SLI on Windows 7 - Driver Problem?

Hello forum.
(Quote from Ray William Johnson on YouTube)

I've been having problems with my SLI hardware since Win7 Build 7100.
It just don't show up in the Nvidia Control Panel anymore...
Device manager says both cards work, so does GPU-Z. Oh, so does the Driver... Weird, isn't it?

I have changed drivers a lot of times... I've been from the newest to the oldest possible (my specs at the end). No one helps.

If I'm "lucky", the driver will suddenly ask for SLI after a new boot. As long as I don't restart or anything I can use SLI as much as I want.
If I, however, restart, I get a BSOD on nvlddmkm.sys and it will only go away if I boot using Last Good Config. from Windows Boot Menu.

Here's my PC:
Intel i7 920;
Asus P6T Deluxe V2;
2x GTX 275 EVGA;
ocz3x1333lv2g 6GB;
640 GB Caviar Black;
1TB Caviar Green;
Corsair TX850W power-supply;

If you need to know anything else, just ask...

I've been running everywhere on the web to find an answer, but I just can't...
Could you provide help, please?

Thanks in advance.
10 answers Last reply
More about windows driver problem
  1. fresh install

    test both cards independantly

    test the rest of your hardware

    driver cleaner - remove all nvidia drivers and install new ones fresh from

    check bios that your pcie is at 100mhz and no extra crap is trying to "boost" your graphics etc
  2. Thanks for the reply.
    I forgot to add, but I've done a clean install of Win7. I now use a Win7 Ultimate.
    It happened with the Ultimate, too and it's still going on.

    I've done the "separate the cards" test a lot. They work flawlessly while separate. I just can't put them together in SLI, but they don't harm the computer if it is not on.

    Done the "Drive Cleaning and Reinstall" test with a lot of drivers, beta and WQHL (I suppose you write it like this...).

    Didn't help either.
    I've also checked the BIOS, which by the way, is the most recent one for my board. Didn't help either, because the computer does recognize the cards, it just won't put them in SLI.

    Thank you all.
  3. I'm getting the same or similar issue with the 197.45 drivers, Windows 7 Business, on an EVGA X58 SLI board with 2 EVGA GTX260s.

    When the cards are together (slots 1 and 2), sometimes Windows 7 will blue screen on start up with the DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error from "nvlddmkm.sys". This is seemingly random, but once it happens it will continue to blue screen on startup until I "fix" something.

    When it's in this state, I can take a card out or simply unplug its power, and the machine will start up fine (removing or connecting the SLI connector has no effect).

    The way I figured to fix it is to boot into safe mode and just reinstall the drivers, then it boots up again for the next 1-? boots until it starts bluescreening every time again, and then i need reinstall the drivers.

    I have the system overclocked (but the PCI stuff is stock, no clock or voltages changes) and I've increased the IOH VCore voltage slightly to prevent any side effects of having a lot of draw on the PCIE channels. Of note, this system is rock solid and this blue screen is the only lock up the system has encountered since I built it in the summer of '09. The system exhibits the same behavior when not overclocked, including eventually blue screening after X number of bootups, so I'm inclined to say it's not related to overclocking. The cards have been tested to work 100% separately, though I have not tried testing to see if I would get the blue screen after some number of boots since the solution is to remove a card (to boot normal) or go into safemode and reinstall the drivers to fix the problem.

    Is anyone else seeing this issue?
  4. Try rolling back the Realtek LAN drivers (I know weird) in device manager, I was having similair issues on my EVGA x58 3way sli board with 2 GTX 480s. This worked and was on the EVGA forums.
  5. I have had simmilar problems with a pair of 260gtx, here was my fix
    1) Uninstall the nvidia drivers by going to the add/remove software page you should see nvidia drivers. Completely remove everything nvidia
    2) restart with just one card in.
    3) Install the laters 197.65 drivers and software
    4) Reboot
    5) insert the second card
    6) enable SLI in the control pannel

    If you can't get this to work with the latest drivers try using some older ones and see if it helps.
  6. Thanks all. I think I've reached a solution from myself.

    sempifi99, I kinda had the same idea, but I acted differently. What I did was, after removing the drivers with driver sweeper, rebooted back to safe mode, entered register and deleted anything with nvidia in the name. After that, I restarted, went to BIOS and overclcoked the PCI to 105 mHz (originally 100).

