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





Introduction: 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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Step 1: 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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.



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58 Discussions

Sorry for the potential bad news, but another possibility for this error (that I found out the hard way), is a faulty motherboard - specifically the slot the card plugs in to, not the card itsself. Onboard video worked fine. After getting a new vid card, I ended up having to replace the motherboard as this error happened more and more often. Now the replacement board is starting to fail with the same error (thanks Dell).
I am going to try replacing the caps around the slot and see if that fixes it...

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.


1 year ago

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.


1 year ago

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.

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.

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


2 years ago

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

2 replies

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.

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

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)

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.

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?

1 reply

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.


2 years ago

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.

2 replies

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.

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?


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...