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Windows 7: Random freezing/crashing with Nvidia GeForce GT 220

20 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Random freezing/crashing with Nvidia GeForce GT 220

I bought a new Dell computer with windows 7 64-bit home premium and a Nvidia GeForce GT 220 graphics card in early January. Its main function is gaming.

About 2 or 3 weeks after I started using it, my computer would freeze up and display distorted colors, and if a game or music is playing, the sound would become a choppy monotone over the speakers. Alternately, the screen would turn black and the computer would simply restart, or sometimes I would get the blue screen of death before it restarted. This would occur at completely random times at a rate of about 5-20 times per day.

It might crash and restart/freeze up five times in three minutes, or it might crash and be fine for six hours. I have heard it crash while I'm lying awake in bed, and then would not surprisingly find that I would have to log back in the following morning. I have gone AFK for hours and then come back to find the desktop frozen up. After these such experiences and more I have concluded that there is not a specific program I am consciously running that is causing it to crash.

Less often the screen would shut off for a second and then come back completely fine, but with an accompanying error message "your display driver stopped responding and has successfully recovered" or something along those lines. In the memory dump on the blue screen of death, the file "nvlddmkm" would be mentioned, which is part of the Nvidia driver.

I tried calling Dell support. They had me reinstall my bios and graphics card driver, then do a system restore. None of these things worked, and Dell didn't have anything further for me other than that I should reinstall my operating system.

I also checked the core temperature and found it to be a bit high, so I cleaned it out, which took the temperature back down. Nothing changed.

The crashes/freezes still occur when not downloading anything and while not connected to the internet. The crashes do NOT occur, as far as I have observed, in safe mode, though tonight I will leave the computer on in safe mode just to be sure.

I have AVG virus protection software, and it does not detect any viruses. I doubt that viruses are the source of the problem.

I have looked on some other forums, including dell support and nvidia support, and from what I have gathered, nvidia has not created the appropriate graphics card driver for their card for windows 7.

I wanted to check here first with individuals more experienced than myself before trying the following solutions:
1) Since Dell is covering my computer with a warranty for awhile longer, I could talk the support team into sending me a new graphics card brand, since it is technically their responsibility to fix my problem until the warranty runs out.
2) Try reinstalling Windows 7 on my computer, which would wipe out everything I have installed and taking up a lot of time.

Neither of these options are very appealing to me, but I don't really see any other way. I would appreciate some input on this, if anyone has some other things I could try.

I can get the mini-dump thing (the data gotten on startup when the computer recently crashed) the next time this computer crashes, if needed.

Thanks for your time.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

24 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64 Professional
 
 

I am having the exact same issue, i am talking with nvidia right now to figure this out. Mine will do it to me most of the time right when i open firefox but that is the program i use the most. I have noticed with mine if you turn windows aero off it will run fine but as soon as i turn aero back on it freezes shortly after. I have tried updating my bios and all other drivers. I tried installing the beta 196.34 nvida driver and that didnt do any good. I will post back with further updates
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2010   #3

Win7 x64 Ultimate SP1
 
 

Hi guys, before we can really help you we need you to fill out your systems specs.
Also have you added any new hardware upgrades to the original system?
One explanation could be a bad power supply.

Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


24 Feb 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Hi Distribute

What you are experiencing is a common video error that is most often caused by hardware failure. It can also be caused by overclocking, overheating, and defective memory. I have a checklist of diagnostics that I could post for you to try and sort out your problem on your own, but seeing that this is a Dell computer and still under warranty I would think your best course of action would be to get them to give you an RMA and get it fixed. You may need to be insistent. In most cases it seems to be a defective power supply, defective video card (and the GTX series cards I see posted here often), or defective memory. I assume you have not overclocked it or changed any BIOS settings on your own? But it's up to you. Let me know if you would like to see the list.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7 x64 Professional
 
 

