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Author Topic: Display Driver Error  (Read 660 times)

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Offline HaibaneTopic starter

Display Driver Error
« on: July 01, 2014, 02:46:00 PM »


I keep getting freezes when in Firefox. Sometimes the computer "stumbles", gives me a black screen and recovers, showing me this error.

However 95% of the time the PC freezes completely, locking up so hard that I have to turn it off at the main power button.

I've tried updating my video card drivers but when I do I get a completely garbled video signal and have to reboot in safe mode to restore the old driver.

Its an Nvidia GTX 460 SE, driver version 8.17.13.142 dated 5/15/2012.

Can anyone offer any help or advice please?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 08:28:36 AM by Haibane »

Offline cptBacon

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 10:57:22 PM »
This used to happen to my computer with the older versions of the NVIDIA drivers, but the issue I hit was fixed about two years ago. I did manage to find this Microsoft KB article that suggests increasing a video timeout value as one possible solution:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2665946
For how easy it is (assuming you're okay with editing your registry), it's probably worth a first try.

A couple other things to try:
  • Re-seat the card. Blow out the fan/heat sync to make sure it stays cool.
  • On the subject of temperature, you might want to check how hot your card is running. I use a free, open source utility called OpenHardwareMonitor to check temps. If you're running <80C, it's unlikely to be a heating issue.
  • I remember reading somewhere that NVIDIA was trying to sneak audio drivers in with their display drivers. If you try another driver install, be wary of what's actually being installed. Some people have reported improvements when disallowing the audio driver install.

If none of those things work, the outlook isn't too bright. I found a thread on the GEFORCE forum that doesn't have a very positive outlook for the 400 series cards:
https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/482144/geforce-500-400-series/the-nvidia-400-500-series-lockup-club-33-have-a-fermi-based-card-that-39-s-locking-up-blackscreen/
Amongst the updates, I didn't see any definite solution to the problem.

Offline HaibaneTopic starter

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2014, 03:38:27 AM »
Thankyou for all that wonderful advice! I'll check though the list but the card isn't hot at all. I had the PC apart a couple of weeks ago and checked the card was seated properly so I doubt its that.

Final solution is to upgrade the card. Its over 3 years old now and I have been considering something quicker with more memory for a while.

Offline NileGoddess

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 07:01:12 AM »
Hai, if the problem still persists, I found some stuff too.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/display-driver-nvidia-windows-kernel-mode-driver/46f1f9d0-313a-4182-a56f-1604edf04448

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1622885/nvidia-windows-kernel-mode-driver-version-314-stopped-responding.html

I wasn't able to find anything specific to your graphics card, though. I had some issues a while back with an nVidia integrated graphics card on my laptop. It would crash whenever I tried to play games on it, and this all occurred after I updated to Windows 8.1. What I ultimately ended up having to do was go through my graphics control panels (one for Intel, one for nVidia) and change everything so it would run with the best performance, not quality. That mostly fixed it, but I don't know if that's what's causing your issue. From other topics I skimmed, it has something to do with the drivers. Maybe try and roll back the driver to an earlier version?

Offline HaibaneTopic starter

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 07:11:37 AM »
Thanks.

The thing is I actually don't mind the kernel error message. I can completely live with that and it only happens about 5% of the time. The other 95% is a complete system lock up requiring a hard reboot.

...and this ONLY happens when I have a web browser open, so my thought was it was something to do with an animation player or something, though the lock up/crash sometimes happens simply when I press a button with my mouse such as replying to a post.

Curiously it appears to happen most often when I am looking through a page of Google images.

With my web browser off or minimized, or not even the active window, the computer is stable.

Offline NileGoddess

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2014, 07:39:47 AM »
Hm, interesting. Another issue I had (and still have, actually) with my laptop was a faulty driver from some bloatware I can't get rid of. It caused crashes like yours, though it seems to happen most if I push my laptop too hard after booting or waking up. Have you tried using a different browser?

Offline HaibaneTopic starter

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2014, 08:40:49 AM »
To be honest that seems the most obvious thing to try and I suppose I should, but I have always hated IE. I've never tried Chrome but to be honest I like Firefox so much I really would rather not use another browser :(

Offline Oniya

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Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2014, 04:55:19 PM »
You might consider disabling any add-ons and adding them back in one at a time, followed by perhaps a complete uninstall and reinstall of Firefox?

