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Windows 7: Random Black screens and freezing with nVIDIA GTX 460

25 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 x64 SP 1
 
 
Random Black screens and freezing with nVIDIA GTX 460

My computer will randomly throw fits and either:
1. freeze, requiring a hard shut down
or
2. turn the screen black (no signal message), also requiring a hard shut down.

Often times after this happens, when i try to boot into windows 7, it will freeze/turn black at the welcome screen. Other times it will boot up and several minutes later freeze/turn black again. Yet, in other instances, it will be totally fine and i can continue as normal.

I'm also experiencing some really unusual things with my mouse on occasion. It will change cursors like it supposed to when I hover it over a particular object (for example a hyperlink should make the hand with finger cursor) except it will either be the wrong cursor, or a distorted and different colored cursor - usually cyan, magenta, or yellow. When this phenomenon is occuring, it usually will lag/jump around when I try to move it. It will sometimes just go away without any type of rebooting which I also find quite unusual.

The system works flawlessly when booted into SafeMode.

Things I've Tried: (not in any particular order)
1) Full system anti-virus scans with updated version of Avast! including a boot-time scan, full drive scan, and a memory scan.
2) Completely uninstalled all currently installed video drivers using the Driver Sweeper utility, then re-installing drivers.
Drivers tried(nVIDIA): 296.10, 285.62(rolled back), and 301.24(beta driver)
3) Windows Memory Diagnostics - result: no errors after 3 passes
4) memtest86 - result: no errors after 8 passes
5) Booted with only one stick of ram at a time - crashes still occurred when using each individually
6) Spyware scan with Spybot Search & Destroy (yes, updated..)
7) Registry cleaner with CCleaner
8) Updated all of my MOBO drivers and BIOS
9) Ran chkdsk /f
10) ran video stress test with FurMark - worked fine - temps maxed at about 66-67 deg. Celsius
11) The temps on my CPU are also low, averaging at about 35-40 deg. Celsius
12) possibly more, I'll edit or post if I remember any more things I tried.

So basically this is my last resort, I still cant fix this problem - hopefully someone else can.

My debugger shows nvlddmkm.sys to be the cause (nvidia driver) - but this doesn't make sense to me because I've uninstalled and reinstalled 3 different drivers and I continue to get the same symptoms.

This made me think it is possibly a physical hardware defect of my graphics card. However, 1) why would symptoms only appear now? - I've had this card for a couple years and it was fine. 2) It works perfect in Safe Mode. If it were hardware related, wouldn't it also have symptoms in safe mode?

I am attaching the dump files and system report.

------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 4/25/2012, 01:14:23
Machine name: DARRYL-PC
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.120305-1505)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: MSI
System Model: MS-7636
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 760 @ 2.80GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.8GHz
Memory: 4096MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 4056MB RAM
Page File: 1750MB used, 6357MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Apr 2012   #2
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Pocket987,
I am impressed by your post. Well done!

Your crashes were caused by
stop 0x116 BSOD.

Quote:
"It's not a true crash, in the sense that the bluescreen was initiated only because the combination of video driver and video hardware was being unresponsive, and not because of any synchronous processing exception".

Since Vista, the "Timeout Detection and Recovery" (TDR) components of the OS video subsystem have been capable of doing some truly impressive things to try to recover from issues which would have caused earlier OSs like XP to crash.

As a last resort, the TDR subsystem sends the video driver a "please restart yourself now!" command and waits a few seconds.

If there's no response, the OS concludes that the video driver/hardware combo has truly collapsed in a heap, and it fires off that stop 0x116 BSOD.

If playing with video driver versions hasn't helped, make sure the box is not overheating.

Try removing a side panel and aiming a big mains fan straight at the motherboard and GPU.

Run it like that for a few hours or days - long enough to ascertain whether cooler temperatures make a difference.

If so, it might be as simple as dust buildup and subsequently inadequate cooling.

I would download cpu-z and gpu-z (both free) and keep an eye on the video temps
STOP 0x116: VIDEO_TDR_ERROR troubleshooting
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Well, I'm impressed with both the opening post and the immediate reply.

If only all threads were this well-written, it would make life a lot easier for all of us.

I tried to rep you Jan, but I have to spread some around first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


25 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 x64 SP 1
 
 

After reading some of the info in that link, specifically, a link within your link which goes to the post on the statement by nvidia, it seems that there can be numerous causes.
One thing I am wondering when troubleshooting is how to rule out (or in) that is (or isn't) a hardware problem with the graphics card?
I don't want to exhaust all possible avenues only later to find out that it was a hardware problem and I have to ditch the card anyway.

Also, I thought TDR's were when you get the message popup "Display driver has stopped responding and has recovered." - I never get that message. The screen just locks up and/or goes black. Is it still the same issue?

