Introduction: Fixing the Nvlddmkm Error (Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered)

Picture of Fixing the Nvlddmkm Error (Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered)

UPDATE: This instructable is about 5 years old now, but this error still persists. While anything could be causing this, as the steps will show, overheating and driver errors are a dominating problem. Dusting out your computer, and following the "drivers" step would be a good place to start.

This instructable will show you known ways of fixing the dreaded "display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered" error. It's been found on operating systems XP, Vista, and Windows 7. I've searched hours and tried many solutions, finally #1 worked for me.

Please note that this also works for other forms "display driver__________ stopped responding and has recovered," however this is the most common. I personally had that, until getting a GTX 260, in which case I got "Display driver nvidia windows kernel mode driver has stopped..."

What is this error? This error occurs when your computer thinks that you graphics card has stopped responding, mainly due to a low frame rate. The program that controls this is called "Timeout detection and recovery." The error is very vague, and doesn't correlate to one problem. Getting this error is like your computer saying "something went wrong with your graphics card, and we're not sure what." It could be you're power supply, ram, temperature, or just the card in general. It happens on all types of cards, and even built in ones, with your motherboard. You will know you have it if your monitor goes black for a few seconds, and comes back, with the popup from the intro picture. If you have only gotten it one time, just ignore it, but if you get it again, you should try the solutions.

Forms of the error

There are a few known forms of this error. Sometimes it will just happen once, normally while watching a video or playing a game, other times it will go berserk, right when you login you will get it every 10 seconds, and may even get the blue screen of death!

Now that you know a little about it, lets continue to the solutions, I'll start with the easiest first, and move up to the more drastic.

Shameless plug: Check out my website at

Step 1: Solution 1: Power Supply

Picture of Solution 1: Power Supply

Make sure that you are on High Performance, in the power options section of the control panel. More specifically, make sure that the PCI express setting is turned OFF. This would fix any issues caused by low power to the video card.

If you are still getting the error, proceed to the next step, this applies to all solutions.

Step 2: Solution 2: Changing the Theme

Picture of Solution 2: Changing the Theme

Short and sweet: Turn off the Aero theme

Just right click while on the desktop, and go to properties, it's hard to miss where to change the theme.

Step 3: Solution 3: New Drivers

Picture of Solution 3: New Drivers

This is also very simple, uninstall your current display drivers (I don't care if they are the newest!) and run Driver Sweeper, make sure all of your graphics drivers are gone. Then reinstall the most current drivers, you may even want to try a "beta" one, if there are any.

Step 4: Solution 4: Windows Update

Picture of Solution 4: Windows Update

Pretty simple, run windows update, download any of them, and pray.
Especially important if you are running Vista, and haven't gotten Service Pack 1!

Step 5: Before Getting Into the Big Stuff...

Here are a few more solutions I have found, that require no new items and are fast, but not tried, as I have fixed this error for myself (Solution 1).

Downclock your video clock speeds and/or ram speeds.

Run memory tests overnight

Administrative tools > Task Scheduler > Scroll down till you see TMM. Double click ‘TMM’. Right click it and select disable. - Known to work, defiantly try this

(If it only happens during a game) Right click a shortcut to whatever game you are running -> properties -> compatibility mode -> set it for Windows XP. Then run the game.

Step 6: Solution 5: Changing the Time Before It Resets.

Picture of Solution 5: Changing the Time Before It Resets.

NOTE: This is risky, because you have to edit the registry, which can mess up your computer if done wrong, you should make a backup before you try this!

1. Goto registry editor (start -> run -> regedit)
2. Navigate yourself to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlGraphicsDrivers (make sure GraphicsDrivers is highlighted).
3. Right click -> New -> DWORD (32-bit) value -> Name it: TdrDelay -> double click it -> Set it to A (hexadecimal) or 10 (decimal).

If that doesn't work, try disabling it, by adding the following DWORD: TdrLevel and setting the value to 0, then rebooting.

Step 7: Solution 6:Take Out RAM

Picture of Solution 6:Take Out RAM

Try a new set of ram sticks, or take all of them out but one. (And make sure to try it with the others in, and that one out, if it still happens) 

If this solution works for you, the RAM stick is no longer usable (without the error, at least), just throw it away, give it to a friend as a joke, or sell it on Ebay.*
*joke *Try it!