I wouldn't bother with IE except as a last resort.  It's been voted the 'best browser to use to download another browser - any other browser!'  If you end up trying another browser, Chrome isn't too bad - Mr. Oniya uses it on his machine.

Offline HaibaneTopic starter

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2014, 07:56:39 PM »
Thanks. I'll try the un/re-install route next.

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Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2014, 07:24:39 AM »
Another trick, that seams really odd, is to go into your Driver settings (Driver control panel) and change the PhysX settings from Auto to your card. Shockingly, this can have a large impact.

Offline NileGoddess

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2014, 07:41:23 AM »
Another trick, that seams really odd, is to go into your Driver settings (Driver control panel) and change the PhysX settings from Auto to your card. Shockingly, this can have a large impact.

I read something similar in a forum, so I would also second this.

Offline HaibaneTopic starter

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2014, 09:32:41 AM »
Another trick, that seams really odd, is to go into your Driver settings (Driver control panel) and change the PhysX settings from Auto to your card. Shockingly, this can have a large impact.
Thanks, changed, lets see if it helps.

Offline HaibaneTopic starter

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2014, 04:54:49 AM »
Thanks for everyone's help. I have tried almost everything suggested here but it's still happening - not so much the error shown but a complete PC lockup. It happens about 3 times a day and it's getting very frustrating. I also have three items of software that won't update so I suspect the registry is damaged. Looks like I need to purge the HD and reinstall the OS. *sigh*

Offline Psi

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Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2014, 06:58:53 AM »
When you tried the firefox uninstall / re-install - did you leave the profile intact?   If so the re-install is likely using the same profile, and possibly the same plug-ins and extensions.

Why not try running a version of Firefox from PortableApps with a standalone profile, with no extensions.

Before you try a computer reload, have you attempted using a Live CD?

While its unlikely to have the exact drivers for your machine, if you were to see similiar issues occuring, you might be able to pin down the issue as hardware, rather than software - in which case, no matter what configuration you set you wont resolve the issue.

These CD's often have hard disk diagnostics and memory tests, these could also be the cause of your issue.
If you can pass a HD SMART Test - with a quick surface scan, and a memory test (such as Memtest86+) you can rule out those components.
However, if your computer is locking up 3 times a day, it should become apparent fairly quickly.   I rarely run Memtest86 for more than half an hour.

From the sounds of it you don't have a standard device, rather a custom built PC, or an upgraded one.
If you have the option on the motherboard for on board graphics, and your monitor supports it, take the NVidia card out of your PC for a day (but make note of the connections).  You may need to make some changes in the BIOS to change the default view.

Offline HaibaneTopic starter

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2014, 02:23:37 PM »
When you tried the firefox uninstall / re-install - did you leave the profile intact?
I did because I didn't want to lose my zillions of bookmarks.

Why not try running a version of Firefox from PortableApps with a standalone profile, with no extensions.
What is PortableApps please?

Before you try a computer reload, have you attempted using a Live CD?
I have never heard of a Live CD either! Pretty certain I don't have one.

While its unlikely to have the exact drivers for your machine, if you were to see similiar issues occuring, you might be able to pin down the issue as hardware, rather than software - in which case, no matter what configuration you set you wont resolve the issue.

These CD's often have hard disk diagnostics and memory tests, these could also be the cause of your issue.
If you can pass a HD SMART Test - with a quick surface scan, and a memory test (such as Memtest86+) you can rule out those components.
However, if your computer is locking up 3 times a day, it should become apparent fairly quickly.   I rarely run Memtest86 for more than half an hour.

From the sounds of it you don't have a standard device, rather a custom built PC, or an upgraded one.
If you have the option on the motherboard for on board graphics, and your monitor supports it, take the NVidia card out of your PC for a day (but make note of the connections).  You may need to make some changes in the BIOS to change the default view.
HD SMART test? Sorry, lost me again.

Its a custom built PC. I'm okay with doing simple servicing on it like changing memory but I'd be nervous about pulling out the graphics card and I have no idea if the mainboard has on-board graphics.