Distribute, I would probally see if there is any way to get a differant brand video card from dell if possible. I see people who have been working on this issue with support for months with no resolution. I really think nvidia has issues still with drivers for windows 7 and even vista from what i have read.I have my problem down to either the card itself or the driver for the card. Last night i went and upgraded the power supply because i know stock hp power supplys are crap. I put the Corsair-CMPSU-650TX in and tried that and again it worked with windows aero turned off but when i turned it back on it froze within a few minites of opening and closing firefox and browsing pages. I removed the gt 240 and put the stock card back in which is a Radeon HD4350 and turned aero back on and it worked for hours without a problem. Before it wouldnt last 30 mins without freezing. I dont know how to figure out if its the hardware or the driver but considering all the posts i have seen on various forums about this issue and 95% of the people have NVidia cards and i cannot get nvidia tech support to call or email me back, i think i will exchange the card for a comparable or better ATI radion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #6

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by distribute View Post
I bought a new Dell computer with windows 7 64-bit home premium and a Nvidia GeForce GT 220 graphics card in early January. Its main function is gaming.

About 2 or 3 weeks after I started using it, my computer would freeze up and display distorted colors, and if a game or music is playing, the sound would become a choppy monotone over the speakers. Alternately, the screen would turn black and the computer would simply restart, or sometimes I would get the blue screen of death before it restarted. This would occur at completely random times at a rate of about 5-20 times per day.

It might crash and restart/freeze up five times in three minutes, or it might crash and be fine for six hours. I have heard it crash while I'm lying awake in bed, and then would not surprisingly find that I would have to log back in the following morning. I have gone AFK for hours and then come back to find the desktop frozen up. After these such experiences and more I have concluded that there is not a specific program I am consciously running that is causing it to crash.

Less often the screen would shut off for a second and then come back completely fine, but with an accompanying error message "your display driver stopped responding and has successfully recovered" or something along those lines. In the memory dump on the blue screen of death, the file "nvlddmkm" would be mentioned, which is part of the Nvidia driver.

I tried calling Dell support. They had me reinstall my bios and graphics card driver, then do a system restore. None of these things worked, and Dell didn't have anything further for me other than that I should reinstall my operating system.

I also checked the core temperature and found it to be a bit high, so I cleaned it out, which took the temperature back down. Nothing changed.

The crashes/freezes still occur when not downloading anything and while not connected to the internet. The crashes do NOT occur, as far as I have observed, in safe mode, though tonight I will leave the computer on in safe mode just to be sure.

I have AVG virus protection software, and it does not detect any viruses. I doubt that viruses are the source of the problem.

I have looked on some other forums, including dell support and nvidia support, and from what I have gathered, nvidia has not created the appropriate graphics card driver for their card for windows 7.

I wanted to check here first with individuals more experienced than myself before trying the following solutions:
1) Since Dell is covering my computer with a warranty for awhile longer, I could talk the support team into sending me a new graphics card brand, since it is technically their responsibility to fix my problem until the warranty runs out.
2) Try reinstalling Windows 7 on my computer, which would wipe out everything I have installed and taking up a lot of time.

Neither of these options are very appealing to me, but I don't really see any other way. I would appreciate some input on this, if anyone has some other things I could try.

I can get the mini-dump thing (the data gotten on startup when the computer recently crashed) the next time this computer crashes, if needed.

Thanks for your time.
We certainly can use the actual DMP file. You can use these to find it and upload it. http://www.sevenforums.com/crash-loc...d-problem.html

thanks

Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2010   #7

Windows 7 x64 Professional
 
 

Thought i would post an update, i replaced the nvidia gt240 with a xfx ati 5770 and i havent had a problem since.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2010   #8

Windows 7
 
 
Minidump

Thanks for all the replies.

@TVeblen: That's a fine suggestion, but this computer is new (bought in December 2009) and all the parts are new as ordered from Dell. I do not know how to overclock my CPU or whatever that is. I checked the core temp and it is average. I guess the other possible problem would be the physical graphics card failure, which is a good possibility, but I would like to try other solutions before buying a new one, and Dell won't send me one. Thanks for your input though. If you could post that checklist I could follow that.

@Dtrantham: Dell doesn't agree with me in that the graphics card is the problem. They want me to do a full wipe and reinstall the operating system. I'd have to buy a new graphics card, and I don't really want to spend ~$400 on a new card unless I really have to...which I will as a last resort if I can't find a solution within a reasonable amount of time.

