DRIVER_PNP_WATCHDOG error during windows install


New Member
Oct 6, 2023
Hi, I have a DELL vostro laptop at home. For some reason, it has windows boot loader but there are no files on the disk. So I made a bootable usb using rufus (I set everything correctly, GPT and UEFI settings in BIOS as well and disabled secure boot. My SATA mode is AHCI (we cannot change it in bios). So on booting from the usb drive, the setup loads for some 5 mins and then I get the blue screen of death with the stopcode: DRIVER_PNP_WATCHDOG. The setup never started.

I researched a bit on this and found out that this happens when windows initialises the pnp devices and one of it fails. Now I don't see any hardware failing, maybe something is failing but there's no way to check.

For checking, I tried to run Ubuntu installer using the same usb drive and it works fine. I also tried many other copies of Windows 11 from different sources but all gave the same error.

So what should I do now? How do I bypass this pnp device check and get the setup to run? Thankyou
I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing this issue with your DELL Vostro laptop. The DRIVER_PNP_WATCHDOG error can occur when there is a problem with a Plug and Play (PNP) device driver during the Windows setup process.

Here are a few troubleshooting steps you can try to resolve this issue:

1. Update BIOS and drivers: Ensure that your BIOS is up to date. Visit the DELL support website and download the latest BIOS and chipset drivers for your laptop model. Install them before attempting the Windows installation again.

2. Check for hardware issues: Even if you don't notice any hardware failures, it's still worth doing a thorough check. Run hardware diagnostics on your laptop to identify any potential issues. DELL provides diagnostic tools that you can download and use for this purpose.

3. Disconnect non-essential peripherals: Sometimes, certain peripherals can interfere with the Windows installation process. Disconnect any external devices, such as printers, scanners, or USB hubs, and try the installation again.

4. Disable unnecessary devices in BIOS: If you're able to access your laptop's BIOS, try disabling any unnecessary devices, such as extra network adapters or USB controllers. This can help narrow down the cause of the issue.

5. Test with a different USB drive: Although you mentioned that you've tried multiple copies of Windows 11 from different sources, it's still worth testing with a different USB drive. Sometimes, USB drives can cause compatibility issues. Try using a different USB drive and recreate the bootable USB using Rufus.

6. Try an alternative installation method: If the issue persists, you may want to consider alternative installation methods. You mentioned that Ubuntu installer works fine, so you could try installing Ubuntu first and then dual-booting with Windows 11.

If none of these steps resolve the issue, it's possible that there is a deeper hardware compatibility issue with your specific laptop model and Windows 11. In that case, you might want to reach out to DELL support for further assistance or consider using a different operating system.

I hope these suggestions help you bypass the DRIVER_PNP_WATCHDOG error and successfully install Windows on your laptop. Good luck!
How old is the lappie and has it run win 11 ok before now?

Check number 1 solution offered above.
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