Last weekend the laptop, a many year old Dell E6520, decided it should update Windows 10 to the anniversary version (1607). There was much churning of wheels. The machine restarted and displayed a blue screen, with the wonderful words that an error had occurred. There was an error message DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION. It restarted again, then went into recovery mode. There was a successful recovery to the old windows. Phew! I still had an operable machine. Of course in a few hours the whole process repeated. The update was downloaded again, and then applied, and the DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION message appeared. This went on time after time. What was I to do?
Google suggested incompatible drivers and pointed to the screen drivers. I removed the drivers and the update started. The drivers came back and the whole error appeared again. Another suggestion was the disk was failing, and I should run a CHKDSK /R /F. CHKDSK was started. The progress steadily increased until it reached 14%. At 14% it hung for several hours. Again there was someone on the interwebs who said if it hung there for a long time, it was because it was trying to recover bad disk segments and therefore you had a problem.
Gambling time had come. Buy a new disk drive, and while we were at it, buy a solid disk, a Samsung SSD 850 EVO. Amazon delivered next day. I replaced the disk drive in minutes. I then downloaded Windows 10 onto a stick and booted the laptop from the stick. Yes it recognised the new drive, and yes it also recognised the laptop so I had a licensed machine. I also no longer had all the Dell crap bloatware anymore.
The installation media was pre 1607 version, so fingers crossed while Windows updated itself. This time no problems and now we are all up to date, and a FAST running machine.
The machine now is rejuvenated. The solid state disk, boots in seconds and is operable immediately after I login. Previously the machine took 10 minutes to become usable, because there was so much disk I/O from Dropbox indexing the files to find out what was had changed. Startup time was unacceptable.
Now its back to reinstalling applications, and recovering the data from the cloud. Thankfully, with my FTTP connection this was quite fast.