Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death (BSOD): PDC_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT

September 15th, 2018: I encountered an issue on multiple models of Lenovo laptops where, after the laptop’s inactivity timer induced a sleep event, upon waking the laptop I was presented with a BSOD stating PDC_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT (NOTE: PDC stands for “Power Dependency Coordinator”).

The issue was easily reproduce-able by setting the laptop’s sleep time to be 1 minute, and then waiting a minute and then waking the laptop.

A little bit of research turned up this Microsoft answers forum post: Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) BSOD PDC_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT pdc.sys with Trend Micro Anti Virus.

While this post specified “Microsoft Surface Pro (2017)”, the “with Trend Micro Anti Virus” caught my eye, as all affected laptops were running Trend Micro OfficeScan 11. (Note: All laptops were also running Windows 10 Creators Update (1703)).

According to a reply to the initial forum post:

the issue is because [Trend Micro] Behaviour Monitoring is unable to handle events from sleep mode

Simply disabling sleep mode was not an option due to end-user preferences.

So I chose to test the following instructions:

1. Rename AEGIS drivers and create a folder with same name:

(ps: For example, take tmcomm.sys and rename it as tmcomm.sys.bak; then create a folder named tmcomm.sys)

2. Create the following registry key entry:

Please note, should you follow these instructions, it will disable the Trend Micro AEGIS (Behavior Monitoring Service) driver. What does this driver do? Per the following links, Behavior Monitoring and Blocking malicious activities using Behavior Monitoring in OfficeScan (OSCE):

Behavior Monitoring constantly monitors endpoints for unusual modifications to the operating system or on installed software. Behavior Monitoring protects endpoints through Malware Behavior Blocking and Event Monitoring. Complementing these two features are a user-configured exception list and the Certified Safe Software Service.

– Behavior Monitoring does not support Windows XP or Windows 2003 64-bit platforms.
– Behavior Monitoring does support Windows Vista 64-bit platforms with SP1 or later.
– By default, Behavior Monitoring is disabled on all versions of Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012. Before enabling Behavior Monitoring on these server platforms, read the guidelines and best practices outlined in OfficeScan Agent Services.


Behavior Monitoring controls access to external storage devices and network resources, regulating potential avenues for data leakage or malware infection. Through the Client Self Protection feature, Behavior Monitoring also enhances endpoint protection by keeping security-related processes always up and running, and by protecting the OfficeScan client files and registry keys.

After performing the above steps, regarding the tmcomm, tmacmon, and tmevtmgr sys files, I was no longer able to reproduce the issue.

This was not a permanent resolution as it breaks an important function within the anti-virus service.

UPDATE: It appears that Trend now has a patch to resolve this issue – Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) occurs when Microsoft Surface Pro exits sleep mode. The patch will be rolled out to address the issue, and once it is completed, I will re-evaluate.

UPDATE 2019-01-18: Trend Micro OfficeScan 12 has been rolling out for a few months now and it appears to have resolved the issues. All systems with AEGIS disabled have now been reverted, I am no longer able to reproduce BSODs using the steps described at the beginning of this article.

UPDATE 2022-04-16: Looking back on this, after having some more involved experiences with Windows 10’s modern standby and fast startup, and trying to get Linux installs to correctly go to sleep and wake up, I believe that disabling modern standby – per these instructions, How to Unlock Power Plans on Surface Device – would have neatly resolved the issue without introducing a temporary decrease in security.

What I Have Learned About How To Dress Yourself

Always Dress Up: How you dress not only affects how others see you, it affects your mindset as well. When I dress up for work, it puts me in the mindset of a professional ready to work, which helps me project that as the first impression others get.

The psychological effect runs deep; weekends where I don’t get out of my pajamas are days where I rarely leave the house. On the other hand, if I start the day dressed as if I were going out, it makes it much easier should I decide to do so.


Keep Your Shoes Shined: Scuffed shoes immediately dress you down. Conversely, a good pair of well-kept dress shoes almost always dress up an outfit.

Whether consciously or unconsciously it keeps you in the mindset of caring about how you look, which helps project that as part of your first impression. Dressing in business casual attire is something anyone can easily do; shining your shoes requires effort.

When I see someone wearing business casual, or even a suit, with scuffed shoes, it gives a negative first impression; however someone wearing jeans, a dress shirt and well-kept dress shoes gives a positive first impression, over and above the suit-and-scuffed-shoes.


Pick a Signature Style: Standing out a little never hurts. In this age of networking, anything that helps people remember you is a benefit; you need to stand out in peoples’ memory so you come to their mind more easily when they are looking for someone to fill a purpose.

It could be jazzy ties, or snazzy socks. It could be stylish hats, or unique belt buckles. Pick something that resonates with you and then run with it. I don’t like ties, and don’t care so much about shoes and socks, so belt buckles are my trademark.

Don’t get me wrong, it is far better to be remembered for your work and reputation, but this is easy to do, doesn’t hurt, and often makes a noticeable difference.


Have a Good Tailor: “Everyone looks good in a tuxedo.” Even rented tuxedos are tailored to fit properly when you get them. You will always look better when your clothes fit you properly.

Any time I get a new pair of dress pants or jeans, I take them to my tailor – I tried a few and stuck with the one I liked the best – not just to have the length corrected, but to adjust the waist, seat, and leg-taper to fit me properly. It inevitably looks like I spent a lot more than I actually did.

The better look and increased comfort from the tailored fit positively affects your mindset, which affects the first impression you project. Being confident about how you look is definitely a visible trait.


Never Neglect Comfort: This one is pretty simple: no matter how well dressed you are, if you are uncomfortable that will come across in your interactions with other people. This goes for visual comfort as well as physical.

