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Nvidia Display Driver Has Stopped Working - In-Game Crashes & Screen Freezes


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#1 Caatalyst

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:52 AM

Hi there,

I've been having problems relating to my graphics card and guild wars 2 since launch.

It can happen anywhere between 10 seconds and 10 minutes once I'm in-game depending on graphics settings but the result is that the screen freezes and becomes either a single colour (Dark brown or black) or the graphics glitch and tares but the game is still frozen.

Sometimes after 5-20 seconds if I keep hitting ctrl+alt+delete the computer un-freezes and a little message comes up at the bottom right of my screen saying 'Nvidia Display Driver has stopped working'. Sometimes I just have to hard reset as my computer becomes permenently unresponsive.

I've had this problem once or twice before in world of warcraft but it was far less frequent.

So far I've tried;

- Updating to the latest Nvidia Drivers (306)
- Rolling back to previous drivers (304, 301)
- Running with my computers side panel off (incase of overheating)
- Removing the graphics card, cleaning dust off it thoroughly (had no effect at all)

I've been monitoring temperatures and my graphics card hasn't exceeded 93 degrees which is not an unusually high temperature for my card.

The only way I can reduce the problem occurring is by lowering in-game settings (shaders in particular seems ot have a significant effect).

However the game runs absolutely smooth at maximum settings. The most obvious problem would appear to me to be the graphics card overheating but I've ruled that out so I can't think what it might be?

If anybody has had a similar problem and found a solution I would really appreciate any advice / support.

Cheers,

My Rig;
Coolermaster 690 Case
Asus Crosshair IV Motherboard
AMD 1090t x6 Processor (set to 3.7ghz)
8 GB DDR 1333
Zotec Geforce 470
Windows 7 64 Bit Premium (latest updates)

Edited by Caatalyst, 04 September 2012 - 07:32 AM.


#2 Foug

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 10:28 PM

i am having this problem anyone got any info on a fix?

#3 Jmastersam

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 11:28 PM

Having the exact same problem, Cant find a fix yet.

#4 Caatalyst

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:27 AM

I'm glad to hear this isn't an isolated incident. There appears to be a lot of nvidia card users on here having exactly the same problem.

I think the best thing we can all do is contact guild wars 2 official support and open a ticket and providing details of the problem. The more people who inform them the more likely they are to take it seriously and supply a fix.

#5 Stooraform

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 01:38 PM

Hi, just thought I'd share my previous experiences with this particular error. Despite what you said about ruling out graphics card temperature; the problem you're describing has all the symptons of an overheating issue.

About 6-7 months ago I bought a new top range graphics card, it ran all games perfectly smoothly at top settings. Problem was I kept getting the display driver has stopped working and successfully recovered error message that you described above.The ingame effect would be that the game would black screen, flash off for a while and then sometimes come back on, other times it would crash altogether. (note - this didn't happen in all games, just the gfx intensive ones)

It took alot of different tests but I did eventually realise that my gfx card was ramping up to about 90C during some of the higher quality graphics games. Although 90C won't cause any damage to your card, what the cards do is when they notice the temperature getting too near to "breaking point" (sorry for the made up terminology) they basically shut down as a safety mechanism and then restart. It's built in, the card won't let itself overheat. This is what the error message saying "the display driver stopped working" is showing you.

Long story short, I replaced the fan on my graphics card - it was very cheap (only about 30-40 pounds for a good fan, you can do the math for euros or dollars etc.) and the gfx card temp dropped so much that during absolute peak gfx gaming it hits maybe 50C and averages 40C in most games. I haven't once experienced this issue since replacing the fan.

The fan is very easy to install if you've never done it, unscrew old one, screw in new one - sometimes you'll have to stick some metal pieces(heat sinks) on the gfx card.


I'd still wait and see what Anet say in reply to your support ticket; but I don't think they'll be able to solve the problem for you.

#6 Foug

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 02:14 PM

i am using a laptop and getting this problem i have a cooling board witch my laptop sits ontop of and im still getting this error i dont get it with any other game so i dunno whats happening

#7 Stooraform

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 02:17 PM

View PostFoug, on 31 August 2012 - 02:14 PM, said:

i am using a laptop and getting this problem i have a cooling board witch my laptop sits ontop of and im still getting this error i dont get it with any other game so i dunno whats happening

I would start by monitoring the temperature of your graphics card while playing other games and then with this game and see if there is a difference.

