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.

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lorien.pratt3 months ago

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.

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

nikhilr52 months ago

will changing the os to windows 8 change.

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.

JunaidA24 months ago

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.

OliviaL5 months ago

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.

Thanks !!

Thanks !!

Thanks !!

Hurtcules7 months ago

so what are the fixes? i dont see them?

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

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

JosephM48 months ago

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

JosephM48 months ago

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.

werdtollgate10 months ago
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)  werdtollgate9 months ago

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.

@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.
safrane2 years ago
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.
NovaMage2 years ago
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!
flo1233332 years ago
It seems that memory incompatibility is sometimes the cause of this error. This can often be fixed by flashing your BIOS to a newer version. Until now I've only seen this work on the first generation i5 motherboards (socket 1156) which had a lot of memory incompatibility problems. It might work on other boards as well though.

This can be worth a try before buying new RAM if the RAM itself is fine and you don't have other problems.

Warning: Do not Flash your bios if your system is very unstable. Take RAM modules which are not functioning properly out of your system before attempting to flash your bios (provided that you have atleast 1 RAM module left of course). Broken or incompatible RAM increases the changes of Flashing going wrong significantly!

Test your memory with MemTest86 to find memory issues.

Note: Flashing your BIOS is always a little risky. If you make a mistake, the system crashes or you lose power during the Flashing process your motherboard might end up bricked. Make sure you know what you are about to do and try the first 7 or 8 'safe' options above first.

Some BIOS Flashing tips:

-Disable any overclocking before attempting this.
-Clear CMOS after Flashing (check mb manual or google). This is not always required. Do make sure you note any specific bios settings since this will reset them. You might for example want to write down your memory voltages and other specific things you or your computer vendor may have changed for specific hardware.
-After resetting your MB settings bij clearing CMOS you might want to reload the 'optimized defaults' or something similar in your BIOS configuration if this option is available.
-Run Memtest86 before attemting this and afterwards to check if you're memory is working properly. The tests 5 and 7 are best suited to check for stability by running them about 20 times.
-Find a good guide if you are not sure how Flashing works. Preferably one specific to your MB brand.
Power seems to be the main reason for this. If you still have a problem after following #1, make sure your PSU has enough power to drive the card, especially if you're running accelerated graphics across multiple displays. If you do, as a test, only use one display. You might notice less to no more problems.

My PSU has split rails. I was using a 6pin PCI-E adaptor, connected to 2x HDD power leads. This was coming from the same converter as all my other hardware, but when I used the proper PCI-E lead, it could draw enough power from the second converter and there have been no problems since. You might not have this problem, so your PSU might need to be upgraded to provide more power.
Yeahh!!, ITS WORKS!!!

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jbullock13 years ago
Step 6 solved my problem. One of my 2G RAM chips must have failed. It was the same PNY chip I replaced about 18 months ago. I pulled the chip after one of the many crashes and it was noticeably warmer than the other chip.

I replaced the chip and the monitor "squigglies" stopped, it stopped freezing on videos and I stopped getting the Nvlddmkm Error!

My problem was with a Compaq Perserio. Thanks so much for your help. I have been fighting this problem for 6 months!

Before replacing parts its worth checking your fans for dust build up on the fans and for dust clogging the ventilation grills and filters.
I had done all steps till step 6 without any luck.
I had a look at the CPU and Video Card fans and grills and they had dust collected. I cleaned them and whoola, no more Nvlddmkm Error!
On a side note my laptop (Dell XPS M1730) was also popping up the blue screen of death twice a day and occasionally the screen would just go blank as well as the Nvlddmkm Error.
mberglund4 years ago
Step 6 seems to have fixed my problem, at least I can now boot into windows without safemode ;)
Bhutch4 years ago
this comment would be way to long if i posted all the info id like to. THIS WORKED !!!! . Followed to step #4 loaded and reloded over 17 games ... no display problem TY :D
KnexFreek5 years ago