The term “blue screen of death” (BSOD) refers to the screen that appears when your computer encounters a major error that prevents you from continuing to use it and forces you to restart.
These displays normally include some information about why it happened, as well as an error message or code that you can use to investigate and hopefully resolve the problem.
The actual problem arises when these BSODs occur frequently enough that you can’t even operate your computer correctly, let alone try to solve the problem manually. Let’s take a look at the BSOD that follows!
Experiencing the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD) on a Windows computer can be quite alarming. One of the less common, but still frustrating, errors is the ‘Clock Watchdog Timeout’ error.
This article provides insights into what causes this error, explains the stop code, and offers solutions for mitigation.
What is Clock Watchdog Timeout Error?
This error message causes your computer to freeze and requires a complete reboot to get it back up and running. BSODs are less frightening on Windows 10 now that it has been made more user-friendly, but they are still dangerous.
Causes of Clock Watchdog Timeout Error
- Processor Non-Responsiveness: The core reason behind the Clock Watchdog Timeout error is when a processor (or CPU core) becomes non-responsive and doesn’t receive an interrupt within the allocated interval.
- Overclocking: Overclocking your CPU beyond its standard settings can lead to instability and trigger this error.
- Outdated or Incompatible Drivers: Old or incompatible drivers can cause conflicts leading to this BSOD.
- Hardware Faults: Damaged or failing hardware, especially the CPU or RAM, can result in this error.
5 Ways To Fix Clock Watchdog Timeout on Windows 10
Users who were working on crucial files and documents may lose them permanently if the problem occurs since all the files that were open at the time of the mistake risk becoming corrupted.
However, there are various options for resolving this issue; make sure you attempt each one and carefully follow the instructions.
Solution 1: Stop Overclocking Your CPU
These issues are frequently caused by overclocking your CPU. First and foremost, you should be aware that the CLOCL WATCHDOG TIMEOUT BSOD is frequently caused by CPU issues, which you should investigate.
Overclocking is the process of increasing the frequency and speed of your processor beyond the factory default settings. This can give your PC a big performance boost, but you must be extremely cautious because entire PCs have gone up in flames as a result of consumers overclocking them too much or being negligent.
Depending on which program you used to overclock in the first place, you may be able to restore your CPU’s rate and frequency to its original level.
Although Intel and AMD have their own software for overclocking CPUs, there are dozens of others to pick from. Stop overclocking your computer and observe if the BSOD reappears.
Solution 2: Use Windows Driver Verifier
Driver Verifier is a built-in program in the Windows Operating System that checks Windows kernel-mode and graphic drivers for any unauthorized function calls or other procedures that could corrupt system files.
We will discover any unsigned drivers that are not provided by Microsoft and attempt to verify or delete them using this way.
Step 1: Open Verifier as an administrator by going to the Windows Menu and typing in Verifier.
Step 2: Click Next after selecting the option to Create Standard Settings.
Step 3: If you choose Automatically Select Unsigned Drivers and then click Next, you should receive a notice saying “No Unsigned Drivers Found.”
Step 4: Close the Driver Verifier Manager and reopen it, then select Create Standard Settings from the drop-down menu and click Next.
Step 5: Select Drivers from the drop-down menu and click Next and click Finish
Step 6: Your computer will need to be restarted. Reopen the Driver Verifier after restarting and select the option to Delete Existing Settings, then click Finish.
Step 7: Restart your computer once again.
Solution 3: Checking Disk for System File Corruptions
We’ll utilize the Command Prompt to discover and correct any logical File System errors on the hard drive in this manner. We’ll use the CHDSK command, which works differently depending on the file system partition type.
We’ll attempt to correct both logical mistakes and any readable data that may have been corrupted owing to faulty sectors on the drive. This procedure can take anything between a few minutes and an hour.
Step 1: As an administrator, open Command Prompt.
Step 2: Type chkdsk /f /r E at the command prompt. (Insert the letter E for the Volume you want to fix faults for.)
Step 3: Restart your computer once this process is finished.
When you restart your computer, if the volume is currently being utilized by another software, it will be checked for faults.
Solution 4: Use Windows Memory Diagnostics
When the PC’s Random-Access Memory is incompatible, the Clock Watchdog Timeout error occurs. Windows 10 has a tool called Windows Memory Diagnostics that analyses the RAM for abnormalities.