You'll have to download a monitoring program -

I recommend: http://www.cpuid.com.../hwmonitor.html

Edited by Stooraform, 31 August 2012 - 02:20 PM.


#8 Foug

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 03:38 PM

i looked at the temp of my gfx card on Guild wars 2 i played for 1 min and gfx was at 90-100c and then crashed

Edited by Foug, 31 August 2012 - 03:39 PM.


#9 Caatalyst

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 04:04 PM

Hi Stooraform,

Thanks for the reply.

I haven't completely ruled it out but considering the amount of people all experiencing the same problem with nvidia cards and Guild Wars 2 I couldn't help but think that it could possibly be related to the drivers. Would underclocking the GPU potentially resolve this issue?

#10 Caatalyst

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 04:14 PM

I've looked into the graphics card temperatures further and it is normal for the Zotac Geforce 470 GTX to hit temperatures of 93 degrees when in use. The game doesn't always crash at 93 degrees either as the temperature fluctuates between 88 - 93 degrees on maximum load.

http://hexus.net/tec...870-xf/?page=13

Here is a review of the card specifying the temperatres.

#11 Foug

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:12 PM

i have this for my laptop http://www.pcworld.c...969892-pdt.html

#12 Stooraform

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:19 PM

Hi guys sorry for the delay I had to catch a couple of trains.

@Caatalyst - I do agree with you, the sheer number does imply an issue with gw2, or it could imply that there are a lot of people suddenly moving from older less intensive games onto gw2 which is more intensive. As I said before, I would wait to hear from Anet before spending any money ^^.

@Foug - The laptop stands are nice for cooling your laptop but laptops do have heat issues since you have all that kit in a small area. When it comes to graphics cards, they get so hot so quickly, it takes a fan + heat sink being directly on top of it to really keep it cool. Same as I said to Caatalyst, I'd wait and see what Anet say.

Good luck guys!

#13 sir_markus

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 11:27 PM

I have tried everything the OP did and more. even reinstalled windows on a new SSD (planned upgrade).
I have the same problem, and i think i can savely say its not a heating problem. This is because i made sure the GPU was cooled by putting a massive block of servercoolers i have laying around on it. according to the meters it never got higher then 40 C.
on auto detect grafics settings i can play for about 5 min before the driver crashes.
on lowest i can play for atleast 4 hours, but it will stil crash.

Win 7 64 bit
8gb ram
gtx 470
i7 920 non OC.

other stuff i tried:
Mem test
reinstall gw2 (and windows 7)
scandisk
turned Windows TDR off. but that only crashes the pc instead of recovering the driver

#14 Caatalyst

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:08 AM

Hi Everybody,

I've found a solution.

I downloaded MSI Afterburner last night to run some tests and it turns out by enabling the manual override of the fan control I've managed to reduce the temperatures of my graphics card to on average about 86 degrees.

For some reason the fan on my graphics card wasn't compensating for the heat that the card was generating.

I had zero crashes after about 4-5 hours of gameplay yesterday evening on max settings (except for supersampling I have that set to native because it causes quite a bit of in-game lag).

So it seems that this was an overheating issue but for some reason as I said the fan wasn't compensating for it. Even with the manual over-ride the fan speed isn't exceeding 80% which means the original nvidia controllers must have been much lower.

This problem does seem to be isolated to Guild Wars 2 though as I've been playing other games such as BF3, Battezone 1, Natural Selection 2 which have all never crashed. I did also play Wow and this has crashed every now and then in th the same manner as guild wars but it was very infrequent. Maybe the latest drivers aren't communicating properly with the fan control on gfx card?

I strongley suggest anybody who is having this issue try this for themselves.

Because I got the temperatures down so low I also attempted to overclock the card (35mhz clock speed and 20mhz memory clock).

Unfortunately this made the game crash before exceeding 70 degrees so I'm not sure where I went wrong with this one. I guess I got greedy!

I hope that helps anybody.

#15 Mayam7881

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 10:05 AM

Also may help to run a freeware program called "Driver Fusion" to remove the old drivers completely, after you run the standard uninstall from Windows control panel.  Then install Nvidia 306.02, click "Custom Install", then "Perform Clean Install".  Tech Supp. recommeneded this to me and it appears to have worked like a charm for friends having issues.  I've copy / pasted the exact instructions they sent me in another similar thread on this forum.  Best of luck.

