SOLVED Windows 10 suddenly BSODs - Safe mode works


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Hi everyone,

I'm not your average newbie but I'm really scratching my head over this issue I'm having. So I've been using this HP workstation for about 4.5 years now with no issue, until now. A few days ago it crashed with the error "DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION" and it said it was collecting error information and will restart soon, it was stuck on 100% for hours so I forced a power cycle and haven't been able to get into normal mode since. Any time I attempt to boot into normal mode it just waits at the spinning circle for at least 20 minutes before it crashes with the stopcode "CRITICAL_SERVICE_DIED", it does this twice before attempting automatic repair which has already been done at least 3-4 times now without success.

Under advanced options and starting safe mode with networking (option 5) it works just fine, and I'm currently using that to post this thread.

I have attempted the following repairs without success:

  • sfc /scannow
  • chkdsk C: /f /r
  • Clean boot (non-MS services disabled, but it doesn't even get past the spinning circle so it can't be this)
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • bootrec

The PC specifications are as follows:

  • HP branded slimline, Foxconn Motherboard
  • Intel Core i3-2100
  • 8GB of DDR3 RAM
  • GeForce 405 video card
  • WDC 1.5TB HDD (S.M.A.R.T caution status on crystaldiskinfo)

What confuses me is the initial DPC stopcode happened out of the blue with no changes, the PC was not doing anything when it happened. I was away at the time.

I would like to avoid a complete reinstall if that would fix the issue as I don't have a full system image backup (I know, I know, bad practice) from Windows (doesn't work in safe mode, only normal mode).

I guess I could boot up a live CD and take a backup of the disk that way but I'm wondering if there could be an easier solution.

I think it's okay to rule out hardware issues as safe mode works and it's most likely driver related. I disabled the GeForce 405 driver in Device Manager and rebooted but met the spinning wheel screen again until it crashed with the same stop code.

Does anyone have any ideas? I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks!
 
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Marking this as solved. It had nothing to do with the drive after all.

I had an idea to check Apps & Features > Sort by install date and saw an AVG Protection update listed on the date of the BSOD. I recall seeing somewhere that AVG caused a DPC Watchdog Violation crash but at the time I brushed it off so now I immediately uninstalled it, rebooted the PC, and what do you know? It booted fine!

I'm still going to take backups and replace the drive but it was not the cause of this problem after all.

Thanks everyone.
 

Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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I think it's okay to rule out hardware issues as safe mode works and it's most likely driver related.
Thanks for sharing your experience and what you discovered by way of a solution.
I'm wondering if at anytime during your diagnosis, did you happen to try item #8 from the Startup Settings screen "Disable early launch anti-malware protection"?
 
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Thanks for sharing your experience and what you discovered by way of a solution.
I'm wondering if at anytime during your diagnosis, did you happen to try item #8 from the Startup Settings screen "Disable early launch anti-malware protection"?
I didn't, no. I did try option 7 to disable signature enforcement on drivers but it didn't help.

Do you think #8 would have fixed this (temporarily)?
 
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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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Do you think #8 would have fixed this (temporarily)?
I don't know.
Typically when I'm troubleshooting an issue such as yours I will step through
Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking (to see if it might be the network driver)
And last the "Disable early launch anti-malware protection" especially if I know or have reason to suspect there is or has ever been any third party security suites installed on the computer that I'm trying to fix.
 

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