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Major PC Crash Issues - GPU Related

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March 4, 2012 1:27:12 PM

This is a windows 7 rig about a year old. Everything has worked flawlessly with this my NVIDIA GTX 470 card until the other day.

The problem has started when the computer completely hanged while I played Skyrim. I could still hear the music in the background, but absolutely no response (ALT+DEL or anything else). Had to hard reboot the computer.

THEN THE PROBLEMS REALLY WENT IN FULL FORCE : Just after the windows loading screen (before the Welcome screen where the card kicks off) the screen turned off to sleep mode - as if I shut down the computer. The computer was still ON. Hard reboot again. Entry to Safe mode worked. I deleted the drivers and regular boot up was fine, albeit without the drivers so couldn't get a proper resolution and refresh rate. Re-installation of the same drivers that worked before the first freeze up has reproduced the same issue: screen turns off at windows start up.

I then again uninstalled the drivers, made a complete scan of everything NVIDIA related in registry. all was clean. Reinstalled drivers (only basic drivers, nothing else). Computer did boot up with drivers installed. Everything worked fine for a couple of hours, then the computer froze completely again while watching a standard video on a web browser, not even when running a game! Hard reboot again - same first issue (screen turns off).

I then uninstalled everything again and reinstalled older drivers (285.62) - This time the screen did not shut off but just froze on the welcome screen. Hard reboot. It then froze again, but only for a few seconds, then windows did load up with the message: "Display driver NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver. Version 285.62 stopped responding and has successfully recovered.

Windows would keep on freezing during mundane, regular browsing and/or wouldn't load up after a reboot.

I should stress this once more: It's a one year old rig. No Hardware changes at all. Everything worked fine before the first game freeze up. I have no idea why the card and/or the drivers keep on failing now. Is it possible that the game or something else has somehow physically damaged the card? If not, what do you suggest I should do? I'm completely stumped here and as far as I can tell my only two options left are to re-install Windows from scratch or get a new graphics card. I'd rather not do any of these and try other options first.

Thank you!

Dana Berliner

P.S

- I Played other games in the past like Portal 2 or LA Noire and all worked fine - so the card's capabilities have been tested somewhat. Anyway, I don't care about the games right now, just a want a plain working windows environment.

- I also don't have any restore points before the first instance so that option is not viable as well.

Specs:

Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.110622-1506)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model: P55A-UD3
BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 760 @ 2.80GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.8GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 8184MB RAM
Page File: 1964MB used, 14400MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 6.01.7601.17514 32bit Unicode
March 5, 2012 6:31:01 PM

It could be a temperature issue. Do you have any GPU temperature moniters? GPU-Z and Coretemp are both good programs. If you're getting high temps, maybe it's time to clean the inside of your case. Enough dust can build up fairly quickly to the point where things are getting hot on minimal use. System freezes are commonly caused by overheating components.
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March 5, 2012 8:59:24 PM

Thanks Blukats.

The 285.62 drivers (or card itself) failed again today (during regular browsing) - causing a sudden reboot to the system , then a BSOD and again a reboot - looping.

The dump file for the BSOD shows the culprits to be dxgkrnl.sys, dxgmms1.sys and nvlddmkm.sys - the last one is obviously the NVIDIA driver. the other two are Directx ?

Could this be a conflict issue and not an overheating issue?

I'll check temperatures either way.
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March 5, 2012 10:10:49 PM

Reinstalled drivers again after complete cleanup (CCleaner + DriverSweeper for Nvidia related). I installed The drivers provided by Windows update (275.33) . On first launch screen froze for a few seconds , flickered and got the same recovery message again ("Display Driver NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver. Version 257.33 Stopped Responding and has successfully recovered").

Right now I'm testing the temperatures, 43C to 46C for regular browsing. Shooted up somewhat to high 40's when watching 1080p Youtube video... But these are still pretty low temps, right?
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