Step 8: Solution 7: Better Cooling

Picture of Solution 7: Better Cooling

Another way this error can occur is through overheating, install some new fans, or even try one of the many computer cooling guides, here at instructables!

Step 9: Solution 8: New Card

Picture of Solution 8: New Card

If none of these solutions work, and you are desperate, you can always buy a new graphics card, but before this, you want to be sure that it is your card.
If you have an extra graphics card, or a friend, use it/theirs on your computer. If the problem goes away, it is the card, and you will need a new one.


DaniW20 (author)2017-09-15

Before getting a new card: Try to remove one of your RAM sticks, start the system and test ist, if it works do the same with the other one. I had the same issues and I found out by doing what I mentioned that my RAM was faulty. Memtest didn't show any errors btw.

tetu2 made it! (author)2017-01-24

The culprit? I fixed this by seating my card all the way into the PCI-E slot. Seems the card was not getting enough POWER! My computer would post, boot, & play games fine like GTA5 & Witcher 3, but the issue persisted until my card was fully seated. A new Southbridge fan kept it from sinking all the way down. A good nudge got it seated well, now all these issues have disappeared!

Before this card was seated properly, there was a 20 second delay on POST, but everything still ran fine after post! Only when I pushed the card in 90% of the way did the delayed post desist. However, this other problem began to appear with Nvlddmkm causing the huge delay response using flash in 64bit browsers! After pushing the card in that last 10% this problem has totally disappeared!

If this fails, you may have a dirty or defective PCI-E slot, try cleaning it and or placing your video card in another slot and see what happens!

Deus (author)2017-01-19

Here's what I did to fix it:

I was running Win 7, with a GTX 570 and suddenly I got these random freezes 15-20 mins into a LoL game.

- I installed the latest drivers, still froze.

- Then I did a clean Win 10 install, with the latest drivers and it still happened.

- I tried most of what's in your post, even went all the way back to driver version 314.22, no luck.

During testing, the freezes started happening faster and more often. I used GPU-Z to monitor the temperature, but couldn't see anything out of the ordinary here, only that it showed GPU_Temp: 0.0C when the driver restarted (which makes sense, because it gets its temp readings from that same driver).

- Then I took the GPU out and used the HDMI on the motherboard. This got rid of the freezes. Of course, this is not a fix, but now I know it had to be the GPU.

- So then I got rid of all the dust, cleaned the PCI-E slot and connector (there was a lot of dust in there) and replaced the thermal paste.

Now it seems to work again, but still testing. If this doesn't work, I guess it's time for a new graphics card.

tetu (author)2017-01-18

Ensure the card is fully seated in the PCI-E slot. My computer would post and boot and run, & play games like Witcher 3, but I had this same until the card was fully seated in its slot. A new Southbridge fan kept it from sinking all the way down, but a good nudge got it seated well, now it seems all these issues disappeared. Seems the card was not getting enough POWER! There was a 20 second delay on POST until I pushed it in 90% of the way. This other problem appeared with Nvlddmkm. After pushing the card in all the way this error seems to have totally disappeared.

DavidK512 (author)2016-12-12

Decent guide, still relevant to Windows 10. That pic of the old video cards makes me feel old myself. My first video card was a GeForce 2 64 MB. Now I've got 8 GB of VRAM, lol. Changing the power setting for the PCI-E is a damn good idea I've never thought of. The rest is kind of standard for somebody with plenty of experience.

dtrystman (author)2016-10-18

for me it was a easy but a hard fix as well. turned out i was drawing to much power for my video card. when i installed my new card i also hooked up 6 drives. i used them before but had them unhooked. this card must draw more power then my older ones i had. weird since i was running 2 before and now one card. hope this helps someone as well

RhettD (author)2016-04-01

I tried all the solutions shown here none of them work on W7 64 ultimate did the reg hack still no go. Ran Microsofts fix nope

FilipP17 (author)RhettD2016-10-07

I have on same windows 7 64 bit ultimate SP1
I had before GT 630 and it burned from this errors now have other GT 730 and it does again this errors.
Today updated to latest drivers hope will solve but i doubt.

FilipP17 (author)FilipP172016-10-13

Hello again
I seem to fixed the issue after changing theme to Basic for me was happening in Windows not in games.

