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Windows 7: Serious problems, apparently video-card related


21 Jul 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Serious problems, apparently video-card related

Hello all!

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me. I'm more than a little worked up about all of this and can't wait to find a solution...

I've attached info. First, I'll give you more information on my system, then I'll briefly describe the problems I'm having.

- Windows 7 Professional x86
- Not the original installed OS on the system
- Retail, upgrade from XP
- My hardware is about two years old
- The OS is about two weeks old

- One possible complication, though I'm pretty sure it's not the issue: I'm running Windows 7 on a MacBook Pro via Bootcamp. For the past two years, I ran XP on the same machine without any problems whatsoever. Two weeks ago, I upgraded to Snow Leopard and Windows 7 and now the Windows side has gone all wonky. I have searched around online and have found no reason to believe that Windows 7 is any less compatible with Bootcamp than XP is.

Now, here's my problem...

First off, the problem seems to be video-card related. I have a nVidia GeForce 8600M GT. The problem manifests itself this way: I'll be tooling around on Windows 7, as I am now, and I'll either open some new program or screen, or I'll be in the middle of streaming video off Netflix, and the screen will go all pixelated and seize. If I'm running audio, the audio will go on for a few seconds then start skipping.

Sometimes the screen will stay frozen. Other times it will go black and hang there. Other times it will go black and then the computer will automatically restart. Most of the time, I have to force it to restart.

A further problem is that oftentimes after this happens, I cannot get the computer to restart properly: a black screen will come up... and then nothing. For one desperate hour, I could not get beyond this black screen. Then, for no apparent reason, it would decide that it was ready to restart.

Sometimes I'm brought to a screen where I'm asked if I want to "Start Windows Normally" (or in Safe Mode); other times, I'm brought to a screen where I'm asked if I want to run "Startup Recovery" (or something like that). One time I was forced to "Check the Disk for Consistency," which took about four hours, fixed two or three problems, but did nothing to get rid of the problem.

Sometimes I'll go days without any crashes. Other times I won't be able to use the computer for more than a few minutes without it crashing again. Today, I've gotten it to crash consistently simply by opening MediaMonkey, a music-server program: every time I open up the program -- bang -- the computer crashes. But I've used MediaMonkey before, many times, with no problems.

Also, I occasionally get the little bubble that says something like: "nVidia Kernel Mode driver stopped working, but has successfully recovered."

I've searched and searched online for a solution. All I've found are lots of people with similar problems. I've seen it suggested that you "upgrade your chipset" or "upgrade your bios" or any number of other potential fixes that are both way beyond my computer abilities and seem, from other things I've read, to be very risky even if you know exactly what you're doing, which I don't.

Please, please, please! Any help would be hugely appreciated.

(I have not yet attempted a fresh install of Windows 7. But I've come across numerous posts from people with similar problems who reinstalled the OS without it doing any good. One guy claimed to have reinstalled 4 times! So I'd like to keep that option as a last resort.)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Code:
    0x00000116    0x8653d510    0x92230f40    0x00000000    0x00000002    nvlddmkm.sys    nvlddmkm.sys+df40          
          
    0x00000116    0x87378008    0x9223ef40    0x00000000    0x00000002    nvlddmkm.sys    nvlddmkm.sys+df40           
         
    0x00000116    0x8767d110    0x91846f40    0x00000000    0x00000002    nvlddmkm.sys    nvlddmkm.sys+df40                    

DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL    0x000000d1    0x04050015    0x00000002    0x00000000    0x927dd263    nvlddmkm.sys    nvlddmkm.sys+3d6263     
               
    0x00000124    0x00000000    0x867dd63c    0x00000000    0x00000000    ntoskrnl.exe    ntoskrnl.exe+322493          
          
    0x00000116    0x860ab4e0    0x930dc0a8    0x00000000    0x00000002    nvlddmkm.sys    nvlddmkm.sys+d90a8             
       
    0x00000124    0x00000000    0x8687b8fc    0x00000000    0x00000000    ntoskrnl.exe    ntoskrnl.exe+322493
I have 2 solutions I can think as it seems you are definitely having problems with the chain of drivers attached to your graphic card drivers:

1)Make sure you are running the latest release of DirectX
2)Reinstall graphic card drivers, making sure you completely remove all traces of the files. (Use a program such as driver sweeper.. run it in safe mode and have it remove the drivers.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Please see this article on your bugcheck 116: http://www.sevenforums.com/crash-loc...eshooting.html

Also read this article on bugcheck 124: Stop 0x124 - what it means and what to try

I wonder if your video card is failing. Do you have access to another one you can test?

