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Constant GTX 480 crashes... Please Help!!!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 12, 2011 9:32:16 AM

Hello all,

I have a brand new GTX 480 (oem reference part, exactly the same as the type EVGA or Palit makes). It's on an Asus P6T mobo with an i7 920 and 6gb of brand new DDR3 1600 GSKILL ram. It's running under a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.

I am having some serious issues which is making the card almost unusable. It works fine on a synthetic benchmark torture test (OK temps and everything), and the same goes for Crysis--it will run it flawlessly on Max settings with 8x AA and the resolution dialed all the way up. However, when it comes to everyday 2D tasks (browsing the web, typing a word document, moving windows around, etc.), it crashes CONSTANTLY. Usually, it will be fine for 15 minutes or so after a restart, and then it will suddenly crash without warning--sometimes it will happen when I click on a new tab, or refresh a page, or click something in Word, and other times it will just spontaneously crash without me even clicking anything or touching the mouse. However, it NEVER stays up longer than 30 minutes or so without a crash.

When it crashes, one of two things happen:
A. Almost always, it's an immediate BSOD, with BC error code 116, and a "NVLDDMKM STOPPED RESPONDING" error. It then dumps memory, reboots, and I'm good for another 15-30 min.
B. The screen goes black for about 10 seconds and then an nVidia pop up shows up, saying that nvlddmkm has crashed and recovered. This very rarely happens.

To troubleshoot, I've tried:
- Uninstalling and reinstalling drivers (using DriverSweeper)
- Switching to the 270.51 beta drivers
- Checking temps and stress testing (all good)
- Checking GPU firmware (up to date)
- Checking GPU airflow and heatsink (good)
- Updating mobo BIOS (no effect)
- Memtesting ram (no errors)
- Stress testing CPU (perfect results)
- Increasing the TDR time out from 2 seconds to 8 in the registry (no effect)
- Praying to the computer gods (prayers unanswered)

Nothing I have tried has helped. I am at something of a loss... is is just a bad board, or a driver issue? What should I do? Again, the error almost always occurs during normal 2D desktop usage, and is completely spontaneous. Any ideas/advice are appreciated.

More about : constant gtx 480 crashes

April 12, 2011 11:44:12 AM

It sounds like the driver is incorrectly installed or perhaps corrupted. In the Windows\ System 32 folder you can find the nvlddmkm.sys file. When I searched the folder there were three instances of the file. One is System32\Drivers. The other two are in the Driverstore\ File Repository folder. The oldest of the files will be 2009. That should be in the file repository folder. That will be the original driver that comes with Win 7. Depending on how many times you have attempted to install various drivers there will be later examples of this driver. It seems the trick is to make sure that your driver file in the system32\drivers folder is the one that is supposed to match the date of the driver package you installed. If this driver does not install properly it seems that you can end up with an older version which no longer matches the rest of the files that make up the installation. This will result in random crashes. It also seems to be that uninstalling and reinstalling the NVIDIA Drivers will not remove this old file and it will remain there to give you grief. If you do find the nvlddmkm.sys file does not match manually copy the correct one over from the File Repository folder and deposit it in the system32\drivers folder. Rename the nvlddmkm.sys to nvlddmkm.bak so you can grab it later if you need too.
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April 12, 2011 3:24:29 PM

You could try using driver sweeper to wipe away all graphics drivers on your computer, then install the newest from Nvidia's website.
Oh wait sorry didn't see you'd already done that.
Maybe check the idle clocks and see if something funky is going on?
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April 12, 2011 4:42:06 PM

Wamphryi said:
It sounds like the driver is incorrectly installed or perhaps corrupted. In the Windows\ System 32 folder you can find the nvlddmkm.sys file. When I searched the folder there were three instances of the file. One is System32\Drivers. The other two are in the Driverstore\ File Repository folder. The oldest of the files will be 2009. That should be in the file repository folder. That will be the original driver that comes with Win 7. Depending on how many times you have attempted to install various drivers there will be later examples of this driver. It seems the trick is to make sure that your driver file in the system32\drivers folder is the one that is supposed to match the date of the driver package you installed. If this driver does not install properly it seems that you can end up with an older version which no longer matches the rest of the files that make up the installation. This will result in random crashes. It also seems to be that uninstalling and reinstalling the NVIDIA Drivers will not remove this old file and it will remain there to give you grief. If you do find the nvlddmkm.sys file does not match manually copy the correct one over from the File Repository folder and deposit it in the system32\drivers folder. Rename the nvlddmkm.sys to nvlddmkm.bak so you can grab it later if you need too.


Thanks for the advice. I tried this, but it seems that the file version match up. Anyway, it wouldn't make sense if this was the issues, since it occurred the very first time I installed the nVidia driver. Any other ideas?
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April 12, 2011 8:10:15 PM

Are you using a SSD?
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April 12, 2011 9:01:19 PM

Nope, a 2TB and 1TB Hitachi 7200rpm hard drive. They aren't on SATA channels 1 and 2, though; they're on 5 and 6. That shouldn't make a difference, though, right?
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April 12, 2011 10:14:01 PM

No that shouldn't make a difference. I asked as I have an SSD that was corrupting data and causing mysterious crashes on my Rig just last week.

I have done some research and I think the focus should switch from your GPU to your Motherboard. Apparently your Board sports a dedicated graphics engine that allocates various resources to the PCI E slots on the Board.

So the next question is does this Board have a fault or does it require a Chipset Driver update to accommodate GPU's that have been released since the Board was put on market? This is possible.

