CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT - How to fix?

How To Fix "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" Blue Screen Of Death Error

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is a blue screen error stating that the computer encountered a problem that it could not handle and the machine needs to restart. A specific error code (comprising numbers or words) is provided and suggests that you search for the error online. One example is the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error. If you restart the computer and the blue screen no longer appears, you should ignore it, since the problem may still exist and could even do more damage in future.

The "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error usually indicates a delayed clock interruption in a multiprocessor configuration. In other words, there is an issue with the processor and it cannot function properly. There could be problems with hardware drivers, which might be corrupted or incorrect. There could also be issues with Random Access Memory (RAM), the BIOS might need to be updated, the computer could be infected by malware or viruses, the CPU (Central Processing Unit) could be overclocked, etc. It can be difficult to ascertain the cause of this blue screen error, since there are a number of reasons on different computers. There are, however, various possible solutions to the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error and these are described in the guide below.

NOTE: If you are unable to log into Windows and continually receive the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error each time you restart the computer, you need to boot Windows into Safe Mode with Networking. If you are not sure how to boot into Safe Mode with Networking, read this guide - use the "Interrupt Windows Boot Process" method described at the link. Alternatively, you can use a Windows Installation CD/DVD/USB and boot Windows into Safe Mode with Networking using the Automatic Repair (Advanced Startup) screen. Once you are logged into Windows, apply the methods described below.

clock watchdog timeout error

Table of Contents:

Disconnect External Devices

The first method that might fix the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error is to disconnect connected external devices. A connected external device/peripheral might be interfering with the operating system. Disconnect all peripherals and external devices, leaving only the mouse and keyboard connected, and then restart the computer. Check if you still receive the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error. If the problem is fixed, one of the peripherals or external devices might be damaged or faulty and causing the problem. In this case, replace that peripheral or external device.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Update BIOS

BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is software stored on a small memory chip on the motherboard. You might need to access the BIOS to change how the device works or to assist in troubleshooting a problem. It is possible that the hardware responsible for the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error is having problems, and updating the BIOS might fix the problem. Bear in mind that updating the BIOS is a procedure for advanced users - if not performed properly, it can cause permanent hardware damage.

To update the BIOS, go to the motherboard manufacturer’s website and download the latest BIOS version for the motherboard. There should be a manual describing how to update the BIOS - ensure that you read this carefully. If you do not know how to update the BIOS, find an expert to avoid damage to your computer.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Run Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool

If there are problems with RAM (Random Access Memory), first run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. Windows Memory Diagnostic is a comprehensive memory test tool that is easy to use. To launch it, type "windows memory diagnostic" or "mdsched" in Search and click the "Windows Memory Diagnostic" result.

run windows memory diagnostic tool step 1

To run diagnostics you will need to restart your computer. You will be asked if you want to restart now or to run it the next time you start the computer. When you restart your computer, Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool will start automatically. You will see the testing process and results on your screen.

run windows memory diagnostic tool step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Uninstall Third-Party Software

It is possible that some recently installed software is causing the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error. Some users have reported that software such as Daemon Tools, MacDriver, Alcohol 120%, VirtualBox and other virtual image managers caused the error. After uninstalling it, the blue screen error was removed. If you have installed software recently (especially the aforementioned software), we recommend that you uninstall it. To do so, press Windows key + R or right-click the Start menu and select "Run" from the contextual menu. This will open the Run dialog box.

uninstall third party software step 1

Type "appwiz.cpl" and press Enter on your keyboard - this will launch the "Programs and Features" window.

uninstall third party software step 2

In the Programs and Features window, locate the program and uninstall it by right-clicking on it and choosing "Uninstall" from the drop-down menu. Restart your computer and see if you still receive the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error.

uninstall third party software step 3

[Back to Table of Contents]

Run Windows Troubleshooter

Windows includes a number of troubleshooters designed to quickly diagnose and automatically resolve various computer problems. Troubleshooters cannot fix all problems, but they are a good place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer, operating system or connected devices. In this case, you will need to use the Blue Screen troubleshooter. To start troubleshooting, go to Settings and type "troubleshoot", select "Troubleshoot" from the list.

run windows troubleshooter step 1

Now find "Blue Screen" under Find and fix other problems and select it. Click "Run the troubleshooter" and follow the instructions. Windows will try to troubleshoot the error that caused Windows to stop or restart unexpectedly. See if this troubleshooter is able to fix the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error. Additionally, we recommend that you run the "Hardware and devices" troubleshooter. 

run windows troubleshooter step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Update Drivers

Blue Screen of Death errors are usually driver-related errors. A device driver is software that informs the operating system and other software how to interact with particular hardware. It is rather like a translator between software and hardware, since they often are created by different manufacturers, companies, or people. The driver facilitates smooth communication between hardware and software. In most cases, computers are unable to send and receive data correctly without drivers. If the appropriate driver is not installed, the device might not function properly, if at all and give you various blue screen of death errors, including "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT". To update your drivers, open Device Manager by right-clicking the Start button and selecting the "Device Manager" result from the contextual menu or type "device manager" in Search and click the "Device Manager" result.

