Watchdog.sys BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)

Have you encountered the dreaded Blue Screen of Death while booting your Windows 10 computer? This is an error that can occur on Windows 10 computers, but the error has many proven solutions.

This article will detail what the watchdog.sys Blue Screen of Death error is, examine why it might be occurring on your computer, and outline a few troubleshooting methods that will resolve this issue.

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What is Watchdog.sys BSOD?

Watchdog.sys is one of the most common Blue Screen of Death errors that often occurs when a user attempts to boot up their computer. The error is generally associated with the graphics drivers of the computer, which means an issue with these graphics drivers could likely be the cause of the watchdog.sys error.

The watchdog.sys file also has the role to monitor the time that threads spend executing in the display driver. The next section will detail the potential reasons you might be encountering the watchdog.sys BDOS error.

Causes of Watchdog.sys BSOD

As mentioned in the preceding section, the watchdog.sys BSOD error is commonly associated with the graphics drivers of the computer, which means these graphics drivers are a likely cause for the watchdog.sys BSOD error. These issues could range from a graphics card driver issue to a missing or outdated driver.

This error could also be caused faulty BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) settings on your computer. It is also worth checking your system files to ensure that none of them are missing or corrupted as this might also prompt the error to appear.

If none of these issues are causing the error to appear on your computer, then you should check the hardware of your computer to make sure that it is not overheating. Troubleshooting methods for each of these problems will be detailed in the next section.

How to Fix Watchdog.sys BDOS

While there are several differing issues that might have caused the watchdog.sys BDOS error to appear on your computer, there is a troubleshooting method for each respective issue. Make sure that you follow each of the troubleshooting methods below as precisely as possible so as to ensure the issue will be resolved and to prevent any tangential damage from occurring.

1. Reinstall Graphics Card Driver

The most common issue related to watchdog.sys BDOS is a problem related to the graphics drivers in your computer. Therefore, an excellent place to start troubleshooting is with the graphics card driver in your computer.

If you believe that your problem is related to the graphics drivers in your computer, then reinstalling the graphics card driver will likely resolve your issue. To reinstall the graphics card driver in your computer, follow these six steps.

  1. Open Device Manager in your computer.
  2. Double-click Display adapters to expand it.
  3. Right-click on your graphics card, and then select Uninstall device.
  4. Check the box corresponding to Delete the driver software for this device, and then click Uninstall.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish the uninstallation.
  6. Restart your computer, Windows will automatically reinstall the graphics card for your computer.

2. Update All Available Drivers

A missing or outdated driver in your computer can also result in the watchdog.sys BDOS error. Therefore, you should update all graphics drivers in your computer before moving past graphics drivers being the reason behind this error.

To update these drivers, you can go to the manufacturer’s website, find the latest correct driver that is compatible with your Windows OS, then download it and install it in your computer. 

2. Reset BIOS Settings

If you have ruled out the graphics drivers in your computer as the cause of watchdog.sys BDOS, then your next step should be to troubleshoot the BIOS settings of your computer. BIOS settings can be a problem for Windows users that recently upgraded from an older version of Windows to Windows 10.

If you believe that faulty BIOS settings are causing the watchdog.sys BDOS error to appear, then you should reset those BIOS settings. To reset the BIOS settings, follow these nine steps.

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Select Update & security section.
  3. Open the Recovery section from the left pane.
  4. Under the Advanced startup, click on the Restart Now” icon.
  5. Select Troubleshoot.
  6. Click on Advanced Options.
  7. Choose UEFI Firmware Settings and then restart your computer.
  8. Your PC should boot into BIOS Settings now.
  9. Reset the configuration and save changes.

3. Run System File Checker

The watchdog.sys BSOD error may also be the result of corrupted system files on your computer. A simple way to troubleshoot this is to run System File Checker on your computer. System File Checker scans your computer for corrupted files and repairs the corrupted system files that it finds. To run System File Checker, follow these four steps.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open a Run dialog box.
  2. Type in “cmd” into the text box and then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to run the command as an admin.
  3. Type the command “sfc /scannow” and hit Enter to continue.
  4. The System File Checker will begin running. Do not close the command line window until you see the message “verification 100% complete” appear on-screen.

4. Check for Overheating

Finally, if you have exhausted all of the troubleshooting methods listed above, the issue might be a result of your hardware overheating. There are several ways to reduce the temperature of your computer’s hardware, upgrading your CPU cooler, adding more case fans, or reapplying thermal paste onto your CPU.

However, the two simplest ways to troubleshoot overheating hardware are to clean your computer of extraneous files and to lower the temperature of the room your computer is located in.

In Conclusion

The watchdog.sys BDOS error is an error that might seem intimidating at first, but there are various methods for troubleshooting this error. If you follow the troubleshooting methods listed in the preceding section, then your issues with the watchdog.sys BDOS error will be resolved in no time.