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NVIDIA driver issue

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 4, 2012 3:58:21 PM

Hi guys

I bought an EVGA superclocked GTX 660 last week, and up until yesterday it was working flawlessly.

Now - only when I play WoW - I will get crashes, with the resulting error message telling me that driver 306.23 has failed but been successfully recovered (I am paraphrasing).

WoW forums suggest rolling back to driver 301.42, as others who have experienced similar problems say this is a more stable driver.

Per EVGA's recommendation, I uninstalled all NVIDIA programs and used Driver Fusion in safe mode to manually erase all traces.

But when I try to install 301.42 (or 304.79), I get the message "NVIDIA installer cannot continue. This graphics driver could not find compatible graphics hardware." Reinstalling 306.23 is no problem, however.

Any ideas?

More about : nvidia driver issue

October 4, 2012 4:08:06 PM

Thank you, BigMack70, I will have a look at these.

Is it your suspicion that the drivers are failing to install because of entries left behind by Windows/Driver Fusion?
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October 4, 2012 4:12:46 PM

I dunno... drivers are sometimes finnicky and there's like a billion random things that could cause install issues.
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October 4, 2012 4:25:31 PM

I just find it strange that the current 306.23 driver will install seamlessly while the older drivers won't install at all. I'm no tech genius, but I've never seen anything like this before.
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October 4, 2012 5:16:51 PM

sdym said:
Hi guys

I bought an EVGA superclocked GTX 660 last week, and up until yesterday it was working flawlessly.

Now - only when I play WoW - I will get crashes, with the resulting error message telling me that driver 306.23 has failed but been successfully recovered (I am paraphrasing).

WoW forums suggest rolling back to driver 301.42, as others who have experienced similar problems say this is a more stable driver.

Per EVGA's recommendation, I uninstalled all NVIDIA programs and used Driver Fusion in safe mode to manually erase all traces.

But when I try to install 301.42 (or 304.79), I get the message "NVIDIA installer cannot continue. This graphics driver could not find compatible graphics hardware." Reinstalling 306.23 is no problem, however.

Any ideas?


I assume you have the new kepler GTX 660. The reason you can't roll back is because the older driver doesn't have support for your new card. It sucks because I bought the GTX 650. I was getting poor performance in WoW, the main game I play. I was stuck with 306.23 driver, which is the cause of the poor performance in WoW. Because my card was too new, I was unable to roll back to an older driver. Those with older cards were able to fix their WoW issues by rolling back. I ended up returning the card because I didn't want to wait and hope for a driver fix. My older HD 6670 ddr3 outperformed the GTX 650 in WoW, and I know that shouldn't be the case. I have a HD 7750 coming, so hopefully that will do better for me.
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October 4, 2012 6:57:10 PM

Robert781 said:
I assume you have the new kepler GTX 660. The reason you can't roll back is because the older driver doesn't have support for your new card. It sucks because I bought the GTX 650. I was getting poor performance in WoW, the main game I play. I was stuck with 306.23 driver, which is the cause of the poor performance in WoW. Because my card was too new, I was unable to roll back to an older driver. Those with older cards were able to fix their WoW issues by rolling back. I ended up returning the card because I didn't want to wait and hope for a driver fix. My older HD 6670 ddr3 outperformed the GTX 650 in WoW, and I know that shouldn't be the case. I have a HD 7750 coming, so hopefully that will do better for me.


This is most disconcerting. What you're saying is that there is nothing wrong with the hardware (for which I am grateful), but instead this is a driver issue for which there is presently no fix? If that is the case, do I have any basis for returning the card? I wonder whether Canada Computers would accept a return given that there is no hardware failure.

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October 4, 2012 8:49:43 PM

sdym said:
This is most disconcerting. What you're saying is that there is nothing wrong with the hardware (for which I am grateful), but instead this is a driver issue for which there is presently no fix? If that is the case, do I have any basis for returning the card? I wonder whether Canada Computers would accept a return given that there is no hardware failure.


No, I don't think there is anything wrong with your card. Many WoW players are having the issues with the 306.23 driver, anywhere between frequent crashes or poor fps. It isn't with one particular model of card. It's the driver. It's just that those with older cards can roll back to older drivers. We couldn't do that because those older drivers don't support the brand new cards. I returned my card because I had 30 days to do it. Where ever you bought it from, see how many days you have to return it. If you can't return it, try not to worry because you have a very good card. Blizzard is aware of the issue, so I'm sure nvidia will fix it soon. I just didn't want to wait and hope for a fix.
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a b Î Nvidia
October 5, 2012 1:40:15 AM

since the problem was driver related and the older driver not compatible with your hardware you're going to wait for the next driver release. (most likely beta though). did you have any problem with other games?
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October 5, 2012 2:44:27 PM

Robert, thanks very much for the reassuring reply. I'm looking into CC's return policy, although I would prefer to keep the card I have as it matches up best with what I wanted from a price/performance standpoint.

