A Driver issue that has me stumped

Ok, here's the scoop: Certain games cause my graphics driver to go bonkers, but others don't. What happens, is after playing somewhere between 5 minutes and 2 hours, the affected games will totally lock up on me. Every once in a while, the screen will freeze, but the rest of the PC will be ok (caused by the Nvidia display driver crashing).

Whats annoying, is this has been happening as far back as the 174 drivers; even the new 181's are effected. And only some games are an issue; Far Cry 2 and Sins of a Solar Empire. CoD 4/5, Crysis, BF2 run perfectly for hours on end, but these two games constantly cause issues. And I've more or less ruled out the games themselves...

I've re-installed/Driver Sweepered to drivers dozens of times, removed all my OC, stress tested to death, and made sure temps are in order. This is one issue that I can't seem to nail down.

My Setup should be in sig.


CPU: QX9650 (Stock settings)
Mem: 1333 DDR3 (9-9-9-25)
GPU: XFX GeForce 9800GX2 (probably the issue right here...)
Mobo: 790i Ultra
8 answers Last reply
More about driver issue stumped
  1. Have you tried using just default windows VGA drivers? That way you can narrrow it down to a driver issue instead of guessing it is.
  2. I would check for dust build up around your gpu. Could be locking up because your video cards are getting too hot. Are you running your video cards overclocked? What case are you using?

    Otherwise, I would start with a fresh install of windows and the latest video card drivers? Then see if the problem still persists.

    Last resort, if all else fails, contact customer service of your video cards manufacturer. Could be just a bad card.

  3. It's not dust, I cleaned out the PC about a week ago. And everything is now stock.

    Its odd though, that something like Crysis and CoD 4/5 work, but Far Cry 2 and Sins of a Solar Empire are unstable...That does rule out a bad card though...

    If it was just FC2, i would chalk it up to the game, but Sins crashing is downright odd...

    Worse case, I replace with either a 280 (If prices fall a bit more), or a 260 (216) for about the same performance, just with more stability. I'll try sins next time I play with SLI off on the GX2 and see if its a GX2 issue, or if its something purly driver related.

    This would be easy to track if everything were to crash; the fact its just two games is really annoying...
  4. I tested with my onboard sound, just to rule out any incompatabilites with my new Razer soundcard as an issue, and got a crash in CoD:WaW within 2 hours. It looks like either really bad drivers, or my GX2 is slowly starting to die on me.


    Well, after cleaning up all my old drivers (especially my old onboard sound drivers), installing the older 180.84 WHQL drivers, and removing a lot of my unused audio codecs (in a futile attempt to get Fallout 3 to not crash...) I made it through a 2 hour and 4 hour session of Sins of a Solar Empire...

    I'm tentativily calling this one closed, although I have a marathon CoD:WaW session to make it through tomorrow first...
  5. get riva tuner and set it so the fan is at 100% in 3d mode.
    I have the same drivers and for some reason the fan controls are screwed up.
    After doing that I came down 11C on my vid temps and things work much better
  6. Its not temperature.
  7. what version drivers are you using for your board?
  8. Whatever the latest are.

    Worse, the issue is back, and I got it to hit with a 2D app this time, which opens up a lot more possibilites for the error...


    I've removed everything regarding my Razer soundcard (minus pulling it out of the PC itself...), so the next two days are going torward seeing weather or not that's the issue.

    As of now, the only new things to my PC since the errors started (aside from software) are:

    1) Razer Deathaddler mouse
    2) 24'' widescreen moniter

    Any other changes, like my re-set BIOS, have been ruled out as an issue. I also tested the HD's, so I think there not the problem...


    Well, its not the soundcard, so either the OS somehow got curropted, or the GFX card is dieing. I've all but ruled out the memory and HD, and the CPU isn't a likely suspect...

    I've been holding off on this, but I'll use this as an excuse to upgrade to Vista 64. If the problem persists, then the only option I would have would be a new GFX card...


    One format and 14 hours of testing later, everything seems to check out. Tomorrow I test with my soundcard with its drivers, and see if that was the issue all along, or weather it was some flucky software.
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