Nvidia Driver Failing

To all the fantastic people of Tom's Hardware:

I will first start by apologizing for making a repeat post if another has already posted a query in regards to this. A search of the forum yielded similar but not exact questions.

I am having an issue lately where my computer will abruptly freeze and little green squares will appear across both my monitors in a checkerboard pattern. I'm still able to see the original picture but it is heavily distorted. It only happens when I'm playing rather graphic intensive games - such as The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim or The Secret World (my most recent addiction).

When it happens, and if I'm fast enough, I can hit CTRL+ALT+Delete and open the task manager - which will cause my computer to go to a black screen for a moment and then return to normal. When I do so I receive a little message from the taskbar informing me that my Nvidia Graphics driver has failed and has recovered.

If I'm not fast enough, my computer will freeze and I'll be forced to restart my computer. Interestingly enough, my audio proceeds as normal. My voice conversations in Skype even continue but my partners are unable to hear me.

At first, I believed it would be caused by heat. However, it seems too inconsistent for heat to be the sole culprit. Sometimes I can play Skyrim for hours with no problem, and then I'll boot my computer up in the morning and upon starting Skyrim it will immediately freeze. Could my precious video card be failing? Or is it something more sinister like my RAM? It seems to be increasing in its occurrence as of late. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

My Computer's Specs:
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 970 (3.50 GHz)
RAM: 16.00 GB
Power Supply: 1000 Watts
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Video Card: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 570
OS: Windows 7 64-bit Genuine Operating System

Thanks so much for the help! If you see something that would improve my system - please let me know!
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  1. urban legend,

    Thanks for the reply. I'm currently running 301.42, according to the Nvidia control panel. I'll go ahead and try uninstalling all drivers and reinstall only the most recent.

    Thanks again,
  2. Alright, I have successfully reinstalled the driver after selecting the clean install option under Custom Install. I will go test it for a few hours and report back, be it positive or negative. Thanks again for the help, urban legend. You're a true legend.

  3. Urban Legend,

    Bad news bears. The driver has just failed on me once again. I'm guessing I'm going to have to order a new video card, and see if that repairs the issue. Is there a possibility my RAM could be causing it? I have this paranoia about memory errors...

  4. I do not have any equipment overclocked. I wish I was that awesome with computers. Maybe someday! I'm guessing its time for a new card. When I originally built the system a friend of mine forced the card in there incorrectly and it got stuck for a while. I always had my suspicions that it caused damage. Rest assured, he will not be touching it this time. Thanks again for all your help Urban Legend, you're still a legend in my heart! :D

  5. Best answer selected by djhouseman.
  6. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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