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My NVIDIA driver stops responding?!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 23, 2011 10:22:59 AM

My Computer Specs:
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940, 3000MHz
GPU: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768mb, Driver version: 266.58
RAM: 4gb
PSU: OCZ Technology, OCZGXS600, 600W

Problem:
Whenever I play Starcraft 2, I get this error within 15 minutes of playing, and eventually my game either crashes, or my computer will crash.


I've only ran into this problem when I upgraded my video card to the GTX460, from my GTX260. Ever since this upgrade, my StarCraft 2 games would keep flashing black screens, which is the effect of the failing driver. This problem only happens when I play StarCraft 2. I haven't tried playing any other games.

Other problems that I've encountered with this card:
- Sometimes when I turn on my computer (when it is Off, not standby/hibernation/etc.), my display will show no visuals, but will indicate that there is a detectable device via the DVI channel. In order to turn on my visuals, I'd have to restart my computer (through blind keyboard pressing, or hard reset).

Stuff I've tried/suspected:
- I upgraded to driver version 266.58 in hoping that it will fix this problem, but it still persists.
- I've tried downgrading to an older driver (258.96), and I still get this problem as well.
- I've been using Driver Sweeper to cleanly uninstall my old drivers before installing new ones (ran in safemode).
- Shouldn't be an overheating issue since this problem happens within 15-30 minutes of play. Currently, my card idles at 35 degrees.
- I've also done the Free Performance Boost that EVGA offers for the GTX400 series (similar to a firmware upgrade)
- I suspected that it is possible that I don't have enough power from my PSU, so I've unplugged all HDD other than my main HDD, and the problem persists.
- I've tried switching displays.
- I've tried using an HDMI cable instead of a DVI cable.
- I have not overclocked it.


I'm all out of ideas. I'm starting to think I just have a faulty gfx card.

I've been pulling my hair out the past few days, so any help regarding this problem is much appreciated!
a c 1307 U Graphics card
January 23, 2011 1:05:55 PM

If the problem happens in more games then we would know for sure that it is not software related. If it happens in every game then you probably have a bad card (failing Vram).
January 23, 2011 10:45:58 PM

So I did more research on my GPU and PSU:

The power required for my GPU:
Minimum of a 450 Watt power supply
(Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 24 Amps.)
(More details on my GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

I don't know how to read the Amps, but here is a pic of my PSU info:


Looking at the Amps... could it possibly be my PSU that is the culprit? :/  I don't really feel like spending $100 for another PSU...
Related resources
a c 1307 U Graphics card
January 23, 2011 11:15:06 PM

No it is not your PSU unless it is failing. The amp rating in the requirements is based on total over all +12volt rails which according to your PSU sticker can provide 580 watts or 48.3 amps!
a c 1307 U Graphics card
January 29, 2011 2:49:10 PM

Roll back to the old drivers!
February 20, 2011 8:08:28 PM

I've had this issue for over 3 weeks. (Driver not responding and recovering)

I've tried everything (Literally). So I feel your pain.

Was on Win 7 x86 with 4 gigs of ram and an nvidia gts 250 psu @ 750w
Error started to come in more and more frequently. I tried bios, driver updates, roll backs, everything.
Ran Memtest - nothing, ran HDD tests, nothing, ran Furmark, nothing. It got to a point where I couldn't
find an issue, but the system was becoming increasingly unstable.

So I bought a new round of equipment. MB, Ram, PSU, Nvidia GTX 460, New CPU, HDD, Optics...etc
Edit: Also updated to Win 7 x64

All was fine...hah... Then the new setup started doing the exact same thing. I was playing a simple
game (Minecraft of all things) when the black screen came back and the drivers reset themselves.

Temps checked at 43c on the video, CPU at 34 and Case at 31c.

Now that I've gone though spending my money and ending up with that problem again I'm at a loss.
Should we just stop buying Nvidia products? ..lol
February 24, 2011 4:18:46 PM

This has been a problem happening with Nvidia drivers and Windows 7 and Vista. However it seems to not occur as often on the XP OS. Here is a 113 page forum on the Nvida website without a answer or fix what so ever. http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=25381
Ive recently am having the same problems on my gts 250 right now. Keeping the card at cool temperatures has solved the problem for me, the problem can be diffrent for other people however.
February 25, 2011 5:29:49 AM

the will accure ive got the nvidia drivers and ive tried the evga the problem just gets worse as soon as it starts i just had like 8 crashs in like 1 minute its ******* me off
February 25, 2011 1:56:05 PM

I have been dealing with this since like the first of Nov. Have RMA'ed my 2X469's and recieved new ones. Restored comeputer os numerious times. Done everything you have done with no luck....seems it'll run for about 1 to 2 wks and then up jumps the recovery....Finally returned the 460's and did the stepup to the single 580 and did a format and os install and installed the 266.58 drivers from the start. That was Friday .....we'll see how this goes....it is so frustrating. Funny thing is I can drop my GTX 295 into the system and run it forever and no crashes. Maybe I should have just kept it in there and not upgraded....but with BF3 coming out this fall I wanted to be ready. My setup is in my sig.
February 25, 2011 3:42:33 PM

rolli59 said:
Roll back to the old drivers!


