What is CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT error

Abrupt errors along with no knowledge to fix them may turn your PC experience into a world of trouble and nightmare. The name of today’s culprit is CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT – a very annoying and rare stop error denying access to normal and flawless usage. Usually, this type of error means something has caused your system to fault with hardware connected. In other words, the context of this error says there are incompatibility problems preventing some hardware components from establishing proper communication with Central Processing Unit (CPU). They can be encountered by the system while trying to launch some process. The Blue Screen of Death displaying the CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT error may interrupt your experience anytime while playing a videogame, running a program, or other daily activities often executed by users. While there are a couple of subtypes originating from CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT, the most popular reasons leading to malfunctioned communication between your CPU and hardware are usually corrupted files, bugged or outdated drivers, faulty updates, incompatible software, and other problems related to RAM, malware, and even BIOS settings. Such a variety of issues may seem too much to handle, but you should not be worrying that much since we are going to solve this error together. Just follow our instructions below and fix the abovementioned error once and for all.

Download Windows Repair Tool

Download Windows Repair Tool

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There are special repair utilities for Windows, that can solve problems related to registry corruption, file system malfunction, Windows drivers instability. We recommend you to use Advanced System Repair to fix the “CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT” error in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, or XP.

Important note: If you are unable to access the desktop and troubleshoot issues in Normal mode because CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT pops right at the start, follow these steps to boot in Safe Mode and run all possible solutions from there. The mode allows you to restart the system only with in-built and native settings to avoid errors for the time of addressing them. It will also help you identify if CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT is caused by external software or not. Here is what you should do to launch in Safe Mode:

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. While it starts booting press F8 button.
  3. This will open Advanced Boot Options menu.
  4. Choose Safe Mode with Networking and wait until Windows loads.
  5. Now you should have fully-operatable Windows to start using the solutions below.

If you are already in the Automatic Repair Mode after failing to boot up your PC multiple times, you may need to navigate through these steps:

  1. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings. If necessary, click See more recovery options to expand the list.
  2. After reaching the Startup Settings menu, press Restart and wait until Windows reloads.
  3. Then, you should choose an option depending on what solution below you are going to try.
  4. It can be:

    Safe Mode

    Safe Mode with Networking

    or

    Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    >> See detailed instructions and video tutorial on how to boot in Safe Mode

    1. Install fresh updates

    Some errors related to compatibility and other reasons can be resolved by simply downloading new updates. It is possible you have not downloaded new patches for a very long time and now have them pending in Windows Update Center. Thus, try to install available updates and see if the problem gets fixed. Also, in case there was some Windows update installed right before CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT started to show, you can try to remove it and see if this helps. Some updates getting released by Microsoft contain bugs and flaws that affect your system. It is worth checking if some new patches were installed prior to the error appearance. Below, you will find instructions for both removing and installing new updates.

    To install new updates:

    1. Press Windows + I combination and choose Update & Security the same way we did above.
    2. Then go to Windows Update and click on the Check for updates button. If your Windows found new updates automatically, just click on Install/Download and follow on-screen instructions.

    To uninstall recent updates:

    1. Press Windows Key + I buttons to open Settings and choose Update & Security.
    2. Then, in Windows Update, click View update history on the right pane.
    3. Choose Uninstall updates on top and delete the most recent update by date of installation.
    4. Now you can reboot your PC and open the problematic application again.

    We hope it worked and you managed to solve the issue with this first method right off.

    2. Check integrity of system files

    It is quite common to see corrupted or absent files being part of the reason. Error CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT may foster its presence for this exact cause. This is why it is worth checking the completeness and health of the entire file system. Below, we are going to use both SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management), which will detect and restore absent components, if any. Make sure to use both of these scans using the sequence below (they can have a different impact on resolving the issue):

    SFC

    1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching box next to the Start Menu button.
    2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
    3. Once the console is opened, type the sfc /scannow command and click Enter.
    4. When the fixing process is done, restart your computer.

    DISM

    1. Open Command Prompt as we did in the previous step.
    2. Copy and paste this command DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.
    3. Click Enter and wait until Windows ends the scanning and fixing.
    4. Once done, restart your PC and install the update again.

    3. Update or roll back drivers

    It is no revelation to many users that drivers share an extremely important role in the proper operation of physical components. Graphic cards, processors, and other elements can run flawless and stable only with drivers. This is why it is important to keep them up-to-date by running regular updates. Just like with Windows updates, newly-installed drivers may also be bugged or badly installed leading to conflict. Most often it is Display drivers causing the issue, so you should try to update or roll them back first. Both options can be found below. In Safe Mode, you are only allowed to roll your drivers back to previous versions:

    To update drivers manually:

    1. Right-click on the Start Menu button and select Device Manager.
    2. In the opened tab right-click on all drivers, choose Update Driver, and follow the on-screen instructions.
    3. Windows will start searching for available updates and automatically install them on your computer.
    4. Sometimes there are malfunctioned drivers (marked with a yellow triangle), which means you should update them in the first order.