I'm starting to think my best option would be to reformat my HDD and reinstall windows... just to be able to test if it is the hardware or not.

Any ideas?

Edit:
Ran the cmd -> sfc.exe /scannow and had no errors
Ran vmt (video memory testor) and no errors

I read on somewhere it was due to Realtek audio/ethernet drivers conflicting with the nvidia drivers. I uninstalled my realtek HD audio driver and rolled back the realtek pcie gbe family controller.

Ill keep an eye on my system and try to reproduce a freeze or crash. Ill update here if it crashes, ruling out that it was these drivers.

ALSO: Can the problems with my mouse be caused by a driver conflict with my mouse driver and nvidia or some other driver(s)??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2012   #5
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 


Re your questions above.
Lets see what the next crash / analysis says...

Our analysis / advice is based on your DMP file as it contains the only record of the sequence of events leading up to the crash, what drivers were loaded, and what was responsible.

Most (if not all) BSOD's are caused by a mulitude of events.

Usually it is a combination of files interacting that finally causes the crash.

You can install an application (for example) and have it interact with one you installed 6 months ago and have them both cause the crash.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 x64 SP 1
 
 

UPDATE:
After uninstalling the Realktek HD Audio drivers and software, it seemed to help quite a bit in my system's stability. I was still having an occasional crash or 2 though.
I read more into the issue, and learned it can be caused by driver conflicts, and/or applications conflicting.

I went to Run -> msinfo32 -> hardware resources -> conflicts/sharing

This showed me all the resources that were being shared by two or more devices. I looked at all the things being shared with my nVIDIA card. Most of the resources being shared were between some component of my motherboard's chipset (Intel) So I decided to look for any more updated software.

Off the Intel website, there were more up-to-date chipset drivers/software than that in which I obtained from the manufacturer's website (MSI) several weeks earlier.

I also know that it is important to install chipset drivers first, before you install any other things. Since I was only really having problems with my graphics card, I decided to just uninstall my graphics card driver + software only before installing the chipset drivers. Once they were installed, I installed the nvidia drivers again.

Just to make sure, I also disabled SpyBot Search and Destroy from starting on startup.
I also disabled EVGA nVIDIA Precision X Software from starting on start-up.
(I did these two just incase they were causing additional conflicts. In particular SpyBot. This is because SpyBot has an "immunize" function which will block future functions from executing. It uses a utility called TeaTimer which basically just sits in your RAM and blocks potential spyware from ever being installed. This can also potentially block processes that aren't necessarily unwanted)
After doing these things, in addition to uninstalling the Realtek HD Audio drivers, and rolling back the Realtek Ethernet Controller drivers, I have not had a crash since. So it seems that for me, it was driver + software conflict(s)
-Problem solved!
Thank you JMH for that link, there is a TON of very good information in there for this error.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2012   #7
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pocket987 View Post
UPDATE:
After uninstalling the Realktek HD Audio drivers and software, it seemed to help quite a bit in my system's stability. I was still having an occasional crash or 2 though.
I read more into the issue, and learned it can be caused by driver conflicts, and/or applications conflicting.

I went to Run -> msinfo32 -> hardware resources -> conflicts/sharing

This showed me all the resources that were being shared by two or more devices. I looked at all the things being shared with my nVIDIA card. Most of the resources being shared were between some component of my motherboard's chipset (Intel) So I decided to look for any more updated software.

Off the Intel website, there were more up-to-date chipset drivers/software than that in which I obtained from the manufacturer's website (MSI) several weeks earlier.

I also know that it is important to install chipset drivers first, before you install any other things. Since I was only really having problems with my graphics card, I decided to just uninstall my graphics card driver + software only before installing the chipset drivers. Once they were installed, I installed the nvidia drivers again.

Just to make sure, I also disabled SpyBot Search and Destroy from starting on startup.
I also disabled EVGA nVIDIA Precision X Software from starting on start-up.
(I did these two just incase they were causing additional conflicts. In particular SpyBot. This is because SpyBot has an "immunize" function which will block future functions from executing. It uses a utility called TeaTimer which basically just sits in your RAM and blocks potential spyware from ever being installed. This can also potentially block processes that aren't necessarily unwanted)
After doing these things, in addition to uninstalling the Realtek HD Audio drivers, and rolling back the Realtek Ethernet Controller drivers, I have not had a crash since. So it seems that for me, it was driver + software conflict(s)
-Problem solved!
Thank you JMH for that link, there is a TON of very good information in there for this error
.

Good news ATM.
Your comments noted & appreciated.

Safe surfing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Random Black screens and freezing with nVIDIA GTX 460




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