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Windows 7: Frequent BSOD - Disappearing/Malfunctioning NVIDIA driver?

20 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 Alienware M17x R3 64bit
 
 
Frequent BSOD - Disappearing/Malfunctioning NVIDIA driver?

EDIT: I've replied to my post with the continuing issue. Please see my comment and new .zip file there! Thank you.


Alrighty, I've never made an account in a place like this, nor posted a thread for any help because I usually resort to desperate measures after I've exhausted all efforts to fix a problem myself.

And by desperate, I mean contacting Dell. Please, please don't make me contact Dell. I'll do anything. -.-

Anyway, here's the issue. A couple of weeks ago, perhaps almost a month now, I began experiencing a very sudden and completely random BSOD. I'm a frequent gamer, so a functioning graphics card is... you know; essential.

I have an Alienware M17x R3, ordered with (not self installed) an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M graphics card. For the first few months of my owning and frequently using this laptop, all has been well. Everything runs smoothly, never had any problems before this, etc, etc.

When my computer blue-screened, the most I could read before it self-rebooted was something along the lines of a "Driver power state failure", or something along those lines. This was the same message for every other BSOD, which up to now has been... I'm gonna guess 7 or 8 different times, total. As in, I've never had a BSOD on this computer at -any- point before this. That being said, this computer is as good as brand new. Seeing as I'm still on warranty that only lasted a year... I'm gonna say it hasn't been a year yet.

The most common time I'm seeing it fail is when I have a YouTube video fullscreened. Though oddly enough, never when I'm in the middle of playing any of my numerous games. (Guild Wars 2, Minecraft, Sims 3, and at one point, World of Warcraft, though this has been happening long after I quit that one.) I'm not sure what's causing it, but under my device manager, my NVIDIA Graphics card continually goes "MIA". I'm always able to see the "Intel (R) HD Graphics Family" driver under "Display adapters", but the NVIDIA is always missing.

I've updated to the most up to date NVIDIA driver, hoping it would solve my problem... Nope. I updated my BIOS in hopes of solving some problems.... Nope. If I try to access the NVIDIA Control Panel on my computer, or search for driver updates via the device manager, 99.9% of the time I experience a bluescreen for my efforts. My computer is always on automatic updates, and I allow it to update every time it needs to. I've still got a buttload of RAM and memory left and yadayada... I have no friggin' clue what's going on. I've tried so many things, nothing is helping. This is my last resort before I'm doomed to needing to call Dell. Please help.

I've attached the ZIP file that this forum asked me to do, so I'm hoping that helps someone help me out here. Thanks ahead of time!

Oh, and as a side note: My computer has had no physical damage done to it in anyway, nothing spilt, nothing dropped, etc. This all started when plugging or unplugging my laptop (no matter what I was doing) caused my entire computer to freeze, but not bluescreen. Required a hard shutdown. At that point, I right clicked my graphics card in the device manager and told it to search for an updated driver. It told me it found one, and I updated. I thought that would fix it, but a few days later (after the problem insisted) I was prompted for a new NVIDIA graphics driver update. I completed the update, and... things seem to have just progressively taken a turn for the worse.

Sorry for such a long post, just trying to include anything and everything people might ask / need to know.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jan 2013   #2
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Hello Jinxi.
Code:
0: kd> !irp fffffa80070b25a0
Irp is active with 4 stacks 2 is current (= 0xfffffa80070b26b8)
 No Mdl: No System Buffer: Thread 00000000:  Irp stack trace.  
     cmd  flg cl Device   File     Completion-Context
 [  0, 0]   0  0 00000000 00000000 00000000-00000000    

            Args: 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
>[ 16, 2]   0 e1 fffffa800981d970 00000000 fffff880085d2084-fffffa800bb8c7c0 Success Error Cancel pending
          *** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for ACPI.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for ACPI.sys
 \Driver\ACPI    nvlddmkm
            Args: 00000000 00000001 00000001 00000000
 [ 16, 2]   0 e1 fffffa800a455040 00000000 00000000-00000000    pending
           \Driver\nvlddmkm
            Args: 00000000 00000001 00000001 00000000
 [  0, 0]   0  0 00000000 00000000 00000000-fffffa800d9aa8f0    

            Args: 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0: kd> lmvm nvlddmkm
start             end                 module name
fffff880`084a7000 fffff880`08f45000   nvlddmkm T (no symbols)           
    Loaded symbol image file: nvlddmkm.sys
    Image path: \SystemRoot\system32\DRIVERS\nvlddmkm.sys
    Image name: nvlddmkm.sys
    Timestamp:        Sat Dec 29 12:17:52 2012 (50DE9218)
    CheckSum:         00A7F96C
    ImageSize:        00A9E000
    Translations:     0000.04b0 0000.04e4 0409.04b0 0409.04e4
This particular version of display driver is problematic. Roll back to an earlier stable one.
Daemon Tools, Alcohol 120% and Power Archiver Pro uses SCSI Pass Through Direct (SPTD), which is a well known BSOD causer. Uninstall Daemon Tools at first. Then download SPTD standalone installer from Disk-Tools.com, and execute the downloaded file as guided below :
  • Double click to open it.
  • Click this button only:
  • If it is grayed out, as in the picture, there is no more SPTD in your system, and you just close the window.
Free up the startup.
  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Type “msconfig (without quotes), click the resulting link. It will open the System Configuration window.
  3. Select the “Startup” tab.
  4. Deselect all items other than the antivirus.
  5. Apply > OK
  6. Accept the restart.
Let us know the results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2013   #3

Windows 7 Alienware M17x R3 64bit
 
 

Thank you, Arc. I'm going to be giving that a shot right now. I'll let you know how it went. I appreciate the response!