@zigzag3143: Okay, I followed the instructions on how to ask for help for a BSOD problem. The attachment is a .zip folder of the .dmp files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2010   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Here it Is: (Basically from my notes in fixing my own problem)

How to diagnose TDR problems

"Display driver xxxxx stopped responding and was recovered"

Timeout Detection & Recovery (TDR) = "Display Driver Stopped Responding and was Recovered" is a useful feature that started in Vista and is also in Windows 7 that allows the OS to try and recover from a video timeout so that the system does not crash to a bluescreen. Symptoms included a screen flash with the TDR message appearing one or more times or the screen blinking out to black. If the system cannot recover it will crash (Stop Error 116 typical). The issue is that the video card is not responding as expected. The solution is in the: why?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to TDR errors. But the problem is usually found in the local environment (your computer). Finding the cause is a matter of checking every possible cause and uncovering the culprit through a simple process of elimination. By methodically running down a checklist of diagnostic procedures you should be able to find the cause and can correct it.

There are numerous reports of hardware solutions to TDR's. The most common are:
  • Poor Cooling
  • Problems with the power supply
  • Overclocking Issues
  • Bad System memory or incorrect memory timings
  • Defective PC Components

The order you do the diagnostics is not all that important. My personal strategy is to do the cheap & easy stuff first, the cheap & harder stuff next, and then the stuff that costs last. But whatever order you do it in you need to check or confirm the following:

SOFTWARE
Poorly written software and games will cause TDRs. But if this were the case it would affect lots of people, not just a few. Check the game's website & forums for patches and tips.
See if other people in the forums are having the same problem and if they were able to solve it and how.
You could also be asking too much of your video card. Check to see if your video card is tested and recommended for the game/program. Test the game at reduced settings.


WHAT ACTIONS CAUSE THE PROBLEM
It helps if you can isolate the actions that trigger the TDR. Most often it will be an application using 3D graphics. But if the incidents occur constantly it would point more towards defective hardware. If it happens more specifically (just when running Game X) it points towards overheating, settings, software, or driver issues.

GENERAL SYSTEM PERFORMANCE
You need to eliminate the possibility that your computer has a global problem. You can use a program like Prime95 to stress test your system. Free Software - GIMPS
You can run the "Stress Test" for a few hours or overnight. This will not tell you what the problem is, but it is helpful to uncover any issues your system has with instability and cooling.

OVERHEATING
Running a video intensive game for hours can generate some serious heat and overheating will cause video errors. You can check your temps by looking at your BIOS readings or use a free program like Speedfan SpeedFan - Access temperature sensor in your computer .
A real easy test is to just pull the side panel(s) off your case and see if the problem goes away or gets better. If it does then the issue is definitely overheating. If you are overheating you need to look at installing some cooling upgrades. You want to look at ventilating the case (more or bigger fans), Upgrade your case to a larger gaming case (lots of fans, water-cooling), etc.
There are free utilities like BurninTest PassMark BurnInTest software - PC Reliability and Load Testing that you can use to test your system's cooling capability. Caution is recommended using these types of programs.

VIDEO DRIVERS
Bad drivers happen and they can get corrupted. Before installing or reinstalling any video drivers first completely uninstall all video software and the drivers. (Some people say to run a cleaner program from safe mode, some say this is unnecessary). Never rely on the driver package to overwrite the old drivers.
After uninstalling the old drivers and rebooting Windows 7 will install it's own WDDM 1.1 driver. Check for the video problem while using the generic Windows driver.
You can then install the latest drivers for your card (or try older drivers).
See This Tutorial: Installing and updating drivers in 7

DEVICE MANAGER
Look in Device Manager and make sure there are no problem devices (yellow ! icon). Correct these by loading the correct drivers or disable the problem device and see if the video problem goes away.

POOR CONNECTIONS
Reseat video card and memory modules. Make sure the contacts are clean. Check all the electrical connections.

CHECK YOUR MOTHERBOARD VOLTAGES
In BIOS, check the listed voltages against the manufacturer recommended specs. Reset the voltages to factory defaults and see if the video problems disappear.