...Summary of the Dumps:
Code:

Built by: 7600.16539.x86fre.win7_gdr.100226-1909
Debug session time: Tue Jul 20 19:34:57.340 2010 (UTC - 4:00)
System Uptime: 0 days 1:03:49.136
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for dxgkrnl.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for dxgkrnl.sys
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for nvlddmkm.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for nvlddmkm.sys
BUGCHECK_STR:  0x116
PROCESS_NAME:  System
ииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииии
Built by: 7600.16539.x86fre.win7_gdr.100226-1909
Debug session time: Tue Jul 20 01:15:29.203 2010 (UTC - 4:00)
System Uptime: 0 days 0:00:10.966
BugCheck 124, {0, 8687b8fc, 0, 0}
Probably caused by : hardware
BUGCHECK_STR:  0x124_GenuineIntel
PROCESS_NAME:  System
ииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииии
Built by: 7600.16539.x86fre.win7_gdr.100226-1909
Debug session time: Tue Jul 20 00:43:31.144 2010 (UTC - 4:00)
System Uptime: 0 days 0:00:08.907
BugCheck 124, {0, 867dd63c, 0, 0}
Probably caused by : hardware
BUGCHECK_STR:  0x124_GenuineIntel
PROCESS_NAME:  System
ииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииии
Built by: 7600.16539.x86fre.win7_gdr.100226-1909
Debug session time: Tue Jul 13 14:45:59.609 2010 (UTC - 4:00)
System Uptime: 1 days 16:38:03.389
BugCheck D1, {4050015, 2, 0, 927dd263}
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for nvlddmkm.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for nvlddmkm.sys
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for dxgkrnl.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for dxgkrnl.sys
Probably caused by : nvlddmkm.sys ( nvlddmkm+3d6263 )
BUGCHECK_STR:  0xD1
PROCESS_NAME:  System
ииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииии
Built by: 7600.16539.x86fre.win7_gdr.100226-1909
Debug session time: Sun Jul 11 22:06:47.934 2010 (UTC - 4:00)
System Uptime: 2 days 0:37:01.737
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for dxgkrnl.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for dxgkrnl.sys
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for nvlddmkm.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for nvlddmkm.sys
BUGCHECK_STR:  0x116
PROCESS_NAME:  System
ииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииии
Built by: 7600.16539.x86fre.win7_gdr.100226-1909
Debug session time: Wed Jul  7 01:18:12.441 2010 (UTC - 4:00)
System Uptime: 0 days 3:04:34.220
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for dxgkrnl.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for dxgkrnl.sys
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for nvlddmkm.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for nvlddmkm.sys
BUGCHECK_STR:  0x116
PROCESS_NAME:  System
ииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииии
Built by: 7600.16539.x86fre.win7_gdr.100226-1909
Debug session time: Sun Jul  4 20:30:05.826 2010 (UTC - 4:00)
System Uptime: 0 days 0:57:18.760
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for dxgkrnl.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for dxgkrnl.sys
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for nvlddmkm.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for nvlddmkm.sys
BUGCHECK_STR:  0x116
PROCESS_NAME:  System
ииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииии
  
  
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


22 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Davidxtux View Post
I have 2 solutions I can think as it seems you are definitely having problems with the chain of drivers attached to your graphic card drivers:

1)Make sure you are running the latest release of DirectX
2)Reinstall graphic card drivers, making sure you completely remove all traces of the files. (Use a program such as driver sweeper.. run it in safe mode and have it remove the drivers.)
Thanks for the reply!

(1) I do have the latest release of DirectX, assuming that means DirectX 11.

(2) I did what you suggested. I removed the nVidia drivers via the control panel, then restarted in safe mode and used Driver Sweeper to get rid of all traces of the drivers. Then I restarted. My computer automatically installed the nVidia drivers that were originally installed with the OS (version 8.16.11.8861).

I had problems with the initial install, which led me to install the newest version of the nVidia drivers, which is considerably newer (about 6 months newer).

But long story short -- I've stayed with the drivers the OS automatically installed, and so far I've had no problems. Granted, it's only been a few hours, but I did my darnedest to crash the computer (running everything crash-y program I could think of simultaneously) with no luck -- the darn thing just keeps going.

