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EVGA Nvidea GeForce GTX 550 TI - Drivers and BSOD issues

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September 28, 2012 2:14:28 PM

REALLY sorry for the long post, but I'm trying to be as detailed as possible!

Hey there everyone! Long time reader, first time poster. I have been working in the IT field for a little over 5 years and currently work for the VA at a National Service Desk. I have built and re-built a few computers in my time and I know my way around a computer (I have 2 degrees, 1 in Micro-computer support and 1 in computer networking) but have never had as much "fun" as I'm having with this new machine.

Here are the specs!
Case: NZXT Crafted Series Phantom Black / Green Trim Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case (With 4 fans ranging from 140mm to 200mm)
MOBO: ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional
Processor: AMD-FX 8150 Zambezi 8-core
RAM: x2 8GB DDR3-1866 G-Skill Sniper Series
Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts 650 Watt
Hard Drive: Samsung HD320KJ ATA
Graphics Card: (You Guessed it) EVGA Nvidea GeForce GTX 550 TI 2GB (Super clocked edition72 MHz GPU clock)
OS: Windows 7 Professional

So I pieced this bad boy together, updated (and re-updated) all of my drivers and windows updates over the course of the last month. I have been trying to play games (Guild Wars 2, Eve Online, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, etc.) and I keep running into the same problem on every game!

When the computer is idle, it works great and has absolutely no issues. However, when I attempt to play a game, it will work fine for a while (time fluctuates between 5 minutes to an hour once) and then 1 of 3 things happens.

1) The screen goes black for a few seconds, then comes back and displays a message that the drivers have stopped responding and have recovered and says something about the current version that I'm using and it being the kernel driver that crashed and then I can play for a minute longer and then get the same problem again, but usually I just turn it off to avoid problem number 2.

2) The screen completely freezes and I hear this strange, mechanical, techno sounding noise coming from my headset (it's hard to explain what it sounds like, but it's not the typical single tone, looping game music, etc. that people usually express they experience. It seriously sounds like a mechanical techno song) and then I have to restart the computer manually.

3) I get a BSOD (most recent one I saw was something like 0x00000161 or something like that, but it goes by so quick that I usually don't see the error code number) and then the computer restarts.

I checked the event log and I find "Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered." in the Administrative Events. I have changed the drivers 4 times (full uninstall and re-install using "Driver Sweeper" and "Ccleaner", but no change in behavior other than in the error message in number 1, the number of the driver changes. I have also used OCCT to run tests on the CPU, Power Supply, and Graphics card, but the only one that fails is the Graphics Card which will either show the "driver crashed and recovered" message, freeze the computer and I have to restart, or finishes and says that it experienced over 200000 errors but will not tell me what the errors are. There hasn't been any heat issues (nothing has gone over 60 Celsius

Something else that is strange is that I can watch movies on Netflix and TV on Hulu and Youtube without ANY issues and, as long as I don't play a game, the computer runs without ANY problems.

Now, there have been a few times, when I restarted the computer, I would get an error that states "Reboot and select proper boot device" and I would have to restart again to have it find the hard drive, so I decided to start testing all of my hardware. I ran a self-test with Disk Checkup on the hard drive and I get an error that the says "The last self-test routinely completed with a failure of the read element". But it would appear to me that if the read element was broken, how would I be writing to you right now with the machine or using the HD at all?

So, here are some of the things I have tried to do to fix it:
Update Drivers (with multiple versions both Beta and Certified)
Turned off vertical sync (Read that would help somewhere)
Update Bios
change SATA ports
Change PCI Express ports
Banging my head on the table
Change power connectors
Changing case fan directions to adjust air-flow
Uninstalling and re-installing Windows and software
Slapping the case and calling it bad names (but then apologizing and kissing it till it feels better)
Double checked all connectors and cables

Ok, so I will stop there... ANY help that you can provide would be GREATLY appreciated. I'm thinking about getting a new hard drive and seeing if that helps... Thoughts?

Thank you and, once again, sorry for the long post!

~Storm Plooper~
September 29, 2012 12:10:04 AM

Update: I got a new HDD (1TB 64MB Cache 7200 RPM Seagate Barracuda) and am still having the issue.