MEMORY
Memory errors can cause video problems. Run a program like Memtest86+ for at least 3 passes to see if there are any memory errors. Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

OVERCLOCKING
Overclocking can be a trial and error process. The clocks you set or change for CPU, Memory, or GPU could be unstable. Eliminate this as a possibility by resetting the clocks to their defaults to see if that clears the video problems.

BIOS
Check for and install an updated BIOS, particularly if it says the newer BIOS corrects memory errors or bug fixes. You could also try loading the BIOS defaults.
While you are there, check the motherboard manufacturers forums to see if others are having issues with the same board.

WINDOWS POWER MANAGEMENT
Eliminate Power Management settings as a possible cause, especially if you are working with a laptop. These settings could be particularly important if the issue is in playing games.
Go to Control Panel > Hardware & Sound > Power Options. Under "Select a Power Plan" you will find that "Balanced" is the default setting.
At the bottom you will see a Down arrow next to "Show Additional Plans". Click that and select "High Performance". See if the TDR issue is affected.
Alternately, you can click "Change Plan Settings" next to the "Balanced" plan and change the setting to "Never" put the computer to sleep (This is the default on a desktop) and/or change when the display is turned off as a test.

POWER SUPPLY
You need to know that your power supply is delivering sufficient power. Power supply problems are the most common cause of video problems, especially using high end cards.
Check the power supply's amperage ratings. Be sure it has the ample amperage for your video card and the rest of the system.
Test the supply with multimeter to measure for a steady 12v to the card's power connectors. (The only true way to test a power supply would be to use the very expensive diagnostic equipment used in labs). But for us regular folks: I tested my power supply by hooking up my multimeter to the PCI-E connectors that I was using to power my video card (I used a spare pair from the power supply to run the card while I was testing). I then observed the meter while I used the computer, first watching the voltage, then the amps, to see if there was any drop-off or erratic behavior while booting or using the computer. My readings were rock solid. So I declared my power supply good.
Otherwise you need to replace the supply to eliminate this possibility. Or borrow one from another computer.

VIDEO CARD
I suspect that a video card must perform flawlessly to operate in a Windows 7 environment and run the most recent games. If you tried all the above diagnostics and no problems were found then that leaves you with only one possibility: a defective video card. Some brands have the problem more consistently than others. You could check their forums for clues.
You could try your card in another computer running Windows 7 to see if the problem goes along with the card.
You could try a different card in your computer. I bought an inexpensive card to use. My TDR's disappeared using a "lesser" card. Or borrow a card from another computer.
Otherwise RMA or replace the card.

TDR complaints have come from PC owners running virtually every PC configuration. They occur regardless of which video engine, manufacturer, driver, or system used. They are too numerous to write off as a random problem, but at the same time if people are getting their systems to run correctly using the same hardware and software that you are then it follows that your problem must be solvable.

More Info Here:
Timeout Detection and Recovery of GPUs through WDDM
NVIDIA Statement on TDR Errors - NVIDIA Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2010   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 issue

I also have experienced the same issues with this video card and my new windows 7 HP PC (specs below). I updated my video driver to version 196.21. Not only was I experiencing driver stopped responding errors, but I was also encountering blue screen windows 7 system crash error kernal_mode_trap. After the update to the new video driver it has been 24 hours and no issues with either problem so far. Ill keep you posted on any changes. If it goes a week with no issues i can say confidently that the video driver was the cause to both problems. HP has a hold on a replacement pc for this issue for one week. Thats right, they are going to completely replace my system if the errors continue. Shocking if the solution was simply to update a video driver.

System Specs:

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-180t PC
• Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
• Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-950 quad-core processor [3.00GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache]
• 12GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [6 DIMMs]
• 2TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s - two 1TB hard drives
• 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 [DVI, HDMI, VGA]
• Blu-ray player & Lightscribe SuperMulti DVD burner
• Premium Wireless-N LAN card and Bluetooth(R)
• 15-in-1 memory card reader, 1 USB, 1394, audio, video (for TV Tuner)
• TV tuner, ATSC-NTSC with PVR, remote
• Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio
• HP stereo speakers with subwoofer and remote 50W
• HP multimedia keyboard and HP optical mouse
• Microsoft(R) Works 9.0
• FREE UPGRADE! Norton Internet Security(TM) 2010 - 3 year from 2 year
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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