It may also help to reset the BIOS to default before exploring this option.

So check for any driver updates for your Motherboard from ASUS. Check the Board is not faulty. Potential issues here must be eliminated before we can confidently say the GPU is the issue.

Also check that your PSU is coping and putting out the correct voltage at a consistent level.
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a b Î Nvidia
April 12, 2011 10:18:35 PM

First but was already posted is to check the psu then the temps on the card.
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April 12, 2011 11:23:18 PM

Normally I would say PSU first but this problem seems a little to ordered. The PSU must be eliminated however the fact that card holds up to stress testing indicates the PSU feeding it is likely to be doing its job. I think its likely that tricked up chip set on the Motherboard needs updated drivers and or perhaps an updated BIOS.
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April 12, 2011 11:54:47 PM

The PSU is a brand new 1000 watt unit 100% stable under load, so that definitely isn't the problem. The BIOS and chipset drivers are also up to date... I guess I'll try reinstalling them, but I don't imagine that will help...
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April 13, 2011 12:04:50 AM

Oh, and the GPU idles at about 43c.
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April 13, 2011 12:08:16 AM

Ok there seems to be a large number of people with your problem. I am thinking that your PSU may well be the culprit now. Just because it is brand new or puts out a 1000 watts doesn't mean anything. There are some high wattage PSU units that are not very good. The good ones cost a lot of money at that wattage. Swap the PSU out and see how it behaves. This simply has to be eliminated as a possible cause no question. The only other thing I can think to do after that is to RMA your GPU.
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April 14, 2011 8:25:08 AM

Solved! Or at least, that's how it looks... hopefully it will stay that way. I ended up trying pretty much everything suggested on the infinite number of threads for this same issue, and although most of them did nothing, it seems that at least one of the steps made the difference. Here's what I did, in order:

1. Disabled Link State Power Management in Power Options under the PCI Express section. (didn't seem to do much)
2. Turned off Aero (once again, no improvement)
3. Extending the driver time-out period by 8 seconds in the registry. This is done by going to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlGraphicsDrivers and making a 32-bit DWORD called "TdrDelay" and setting the value to 10 (decimal). (this did not seem to help much)
4. Removed the TdrDelay DWORD and created a new DWORD in the same spot called TdrLevel with a value of 0. (this prevented the blue screens, but the lockups would still occur. The only difference was that it would freeze at the desktop requiring a hard reboot instead of a BSOD.)
5. Reseating memory. Good thing I did because one stick was loose, and the computer wasn't registering it. (increased my memory by 2gb, but didn't fix the problem :-D)
6. Uninstalling drivers, running DriverSweeper from safe mode, and installing the Xtreme-G modded drivers, version 270.51 (still no fix)
7. Installing MSI Afterburner and ramping up the fan curve (no effect, just noise)
8. Reinstalling DirectX (nada)
9. Set nVidia control panel to optimize 3d performance for a single monitor (seemed to help with stability a little)

and finally, the moment you've all been waiting for...

10. WINDOWS UPDATE. Yup, that fixed it. As I mentioned, I reinstalled Windows earlier on in the troubleshooting process, so there were a ton of updates left to install, including SP1 and an update titled "Reccomended update for GTX 480 family". Don't ask me what it does, but it seems to have fixed the problem. Afterwards, I turned aero back on and put the fan curve back to normal, but left all the other tweaks in place. So far, so good. Thanks for all your help, guys, and link back to this thread the next time someone else comes asking about the same error... hopefully my experience will help other people sort out this nightmare more quickly. :-)
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April 14, 2011 9:16:54 AM

Dude. Trying to diagnosis a crashing PC with an OS that hasn't been patched is akin to pulling the sump out of an engine and working your way up to discover you have missing spark plugs. There is an assumption that the OS is patched and Service Packed before the Drivers or any applications are installed.
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April 14, 2011 9:55:06 AM

I know, I kinda feel like an idiot now. The thing is, I was having these same issues with a fully up-to-date Windows install, which is why I reinstalled Windows prior to starting this thread. Then, when none of the other troubleshooting steps worked, I realized I had never re-updated the fresh install of Windows. As soon as I did, it started working. I imagine that the solution was probably twofold--some of the other troubleshooting steps I listed probably helped, and then that combined with the Windows update ultimately solved it. I will not be making that noobish mistake again, though. :sarcastic: 
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September 19, 2011 1:38:34 PM

thepcphysician said:
I know, I kinda feel like an idiot now. The thing is, I was having these same issues with a fully up-to-date Windows install, which is why I reinstalled Windows prior to starting this thread. Then, when none of the other troubleshooting steps worked, I realized I had never re-updated the fresh install of Windows. As soon as I did, it started working. I imagine that the solution was probably twofold--some of the other troubleshooting steps I listed probably helped, and then that combined with the Windows update ultimately solved it. I will not be making that noobish mistake again, though. :sarcastic: 




hello .... i have made a post in the forum because im having a big problem with my GTX 480....
please read it here... http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/326814-15-help-sabe...

i´m having some kind of similar problem as you did, i would like to know a few things about your solution

- Windows 7 update that you talk about "Reccomended update for GTX 480 family". happened after SP1 install or before?
- can you give me the number of that update so i can check if i have it?
- what nvidia driver are you using ?
- now you are with win 7 32 or 64bits?
-

if you could help me i will be very thankfull

best regards

Isaias Carvalho
resmas
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