However, I see I have had no views or replies :sweat: 
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September 29, 2012 8:14:30 PM

Disappointed Tom's Hardware Forum members... This is exactly why I don't usually use forums like this and prefer a live chat. I can't believe that everyone always asks for more information and complains about people not putting enough information... And then when someone does it all in 1 shot, this is what I get.

Anyway, issue is resolved. This was the solution I got from another forum.

When you uninstall/re-install a new driver set, are you following the proper procedures for today's newer drivers? If you're unsure, take a look through this guide. http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=1174372. If you are doing it properly already, you may need to update your GPU bios (firmware) which you can get from EVGA tech support.
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December 3, 2012 5:25:33 AM

StormPlooper,

So you re-installed the driver to resolve this issue, or you updated the GPU firmware?



stormplooper said:
Disappointed Tom's Hardware Forum members... This is exactly why I don't usually use forums like this and prefer a live chat. I can't believe that everyone always asks for more information and complains about people not putting enough information... And then when someone does it all in 1 shot, this is what I get.

Anyway, issue is resolved. This was the solution I got from another forum.

When you uninstall/re-install a new driver set, are you following the proper procedures for today's newer drivers? If you're unsure, take a look through this guide. http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=1174372. If you are doing it properly already, you may need to update your GPU bios (firmware) which you can get from EVGA tech support.

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December 11, 2012 10:33:12 AM

marinewonder said:
StormPlooper,

So you re-installed the driver to resolve this issue, or you updated the GPU firmware?


I resolved the issue when I removed the old drivers and installed the new drivers with the steps that are... a little excessively... explained in the post that the link connect to.

Well, I thought the issue was resolved because I started running into waaay less issues... However, for some reason, the computer is still crashing after gaming for less than an hour on Guild Wars 3 and randomly on Eve Online. I don't know exactly what to do anymore other than just keep waiting for it to crash and then restart and try again. I thought it was a cooling issue, so now whenever I play games I crank the fan to 100% and start playing... this seems to have helped last a little longer, but it still keeps crashing when playing Guild Wars 2 on a pretty regular basis.

I'm starting to think it's just my graphics card and that it is, for some reason, not compatible with the game, but then again, it crashes on Guild Wars 2, Eve online, and Diablo 3... so at this point I'm just sucking it up and bashing my head on the desk for wasting the money on this graphics card.
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February 8, 2013 4:30:22 PM

StormPlooper,

The wonderful thing is StormPlooper, is that I am having the SAME exact issues. There is NO fix, that card itself is failing (Hence I got "Video Card Failure" for beep codes from the motherboard when I got no picture at boot). In fact my video card sometimes fails to start on boot. But I do have a wonderful solution for you. Contact EVGA. EVGA offers a three year warranty on this particular card (Quite an astounding time period). Stop bruising your forehead, I think you can get a new one for S&H cost! Hope this helps!
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April 14, 2013 10:43:03 PM

I had the same issue when playing Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2, where my EVGA 550 Ti will keep crashing on high poly counts. It stopped happening in Diablo 3 when interlaced mode was turned on, but it keep happening in GW2 even with interlaced mode. I ignored it, up until now, and it crashed for the last time until it will no longer boot up with the Nvidia drivers loaded. Since my system is dual boot, I tried Ubuntu and it will not load up either, keeps giving me artifacts on the screen, then freezing. If I had the Nvidia driver installed, Windows 7 will reboot before it hits the login screen. Sometimes (very occasionally) it'll make its way into the login screen, upon login, there will be errors indicated that the Nvidia driver crashed, and after a few crashes, the BSOD comes up (even before I am able to launch anything). On the other hand, if I REMOVE the Nvidia drivers, at least I'm able to login to Windows with no issues running at 1280x800 resolution.

I bought my card at around the time StormPlooper got his, I guess we had a bad batch. Did your issues with random crashes go away after you RMA your card? Or did it persisted even with the new card?

TheMan007 said:
StormPlooper,

The wonderful thing is StormPlooper, is that I am having the SAME exact issues. There is NO fix, that card itself is failing (Hence I got "Video Card Failure" for beep codes from the motherboard when I got no picture at boot). In fact my video card sometimes fails to start on boot. But I do have a wonderful solution for you. Contact EVGA. EVGA offers a three year warranty on this particular card (Quite an astounding time period). Stop bruising your forehead, I think you can get a new one for S&H cost! Hope this helps!

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!