Crocodile69 (author)2016-07-06

I only get the nvlddmkm crash error when running a Norton full system scan. When it gets to scanning nvlddmkm, the driver crashes, and, contrary to what it says in the log, it does not recover. The screen goes black, and I have to restart the PC.

When running a Norton full system scan in safe mode (ie without the driver loaded), it completes just fine and it does not find any problems.

(Windows 10 Pro clean-install, latest Windows/Norton/Nvidia updates)

Mr_Soso (author)2016-05-12

The reasons for this issue are various. Outdated display driver, old or
incompatible vedio card, too many programs running at the same time,
etc. There are 10 methods to fix this error.

SweAllanD-II (author)2016-04-18

This problem will now be fixed for several HP laptop models by upgrade to GeForce 341.95 Driver.

Release notes:

ArifuzzamanS (author)2016-02-26

On an important note: I recently installed windows 10 and this error has came along with it. I haven't had a single Nvlddmkm error on my previous windows. Is it somehow windows 10 related?

GaryX1 (author)ArifuzzamanS2016-03-24

For your information, the reason I upversioned to Win 10 was in the hope that it'd remove this issue. It didn't. I have found that different NVidia drivers create different logs in the Event Viewer. The latest drivers seem to simply show that a reboot has occurred. The older one that I use, and which is less susceptible, did at least mention it was Nvlddmkm. Now I have to assume it still is as the symptoms remain the same.

Nic1M (author)2016-02-16

None of these worked for me, but the following did:

If you use MSi Afterburner, try...

1. Uninstall Afterburner and RivaTuner Statistics Server (keep your settings files)

2. Download latest NVidia driver

3. Select "Clean Install"

4. ***From NVidia control panel*** click "Open Windows Sound settings" and disable all NVidia sound "devices"

5. Close NVidia control panel and restart your machine

6. Download and reinstall Afterburner (RivaTuner comes along for the ride)

7. Restart again

When next you update your NVidia drivers, uninstall Afterburner first and repeat steps 3 through 7.

This worked for me. I haven't had a single Nvlddmkm Error in more than 5 months. Hope it helps other people, too. Cheers.

ArifuzzamanS (author)Nic1M2016-02-26

I did what you said from steps 2 to 5. The next thing happened was I got Nvlddmkm error. Anyway thanks though.

P.S. I don't use MSI Afterburner.

Nic1M (author)ArifuzzamanS2016-02-26

Yeah, I think this Nvlddmkm error thing is really specific, and given what worked for me, it's software-specific. There's a conflict (for me) between NVidia drivers and Afterburner, for example. For you, it's something else. On my pal's PC it turned out to be the RAM. So if you haven't tried Step 7 yet in SirColton's instructable, maybe give it a shot?

SirColton (author)2015-08-04

Has anyone had this problem on Windows 10? I doubt that it would go away, but I'm curious.

RamananB (author)SirColton2016-01-14


I have recently got the MSI dragon edition gaming rig with win 10 and 8Gb nvidia gtx 980... rarely i encounter the issue.. say like 3 times a week...

Minaleth (author)SirColton2015-08-05

I am having this problem on windows 10

MojtabaA7 (author)2015-11-22

i did them and some of procedures in comments...

i think its a problem with nvidia driver

recently i install pes 2016 on my x64 windows 10 and when i play it through Nvidia(GT525M) its crashes and give nvidia disply stopped...

i tried every way from installing a fresh copy of windows to installing windows 8 and 7,editing registry, downgrading and upgrading drivers,DirctX changing...

but anyway the problem is exist...

today i figured if i play the game through Integrated graphic(intel hd 3000) i can play 10 hrs without any crash(but in a bad graphic you know that)

what i have to do know...

i should mention that i changed my charger adapter and power jack with no chance...

is it related to DirectX, Nvidia Driver(using many versions from stock in package to latest 358.91), Nvidia High Definition Audio, IDT sound card, Power Supply...


spanalaskaman (author)MojtabaA72015-12-02

Sounds like it may be the same problem as I had....the fan. See my post about it. It may be your answer.