    To roll back drivers:

    If you know which driver has been updated recently, you can find and roll it back to the previous version.

    1. Navigate to Device Manager as we did above.
    2. Locate and right-click on a previously updated driver.
    3. Choose Roll Back Driver and follow instructions.
    4. Once finished, reboot your PC and see if the problem dissipates.

    You can also use IObit Driver Booster to perform automatic updates. It is way faster than going through the manual process because this utility will take the entire task of updating aged or malfunctioned drivers onto its shoulders. Download it via the link below and try it for free.

    Download Driver Booster

    4. Scan for Malware

    Sometimes it may be hard to know whether your PC is being affected by malware or not. Though, if none of the previously-mentioned solutions helped with addressing the issue, it becomes even more reasonable to scan your PC for malicious operations. Different infections can lead to various conflicts and instabilities in one’s system. You can use default Windows Defender or try to install a more advanced antivirus developed by Malwarebytes – a trusted and talented group of experts constantly updating their software to fight off both local and global threats. You can download it now using the link below and try a 14-day trial of the ultimate antimalware experience for free.

    Download Malwarebytes

    5. Delete recently installed programs

    If you suspect the issue started to appear upon installation of some third-party software, then try to delete or turn it off. It can be an app or antivirus that works in the background causing some incompatibility issues. To delete an application in Windows 10, follow these simple steps:

    1. Right-click on the Start button.
    2. In opened menu choose Programs and Features.
    3. Find the name of a program you installed recently, right-click on it and press the Uninstall button.
    4. Confirm follow-up windows if any of them appear and check if the CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT error appears again at the end of removal.

    6. Run Windows Memory Diagnostics

    Damaged RAM may also read to similar consequences like CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT and its Blue Screen of Death. If you are one of the stuck victims, it is advised to check Random Access Memory (RAM) for errors by running the in-built Memory Diagnostics utility.

    1. Type Windows Memory Diagnostic into the search bar next to Start Menu.
    2. After opening, you will see a new tab that presents two options. Choose the Recommended one.
    3. Windows will scan your RAM for errors and instantly restore them.

    Then, restart your system and check if the problem appears again. We hope it no longer occurs.

    7. Turn off Overlocking

    Overlocking is known to be a feature allowing users to boost either CPU or GPU performance by stepping over the clock rate. Unfortunately, enabling this option often leads to overheating and other issues resulting in various BSOD errors. if you remember turning it on intentionally, go to your BIOS and undo the changes. The steps may vary a bit depending on the motherboard model and version of BIOS, but here is a general set of instructions to turn off the Overlocking feature.

    1. Press Windows key + I combination to open Settings.
    2. Then navigate to Update & Security > Recovery and click Restart under the Advanced tab.
    3. After that, Windows will boot up with a new menu.
    4. On the first screen go to the Troubleshoot section.
    5. Then click on Advanced options.
    6. After that click UEFI Firmware Settings and press Restart.
    7. The computer will restart and open the BIOS menu.
    8. In BIOS, go to Advanced tab, then Performance, locate Overlocking and disable it.
    9. Save changes and see if it resolves the problem.

    It is also worth mentioning that disabling overlocking will increase the longevity of your device by quite a huge margin.

    8. Update/Reset BIOS

    BIOS is a motherboard chip that memorizes and stores all configuration settings set in your PC. Such things as Power supply, RAM, and CPU are parts of the system maintained correctly thanks to the BIOS settings. Updating or resetting your BIOS may be an option to try only if none of the easier steps help. This might be both a harder and riskier method to try. You should apply it only in critical and desperate post-error scenarios. To update BIOS, you should visit your motherboard’s manufacturer page and download updates from it. Note that it is an advanced procedure, requiring attention and skills to perform. Make sure to follow the update manual attached to the manufacturer’s websites. If you have not done it before and are still not ready to test out your skills whilst updating BIOS, we recommend you to use the professional help of qualified people. There is also an option to reset your BIOS back to its factory settings. It means all settings will lose their previous values customed by users. Before doing any manipulations with BIOS, it is recommended to create a backup of data, if it is possible. This will be useful in case something goes wrong and ruins your system.

    Summary

    We hope you did not have to run manipulations with BIOS and solved the issue way before reaching this final and complex method. If you are concerned about other errors or problems that occur to your PC, use our advanced search in the top right corner to enter the keywords and access solutions for them. There is plenty of new and useful instructions being uploaded on our website.

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