My answers aren't much help, but I do very much appreciate all your ideas.

Offline Psi

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Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2014, 03:01:30 AM »
I did because I didn't want to lose my zillions of bookmarks.

You can make a copy of the profile and restore it later, or boot firefox in safe mode to see if that will resolve the issue.
If its caused by a bad extension/plugin this is the most likely spot its sitting.

What is PortableApps please?

http://portableapps.com/

It allows you to have a run-only version of Firefox on a USB that contains a self contained profile.
The first time you install it, make sure you don't import any profiles on the computer, otherwise if the issue is profile based within your firefox settings - it will import the problem.

This is another way to test if a clean profile, rather than moving the old folder, try this out first and if you want I can put together some info about the firefox profile.

I have never heard of a Live CD either! Pretty certain I don't have one.

A Live CD is often bundled into many computer magazines, or you can download it from most linux distributions.
If as you said the problem occurs in firefox, most of these would have some form of firefox.

You put the disk into the drive, hit f12, or esc - which ever option your computer supports to bring up its boot menu and boot of the disk.
It wont look familiar but you should be able to get into firefox, and out to the internet. 

I can't guarantee it will work, as custom configurations can have hardware that it doesn't recognise.
We have an inhouse tool at work thats a custom WinPE (cut down Win7 Pre-Installation Environment) that lets us do a couple of tests etc, and recover data.

HD SMART test? Sorry, lost me again.

Most manufactures provide a boot disk, or software package that lets you check your HD for errors.
I can't recall the exact meaning of SMART, but its a series of benchmarks that let you know if a drive is close to failure.
If you are getting SMART warnings, you should have time to copy all your data off the drive before failure.

Its a custom built PC. I'm okay with doing simple servicing on it like changing memory but I'd be nervous about pulling out the graphics card and I have no idea if the mainboard has on-board graphics.

My answers aren't much help, but I do very much appreciate all your ideas.
[/quote]
If you have someone that is confident, have them do these checks for you.   I reseat graphics cards all the time, but its part of a warranty step in a fleet of devices - rather than a custom built PC.

To check if your machine has a built in graphics, look at the motherboard.   What you are looking for is most likely a VGA port - See - https://duckduckgo.com/?q=vga+port or a DVI port that looks like https://duckduckgo.com/?q=dvi+port

If the port is lies on the same axis as your motherboard - ie horizontal in a flat desktop case, and vertical in a tower case, then its on board.   If its on the opposite axis to your motherboard, its on the graphics card.

If it does have these, and your monitor has the same, you can try plugging into one of these, and then going into your BIOS and somewhere in there under video it will talk about using the onboard rather than external video.   Sometimes these just work, and allow for multiple monitors, other times they are completely disabled.

Offline Remiel

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2014, 11:51:24 PM »
I recently ran across a similar problem to the one you were experiencing (PC freezing up completely, completely unresponsive, requiring hard reboot).   Long story short, the issue turned out to be the latest nVidia driver -- 340.52.   After trying several things (up to and including reinstalling Windows, ugh), I went to nVidia's legacy driver database and snagged the next most recent driver: 337.88.   After rolling back to the previous driver, so far I have been running fine with no problems.

I'm not sure if this helps you at all, but you might want to try rolling back to a previous version, especially if the issue started occurring recently on a known good system.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 11:54:06 PM by Remiel »

Offline HaibaneTopic starter

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2014, 02:52:05 PM »
Remiel - come round my house and I'll make it worth your while!

I think... my lord, I think you've fixed it!

I rolled back to the 337 driver but was very sceptical because my lock-up problem started about this time last year, 9 months before the 337 driver was released, but certainly getting rid of the most recent 450 driver has helped.

I was getting lock ups about 2 to 3 times a day, I rolled back yesterday and so far in 24 hours no problems at all!

Thank you so much!  ;D

Offline Remiel

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2014, 11:29:00 AM »
Glad it worked.   :D  You can blame nVidia for that one.

Offline HaibaneTopic starter

Re: Display Driver Error
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2014, 05:55:06 PM »
Yup. 10 days now and not one single crash. My thanks for suggesting something so simple.