How to solve clock watchdog timeout error

You are expecting to be productive today, but suddenly a blue screen with a sad emoticon shows on your computer screen saying, “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart.” Unfortunately, it isn’t just a simple problem to solve, especially if it is caused by a clock watchdog timeout error.

BSoD errors or Blue Screen of Death are sometimes caused by a clock watchdog timeout. It happens when the time allotted by the CPU to a process expires, and the system cannot provide an output at a specific deadline. After that, the error appears.

It is important to note that there are different reasons for that problem that triggers the CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT error, so resolving it can be tricky. Some of the clock watchdog timeout errors you could encounter could include:

  • Clock Watchdog Timeout Ryzen. It happens in Ryzen CPU owners after an update. Reversing the changes or removing the update can easily end the problem.
  • Clock Watchdog Timeout HP, Lenovo, Intel, AMD. The error could happen to both Intel and AMD processors on HP and Lenovo devices.
  • Clock Watchdog Timeout Overclock. Overclocking a hardware component, specifically the CPU, can cause the error.
  • Clock Watchdog Timeout RAM, GPU. System failure can start from incompatible hardware, like CPU, GPU, or motherboard.
  • Clock Watchdog Timeout Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7. Windows system files could face a problem, and a system file scan is needed.

As said, there are different areas to check, which also means a handful of solutions to try. You can try the Windows Troubleshooter or Blue Screen Troubleshooter (Settings > Update & security > Troubleshoot > Blue Screen), but there are other fixes available. Here are some of the most commonly reported cases of clock watchdog timeout error and their respective solutions. 

  • Outdated Firmware. Firmware has a huge role in allowing the smooth functionality of the device. If it is outdated, completing the process at a given time will be impossible for the device, thus causing the clock watchdog timeout error. If you have outdated SSD firmware, update it but make sure to make a backup of your files first, as it is a bit risky. Also, disable LPM as some users reported that it worked for them.
  • Drivers and Updates. As said, clock watchdog timeout is a tricky error. This applies to the drivers of your device. Sometimes, an update is needed to prevent the problem, but in some cases, driver updates can cause them due to bugs. Nonetheless, ensure that your drivers are updated; if you encounter issues after the update, try restoring the driver to its previous version. Of course, it is also important to always ensure that your Windows OS is consistently updated.
  • BIOS. You can also consider updating the outdated system BIOS version from the manufacturer’s website to install new firmware for your motherboard. However, be sure you know how to properly do it as it can also harm the device. Further, if you have played with some of the BIOS settings, try resetting it. Some users who experienced clock watchdog timeout errors also said that it helped when they manually set the speed of RAM and disabled the Asus Turbo feature, Intel SpeedStep, C1-6, and C1-E settings in the BIOS.
  • Hardware. The hardware components of your device should always complement each other. Commercial devices are consistently designed that way. However, if you are one of those who like to customize their PCs by replacing some hardware parts, problems can arise. When you use components that don’t calibrate with others, a clock watchdog timeout could happen. Nonetheless, there are also times that the error is caused by faulty hardware, such as motherboard, CPU, RAM, graphics card, or even clogged dusty fans.
  • CPU Overclocking. Some people overclock or increase the clocking or speed of the CPU from the BIOS settings in hopes of better performance. Also, according to Intel, it “can extend the useful life of a processor by helping it keep up with increasingly demanding software requirements.” However, caution should be observed when you do it, as it could burn hardware components due to overheating. Some overclock settings are too much for PC systems to handle, resulting in errors. That said, remove the overclock settings and see if it works.
  • Virus and Antivirus. We all know the danger of having malware and infected files in our system, as their effects can be vast. It might prevent the system from accessing some files, leading to BSoD errors. That said, having reliable protection against viruses is important. Unfortunately, some antivirus can also lead to the same error, so you must have the right one. If your current antivirus is the problem, you need to remove the software alongside the files it made and the registry entries related to it. You can use specific removal tools for this job, and some companies that also offer antivirus software commonly have them (e.g., Norton). Once everything is removed, consider other more trusted antivirus brands.
  • Other Applications. Aside from antivirus, other third-party applications in your system can also cause a clock watchdog timeout error. The Asus AI Suite is one of the most reported apps that cause such an error. Try removing it and see if it works.
  • Files. The error could occur when your system is trying to access a file and fails or when there are incomplete or broken files or infected files. In this case, run a system file scan. System File Checker can fix or remove corrupt system files from the PC system. Launch the Windows PowerShell from the Start button to locate every corrupt file and fix each one. In relation to that, also run the Memtest or Windows Memory Diagnostic tool (mdsched.exe) to check for bad memory or corrupted memory slots in the hardware memory in the system. System Restore, which restores the system to its earlier version, can also be a good option.
  • Clean Boot. A background program might be interfering with your game or program, and you can determine it through a “clean boot,” which starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. It means it will only load the necessary files in the memory and fix the critical process died Windows 10 error by disabling extra software and services.
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