After rebooting the system, Windows memory diagnostics run and can take several minutes to complete.
Step 1: Open Windows Memory Diagnostics by going to the Start Menu and typing it in.
Step 2: If you select the option to restart now, the computer will check for faults automatically when it restarts.
Solution 5: Fix Outdated External Devices and Drivers
This is most likely the most common cause of all BSOD issues. Outdated drivers and improperly configured external devices like a mouse, keyboard, webcam, and printer can quickly cause system instability, so it’s no surprise that these issues occur every few hours or even minutes.
If you’re prepared to put in some effort, you can simply remedy this.
Step 1: Open Device Manager by searching for it in the Start menu’s Search field.
Step 2: Select View and turn on the “Show hidden devices” option.
Step 3: After that, look for devices that have an error notice next to their name in the device manager.
Step 4: Continue your search by expanding all options by clicking on the arrow next to their names.
Step 5: The fault in 90% of all BSODs produced by hardware is in the Universal Serial Bus controllers, which have an error in their name that says:
Step 6: Remove USB devices one by one while your PC is turned off and Device Manager is active (mouse, keyboard, webcam, etc).
Step 7: This problem Unknown USB Device should go away once you remove the hardware component that triggered the BSOD.
Step 8: If it doesn’t, reconnect all of your devices, uncheck the “Show hidden devices” option in the View menu, then look for the Unknown USB Device. If this is the case, disconnect each device one by one until the issue is resolved.
Step 9: You should have figured out which of your external devices is causing the BSOD if you followed the guidelines correctly.
Step 10: Check to see if the hidden devices are visible. Disconnect the malfunctioning device, locate it in the Universal Serial Bus controller, right-click it, and choose Uninstall device.
Step 11: Check to see if the problem has been resolved by restarting your computer.
You should be able to reinstall the latest driver for the affected device by simply searching the name of your device and obtaining it from the manufacturer’s website.
Understanding the Stop Code: CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT
CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT stop code in Windows is indicative of an issue where the processor is hung and not processing interrupts. Essentially, it means a specific processor core isn’t communicating with the other cores in the expected manner.
How to Fix Frequent Blue Screen due to Clock Watchdog Timeout Error
- Update Your Drivers: Ensure that all your drivers, especially the chipset and graphics drivers, are up to date. This can be done using the Windows Device Manager or by visiting the manufacturer’s website.
- Stop Overclocking: If you’ve overclocked your CPU, revert it to the original settings. Overclocking can lead to system instability.
- Check Hardware: Inspect your hardware, especially the CPU and RAM. Consider running hardware diagnostics tools or seeking expert assistance.
- Update Windows: Ensure your Windows OS is updated to the latest version, as patches might contain fixes for known issues.
- System Restore: If the error started appearing after a specific change or software installation, consider restoring your system to a previous state using System Restore.
Can I Force Shutdown During a Blue Screen?
It’s generally not recommended to force shutdown during a BSOD as it might exacerbate the problem or lead to data corruption. However, if the system remains unresponsive for an extended period, a forced restart might be the only option.
How to Update Watchdog Timer Driver
- Via Device Manager:
Win + Xand select
- Expand the category containing the watchdog timer (often under “System devices”).
- Right-click on ‘Watchdog Timer’ and select ‘Update driver’.
- Choose ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ and follow the prompts.
- Manufacturer’s Website: Check the motherboard or computer manufacturer’s website for driver updates. This method often provides the most recent and stable drivers.
This issue occurs when the processor’s cores and threads aren’t working together properly. The threads are the jobs that the cores perform, and some cores can have many threads running at the same time.
The issue is that one thread – or one kernel – is waiting for a sufficient response from another thread, and those responses aren’t coming. This state is known as a deadlock in technical terms when the processor is unable to continue processing tasks since its resources are occupied and interdependent to become free.
So, today, we’ll try to figure out how to solve this Blue Screen issue and keep it from occurring again. The Clock Watchdog Timeout error, though perplexing, is typically resolvable with some patience and systematic troubleshooting.
Keeping your system updated and maintaining hardware health are fundamental to preventing such issues. Always remember, in the realm of technology, every problem has a solution.