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Windows 7: Display driver crashing from YouTube videos

30 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional N x64
Display driver crashing from YouTube videos

Hello, I have attached screenshots that I think are related to the problem.

When I watch YouTube videos, sometimes my screen goes black for a second or so, then comes back on with that popup about the display driver. The YouTube video I was watching is now just green and frozen. I have to refresh the page to get it to load properly (and it usually plays fine after that; the crash seems pretty random).

I am also unable to get my computer's rating, and the error seems to suggest that the issues may be related, so I included a screenshot of that as well.

I have been very impressed with this site so far (I had a BSOD issue for a while, but that seems to have been fixed!). Let me know what other info you need!


Attached Thumbnails
Display driver crashing from YouTube videos-crash.png   Display driver crashing from YouTube videos-wei.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2011   #2
Ivan the SoSo

windows 10 pro 64 bit

Have you tried to update the driver from nivida's web site?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional N x64

Oh, an update for my card came out 12 days ago! I had been pretty conscientious at checking for updates, but I missed that one :S

It's installed now, but I am still unable to get the Windows Experience Index. I'll follow up if I get any more crashes. Any other suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 May 2011   #4
Ivan the SoSo

windows 10 pro 64 bit

That's a fairly powerful gaming card, so I assume it runs games well? Does it have problems running DVD movies?

Have you run a sfc scan? If not in the search box type cmd , right click the run as admin....a black box appears type( sfc /scannow ) let it do it's thing
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

That error message tells you you are experiencing TDR's. Your video card is not responding correctly. The fact that WEI will not run it's routine strongly indicates a defective video card. But it could be other things. TDR's are difficult to diagnose because there are many causes, not just defective cards.

Before you go and replace parts willy nilly and possibly waste money doing so I suggest running some common diagnostics to see if you can determine the actual cause. Please read my diagnostic checklist below.


"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 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
01 May 2011   #6

Windows 7 Professional N x64


Hello Yes, my computer seems to run games fine. I haven't played any particularly demanding games for a while, though (Diablo 2 is a bit old). Should I try, say, Mirror's Edge for a bit and see if it crashes? I don't really watch DVD movies so I don't know how it would react to those.

Tried the scan and it didn't find any errors.


Thanks for the reply. A few of your suggestions can be skipped I think because it's been happening with YouTube and not a game. I have tried Memtest86+ when I had another issue recently (no errors). Voltages were at factory settings, and have been changed recently due to another member's suggestion (the crashes happened with both voltages). Device Manager looks free of errors. I'm not under/overclocking. I will however try the stress test and look for an update to my BIOS. Then I guess I'll crack open the case and check the connections, though I'm always a little intimidated when looking inside PCs. I'll report back on the results!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #7
Ivan the SoSo

windows 10 pro 64 bit

Try a dvd and a more stressful might be overheating(check for dust, stopped or slow fan) or maybe the card is just going bad....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2011   #8

WIN7 Ultimate 64bit

Make sure psu is plugged right in both ends
Whip case side off and check power to Vid card is pushed in tight.

Push vid card down into Pci-e socket - same with all other cards and memory sticks.
Check/make sure connections of all leads to motherboard/cards/hard drives etc are pushed on all the way (both ends).

I fixed that WEi (not working) problem recently on a PC - it was a corrupted system file found/replaced by Start > 'Accessories' > "Command Prompt" (right click on it - run as admin if needed) sfc /scannow

Try repairing/reinstalling vid card driver in control panel > 'progs 'n features'
Reinstall latest Flash driver 10.2.15 off adobe site!

Check 'dxdiag' for any problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2011   #9

Windows 7 64bit

I am actually having the EXACT same problem as you, the same error and everything. I have an EVGA GTX 470 and have been having this issue for several months now. As of late it is becoming a much more common occurrence with the crashes.

I have updated my drivers, my BIOS, I have replaced my power supply (due to it dying) and it was occurring before and after I replaced the PSU, I've done extensive testing on my memory with different timings and voltages, nothing in my system is over/under clocked, and all connections are secure within my computer case. My graphics drivers seem to crash most often when I am doing something that barely puts any load on my graphics card, such as watching youtube videos, playing low quality video games, and things as simple as some minor photo editting. However when playing high quality (and high stress) games such as portal 2, crysis 2, starcraft 2, and various others, my graphics perform flawlessly with no crashes.

I can provide more specific information about anything needed, would really like to resolve this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2011   #10

Windows 7 Professional N x64

Oh wow, your situation does sound very similar to mine I have, as well, tried demanding games with no problems. Is it not letting you get the WEI either?

I set the stress test to work overnight, but my computer decided to go to sleep within a half hour so started it again today. 3 hours and no issues yet. Guess I'll have to take the computer apart.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Display driver crashing from YouTube videos

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