I don't want to jinx myself, but if the fix turns out to have been this easy, I'm going to feel like a dummy for having spent so much time searching for a fix! I'll post back if the problems persist.

One question: If any of you guys had the time, would it be useful for me to make new reports, the same sort of reports I made in my initial post, to check for problems that might still be lurking? I have no way to check that sort of thing myself. All I can do is wait for the computer to crash again. I'd love to know if the problem is actually resolved...

Thanks so much!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

If you want to expedite BSODs, enable driver verifier: Using Driver Verifier to identify issues with Drivers

I'm not 100% sure what you were asking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I thought I'd update this thread with the status of my computer problems. It's too early to tell, but I just may have solved it...

As a reminder, I have a MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard and Windows 7. First, I noticed that the problems were not confined to Windows 7. The Mac side was far more stable, but it too began to crash. Based on that, I eventually concluded that the problem was not a software problem at all, but rather a hardware problem.

Given that I have a laptop, the only thing I could do, hardware-wise, without serious effort was take out the RAM and re-seat it. No luck. There were no problems with my CPU, and the video card actually seemed fine, since it wasn't _failing_; it was just that the crash-incidents were accompanied by pixelation (plus, the video card would pass all the stress tests I threw at it, which had flummoxed me earlier). The most likely culprit seemed to be my internal hard-drive. I read about what happens when hard drives begin to fail, and it seemed like that could explain my problems. Also, a friend of mine who has the same MacBook Pro recently had to replace the hard-drive. I ran Disk Utilities on both OS's (that is, Disk Utility on the Mac and chkdsk on the PC) and both corrected errors.

Fortunately, though, I may have fixed the problem without having to buy a new drive and tear open my laptop. If the problems return, then that's my next step, but so far it's been over a week without a single hiccup.

So... long story short... what did I do? I reset the PRAM and the NVRAM. I simply restarted the machine while holding down Command-Option-P-R. The computer bonged once, bonged again, restarted, and hasn't crashed since, despite my best efforts to make it crash.

So a bit too early to call it definitely solved (and maybe I'm jinxing myself here!), but maybe, just maybe, my computer is stable again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I thought I'd update again...

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the clearing-PRAM-and-NVRAM solution was no solution at all. After two weeks or so of trouble-free usage, my computer crashed a few hours after I posted my previous update. I blame sevenforums. No, not really.

I decided to wipe the drive clean and reinstall everything. So I did. Again, I enjoyed a short period of trouble-free usage, but soon enough the crashing started again.

My latest attempt to fix the problem: I cracked open my MacBook Pro and replaced the internal hard drive. It's surprisingly easy to do, if you have the required torque screwdriver (or whatever you call it). Took me about 20 minutes. That was a week or so ago, and not a hiccup yet. I'm pretty confident that the problem was with the hard drive, in which case I should be all set.

I'll update this thread one more time in a few weeks, hopefully to report that all is well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks for the update!

Glad to hear the machine is stable, at least for now.

Let us know if you need anything else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #9

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I realize that my situation has long since ceased to relate directly to Windows 7, but still, I hope maybe this will be helpful to someone else suffering similar computer woes.

Turned out that the hard drive was not the culprit. The effort wasn't a complete waste, since now I have a bigger and faster internal drive. But it didn't fix my crashing problems.

Long story short, I way over-thought this one. It turned out that the problem was indeed with the video card (as my original subject-line suggested). I convinced myself, based on little technical knowledge, that video cards don't spend months FAILING but simply fail in short order. Not so. Apparently, despite isolated weeks of trouble-free usage (and despite the fact that those weeks of trouble-free usage seemed correlated with my DOING something, e.g., updating drivers, clearing the PRAM, replacing the hard drive), my video card had been in the process of dying this whole time and *that* was the cause of all the crashes.

I took the computer to an Apple Store, and even though I was out of warranty, they replaced the whole logic board, including the video card -- and threw in a new screen and a new battery as well. The process took all of three days from drop-off at the Apple Store to delivery back at my house.

So if there's a moral to my story, it's probably this: If your problems involve pixelation or other video-related stuff, then you're undoubtedly dealing with a faulty video card that will have to be replaced.

... which I guess is pretty obvious!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Sorry to hear that...can't be good for the pocketbook!

Glad to hear you got it figured out though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Serious problems, apparently video-card related




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