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Windows 7: nvlddmkm.sys crash

21 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1
nvlddmkm.sys crash

I've been getting this crash for about a year, but it only happened to one game that I played. I started playing another game, Day Z, and its happening again. I don't know why it only happens for certain games, but it really starts to annoy me because I don't wanna waste my $30 I spent for this game. I downloaded a program called, WhoCrashed, and this is what it got..

On Thu 7/19/2012 11:54:27 PM GMT your computer crashed
crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\071912-19656-01.dmp
This was probably caused by the following module: nvlddmkm.sys (nvlddmkm+0xD431A4)
Bugcheck code: 0x116 (0xFFFFFA8004CD0010, 0xFFFFF8800FD591A4, 0xFFFFFFFFC000009A, 0x4)
file path: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\nvlddmkm.sys
product: NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 301.42
company: NVIDIA Corporation
description: NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 301.42
Bug check description: This indicates that an attempt to reset the display driver and recover from a timeout failed.
A third party driver was identified as the probable root cause of this system error. It is suggested you look for an update for the following driver: nvlddmkm.sys (NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 301.42 , NVIDIA Corporation).

Google query: nvlddmkm.sys NVIDIA Corporation VIDEO_TDR_ERROR
(Those link to some sites that don't really help)

Now, I've seriously tried everything to fix this. From reinstalling my drivers in safe mode, re-formatting my computer, downloading a new nvlddmkm.sys file and replacing it, and hundreds of other things, though of course nothing worked. I am asking anybody for help and I'd appreciate it greatly if you could. I don't understand why I can't run certain games when I can run games such as L4D2 and GTA IV perfectly fine on max without crashing. When I do crash, my sound will loop on whatever sound it was currently on and will freeze. Sometimes I get a BSOD, sometimes I don't. If I do, I get the nvlddmkm.dll error. Yea, its .dll on the BSOD not a .sys

Current system specs:
Asus P5PKL-CM Motherboard
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1
Nvidia Geforce 9800 GT
4GB of ram.(Or MB, whichever one is more than I have that one lol)
VIA High Definition Audio(I guess)

I posted this on another site about a year ago, and somebody told it me it might have been because of my audio, and thats what people have said on other sides when I researched it. Supposedly RealTek audio or some shit causes crashes like this and I do believe i have drivers with RealTek, which I probably am going to uninstall to test it.

The weird thing is, sometimes my computer will randomly freeze when I'm just on it and loop the audio thats currently going on, but it won't crash and goes back to normal within 1-2 seconds. I sometimes feel like it is my audio causing the crash because maybe multiple drivers are being used or some shit I don't know and they are causing it to crash. Just a guess, I'm no expert.

So ANYBODY, if you can PLEASE help me, I would be ever grateful to you! Thanks so much for reading my long post.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Hello TehBrandon! Welcome to SF! :)

Could you please follow:

Also if it is saying that crash, most likely it is your NVIDIA Display drivers. So I suggest updating your drivers: Drivers - Download NVIDIA Drivers

Afterwards please post back results, and we will go from there!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Alright I attatched the BSOD information thingy to my original post. And yea I have updated my nvidia driver but it still crashes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Jul 2012   #4

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

You will need to patient since at the moment all of Blue Screen and Crash analysis experts are busy or simply enjoying life. We are all volunteers and don't even get a free cup of coffee.

You can help those of out who have much experience but do not consider ourselves to be BSOD analysis experts out by completing your System Specs, especially in your case this could be of benefit.

Update your SevenForums System Specs
User CP (located on the top menu bar) |
Your Profile | Edit System Spec
(left-hand column)

To gather info, use Speccy (my favorite) or SIW or System Info

In the System Manufacturer Block, enter:
Manufacturer and Model and
ADD the word laptop, desktop, netbook or tablet.
For example:
Toshiba Satellite L305D notebook.

Provide full windows version info, for example:
MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Use the “Other Info” block for Optical Reader,
Mouse, touchpad, wifi adapter, speakers, monitor, etc

Scroll down and click on SAVE CHANGES.

You will find that in Speccy, you can select info from the display
using your mouse/touchpad and then paste that info into your specs.

SIW is a marvelous program, but the free version does not offer
this capability.

thanks and after the completely filled in specs, I'll take a cursory look at the file you submitted. Just keep in mind that BSOD analysis is not my area of expertise.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Alright, updated all of my system specs in my profile.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP


Try turning off the Nvidia services at boot by establishing a Clean Boot as shown in these Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7. You only need the driver not the bloatware package that comes with it.

If that's not enough work through the other steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2012   #7

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Follow the advice given by GregRocker.

If at any step in those troubleshooting steps, you run across problems, then let us know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

What you are getting is a TDR error. I am guessing that at the time of these crashes you are getting a message on the screen that says "Display driver xxxxx stopped responding and was recovered" just before it crashes to bluescreen.

Below I will post my standard test list for diagnosing TDR errors. I compiled this list when I had to solve this exact problem on my own PC when I first came to Sevenforums and I've been tweaking it ever since.

But to cut to the chase, when the errors and crashes occur only when playing one game and do not occur when playing other games or regular computer tasks then it strongly points to a poorly written piece of software. But it could also be as simple as a bad install of the program. It is recommended to completely uninstall the game and then reinstall to test this.

So give the list a read, but if your observations are correct then I would focus on that game. It may be time to look at something else to play.

"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 W7 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:

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.

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.

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.

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 (You can also blow a house fan directly into the open 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.

Bad drivers happen and they can get corrupted. Before installing or reinstalling any video drivers first completely uninstall all old 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. Also: Delete the video driver folder (ex: C:\NVIDIA) in Windows Explorer (or windows may install the same drivers again!).
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 this 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

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.

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

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 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 .
You can also test for a bad memory module by installing one stick in Slot 1 and testing, and then switch it out for the next stick, etc.
When populating all of the RAM slots on a motherboard it is sometimes necessary to go into the BIOS and increase the voltage to the RAM slightly to obtain a stable system.

Overclocking can be a trial and error process. The clocks and/or multipliers you set or change for CPU, Memory, or GPU could be unstable. Eliminate this as a possibility by resetting these to their BIOS defaults to see if that clears the video problems. The simplest way to do this is to "Restore Bios Defaults", or “Clear CMOS”.

Some people have reported that by going into the video cards control panel and "down-clocking" the cards performance settings they were able to clear up the TDRs. Since W7 does not seem to tolerate any hiccups in the GPU, this would allow you to run a poor performing card in the W7 environment.
So for instance, you could set the GPU clock from a 777 MHz factory setting to 750MHz, and the ram clock from a 1126MHz factory setting to 1050Mhz, or similar small change for your particular card.

Check you motherboard manufacturer’s website for an updated BIOS. An updated BIOS may correct an unstable condition, particularly if it says the newer BIOS corrects memory errors or has bug fixes. You could also try loading the BIOS defaults.
Caution is recommended when updating (flashing) a BIOS. The safest way to do so is from the update utility within the BIOS. Follow instructions carefully.
While you are there, check the motherboard manufacturers forums to see if others are having issues with the same board.

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.

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.
You can 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.

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 and models have the problem more consistently than others. You could check their forums for clues.
You could try your card in another computer running W7 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
How to troubleshoot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jul 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

I've updated my graphics card drivers and its still happening. I have also checked Device manager, everything was fine. I've changed outlets to see if not enough power was getting through, still happens. I did the windows power management high preformance thing, didn't work. My computer isn't overheating.

Any other ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jul 2012   #10

Windows 8.1 Pro x64

If you have recent crash files please post them.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 nvlddmkm.sys crash

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