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Display Drivers (I assume) constantly crashing during games.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 1, 2011 10:39:14 PM

Hello, there, everyone. First of all, here are my specs:

Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium (6.0, Build 6002) Service Pack 2 (6002.vistasp2_gdr.110617-0336)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Gateway
System Model: FX4710-UB003A
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9300 @ 2.50GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.5GHz
Memory: 6142MB RAM
Page File: 1962MB used, 10466MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip type: GeForce 9800 GT
DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
Display Memory: 3306 MB
Dedicated Memory: 491 MB
Shared Memory: 2815 MB
Current Mode: 1440 x 900 (32 bit) (75Hz)
Monitor: Generic PnP Monitor
Driver Name: nvd3dumx.dll,nvwgf2umx.dll,nvwgf2umx.dll,nvd3dum,nvwgf2um,nvwgf2um
Driver Version: 8.17.0012.8026 (English)
DDI Version: 10
BGRA Supported: Yes
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Driver Date/Size: 8/3/2011 07:50:00, 15064168 bytes

I have an issue that spontaneously popped up about three months ago. My driver fails, CONSTANTLY, I assume. I say I assume, because I never get an error message. Whenever this happens, which is always during a game, it freezes my computer to the degree that I almost always have to force shutdown the whole thing.

What's specifically happening is this: I'll be playing a game, almost any game, really, and do something in the game that involves a command, like interacting with something in the gameworld. BAM. The screen goes black, and the audio freezes and starts skipping. Once in a long while, it'll come back after a moment. Most of the time, the screen either just stays black, with the skipping audio running in a permanent loop, or the audio stops and the screen begins blinking on and off, seemingly trying to restart the drivers over and over again. In some games, like Saints Row 2 and Fallout: New Vegas, it doesn't happen all the time. Sometimes, I can play for hours without an issue. But for most games, most notably Batman: Arkham Asylum and Borderlands, it happens constantly, to the point the games are functionally unplayable.

This is immensely frustrating, since it seems to occur even when the games are running at maximum settings smooth-as-silk. Also, the computer was barely used for the better part of a year and a half, so the card has only been in frequent use for less than two years (the computer was originally purchased in October 2008).

Any help would be greatly, greatly appreciated!

Please note: the innards of the computer have been untouched since purchase with one exception: the DVD-rom drive had to be replaced in 2009 due to hardware failure that appeared to be a manufacturing problem. The graphics card is stock.
a b Î Nvidia
October 1, 2011 10:59:37 PM

sounds like possible overheating, get HW monitor and check temperatures of your CPU and gfx card. Computers need to be cleaned out at least once per year from dust build up. It doesnt matter how clean your house is, they still attract dust. Just get yourself a can of compressed air, unplug your PC and take it outside. Remove the side cover and the places you must clean are the GFX card heatsink and fan, CPU heatsink and fan, and power supply fan and innards. Now it should run a bit cooler.
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a b Î Nvidia
October 1, 2011 11:43:38 PM

Agree, 2 year old system, sounds like an overheating problem due to dust build up, and I have had fans on GPU's that simply fail, the bearings or sleeve goes bad, and they either seize and won't turn at all, or won't run fast enough to keep the card cool under load.
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October 2, 2011 4:05:13 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
sounds like possible overheating, get HW monitor and check temperatures of your CPU and gfx card. Computers need to be cleaned out at least once per year from dust build up. It doesnt matter how clean your house is, they still attract dust. Just get yourself a can of compressed air, unplug your PC and take it outside. Remove the side cover and the places you must clean are the GFX card heatsink and fan, CPU heatsink and fan, and power supply fan and innards. Now it should run a bit cooler.


I ran HW Monitor, and here's what it came up with:

Hardware monitor ITE IT87
Voltage 0 1.07 Volts [0x43] (CPU VCORE)
Voltage 1 3.07 Volts [0xC0] (VIN1)
Voltage 2 3.34 Volts [0xD1] (+3.3V)
Voltage 3 5.13 Volts [0xBF] (+5V)
Voltage 4 11.97 Volts [0xBB] (+12V)
Voltage 7 4.84 Volts [0xB4] (+5V VCCH)
Voltage 8 3.15 Volts [0xC5] (VBAT)
Temperature 0 47°C (116°F) [0x2F] (TMPIN0)
Temperature 1 52°C (125°F) [0x34] (TMPIN1)
Temperature 2 22°C (71°F) [0x16] (TMPIN2)
Fan 0 2437 RPM [0x115] (FANIN0)
Fan PWM 0 0 pc [0x0] (FANPWM0)
Fan PWM 1 0 pc [0x0] (FANPWM1)
Fan PWM 2 50 pc [0x40] (FANPWM2)
Register space LPC, base address = 0x0290

00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F
00 19 10 FF 07 00 00 00 00 00 80 54 C9 07 15 FF 00
10 FF FF FF 33 D0 80 80 40 01 FF 00 FF FF FF FF FF
20 43 C0 D1 BF BB 04 06 B4 C5 2F 34 16 80 E7 52 52
30 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
40 FF FF FF FF FF FF 5F 74 2D 40 AB 22 FF FF FF FF
50 FF 31 7F 7F 7F 50 F0 00 90 5D 04 12 E0 00 00 00
60 00 2A 7F 32 94 02 FF FF 00 28 7F 32 84 02 FF FF
70 7F 7F 7F 00 00 7F FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
80 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00
90 FF 00 00 00 FF 00 00 00 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
A0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
B0 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
C0 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
D0 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
E0 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
F0 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF

Hardware monitor ACPI
Temperature 0 47°C (116°F) [0xC82] (THRM)

Hardware monitor NVIDIA NVAPI
Temperature 0 87°C (188°F) [0x57] (TMPIN0)
Fan PWM 0 100 pc [0x64] (FANPWMIN0)


So, assuming this is overheating, and I need to pull this thing apart and clean it, what's the best sort of outdoors environment to do that in? On the street, in a park, et cetera? My options are a bit limited, I live in Manhattan! I guess I could lug the thing over to Central Park...
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October 2, 2011 8:03:27 PM

lol Ibanesse honestly the only reason to take it outside is so you don't get dust all over your house. You can blow it out anywhere you like.
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a b Î Nvidia
October 3, 2011 3:23:31 AM

anywhere outside is a good idea
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October 3, 2011 5:42:34 PM

Solution achieved! I took it out on the sidewalk, cleaned it out, then placed it in a better-ventilated area of my apartment, with a nice big empty space next to it. Works like a dream now! Thanks so much for all of the suggestions! I guess the simplest explanation really is the correct one sometimes.
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October 3, 2011 6:44:36 PM

yay for dust bunnies! My dad's father's day present was a new haf 912 for his system. I cleaned it for him when i put it together and when i was in there his gpu was idling at 60 and reaching 87 when under load. I could have made a plush toy out of the bunnies in there and pulled out a fly that was stuck in his gpu fan. After i was done his temps went down 15c on each idle and load. its a wonder what a good cleaning can do for your system, grats on the solution!
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