EDIT: Alrighty, I've finished every step of what you've instructed. First thing after installing the NVIDIA 306.23 driver, I rebooted and checked the display adapters under device manager. It's showing the appropriate graphics card right now, so we'll see how everything goes from here. I removed Daemon Tools, and there was no other SPTD detected on my system.

All in all, all of what you said went through just fine, and I didn't run into any trouble with any of the steps. I'll report back to let anyone reading know if this solved my problem or not.

Now I just hope to know one thing:

When will I be able to update my NVIDIA graphics card? I'm not really knowledgeable on this subject, but surely I shouldn't have to run an outdated version of it forever? It'd be awesome if someone could let me know when I should update, and perhaps just which versions to skip if they're known trouble causers?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jan 2013   #4

Windows 7 Alienware M17x R3 64bit
 
 

So far, no bluescreen. I've tried replicating my past BSODs to no avail, thankfully.

However I re-enabled the startup things you told me to clear, as it disabled quite a few semi-necessary components such as my volume control via the buttons above my keyboard, and I think something went a little haywire with my mouse. A reboot didn't help, but now my touchpad driver isn't allowing me to enable scrolling.

Any ideas how to get my touchpad scrolling back? I tried to go to the driver properties to click the 'update driver' button, but it was grayed out... It says the driver is a 2010 version, as well. Not sure of that's as it should be or not...

It wasn't messing up before. Seems every time I fix one thing, something else goes crazy. Ugh, computers. @_@
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2013   #5

Win7 Ultimate X64
 
 

nVidia drivers are a bit problematic as of late as far as we know it is only the version you were using that is problematic the version dated 29/12/12 there is a newer one out dated jan 2013 we are waiting to see how that one goes before we recommend people to upgrade to it, IMO leave everything the same see how it goes if all problems are resolved then you can start updating things (touchpad, gfx drivers etc) one at a time so if prob returns you know what caused it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2013   #6

Windows 7 Alienware M17x R3 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
IMO leave everything the same see how it goes if all problems are resolved then you can start updating things (touchpad, gfx drivers etc) one at a time so if prob returns you know what caused it
That's just it, though. According to my device manager, my touchpad driver is completely up to date. It even says that it's working properly. But for some reason it's not letting me enable scrolling anymore. When I click the little checkbox for it, it colors the checkbox a light shade of grey; the "apply" button UNgreys (as if some changes had actually been made, though they hadn't) and I can click apply, or okay, or whatever, but no check actually applies to the checkbox and nothing changes. I've no idea what's wrong with it now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2013   #7
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

In my best knowledge, it is the WHQL driver dated 5th January 2013 which is appearing as a driver of 29.12.2012 in the crash dumps. Version 310.90.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2013   #8

Windows 7 Alienware M17x R3 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
there is a newer one out dated jan 2013 we are waiting to see how that one goes before we recommend people to upgrade to it
Forgot to mention, that's the NVIDIA update that I was running during all of this. When the problems first started, I had an older version. I updated my card to that 2013 version, and updated my A09 BIOS to a version A12.

Things were all better for a few days, then it went bad again. But just thought I should mention I was in fact running that version.

Otherwise, still no bluescreens yet, but I'm going to give it a few days before I mark this as solved. Can never be too sure. :P

I'm still not real clear on how to fix my scrolling touchpad, though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2013   #9
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jinxi View Post
I'm still not real clear on how to fix my scrolling touchpad, though.
I guess it went away during freeing up the startup. A wrong guidance from my part....
  1. Right click on "my computer" icon and click "manage" on the context menu.
  2. It will open the "computer management" window.
  3. Select "Device Manager" in the left pane, It will list all the existing devices up.
  4. Expand "Mice and other pointing devices" by clicking on the triangle in front of it.
  5. Select one item under it, right click, uninstall.
  6. Continue the process for all items under "Mice and other pointing devices"
  7. Now restart the computer. At restart, windows will auto configure the appropriate system driver.
If not worked, download the driver from http://www.synaptics.com/resources/drivers and install it again. Everything will go normal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2013   #10

Windows 7 Alienware M17x R3 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Arc View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jinxi View Post
I'm still not real clear on how to fix my scrolling touchpad, though.
I guess it went away during freeing up the startup. A wrong guidance from my part....
  1. Right click on "my computer" icon and click "manage" on the context menu.
  2. It will open the "computer management" window.
  3. Select "Device Manager" in the left pane, It will list all the existing devices up.
  4. Expand "Mice and other pointing devices" by clicking on the triangle in front of it.
  5. Select one item under it, right click, uninstall.
  6. Continue the process for all items under "Mice and other pointing devices"
  7. Now restart the computer. At restart, windows will auto configure the appropriate system driver.
If not worked, download the driver from Drivers | Synaptics and install it again. Everything will go normal.
Hey! It's alright. Everybody makes mistakes; and as it turns out, this little mix up actually helped me. When I went to the website you linked me, and downloaded and installed the driver, not only did it fix my mouse problem, but it seemed to have a bit of an update with the software. It works better than before!

Thanks a ton. I really appreciate it! And still no bluescreens. I think you've been my technical knight in shining armor, lol! Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Frequent BSOD - Disappearing/Malfunctioning NVIDIA driver?




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