#16 Caatalyst

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 08:00 AM

I just wanted to update everyone on my progress.

Although the MSI Afterburner software has helped reduce temperatures of my card on average by about 5 degrees, it has not completely removed the problem.

The game crashes far less frequently and I can now run at higher settings but it still crashes in exactly the same manner as specified in the first post as low as 77 degrees and crashed several times yesterday in the space of about 5 hours of play.

These crashes all resulted in the glitching of the screen, music / sound dropping in and out and finally the 'nvidia display drivers have stopped working' message.

#17 Caatalyst

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 07:35 AM

Hi Everybody,

I just wanted to update everybody further.

Although there seems to be some additional stability by using MSI Afterburner to manually control the fan speed of the graphics card it appears that after a few days of testing the problem is far from removed.

I am still getting the same crashes mentioned in my first post at the top. Sometimes it might work for an hour, sometimes it might work for a few minutes.

The graphics card is definitely not exceeding its maximum temperatures as I've been using MIS and HWmonitor to check the temperatures.

The crashing happens as low as 72 degrees and the graphics card is supposed to be operational up to 95 degrees.

Judging by the amount of people all having the same issue I think it's safe to bet that this is something that can be fixed through a game patch or new nvidia driver.  It doesn't look like anybody has found a 'do it yourself' fix.

Edited by Caatalyst, 04 September 2012 - 07:37 AM.


#18 tabazza

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:39 AM

Hi All,

I'm currently experiencing the same problems. Also tried Anet solution to change the power settings wich can be found here.

My settup is a AMD 8900 processor with a Nvidia GTX 550ti videocard. My temp isn't rising above 60 degrees so that should not be a problem. I updated all the drivers but still having the issues.

The weird thing is I played perfectly fine until 31 aug. Maybe it has something to do with the update that day..?

#19 Burk

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:01 AM

I have been plague by this issue for months now. Doing a full revert to 275.33 drivers solved it for me.

I just updated to the 306 beta drivers today and started getting TDRs. I'm trying a registry fix at the moment that supposedly removes the TDR messages. If this doesn't work I'll try bumping my cards voltage higher.

EDIT: so I'm also getting TDRs using VLC media player and watching youtube. The registry fix stopped the TDRs from crashing VLC I'm yet to try it in GW2. Lets see what happens

#20 Burk

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:02 PM

Nope VLC still crashing and getting TDRs in GW2 resulting in a black screen.

Reverting to 275.33 drivers and probably buying another card in a few months.

#21 Caatalyst

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:11 PM

Thanks for letting us know of the last stable driver. I'll give that a shot and see how it pans out.

And I forgot to ask, What card are you using Burk?

#22 Lord Sojar

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:16 PM

Mmmm, so I ran some tests of my own under about 50 different variate virtual environments.  I've narrowed down the results of these tests to a tiny handful of variables.  Without going into any complexity here (for the sake of my time, I have to head over to IRT deployment for nV) it boils down to a panic event handler.  I've developed a fix for it, and I'll be forwarding the data to nVidia today. The problem is actually with Windows, not with the drivers themselves.  The issue is even worse when using a 700-900 series AMD chipset, as the handler is having an issue on branch prediction phase.  

Good news for AMD users, updating your motherboard drivers to the newest version as well as using an up to date BIOS solves this branching issue.  

As for Intel users, the issue is focused entirely on a recent Windows update that added some sort of functionality to address Piledriver (at least as far as I can tell).  nVidia will be made aware of this, as I said.  

I'll create a work around when I return today, which is 5:30pm EST.  It should take me about 1-2 hrs, so check this thread in about 5-6 hours, and I'll have a viable workaround until the drivers can be patched (this assumes you're running Windows 7 64bit or Windows Vista 64bit and both are fully updated)  

Additionally, I highly recommend the Driver Fusion removal route with a totally clean install of the latest 306 revision.  In almost all situations aside from this one I pinpointed, it cleared up the issue.  

#23 Feyyy

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:21 PM

Caatalyst,

Can you force your fan speed to 100% with http://www.evga.com/precision/ or any other similar program and attempt to run the game again. Also, please set reflections to "None" and Shadows to "None", untick Depth blur and set post-processing to "None"

If the crash issue persists with the fan speed at 100%, please downclock the core speed and memory by about 10% and try again with the fan at 100%.