update drivers step 1

In Device Manager, you will see a list of devices connected to your computer. Since it is difficult to ascertain which driver is causing the problem, you must update them all, unless you have noticed specific circumstances under which the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error occurred. Expand the device category and right-click the device, and then select "Update driver" from the drop-down menu.

update drivers step 2

You will be asked if you want to search for updated driver software automatically or to browse your computer for driver software. If you select the first option, Windows will search your computer and the Internet for the latest driver software for your device. If you select the second option, you must locate and install the drivers manually. Using this option requires having previously downloaded the driver on your computer or USB flash drive and it is a longer process, since you will have to download all latest drivers for all devices manually by visiting the device manufacturers' official websites. We recommend that you select the first option and follow the instructions. Apply the steps to all devices.

update drivers step 3

You can use a third-party driver updater tool to update all drivers automatically and save time. For example, Snappy Driver Installer (SDI) is a powerful free driver updater tool for Windows that can store its entire collection of drivers offline. Having offline drivers gives Snappy Driver Installer the ability to have access to fast driver updates, even if there is no active Internet connection on your computer. Snappy Driver works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and also works with Windows XP. Drivers are downloaded through Snappy Driver Installer in 'driverpacks', which are simply collections (packs) of drivers for various hardware such as sound devices, video cards, network adapters, etc. It can also show duplicate drivers and invalid drivers. It separates the updates that require you to restart your computer so that they are easier to distinguish. You can download Snappy Driver Installer from here. Alternatively, look for other automated driver updaters online.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Run System File Checker

To fix the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" blue screen error, you can run the System File Checker, a utility in Windows that allows users to scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restore them. If there are any corrupted driver files present, this tool might fix this problem. This guide describes how to run the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe) to scan your system files and repair missing or corrupted system files. The "sfc scannow" option is one of several specific switches available with the sfc command, the Command Prompt command used to run System File Checker. You must run an elevated Command Prompt to perform a SFC scan. Open Command Prompt using administrative privileges by typing "command prompt" in Search, right-clicking the "Command Prompt" result, and selecting the "Run as administrator" option.

run system file check step 1

Type the "sfc /scannow" command, press Enter on your keyboard to execute this command. System File Checker will start and should take some time to complete the scan (about 15 minutes). Wait for the scanning process to complete and restart the computer. See if the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error persists.

run system file check step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Fix Windows Registry

It is possible that the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" error is caused by a corrupted operating system registry. These corruptions usually happen when certain programs are installed or uninstalled incorrectly. For example, a program might be installed over a previously-installed program without deleting the original installation. To fix this type of registry problem, you need to remove (or fix) redundant and duplicate registry entries. We recommend that you attempt to fix registry entries using third-party software called CCleaner.

CCleaner is a small, effective utility for computers running Microsoft Windows. It cleans junk and issues that accumulate over time: temporary files, broken shortcuts, and other problems. It protects privacy, cleans browsing history and temporary Internet files, allowing you to be a more confident Internet user and less susceptible to identity theft. CCleaner can clean redundant files from various programs, thus saving hard disk space, remove unneeded entries in Windows Registry, help uninstall software, and select which programs start with Windows. You can download CCleaner from here

When downloaded, install CCleaner and open it. Select "Registry" on the left pane and click "Scan for Issues". It will find various registry issues on your computer. To clean or fix them, click "Fix selected Issues..." Close CCleaner when you have finished fixing the registry and see if you still receive the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" blue screen error.

fix windows registry

[Back to Table of Contents]

Scan the System for Malware

If fixing the registry does not not solve the problem, scan your system for malware. You can use Windows Defender, a built-in antivirus program that protects your computer against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Or, run other third-party antivirus software if installed. To run a full system scan using Windows Defender, type "virus" in Search and click on the "Virus & threat protection" result.

scan your system for malware step 1

In the Virus & threat protection window, click "Advanced scan".

scan your system for malware step 2

Select "Full scan" and click "Scan now". This will start scanning your system for malware. If there are any viruses found, delete them.

scan your system for malware step 3

You can choose a virus and malware scanner from our Top anti-malware list. The list consists of popular spyware removers and will help you choose the right software for your computer's protection. You can find the list by clicking this link

[Back to Table of Contents]

Temporarily Disable Your Antivirus

It is also possible that your antivirus (anti-malware) software is causing the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" blue screen error. To ensure that installed third-party antivirus software is not the cause of this error, we recommend that you temporarily disable it and check if the error persists. If disabling (or uninstalling) your antivirus software helps, reinstall it or switch to another package. If you are not sure how to disable your antivirus software, read this guide for instructions on how to disable some of the most popular antivirus programs.

We hope that one of the above methods fixed the "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" blue screen error. If none worked, you could simply reinstall the Windows operating system. Make sure you backup your data first if possible. If you know of other solutions to this problem, not mentioned in our guide, please share them with us by leaving a comment in the section below.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Video Showing How To Fix "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" Error:

[Back to Top]

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

Our guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.