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Display driver stopped responding

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 29, 2011 11:08:18 PM

There's an issue I have that's been going on for a while. Within multiple different games and programs, even ones that are not very graphics intensive (LoL, TF2, Minecraft) I'll get a "Display driver stopped responding and has recovered" error, or sometimes just a "display driver has failed" with the result of either a crashing game, or sometimes just temporarily freezing game. I've gone through all the normal troubleshooting steps, new driver, clean old driver, and such. The fact that its been going on for over a year and some change makes me pretty sure its not a driver issue, as there's been multiple new drivers in that time. I've also went from Vista which people were blaming for issues like this, to 7 and didn't get any change.

I'm actually pretty sure its a hardware issue, cause when I had to have my computer shipped and it wasn't quite treated as it should have been, causing the graphics card to come loose inside the case. When I got it I checked around for any visible damage, hooked it back up, and everything worked (sadly really, because since there was no visible issue I couldn't claim the shipping insurance). Anyway, a while later I realized my CMOS batter connection was damaged (tried a new battery) so that every time I completely turn the power off to my computer (unplug and all) my bios looses any custom settings. I figured this was caused by the shipping incident, and now I'm pretty sure the graphics problem is caused by it too. The times I've sent in support tickets to different people they said from the data they got that it appeared my graphics card was overheating. I've monitored the temp and turned up fan speeds, its definitely not, so I'm guessing it just thinks it is.

Sorry for drawing this out, my real question here is do you think this problem is more likely caused by damaged to the graphics card or damaged to the MB? I can't replace both right now (and the CMOS issue I can deal with) so I'd like to start with the most likely culprit. If you think its something else entirely go ahead and say it, but if you think its software please give me a reason and something I might not have tried to fix it.

Graphics card is a GTX285 SC, MB is a Asus P6T Deluxe V2.
July 29, 2011 11:40:32 PM

I had this EXACT issue! I struggle for 4 months with it(off and on) and what it ended up being was corrupt RAM that jacked up my windows installation. The display driver crash is rarely the driver, that's just the message Windows gives when the card stops responding and it resets the card.

I recommend running a few rounds of Memtest86 on it(google.com) and you might find you have bad RAM. Especially if it's OCZ RAM.
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August 1, 2011 2:59:18 AM

Well I ran memtest and let it do multiple scans, came up with nothing. Everything else I checked seems to imply that my ram is good, so I'm thinking that's not it. Thanks though.
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August 1, 2011 3:02:51 AM

Have you tried another PCIE port for the card(if you have one?)

This would be the last thing I do before replacing the card.

And I would replace the card, then the motherboard. Just because of how it's set up, that if a card was jarred loose in shipping, it could damage the connector on the card.

Sorry my problem didn't translate into a fix for you. I feel for you.
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August 1, 2011 6:32:43 AM

While I do have another PCIE port, sadly the design of my case and my motherboard and the size of the card prevent it from being used for this, so that's a flop. While in there putting a new hard drive in I did take a closer look at the connection and the card and saw this:



If you look at the top pins on the right end of the slot there looks to be some out of place. I'm not sure if that points to a MB problem or if that would really matter, but it was different then the other slots.

Also, when looking at the card I found this:



which if you look near the bottom of the connection you can see one gold strip is shorter, which I'm also guessing isn't supposed to happen.

So what it boils down to is first off, can anyone confirm if these are major issues or not (or recommend a site that would have someone with that knowledge), and if one or both are, what piece should I try replacing first? Or should I just bite the bullet and get both?

OR, is there a way to fix any of this? I feel like the MB damage that I see wouldn't be to hard to fix, the only thing I need to find is something small enough to slide into the slots and try to push the pins back into place.

Thanks for the help.
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August 1, 2011 7:25:35 AM

Try one or all of these:
1) go to Start>control panel> hardware and sound> sound> under recording tab right click and check show disabled devices and disconnected devices. there will be a "card" that says stereo mix realtek high definition audio. right click and select disable.
2) also be sure to check temps: both my 275's dont like getting above 65c
3) try uninstalling fraps.
4) close evga precision while playing.
5) disable windows aerotheme.
6) turn down clocks, this sucks but its better than not being able to play at all.
7) change tdr (explained in detail at {http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=100800&hl=...} with more info on this issue.
These are usually the culprits in the driver confliction.
I no longer have the driver 125120/nvlddmkm error. I do however get random moments when I am playing that games go haywire and the internet wont start. I think it is an active x issue but I just started looking into it. Let me know if any of this has helped. Good luck!
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August 1, 2011 7:35:00 AM

also dont quote me but I do not believe that the "damage" is enough to affect it. I say this because you didnt mention that there is always graphic issues. replacing the mobo would be the biggest headache, because its not a pnp device. you would have to reinstall your os. The gpu and mobo should really be cross checked. try a different gpu in your mobo, and your gpu in a different mobo if at all possible.
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August 6, 2011 12:06:45 AM

Well I tried most of the stuff from the TDR forum, but still getting the crashes (possibly a little less often, but if so just barely). Everything else on your list I've already done/didn't ever have the program.

As of right now I don't have an easy way to cross check my gpu and mobo with other ones. I might see if I can get some time with one of my friends computers next time I see them, but I don't know if I will and even if I did I'd have to test it for a few days realistically to see if it had the issue.

Thanks for your suggestions though.
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August 9, 2011 3:57:39 PM

Bump. Anyone got any other ideas?

I'm still getting the crash and I've gone through everything I can figure out to try on the software side.

I'm not apposed to buying a new card (heck, I was planning on getting one before Skyrim came out), but I'd rather not get a new card until I fix this, assuming this problem would carry over.
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August 10, 2011 5:44:44 AM

Sorry that It didnt work. Only other suggestion I have is to check in msconfig/services and start eliminating programs, check firewall, and delete any drivers and reinstall (which you might have done already) but then change the driver file to .old and reinstall.
Nothing changed when disabling all the audio/recording... I just recently had COD4 constantly crash. I plugged in my usb headphones and it started right up. so maybe check the sound config and have only one running like headphones or speakers at a time. Best of luck.
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August 27, 2011 9:24:03 PM

An update on this.

I finally got fed up trying everything I could so I went in and manually disabled TDR (which they don't cover how to do in that thread because its easy to break things if you mess up). Unfortunately it seems that I still get the exact same issues, only this time it just doesn't give me the display driver has failed popup. Which I would assume rules out the majority of software issues. Anyone have any thoughts?
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a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2011 9:31:07 PM

I had that problem with the 280 drivers but have since switched back to the 275 and the problem no longer exists
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September 22, 2011 4:53:34 AM

Sorry for the resurrect, but I appear to have solved the issue and wanted to put it here in case anyone finds this thread.

I replaced my 285 with a 580 and it appears to have fixed the problem. Its possible I've just been really lucky for a week, but I would usually see this many times a day so its probably fixed. Driver is still the same one for both cards, so that means it was something with the hardware (though not the "damage" I thought I saw). Maybe the temperature gauge wasn't working right or something, not sure.

Anyway, thanks for the help from everyone here, to bad it wasn't just a software issue.

(also I can't set this as the best answer, which seems silly)
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September 24, 2011 5:35:32 AM

well maybe it was the pc gods way of saying "upgrade." I hope that the 580 does better (which it should) for you anyways. Glad that its working for you!
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