spanalaskaman (author)2015-12-02

I read the threads on this and it seemed that everything kept pointing to the graphics card getting too hot. I decided to disconnect the graphics card from the computer and see if there was a problem with the fan. It turns out it was barely turning (sticking). With the fan disconnected from the graphics card, I sprayed "Fabulous Blaster" brand "Graphite Dry Lube" directly into the guts of the fan until it overflowed. This will make a nice black paint looking mess all over the place, but it cleans up with soap and water fairly easily so be prepared for that. Then I took my pistol grip blower hooked up to my air compressor and blew the whole thing out really good until it was dry. The fan moved better than it did new after I did this. I did have to work the lube in a bit before I stuck it back in the computer but it totally solved the problem. No driver installs rebooting...nothing. I just cleaned the fan and it works fine. Can't say this is the fix-it for everyone, because as has been pointed out in this thread, it could be a multitude of things, but this is how I solved the problem

GraydonT (author)2015-10-08

just putting it in to preformance mode made my pc much faster and 123d works!

jack-thompson (author)2015-09-16

I kept getting this error in Windows 10 on start-up. After trying lots of different ways to fix it with none of them working the only way I could prevent it was to disable fast start-up in Power Options > System Settings > Shut-down Settings (go into power options and click 'choose what the power buttons do' in the left panel).

Hope this helps anyone.

RhaXiel (author)2015-08-26

If any of the above fixes it, try disabling the audio device of the motherboard from bios, and try a clean install on nvidia drivers including the high definition audio and physix only. worked form me after a whole year of trying every solution I found on the web.

RyanB30 (author)2015-07-30

Cooling is also very important. If you install MSI after burner you can instantly tell if the machine is cooling. Make sure to use a cooling pad if you are using a laptop;.

RyanB30 (author)2015-07-30

This is a generic error and there are a lot of things you can try but the error for me was coming from a conflict with the Microsoft Audio drivers and Nvidia Audio drivers. I disabled the Nvidia audio drivers and made Microsoft Audio drivers my default. I made Nvidia card my default video driver and selected it for every instance in Nvidia control panel.

Fresh installation of operating system

All windows updates first

All manufacture drivers

disabled sleep in power settings

disabled sleep, hibernation, processor sleep in bios

Physically cleaned machine

Checked all system drivers in Device manger

Constantly checked event logs to trouble shoot changes.

Error can also be caused by installing wrong video drivers such as for wrong card or wrong operating system.

If you need a quick fix and don't want to do everything listed here delete and reinstall drivers. Disable Nvidia Audio in Windows Audio Control and Device Manager.

RyanB30 (author)2015-07-30


RyanB30 (author)2015-07-30

lorien.pratt (author)2015-03-06

I had this problem only when sharing a screen with Webex. After 5 days and 50 hours and using *all* of these ideas which didn't work, I fixed this by enabling the NVidia nview tool from the control panel. Duh.

Hope that helps you!!

Here's an update: this fix worked for a bit then it failed again. But I *have* finally fixed the problem: I installed the CUDA package from NVIDIA (to do some GPU machine learning), and along the way it updated my drivers and the problem hasn't happened since, for several weeks. So *now* I think it's finally fixed.

ReinDOS (author)lorien.pratt2015-05-28

I have a co-worker who experiences the same issue; the crash ONLY happens during webex sharing. We've updated drivers and I've expanded the nvlddmkm.sy_ from the Nvidia folder manually with no luck

nikhilr5 (author)2015-04-08

will changing the os to windows 8 change.

obliocarliontatul.oblio (author)2015-03-05

Greeting all! dear friends i buy a new headphone ( creative 3d rage alpha) because my new device have own sound card i turn off my sound card ( on board-realtek) and VOILA! all my problems dissapear! ALL! no more driver crash no more black screen. . maybe this help and belive me i try every sollution before , my pc : amd a10 7850 kavery , MB asrock fm2a88xextreme6+, Gigabyte gtx 760 - nvidia , 2x4 GB Corsair vangeance and 470w psu.

JunaidA2 (author)2015-02-20

Remove the Intel Display Driver (If installed) and try to downgrade the Drivers. I had the same issue with all 347.xx updates then i installed 344.75, my issue fixed.

OliviaL (author)2015-01-11

Fixes are as below:

1. Make sure you are not overheating or overclocking

2. Update your graphics driver with free driver udpate software DriveTheLife

3. Change registry key:

Use ”Run” and type ”regedit”
HKEYLOCALMACHINE > SYSTEM > Currentcontrolset > control > graphicsdrivers. Right click ”graphicsdrivers”, click new >Dword (32-bit) value (If you are using 64bit system, please select Dword (64-bit) value), specify the name asTdrDelayand modify the value to8.