If the problem persists after all these attempts, you have a fault with your graphics card.


I am fairly certain this looks like a heat issue, those temperatures are simply too (damn!) high.

#24 Caatalyst

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:04 PM

Hi Feyy,

The 470 cards run at around 70 - 90 degrees when under heavy load. This is normal. You can search on-line and find this information anywhere. The 470's will keep going up to 95 degrees. Its not gone hotter than that. I already stated I'm using MSI to manually control the fan speed. I've got it at around 85% with my card peaking at only 85 degrees and it's still crashing.

Sometimes I can play for 5 minutes, sometimes I can play for 2 hours. It mostly results in a screen freeze / glitch. Then after about 5-15 seconds the computer resumes and I get the 'nvidia driver has stopped working message' and can continue playing. Usually the game doesn't even crash when this happens.

Sometimes on rarer occasions the screen goes black and I have to hard restart.

The game itself runs smooth at higher settings between 30-40 FPS (except with supersampling set to native as this cripples my fps).

I'm going to wait on Lord Sojar's response as it sounds quite promising!

#25 Lord Sojar

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:20 AM

Blah!  The workarounds I'm trying aren't working in all instances.  

However, I'll give you the best control panel settings I've found to alleviate your issue.

Set Maximum pre-rendered frames to 4
Set Texture filtering-Anisotropic sample optics to Off
Set Texture filtering - Negative LOD bias to Clamp
Threaded optimization to On
Triple Buffering to On
Vertical Sync to Adaptive (if you don't have this option, set it to On)

Once you've loaded into GW2, turn off Vsync in the graphics options.  Set framelock to unlimited or 60fps, depending on your system.

This should help alleviate issues until the real fix can be implemented.

#26 Morzan

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 05:59 AM

I'm having the exact same problem, I have a 680 with the current beta drivers sometimes i can play for 10 mins and it will crash
other times i can play for 5 hours straight no crashes at all the game runs smoothly...

I was so close to sending my card back to the shop and get a new one since it is still under warranty but i will def try these suggestions
first... The only reason i was going to send my card back was because i saw graphic flashes in game mainly on ice in the snowy zones
which i though were artifacts.

#27 Caatalyst

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:52 AM

I increased my graphics card fan speed further last night to about 85% with my card peaking at 80 degrees maximum. The problem still occurred even in the 70's.

I'm going to try your fix sojar thanks a lot. I'll post on here my results.

#28 Lord Sojar

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 01:21 AM

Any luck Caatalyst?

#29 Burk

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 04:29 AM

View PostCaatalyst, on 11 September 2012 - 05:11 PM, said:

Thanks for letting us know of the last stable driver. I'll give that a shot and see how it pans out.

And I forgot to ask, What card are you using Burk?

Nvidia MSI Twin Frozr Overclocked 560 TI

View PostLord Sojar, on 12 September 2012 - 01:20 AM, said:

Blah!  The workarounds I'm trying aren't working in all instances.  

However, I'll give you the best control panel settings I've found to alleviate your issue.

Set Maximum pre-rendered frames to 4
Set Texture filtering-Anisotropic sample optics to Off
Set Texture filtering - Negative LOD bias to Clamp
Threaded optimization to On
Triple Buffering to On
Vertical Sync to Adaptive (if you don't have this option, set it to On)

Once you've loaded into GW2, turn off Vsync in the graphics options.  Set framelock to 60fps.  

This should help alleviate issues until the real fix can be implemented.

Thanks for putting all this effort in Lord Sojar. TDRs have been plaguing my system for the last few months on all the new drivers over 275.33 (Nvidia). I'll try this today and if that fails I'll do the driver fusion reinstall.

I'll also mention that I also get TDRs from Media playback, both local and on the web (youtube). Hardware acceleration is off in both instances.

Edited by Burk, 13 September 2012 - 04:32 AM.


#30 Burk

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:30 AM

Been playing for a bit, while running youtube on my second monitor. Game sits around 30-50 fps would like a constant 60 :P but its very playable. No TDRs from both youtube and GW2. Do occassionaly get a little jitter in-game usually a second long fps drop/stutter every 15 mins or so.

I might play with settings to get it running smoother but thanks heaps Sojar ;)

EDIT: just had a TDR probably because I turned the 60cap back to unlimited



Edited by Burk, 13 September 2012 - 08:10 AM.





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