SOLVED! “WIN32K POWER WATCHDOG TIMEOUT”

About the BSOD “WIN32K POWER WATCHDOG TIMEOUT”, the number one suspect is the display driver and you should update it as soon as possible. In addition, you must consider disconnecting peripherals, running DISM and SFC scans, performing a system restore and updating BIOS. Take a look at this article to tackle the issue and bring Windows back to normal. 

Causes

Driver

All in all, the graphics card driver is what enables communication between computers and graphics cards. If the driver is free of corruption, damages and other faults, computers would perform to their full potential. On the other hand, if the driver of graphics cards runs into issues, the BSOD error is one of the consequences. Hence, regarding the Stop code “WIN32K POWER WATCHDOG TIMEOUT”, you must give driver some thought. 

Peripherals 

It’s possible to attach a wide range of peripherals like keyboards, mouses, secondary monitors, external drives, … to today’s Windows computers. Still, some of the peripherals could act up out of the blue and result in errors. You keep coming across the BSOD error and the Stop code “WIN32K POWER WATCHDOG TIMEOUT”? Then you should take peripherals into account. 

Corrupted System Files

In layman’s terms, Windows depends on system files to function properly. If systems files become corrupted for some reason, the operating system would go haywire every now and then. 

Outdated BIOS

BIOS, short for Basic Input/Output System, is responsible for providing runtime services and hardware initialization during bootup. Needless to say, if BIOS is out of date, there is no way for Windows to work as expected. 

Solutions

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Note: At times, the BSOD error can be extreme and prevent you from accessing the home screen. In a scenario like that, you have to boot your computer into Safe Mode.

  • Step 1: Turn off your computer then press the power button to turn it on again.
  • Step 2: As the logo starts showing up, press the power button three times to reach the Advanced Recovery Environment.
  • Step 3: Choose Troubleshoot then select Advanced Options.
  • Step 4: Hit Startup settings and pick Restart.
  • Step 5: Once the PC restarts, click Enable Safe mode to boot your computer into Safe Mode.

Once in the Safe Mode, you can proceed to try out the solutions down below. Of course, if you can access your home screen, you don’t have to boot your computer into Safe Mode. 

Update Drivers

  • Step 1: Press Windows + R to open Run.
  • Step 2: Type devmgmt.msc then hit Enter to open Device Manager.
  • Step 3: Hit the arrow beside Display adapters and right-click your graphics card.
  • Step 4: Pick Properties then go to the Driver tab.
  • Step 5: Hit Update Driver then follow the onscreen instructions to update your driver.
  • Step 6: After you finish, restart your device and see if the issue persists.

If the BSOD error still gives you a hard time after the driver update, go through the following steps to roll back the driver. 

  • Step 1: Press Windows + X to open Quick Link menu then pick Device Manager.
  • Step 2: Hit the arrow beside Display adapters then right-click your graphics card.
  • Step 3: Select Properties then go to the Driver tab.
  • Step 4: Click Roll Back Driver then follow the onscreen instructions to roll back the driver.
  • Step 5: Restart your computer. 

Disconnect Peripherals From The Computer 

If you suspect that BSOD error is the work of peripherals, you will have to detach all of them. Unplug non-essential peripherals leaving only your mouse then restart your computer. If your PC resumes normal operations, reconnect the peripherals one by one while keeping an eye out for the BSOD error.

Run DISM & SFC Scans

  • DISM and SFC are important utilities on a Windows computer, DISM is used to manage Windows images while SFC helps to repair corrupt system files.
  • Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  • Step 2: Type cmd then press Ctrl + Alt + Enter to run Command Prompt as administrator.
  • Step 3: Type sfc /scannow then hit Enter to run the SFC scan.
  • Step 4: After the SFC scan finishes, run each of the DISM commands down below
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth” without quote and press ENTER.
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth” without quote and press ENTER.
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealthCheck Disk.
  • Step 5: The moment DISM wraps up, close Command Prompt and restart your computer.

Make Use Of System Restore

  • Step 1: Press the Windows key, type restore and click Create a restore point.
  • Step 2: In System Protection, hit System Restore.
  • Step 3: Choose Next and select the restore point.
  • Step 4: Hit Scan for affected programs to confirm the apps that will be removed.
  • Step 5: Click Close, select Next and choose Finish. 

Update BIOS 

To update BIOS, you will have to compare the current version on your device with the one on the manufacturer’s website.

  • Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open Run, type cmd and hit Enter to open Command Prompt.
  • Step 2: Type wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion then hit Enter to view the current version of your BIOS.
  • Step 3: Launch your browser, visit Microsoft’s website then find the latest version of BIOS matching your PC’s model.
  • Step 4: If you conclude that an update is necessary, download the BIOS then transfer it to a USB drive.
  • Step 5: Press the Windows key then hit the Power icon.
  • Step 6: Press and hold Shift before selecting Restart.
  • Step 7: In Advanced Recovery Environment, select Troubleshoot, choose Advanced Options and hit UEFI Firmware Settings.
  • Step 8: Use the UEFI utility to select the new firmware image you saved on the flash disk.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Windows dump file?

Once a system crash has occurred, Windows creates a snapshot of what happened right before the crash. That snapshot is called a “dump” file and may give hints on what caused the error. Windows creates this file automatically but there is no tool that could open it. Thus, you will have to download WinDbg, short for Windows Debugging tool, from Microsoft’s official website to read dump files.

Does BSOD cause data loss? 

When a blue screen error happens, the error will not delete files and folders on your computer but ongoing work would be lost. However, if the cause of the error is system-related, there is a risk of losing data.

Tips And Tricks

  • If you can access the home screen after a bluescreen error, perform a Windows update immediately.
  • Undo the most recent changes whenever you run into a BSOD error. For example, if you face the  Blue Screen Of Death after connecting your PC to a printer, disconnect it and see how things turn. 
  • Scan your PC using antivirus programs every now and then to locate and remove malware.

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