You might fidget a lot, or be more irritable, or distracted, but regardless it has a negative impact on your mindset which detracts from the first impression you project.

Physical discomfort can sometimes be remedied by a trip to your tailor, or something as simple as wearing an undershirt. But always make sure you feel comfortable in what you are wearing. Unless it is Halloween.


The Whole is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts: it is the combined effect of all of these that makes it solid. Picking one or two and ignoring the rest never works as well.

An Opinion on the Viability of the Rumored 12.9″ iPad

Apple is reportedly developing yet another tier in its iPad lineup – an iPad with a 12.9″ screen.

According to this MarketWatch article, many in the technology sector doubt the viability of such a product, citing the trend towards more portable devices such as the iPad Mini tablet or the Galaxy Note smartphone.

It is worth noting that there were also a lot of doubts about the viability of the iPad Mini when it was first a rumor, and even after it was confirmed and initial specs released. It turned out to be very viable. People who are almost exclusively content consumers find it large enough for practical consumption, and small enough to be much more portable and convenient than alternatives.

I find that with all of these devices, people tend to fall into primarily one of two categories: content consumers and content creators. These groups are not mutually exclusive, rather they are more a way of describing how a user predominantly interacts with their device.

Content consumers are by far the larger of the two groups, and prefer devices that are easily portable while still presenting content in a manner that is easy to digest. Content creators need more horsepower and screen real-estate. This is not to say they don’t want great portability as well, just that the requirements for content creation lower the importance of portability when buying decisions are made.

I personally use an iPad Air as while I mainly consume content, I do a lot of photo editing, something that is not practical on an iPad Mini. I still prefer to do the work on my 27″ iMac, but when I am mobile, using the iPad Air to download photos from my camera, edit them in a growing set of very sophisticated editing applications, and upload them to various photo gallery websites I use. (Primarily 500px and Instagram.)

The MarketWatch article also cites ‘niche markets’ as reasons why the device could be viable. Potential niche markets for a 12.9″ iPad could include medical imaging, GIS, photo editing, architecture, and any other arena where being able to see as much information as possible in the greatest detail as possible is highly important. These arenas involve large data.

And here is where the viability of such a device comes into question. As an example, I recently started listening to high definition music (such as that available at HDTracks, eClassical) on a portable DAP (digital audio player) which contains hardware capable of decoding and playing high definition audio at extremely high fidelity (analogous to a 12.9″ Retina display showing extremely high definition visual data).

I have found the following issues to be the greatest drawbacks, and my feeling at this time is that the iPad 12.9″ will suffer from the same:

  • Space: getting a reasonable amount of music on the device requires at least 64GB, if not 128GB. This increases the cost of the device.
  • Data transfer: it takes a lot longer to transfer all that data than a similar number of songs to an iPod.
  • Battery life: all the components necessary to power and play HD music with such high fidelity draw a lot of power.
  • Portability: there are many more audio components necessary for playing back HD music than are required in an iPod. Combine that with battery and storage requirements, and you wind up with a device that is difficult to treat as “pocketable”.
  • Cost: lots of space and a large battery in a ‘small’ chassis adds up to a high cost, even before you factor in the “high definition” components.

I find Apple to be amazingly resourceful in predicting actual or potential market trends, and managing to design around issues such as those I listed above. So if anyone can make a device like this work, it is Apple. But I don’t think it will be easy to accurately judge the feasibility of such a device until there is a release of initial specifications after a confirmation of development.

Why I Wouldn’t Use Exchange 2010’s Native Archive Mailbox Functionality

1) The feature licensing requires Enterprise CALs. Thankfully it does not require Exchange 2010 Enterprise. However, there is still a significant difference in cost between a Standard Exchange 2010 user CAL and an Enterprise Exchange 2010 user CAL.

2) The availability of this functionality to end-users is limited to Outlook Web Access, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2007 (minimum SP2), the latter having only limited functionality.

3) Most businesses use third-party software for email archiving, allowing them to find a product that fits into their organization. Some simply set quotas and limit the total amount of data an end-user can have at all. Regardless, you wind up being charged for a feature you don’t use.

Why is an IT Support Manager actually a Business Analyst?

A technical recruiter I have worked with once told me that, based on my experience and, more importantly, my personality, he thought that I should seriously consider looking at ‘business analyst’ positions.

I was, at the time, looking at any mid-to-high level technology position, specifically some kind of systems administration. And I thought that a business analyst was someone who analyzed other business. For what reason, I did not know.

The recruiter clarified it for me; he felt that with my technology background, and ability to work with people, I would be effective in a position where I worked with a business, or a group within a business, to better enable its use of the IT systems available.

My experience is heavy on the technology side, and a bit weak on the business side, so I tabled the idea.

If I review my time working in IT over the last 12 years, I see a common theme in my overall interest – how can technology best enable the company, and, more specifically, how can tech support (including *all* levels of help desk) be structured to best meet he needs of the business?

This is where it crosses into a semi-business-analyst role.

The philosophies, roles, mechanisms, workflows, people, SLAs, etc. all have an important role in making tech support efficient and productive, both inside the group and in supporting the company.

A critical part of that is hiring the right people and *keeping* them. Helping them grow into the roles best suited for them. Making sure their needs are met, too, or they are far less productive both for the support team and for the company.

I would say I am passionate about this and it ties together my deep interests in technology and in how people interact. How best to take into account people’s differences and enable them to work at their best personally, within the group, and within the company.

It is about the person, and about the team, and how I manage them so that they are best able to meet the needs of the company.

A goal! A five year plan?