    I installed the most recent WQHL drivers and it worked on SLi for quite a lot of time (I rebooted several times, played games, a complete stress test, etc).

    After that, no complains at all.

    Thank you all for your time in helping me. I hope this thread will help other people, too, since it took me forever to finds a suitable fix for this.

    Thank you again,
  7. Yeah, but that was a problem with resolution.

    I did not have problems with the newer drivers only. Any driver would do that. It was a problem between the connection with the software+hardware I suppose, since getting the PCI clock up the problem was resolved.

    I ask to you, please do not add anything to this thread if it is related to my problem which was RESOLVED.
    (the caps is to be sure everyone will see this post).

    If you still have problems that can be somewhat related to this one, this thread may help you in the future, so post them here, please.

    Thank you all.
  8. Well I was beginning to think I had wasted 3k dollars on a large, VERY LARGE paper weight! Back in January I bought my dream rig, though my happiness was short lived. I have an i7 920, and EVGA X58 Classified 3x SLI, 2x EVGA GTX 260's, 12GB OCZ Gold 1600 (which runs at 1066), 2x 500GB WD sata's, 2x 1TB WD (eSata, USB), a CM aftermarket cpu cooler, a haf932 case, and an ultra x4 1050w psu, and of course to top it off I though "hey I might as well give windows 7 (pro 64bit) a shot. Man was that a mistake. I have lost count as to how many installs and reinstalls of windows I have done. at least 40, but not 100 yet. I had to start calling in to activate by the end of january as it said I had exceeded the installs for the product and there was an option for me to click a link to purchase another product key (as if I was that stoopid). Well I had just purchased all this in the 1st week of january from a tampa area computer super store. If I buy another OS it will be XP 64, but I will not ever buy another copy of win7! When I first loaded windows I updated the bios to 44, and updated every time a new one was released and now I am on 64. The symptoms (random bsod's, reboots, freezes or crashes, and many many system restores) one time I got a bsod right after the first boot of a fresh install. As a pc tech I am no stranger to reinstalling win, and ts hardware, which btw I have ts every piece of hardware in this rig and the only thing that seems to get rid of the symptoms (not errors in the event log, just the physical symptoms) is to remove one of the gpu's. I swapped out the mobo within the first 3 weeks. and currently have 1gpu, 1hdd, and 12gb of ram and it runs w/o bsod's or crashes. Of course I had been researching these issues from the start, and there was nothing but people talking about their monster rigs (x58's and i7's) and how big their 3Dmark scores were. Well it seems recently that people have been having issues with win7 and multiple gpu's. I usually don't need much of an excuse to reload windows, a bsod, errors, crashes and BLAM I would reinstall, as I am of the mentality that windows got corrupted, which is probably the reason that I have installed windows over 40 times. After all the reloads I began to think that I may need to start checking my hardware, so I did just that. Using 1 gpu, 1 dvdr, and 1gb of ram, with no other devices, and reinstalled windows. I do not overclock so I know that cannot be the issue. I am so frustrated that I just don't know what to do any more. Run over my neck with my car? Smash myself in the face with a hammer? Anyways thanks for listening and please if anyone has any suggestions PLEASE talk to me.
  9. hey man, just read your post, got pretty mush the same story going on with myself, built my rig a year ago, 4g ram, 1g hd ati with amd quadcore.
    driver display stopped working error message has occured during game play and other random situations and i have tried everything, i have had this problem since windows 7 was relased and have covered every option and it has to be a problem with the OS.

    Have you had any luck as i see your post was 6 months ago?
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