and repair. Using command prompt I have done this. Twice. There is one other one I could do, which I'll do when I go to work and hope for the best.

 

I would blame other drivers, but as far as my computer is concerned I'm all up-to-date there. An article said I should look for a specific drive related for the SATA cables or something and swap it out for another Microsoft recommends, but going through device manager I haven't found that cable type or whatever, or anything with the driver it recommends replacing. So I feel forced by default to skip this.

 

Apart from cutting down that bit on the data cable to fit it in better, I don't know what other options I have. Before I was going through event manager which was claiming I had Kernel Power errors, which is really just the computer shutting down unexpectedly as far as I can tell; and the power source isn't as old as the computer and is a 1000 watt monster, installed simply so I don't have to worry about power again. The opinion held by the people around me is that should be the least of my issues since it's so far and above what my computer needs and isn't as old, I can basically ignore it.

 

If anything, my only other option is seeing if Geek Squad as the ability to perform a check on the memory or CPU/motherboard, which has a chance that means I'll need to buy a whole new computer. It also comes to a chance my local Best Buy is incapable of doing that and I'm forced to head all the way to Detroit to the one other place that can do it, so I'm told: Micro Center. And I'm not looking forward to driving to Detroit again. I want to make sure the issues are not caused by any other issue, and am looking for more options to pursue.

 

So far, because of time I haven't done anything but browse the internet on this machine since installing the new hard-drives and getting this set up. It's leading me to suspect that if I can I should move my browser - chrome - to the other drive and hope on some strange chance that it's simply running Chrome until it fills up some temporary allocation of memory for it that's knocking out the SSD; that was the case when I accidentally installed Photoshop to SSD, Photoshop itself was crashing when it ran out of memory.

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