Rolling back to older drivers might fix some issues, but games like World of Warcraft demand for some video drivers to be kept up-to-date, so this isn't a very good solution for gamers.
February 25, 2011 6:34:25 PM

I;ve this problem due to my memory clock speed being too high, try lowering them to see if its going to be stable enough.
February 25, 2011 9:35:12 PM

wolf201 said:
I;ve this problem due to my memory clock speed being too high, try lowering them to see if its going to be stable enough.


If the display driver is having a hard time functioning properly due to the Core clock speed then its probably because :
1: GPU wants more power but the PSU rails can't supply it.
2: GPU voltage isn't high enough for what it's demanding. Often due to a way high clock speed (this is where MSI cards come in handy with their voltage tuners :p  )
3: PSU its self isn't strong enough to handel all the needs of your computer.
March 7, 2011 1:15:38 AM

Well, I eventually did a OS re-install and put the new 267.24 drivers in with my GTX 580 and everything was great for about a week, then today just surfing the net I got a display recovery thing. So I went to Modern warfare to see if it would run (has been fine since the re-install) and started playing the game and artifacts galore....couldn't even play the game.....booted to safe mode and ran driversweeper rebooted and deleted the nvidia directory and re-installed the 267.24 driver with the custom tab and did NOT install the audio or the 3d drivers (read that on another forum)...we will see how this works now.. My config is in my sig under member config. should tell ya what you need to know about my system.
March 7, 2011 1:26:36 PM

Remove the card from its port on the motherboard and clean off any dust covering the grill or under sides of fan blades. Some cards will become unstable at 82c and in some cases even in the 70c range of temperatures. Also Windows Vista and 7 users have this problem more because the TDR (Timeout Detection and Recovery.)

"TDR is a new feature included in Windows 7 and Vista that attempts to detect problematic situations and recover to a functional desktop without forcing a reboot. Hangs can occur when the GPU is processing intensive graphics operations, typically during gameplay, and nothing is being updated on the monitor. To the user it appears that the system is frozen with no resolution to the problem; in previous operating systems users generally have to wait a few seconds and then reboot." -Quoted from Brian_S on Nvidia forums.

TDRs are not specific to a single driver problem, and can occur for a variety of reasons, unstable temperatures, OC clock speeds, unstable power flow being a few examples. The nvidia drivers are actualy functioning as ment to be and is more then likely not their fault because Vista and Windows 7 is trying to protect your computer from damage.
March 7, 2011 2:21:29 PM

I wonder why I can put in my GTX 295 that draws more power and it never hangs or gives any problems??? I have read about the TDR issue and you are right....I think. But why is it after re-installing windows and fresh drivers that it goes away for a week or so then comes back....it is almost like it goes to sleep for a bit after a reinstall then wakes up and says OH well that isn't within my spec and the driver recovers. Also, could it be that the timings on the GTX 295 are faster or the voltage regs are looser so my psu doesn't cause it to throw a fit?? I also s'pose it could be my PSU. It is over 2 yrs old and could be giving the card either to much power or too little power intermitently. Just hate to have to buy a new PSU at the moment after throwing 500 on a gtx 580. Oh and I blow the dust and stuff out of my computer on a weekly basis....sits in and uninsulated garage...dusty, dusty, dusty!!
March 7, 2011 2:45:40 PM

I had never seen the problem till I changed graphics cards. Here is a rundown on the progression of this thing.

Original system: 2 yrs ago
OS: Win Vista upgrade
MB: Asus P6T Deluxe
CPU: Intel Core I7 920 (Stock Clocks)
CPU Cooler: TRUE 120 Extreme
HDD 1: WD 750 G Black
HDD 2: WD 1 TB Green
PSU: ThermalTake ToughPower 1000W Modular
Optical: LG DVD Burner
GPU: GTX 295
Case: HAF 932

Never had a problem with anything, it just ran like a monster, never a hicup!!

Upgraded to Win 7 X64 when it was first released, still all the original equipment ran great no hicups.

Decided since Battlefield 3 was coming out would upgrade to 460 1 gig in sli, also for Black ops. =-) Updated drivers from I think 196.?? Can't remember for sure to 255.??
and everything work fine for about 2-3 weeks then boom, driver reset, did safe mode driversweeper reinstalled to the newer 260.?? 99 I think, and fine for a couple of days then boom...again. didn't mess around this time...reinstalled my 295 and ran great, no problems...a new driver came out, can't remember the number so I driversweepered (LOL) then installed my 2X460's and installed the new driver fine for a day them boom again, reinstalled 295 and ordered a 580 and played my games till it came in and saved all my contacts and favs and did a format and reinstalled Win 7 X64
and the newest drivers nvidia had on thier site for the 580. Fine for a week then boom aagain. Driver swept again and installed beta driver 267.24 and worked for about 4 days then boom again. Driver swept again and installed under custom tab with no 3d crap or the hd audio and was fine for a few hours then this morning again!! And it isn't that I am playing a game hasn't happened during gameplay....it happens when I am just messing around surfing the net!!! Then when I try to play my game the are aartifacts galore. Bout at my wits end here....don't know what to do. Thanks for the response and sorry for the long post, just had to get it out of my system, LOL
March 7, 2011 7:17:03 PM

Jack64 said:
I But why is it after re-installing windows and fresh drivers that it goes away for a week or so then comes back....it is almost like it goes to sleep for a bit after a reinstall then wakes up and says OH well that isn't within my spec and the driver recovers.


