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Windows kernel mode driver 306.97 crash. What does it mean?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 18, 2012 9:31:26 PM

Hello people of the forums!

I was playing Black Ops 2 zombies yesterday for around five hours and ,all of a sudden, in the middle of the game the entire screen became black, but the audio kept on playing. I had no idea what was going on so I immediately closed game, but when I exited out of the game I saw that the Desktop background has turned black and there was an error message bubble on the bottom right that said" windows kernel mode driver 306.97 has stopped working and has recovered". It took around 10 seconds for my background to come back, and everything seemed to be working again. I turned off my computer right after that to avoid damage because that scared the crap out of me. It has only happened to me that one time because i am afraid of turning my computer back on and possibly damage my PC. Is this error more serious if it is reoccurring?. Is something wrong if it happens only once? I just built this PC a month ago with no problems(except 1 BSOD, but doesn't that happen to everyone once and a while?) Does anyone know what happened and/or have a solution? :sweat: 

My specs:
i5-3570k ivy bridge- CPU
GTX 660ti SC -GPU
Antec high current gamer 750w- PSU
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)- RAM
GIGABYTE GA-Z77-DS3H LGA 1155- Motherboard

I am also new to the forums so please ask me for more info if you need it.
I will turn on my computer again in a couple days so expect an update by Wednesday.
November 18, 2012 9:55:12 PM

Frozenpenguin said:
Hello people of the forums!

I was playing Black Ops 2 zombies yesterday for around five hours and ,all of a sudden, in the middle of the game the entire screen became black, but the audio kept on playing. I had no idea what was going on so I immediately closed game, but when I exited out of the game I saw that the Desktop background has turned black and there was an error message bubble on the bottom right that said" windows kernel mode driver 306.97 has stopped working and has recovered". It took around 10 seconds for my background to come back, and everything seemed to be working again. I turned off my computer right after that to avoid damage because that scared the crap out of me. It has only happened to me that one time because i am afraid of turning my computer back on and possibly damage my PC. Is this error more serious if it is reoccurring?. Is something wrong if it happens only once? I just built this PC a month ago with no problems(except 1 BSOD, but doesn't that happen to everyone once and a while?) Does anyone know what happened and/or have a solution? :sweat: 

My specs:
i5-3570k ivy bridge- CPU
GTX 660ti SC -GPU
Antec high current gamer 750w- PSU
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)- RAM
GIGABYTE GA-Z77-DS3H LGA 1155- Motherboard

I am also new to the forums so please ask me for more info if you need it.
I will turn on my computer again in a couple days so expect an update by Wednesday.



That error points to Nvidia video card drivers, that's the driver version that it mentions. I keep getting that myself but I have a 9800 GT. If it happens again, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling the Nvidia drivers.
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November 18, 2012 10:03:43 PM

I used to get that problem a lot on my old 8800GTS 512mb. It was actually more of a fault of my video card overheating that I came to find. Once I modified the fan's profile to a more aggressive cooling pattern; I never had the issue again. It may or may not be the same for you; but something worth looking into. I doubt that a driver crash will cause any physical harm; but if the problem which caused it is a physical problem with the card; it could. I say reinstall the drivers with a clean installation as Danny said. Also, if it continues, maybe you could try either newer or older drivers to see if that eliminates the problem. :) 
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November 18, 2012 10:06:03 PM

danny2000 said:
That error points to Nvidia video card drivers, that's the driver version that it mentions. I keep getting that myself but I have a 9800 GT. If it happens again, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling the Nvidia drivers.

Is that what you did to get rid of the problem? Also, do you know how to uninstall and reinstall the driver correctly without having any problems? Thx for the response.
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November 18, 2012 10:17:04 PM

Get the latest Nvidia beta drivers. Just install over yours.
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November 18, 2012 10:20:30 PM

steddora said:
I used to get that problem a lot on my old 8800GTS 512mb. It was actually more of a fault of my video card overheating that I came to find. Once I modified the fan's profile to a more aggressive cooling pattern; I never had the issue again. It may or may not be the same for you; but something worth looking into. I doubt that a driver crash will cause any physical harm; but if the problem which caused it is a physical problem with the card; it could. I say reinstall the drivers with a clean installation as Danny said. Also, if it continues, maybe you could try either newer or older drivers to see if that eliminates the problem. :) 

Oh yeah i forgot to say that after the desktop came back to normal and all, I checked the temp on msi afterburner and it said the temp was at 48 Celsius. Do you know what the average temp of a gpu is because earlier I was playing black ops 2 and I checked the temp while I was playing and it was around 70. Is that a little hot? Should I only reinstall the drivers if it happens again? Does it happen to everyone once in a while, or should you fix it as soon as you get the error? Sorry for so many questions lol. :) 
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November 18, 2012 10:21:58 PM

NV88 said:
Get the latest Nvidia beta drivers. Just install over yours.

So i just uninstall the current display driver and download the beta driver?
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November 18, 2012 10:26:54 PM

Frozenpenguin said:
So i just uninstall the current display driver and download the beta driver?


No need to uninstall, just install the new one's on top and then reboot.
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November 18, 2012 10:35:26 PM

I heard about drivers conflicting sometimes, so are you sure that I just install over them?
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November 18, 2012 10:50:53 PM

Also if it is a driver problem I think I might know what caused it. Earlier this week I was uninstalling another program that I didn't like, but when I clicked the uninstall button on the top I noticed I had the nvidia driver highlighted, but I was too late. (I am still on programs part of the control center). As soon as I clicked uninstall a nvidia page popped up and it loaded and said "Preparing to uninstall" and then it asked if I really wanted to remove graphics driver and I clicked cancel. ( One Driver I clicked cancel while it was preparing to uninstall and the other I clicked cancel when it asked me if I really wanted to remove graphics

driver) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSH5nLeKx50 I clicked cancel at around 0:59 - 1:03
I tried to uninstall physx and the display driver, but i canceled them both.
I just want to know If this affected my drivers in any way.
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November 18, 2012 11:03:31 PM

Just reinstall. I went from the WHQL drivers to beta for BLOPS2 and it was smooth. Just install over the top. The installer will replace the bits it needs to. Don't worry about it.
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November 18, 2012 11:06:23 PM

NV88 said:
Just reinstall. I went from the WHQL drivers to beta for BLOPS2 and it was smooth. Just install over the top. The installer will replace the bits it needs to. Don't worry about it.

Ok thanks ill try it and tell you if it works. Also I click clean installation when It comes up correct?
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November 18, 2012 11:07:09 PM

Frozenpenguin said:
Ok thanks ill try it and tell you if it works. Also I click clean installation when It comes up correct?


Yes, although all your old settings will be reset to default. I'd say its worth it this time.
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November 18, 2012 11:09:43 PM

When you go to install the Nvidia drivers, it will ask you to 'update' or do a "clean install." Do a "clean install."
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November 19, 2012 2:09:40 AM

Also, is there any way that it can be related to overheating? I run at around 70-76 Celsius MAX on black ops 2.
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November 21, 2012 8:04:31 AM

Heres an update.
I accidently did an express install of the new beta driver and black ops 2 crashed again. I installed it again, but this time a clean install, and I havent had the problem since. Illlet everyone know if I see it again. Thanks everyone!
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November 21, 2012 8:05:47 AM

Best answer selected by Frozenpenguin.
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November 25, 2012 5:16:59 AM

Ok its gone! yay! Thank again everyone!!!!
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