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Windows 7: Display driver not responding but recovered

29 May 2013   #1
cytherian

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Display driver not responding but recovered

I'm having a nasty problem where the symptom on my laptop (HP dv7-1232nr w/Win7 HP 64bit) is a UI lock up for about 15~30 seconds, followed by "Display driver stopped responding, but has recovered" error message. This laptop was having overheating problems when I got it (used), but I connected a USB dual cooling fan platform to help control temps plus a background CPU/GPU temp monitor, and for about 5 days it was perfectly fine. I then did some more aggressive maintenance to the laptop, particularly to put in a newer BIOS (F49) and the full feature laden ATI CCC (Catalyst Control Center) software package. Not long after this, things started to go awry.

The display driver error message appears VERY frequently when I first start the laptop (cold), but then after spending a bit of time shutting down and rebooting a few times, it eventually stops suffering this problem... it's almost as though warming up the laptop is the cure. This is strange as issues tend to happen when components heat up, not when running cool!


I'd heard some people say that the later ATI CCC can cause problems and that it's better to roll back to an earlier version. I tried this but it didn't seem to help. I even tried re-running the ATI driver installation package from HP using Vista SP2 compatibility mode.


The ODD THING is that when booting up in safe mode, this problem does not happen. It's only when using the normal mode drivers. I cannot find any useful error messages in the windows logs.


So I'm trying to figure out if this is a software or hardware issue. Is it possible for a motherboard component that is going faulty to be temporarily rectified when warmed up? Is there some kind of hardware tolerance dependency whereby the basic SAFE MODE drivers can handle it while normal mode drivers cannot? I don't know what else to consider.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 May 2013   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Have you tried removing any and all video drivers, restarted windows and let windows install the drivers ?

If not, give that a shot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2013   #3
archer

Windows 7 ultimate x64
 
 

Hi cytherian, Please perform all that is mentioned by AddRam...if that does not resolve then you can try this.

As per your system specs you have mentioned that you have 4gigs Ram. Is 2X2 or just one single stick? if you have 2 sticks, remove one and run the PC and see if you are getting the same error. If you are getting error, try to run the PC with other stick. Run memtest overnite to check for errors on the memory.

Remove all the tit bits of the graphic card driver with "Driver Sweeper" and install fresh drivers. Check for dust on the card as well. Your onboard graphic card is automatically shuts off when dedicated card is inserted, but just try to switch off your onboard graphic from BIOS setting. As all these can be the factors for this error.

Keep us posted.....cheers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 May 2013   #4
cytherian

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hi Guys,

Thanks a lot for the advice. When I let Windows do its update, I discovered that ATI CCC is installed along with the atikmdag.sys and other drivers. However, this does not appear as a separate item in the install program list. I can't see how I would be able to remove it. I tried going to the Device Manager and directly removing the driver, which worked at first, but when I rebooted, Windows automatically "repaired" the driver issue and I found myself with the same driver again.

The thing that really bugs me is trying to determine if this is a hardware or software issue. I'm assuming that it would have to be software, as booting in SAFE mode with networking dispenses with these display driver errors. However, is it possible that a GPU can be drifting out of tolerance "just enough" so that a safe mode video driver will be fine but normal mode driver will not? It's interesting to note that once my laptop has been initially on for a good solid hour, I can be running in normal mode WITHOUT any errors. It's like the system needs to "warm up". This is contradictory to everything I've ever known about laptops, in that issues usually happen once components warm up--not when they're cold.

Btw, my system (hp dv7-1232nr) is a laptop, so the AMD/ATI HD Radeon 3200 GPU is embedded in the motherboard--not removable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2013   #5
cytherian

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Well... I guess it eventually had to get worse.

I think this error may have been telegraphing a hardware issue. My laptop is now no longer starting up. A few seconds after pressing the power button, it suddenly shuts off abnormally. So, looks like I'll be dealing with a fundamental hardware issue going forward on this one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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