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Windows 7: 0x117 nvlddmkm.sys when using HDMI external monitor

14 Jul 2017   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
0x117 nvlddmkm.sys when using HDMI external monitor

I inherited an old but nonetheless functional and useful Dell XPS L502X laptop from a family member and managed to get it working well with a little bit of work. The previous HDD had failed so I dusted off a new(er) HDD from the boneyard and put a fresh Windows install on. Almost immediately after dealing with Windows Updates and moving on to just try to use the machine for regular day-to-day, it would freeze with a solid color on the external monitor. It wouldn't give me a BSOD, just a dump in LiveKernelReports\Watchdog after I was forced to power cycle.

Sometimes the driver would recover and I could go about my business, or I could force it to recover if I unplugged the HDMI cable to the external monitor and plugged it back in. That was telling, so I dug into the system and found out that the HDMI port was driven by the Nvidia GPU, not the integrated Intel GPU. Research here and elsewhere helped me find out that aged drivers and such could cause conflicts with one another or with the hardware. Sure enough, I isolated the issue as nvlddmkm.sys and only when using the HDMI port. Eventually I updated all the drivers on the system and got it to a state where it behaved and gave me no more freezing behavior on the HDMI port.

Fast forward to about a week ago, wherein the replacement HDD failed. Makes sense as it was a used old HDD. So, I started again, this time using a newer SSD. As anticipated, once Windows was done installing I ran into the HDMI-freezing behavior again. The problem is that this time I can't get around it.

It will freeze while browsing Chrome, during normal desktop behavior, while in Steam, even while using Bluescreenview or WinDbg to look at the crash dumps. But it'll only do so when my external monitor is connected via the HDMI port.

Here's what I've tried so far:
  • Ran a solid workday's worth of Windows Memory Diagnostic for the RAM. No errors.
  • Updated all system drivers using SlimDrivers, DriverBooster, etc.
  • Ran a full Windows Update to current
  • Updated Samsung SSD firmware to current, chkdsk /f. No errors. Samsung Magician says SSD health is good.
  • Installed most recent NVIDIA drivers, and older drivers. Both crash when HDMI is connected.

Hoping someone can take a look at my attachments and help me find out what I'm missing. If the machine is dead then it's dead, but I'd like to at least try before I throw it out.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2017   #2

Windows 10 Pro

Updated all system drivers using SlimDrivers, DriverBooster, etc.
Uninstall all drivers installed by these programs, it'll only contribute to the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2017   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by axe0 View Post
Uninstall all drivers installed by these programs, it'll only contribute to the problem.
Please explain further. Leaving 5-10 year old drivers on can't be good either.

I'll try anything at this point though. Starting from a clean installation, would I update no system drivers at all and incrementally replace each one that got mentioned in a Watchdog dump?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Jul 2017   #4

Windows 10 Pro

There is nothing to explain, driver update programs are known to cause problems with the drivers they install.
TBH, leaving old drivers as they are is better than updating them through driver update programs IME.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 0x117 nvlddmkm.sys when using HDMI external monitor

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