Strange how computers can be this way. Had a problem recently with my computer slowing down and it would somehow know to stay slow after booting it back on the next day; turns out it was just the cpu showing its age.
I don't know why the driver problem can go away for awhile then decide to come back. This happened to my gts 250 when I would get the driver display recovery issue; I would try different drivers and it would take a matter of hours for the problem to reoccur.
Exactly how did I solve my driver problem? First off looking at programs like speedfan are ok, but not for checking the temperatures when gaming! When you play games in "windowed" the temperatures will drop lower then what they are in "full-screen." I downloaded the EVGA overclock precision tool and switched the OSD (on screen display) which shows a status of your gfx card in the corner of your screen, this makes it so when you are gaming in full screen you can see the temps, clock speed, mem speed, shader speed. To my surprise it was running at 93c average! With summer coming my house can be abit toasty compared to winter so I cashed in for a PC fan and it now runs at 60c in game. Haven't had any problems there on.
You said it hasn't any dust, well perhaps it may not but it still could be possible that it just isn’t keeping cool enough when in game; then again it could be the display recovery being triggered by a very extra sensitive TDR (Vista SP1 update helped solve the TDR occuring so very often for many nvidia users, but didnt solve the problem 100%, same for SP2). I don't know of any way to prevent it and Microsoft recomends not to turn it off. Will probably be a matter of patients until either of the two companies (NVIDIA or Microsoft) to figure this out.

"And it isn't that I am playing a game hasn't happened during gameplay....it happens when I am just messing around surfing the net!!! "

This isn't good if its doing it on just regular tasks, could be something possibly broke on the card or the connector connecting your card to the motherboard could be damaged. If moving it to a diffrent port solves the problem then a damaged connector could very well be the problem, also try another pin connector other then the one you have been useing for the card (if you have a extra pin connector handy.) Could be a bad card but that's rarely ever the problem.
March 7, 2011 11:13:42 PM

"This isn't good if its doing it on just regular tasks, could be something possibly broke on the card or the connector connecting your card to the motherboard could be damaged. If moving it to a diffrent port solves the problem then a damaged connector could very well be the problem, also try another pin connector other then the one you have been useing for the card (if you have a extra pin connector handy.) Could be a bad card but that's rarely ever the problem. "

Well, I s'pose it could be, but I pulled the 580 out and plopped in the GTX 295 and it is running great, played MW2 and Black Ops for about 2 hrs and everything is great. No hicups!! If it is the card then I have gotten 3 of the bad ones, both 460's did this and now the 580....that couldn't be it, I can't believe I could get 3 bad cards!!!!! My next trick is I am going to flash my bios, and see if that works....bout the ONLY thing I haven't done...all drivers are as current as Asus has on thier website...so the Bios is next I guess......now where did I put that thumb drive!!! Thanks for the reply.

Oh and I do run EVGA Precision, as soon as I come out of MW2 the 295 was running 59 C...I can't get it to OSD in MW2 so I have it keep a log and look at it when I come out....Max temp while gaming was 63C so not bad.
March 16, 2011 7:27:52 AM

Hey guys, I just wanted to do an update on this problem.

In the past two weeks or so, I've done a system reformat, which hadn't solving anything. I also swapped out my GTX460 with a stable one, which also had no effect. I've just contacted my RAM manufacturer for a replacement under their warranty. I'll let you guys know if this solves anything.
November 10, 2011 12:01:09 AM

Hello,

I had a similar issue. I have an NVidia GeForce GTX 460 and this issue started when I installed the newest driver version 285.62. For some reason the NVidia installer insisted on installing an audio driver (NVidia HD Audio) together with the video components (driver, Physx, Control Panel and 3D). Thereafter, randomly and without any warning the Video driver would stop working and the Control Panel would not recognize the card anymore. This happened to be particularly bad when I started Windows 7 because at that point Windows would hang and the only way to continue was to boot from an earlier configuration. I tried to go back to earlier NVidia driver versions using the install utility but each time that creepy NVidia HD Audio would also silently install and the issue of the hanging video driver would persist. After a lot of trial and error, it dawned to me that I should exclude the HD Audio from the installation. Bingo! No more video issues since then.

November 25, 2011 1:05:57 AM

Hey all I was having this problem as well with the driver failing issue. I started using msi afterburner recently and just having that program decide my graphics cards (one Gtx 580 evga) fan speed has stopped the driver failures. I seem to only get the driver failing issue now when I forget to start up msi afterburner.
!