Renz, I don't play any other games unfortunately, so I have no comparables. I have read on the WoW forums that some have had success reverting back to DirectX9 and tinkering with other advanced settings to avoid crashes. I have done the same in the hope that this will provide a temporary fix.
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October 6, 2012 11:34:05 PM

Robert781 said:
Here's a thread on the WoW tech forums about your issue.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6573697404?page...

Some say it's a bug with the Dx11 option in the graphic settings. Hopefully switching to Dx9 will stop the crashing until things get fixed.


Robert, thanks again.

I have researched that thread (and numerous others on the WoW forums). Several steps are advised - the switching to Dx9, the scaling back of background and foreground fps, and other graphics-based alterations. Regrettably, none have worked in my case (and this seems to be a common end result). The period between crashes extends, but the crashes still happen.
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October 8, 2012 9:19:46 PM

sdym said:
Robert, thanks again.

I have researched that thread (and numerous others on the WoW forums). Several steps are advised - the switching to Dx9, the scaling back of background and foreground fps, and other graphics-based alterations. Regrettably, none have worked in my case (and this seems to be a common end result). The period between crashes extends, but the crashes still happen.


One last thing you might want to try if you haven't already is to uninstall the 306.23 driver and use the cd that came with your card. When I had the GTX 650, I had the EVGA brand. The driver on the cd was a slightly earlier version than the 306.23. It was like a 304 or 305. I can't remember the number exactly but it was a slightly earlier version driver. I tried it and I still had fps issues. You can try your driver cd and see if it's a different version than the current 306.23. It might be worth a shot.
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October 9, 2012 3:44:57 PM

Robert781 said:
One last thing you might want to try if you haven't already is to uninstall the 306.23 driver and use the cd that came with your card. When I had the GTX 650, I had the EVGA brand. The driver on the cd was a slightly earlier version than the 306.23. It was like a 304 or 305. I can't remember the number exactly but it was a slightly earlier version driver. I tried it and I still had fps issues. You can try your driver cd and see if it's a different version than the current 306.23. It might be worth a shot.


Hi Robert

I really appreciate your ongoing assistance with this.

WoW forums (and blues) indicate that the older drivers (304.79 and older) are not compatible with the new generation of GTX 600 series cards. As such, they will not install, saying that hardware cannot be found. The 306.23 driver installs seamlessly however. An agent at NVIDIA confirmed over live chat that this is correct, so I am assuming that fellow WoW players have done their homework.

Word is that the problem with the 306 driver relates to power management issues, which is why the driver keeps crashing. It is encouraging to see that NVIDIA have now released a new beta driver - whether this new driver is a response to the various 306.23 issues that have plagued WoW or not is anyone's guess, however.

One slightly unsettling development this morning - for the first time, I received the error message relating to failure and recovery while not in the game (I was surfing the web). Everything now appears stable, but this was the first time I had seen the driver fail outside the game.

Anyways, I am hopeful that NVIDIA is sorting out the issue with their latest software. Fingers crossed!
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October 17, 2012 3:24:00 PM

As an update, the new driver (according to WoW forums) has failed to address the problem.
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October 17, 2012 5:47:00 PM

This may work for you...

I had similar issues with what you're describing. I have an AMD AthlonXP 2800+ system with an nVidia GEForce 6200 4x/8x AGP card installed. Similar issues arose with Windows XP Pro, Vista and recently after upgrading it with Windows 7 Professional Edition.

The BSOD screen gave nvdkllm.sys, dxgkrnl.sys and watchdog. sys errors. I couldn't get the OS stable and running for more than 20 minutes. Every time I open a program it gave me an BSOD!

I removed and reinstalled drivers etc. and even reinstalled the OS itself several times.

Finally a solution! I found out exploring the BIOS settings that there is an "AGP Fast Write" setting. So I turned the sucker OFF and/or DISABLED it. On other BIOS settings it may fall under "Caching or Shadowing".

So far I have not had any BSOD video card related problems.

Windows 7 is not perfect, but it's running stable so far.
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