Please help, windows crashes on startup after overclocking GPU

Ok, so I will just explain what I did in the past couple hours before my system started crashing immediately after the windows start up song. (The next couple paragraphs are about drivers which I don't think are the problem, but I am including this information to be thorough.)

I wanted to modestly overclock my new Nvidia 560ti. One of the first websites told me to download system tools for nvidia GeForce 560ti. So I downloaded it and installed it, but not only did I not see the performance tab I was supposed to under the Nvidia control panel, I also realized that the system tools driver was older then the driver I had originally. I think it is the 266.24 driver that came on the cd.

So I decided to reinstall the old driver, popped the cd in and reinstalled it. While it was installing, I downloaded the latest 300 something driver that Nvidia's automatic detector found. When the original driver was done downloading it required a restart of my computer. However, I wanted to now install the 300 something driver I just downloaded. So I started installing it and got an error message saying that a restart is first required before it can install the driver.

I figured that since I did not restart the computer after I reinstalled the original driver this makes sense. So I restarted the computer and then tried to install the latest 300 something driver and the same error message popped up again telling me to restart the computer before I can install the driver. I restarted again to no avail.

At a loss, I decided to just stick with the driver that came on the CD even if it wasn't the latest in performance quality. At this point my system is running fine and I decide to proceed with overclocking the GPU.

I downloaded MSI Afterburner and changed the stock settings of 822 core and 2000 memory to a recommended average overclock of 900 and 2106. I ran Heaven Benchmark and frame rates averaged around 20-30 with the CPU never reaching 80 degrees C and the fan never going over 50 percent.

I decided to restart my computer one more time to try and get that latest driver finally installed and when I did so my system crashed immediately after windows started first booting up. It crashes every time, and crashe took quick for me to go back in Afterburner and reset my GPU to stock settings.

There is no option to restart in Safe Mode that present itself to me, and I have no idea what to do to fix the problem. Can you please help me?
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More about please help windows crashes startup overclocking
  1. just be fast with the F8 key after the bios screen.
  2. Spam F8 in your BIOS to bring up the boot menu. Boot into safe mode with networking and download Driver Sweeper. Clean all Nvidia drivers from your system, uninstall MSI Afterburner, and reboot. Your computer should boot into Windows. Go to Nvidia's website and download the latest driver and use your card at stock settings for a while to make sure it works.

    Once you're positive your card is functioning normally, you can try overclocking again, but you can't just put in settings you see on a forum. You need to carefully and slowly raise settings until you start seeing issues, then dialing your overclock back (or bumping voltage) until it can pass synthetic stress tests and holds up gaming. It is not a quick process. Honestly, if you don't know about hitting F8 to bring up the boot menu, you probably aren't ready to start overclocking parts. Take your time and research first so you don't hose your system.
  3. Thank you so much. I will try all of this and let you know the results.
  4. Ok so I am still having major issues. A little more background info: once in a while before windows shuts down an error message will pop up real quick: Error loading c:\windows\system32\nvmctray.dll
    The specified module could not be found.

    Ok so I downloaded Driver Sweeper and selected all three Nvidia options: Physx, chipset and display. Once I ran the Sweeper almost immediately I get the following error message:
    "Specified registry file doesn't exist.

    Of 3 nvidia chipset registry files this file that does not exist was listed 3rd..

    So I continue after that error message and install the new driver. I tried to install the newest driver, and also the driver that came from the cd. Both freeze when trying to install the audio driver. I tried a clean install option for both as well. I also tried not installing the driver without the audio component.

    Nothing worked.. Also, now my Internet does not work in safe mode with networking when it did when I started this process you recommended and is plugged directly into the router.

  5. So I decided to go into device manager to uninstall all my drivers. I uninstalled anything that said Nvidia. That means high def audio ( 4 of them), display, and network. I rebooted, it found the new hardware, and I stuck the original driver cd in. I clicked install driver and it eventually said install failed. I go to look at the hardware in device manager and it says it is not configured correctly. This is all done in safe mode because regular windows still won't work even with the graphics card uninstalled. What am I doing wrong?
  6. It sounds like your pretty new to this, so make sure if there is anything important on the computer (tax returns, baby pictures, etc...) you get them backed up as the next step before doing anything else.

    Wow... what a mess... It sounds like driver sweeper was a horrible idea. You seem to have an nVidia chipset, so your system is probably hosed up pretty good.

    Hammer F8, but select "VGA only" from the boot list, not safe mode. This forces your PC to not use its installed video drivers. Uninstall any overclocking tools and download the most up to date nvidia driver (or beta driver if you were already up to date) and install them. When prompted for installation options, choose to do a clean install, this will remove any\all settings from the previous drivers.

    If you are unable to get into VGA mode, then select "Repair your computer" and hope you can run a system restore to get partial functionality back.

    If you are unable to reinstall the nVidia video card drivers, then try to use Windows update to install them.

    If you are unable to use system restore to repair your computer you will need to manually repair the registry, or reinstall windows. I would recommend reinstalling windows if you get to this point, as manually repairing the registry can be a complex ordeal.

    If you do want to manually repair your registry, you will need a a windows PE / BartPE boot disk. You can google how to create them, and how to repair that registry error.
  7. Thanks so much for your reply. I will do as you say and tell you what happened. Thanks again.
  8. VGA mode didn't work. So before I do a system restore or reinstall windows ( I have OEM and no cd) I thought I would mention that when I click on Last Known Good Configuration it does start up. And the video card is listed under device manager with no errors. Same with the four hd audio. It looks like games run fine.

    Only thing is I can't get the Internet to work now..
  9. Hmmm Internet just popped on as well.
  10. Ok so I guess I may mark this as solved. Crazy I didn't try run windows in last known good configuration sooner. I guess I was just trying to follow directions. :)
  11. I spoke too soon! I was able to play games, and update my driver completely to the latest version with a normal and finished install for the first time after starting in last known good configuration. However it required a restart to complete it and when I restarted it normally (not using f8 at all) it didn't work! It crashed right after windows opened. There has got to be something (maybe in system configuration) that is not letting windows load.

    Interesting thing is that when I started my computer again in last known good configuration after it just crashed the driver install I just did shows that it successfully worked and now I am totally up to date. Very weird. Any ideas?
  12. Ok I did a restore and everything works great now. Thanks guys. Now I am going to overclock the crap out of this thing and have a couple 2 liters of water to cool it down if it gets too hot!
  13. Sdbuilt_1 said:
    Ok I did a restore and everything works great now. Thanks guys. Now I am going to overclock the crap out of this thing and have a couple 2 liters of water to cool it down if it gets too hot!

    Ok, so this wasn't a serious thread.
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