4. Nvidia Control Panel -> 3D Settings -> Set PhysX configuration -> Select a Physx processor -> choose yourgraphics cardinstead of leaving it on auto-select.

anton.martensson.395 (author)2014-12-06

Thanks !!

anton.martensson.395 (author)2014-12-06

Thanks !!

anton.martensson.395 (author)2014-12-06

Thanks !!

Hurtcules (author)2014-11-10

so what are the fixes? i dont see them?

jilbertness (author)Hurtcules2014-11-24

At the top of the page is a button that sez "9 steps" go thru those....

neo.anderson.75 (author)2014-10-17

I really don't know what to say ... Just thank you

JosephM4 (author)2014-10-14

Confirmed 4 days non stop Battlefield 4 on high to ultra settings.

JosephM4 (author)2014-10-09

So i did the windows update, and driver update first, but one thing with driver updates is that I manually combed through the system and uninstalled/deleted anything NVIDIA related.

I proceeded to install the latest driver 344.11 i believe, and didnt install GEFORCE EXPERIENCE, for i hear it is glitchy with updates.

I was good, but then proceded to get a blue screen BUT was after a short power outage. So i tried option 1 setting PCIE to OFF. and was able to play Battlefield 4, Modern Warfare 2 and Fable, on high settings with no issue.

For me i think in the end it was a power supply issue, for a few times while my computer would boot up i would get a message stating that my supply wasnt recognized, i think it is just failing on me, im stationed overseas and get power outages every now and then ( invested in a surge protector now and new supply is on the way).

So i believe my computer was blue screening due to the PCIE option being on max and when my supply wasnt putting through the right power the card was being treated as insufficient power or something, and shuting itself off to prevent damage. I can somewhat confirm this due to it happening literally right after the short brown-out I had.

If the OP could confirm this, and if i can last through the weekend playing games constantly, it should be a fix. At least for people with power issues like myself.

Because nvlddmkm.sys is really just a compuers way of saying "hey something happened, we dont know what, so we shut down to be safe"

I will post a reply in a few days and give an update.

werdtollgate (author)2014-08-31
None of these solutions have helped. And I did not want to buy a new graphics card. So I came up with the solution (after a long search) that you need to put the CPU Core voltage of 1.25 V . And since it works wonderfully.
I have a i7 4770K CPU and a NvidiaGeForce GTX 680.
SirColton (author)werdtollgate2014-09-08

The major problem seems to be in overheating, so changing the voltage should help, at least for CPU temperature. I'm curious if there is much performance loss which lowering the voltage. Thanks for the advice! Amazing that this bug still happens after almost 5 years and 4 lines of new cards.

louispitterman (author)2013-03-24

@safrane --- All versions of DirectX are designed to be backwards compatible and do not overwrite newer versions with older ones. However, some versions have files that are specific to them and these get copied onto your system and can exhibit anomalous behavior, usually caused by something peculiar to your hardware and configuration. Most game installers will safely let you bypass the DirectX installation. For example, if you know the game was designed in DirectX 9 and you have Vista or better, then your Direct X 10 or better trumps theirs and you can safely ignore their DirectX installation unless the game requires drivers specific to your hardware.

safrane (author)2013-03-07

DirectX can also cause nvlddmkm errors, recently I installed an older game which for some reason decided to update DirectX on my Win 7 x64 OS, after which nvlddmkm started to TDR crash every 5 minutes even when web browsing only, with MSI Afterburner showing GPU usage spikes of up to 100% and insane power spikes of up to 399%. Tried disabling Aero, clean reinstall drivers with Driver Fusion etc but the problem persisted. I almost considered RMAing the GPU.

Thank god I discovered an automatic system restore point (My OS drive is a very small 64GB SSD, and I only had 2 restore points) before I installed that game, named "Installed DirectX". I was able to successfully revert back to the old configuration and the nvlddmkm error went away, for now at least.

NovaMage (author)2012-12-12

Thanks for this guide. My particular solution was the one related to improving the ventilation. Just cleaned my laptop's heatsinks/airvents with a compressed air can and voila, error is gone! Thanks again!

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