George V. Reilly

Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered

Display driver lddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered

This morning, the video adapters on my Vista dev box were resetting 2–3 times per minute.

After a pile of Windows Updates landed on my machine at 3am yesterday, it would oc­ca­sion­al­ly freeze solid for a few seconds. Once in a while, all the monitors would go black briefly, then restore. Each time, I would see a status update pop up from the system tray, "Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has suc­cess­ful­ly recovered."

This was irritating enough that I downloaded the latest NVidia drivers this morning, 185.85_desk­top_win­vis­ta_32bit_eng­lish_whql.exe. That really screwed me. The video adapters started resetting 2–3 times per minute, rendering the machine almost unusable. I have two video adapters, NVidia GeForce 8600 GT and NVidia GeForce 7600 GT.

The eventlog was full of Event ID 4101 - Display Driver Timeout Detection and Recovery.

I reverted to the 178.24 drivers and that helped. When I’m not touching the machine, the adapters only get reset every few minutes instead of several times a minute. When I am using it, something as simple as clicking a window to bring it to the foreground can trigger a reset.

It’s very irritating but I can live with it for a little while, unlike the other. I don’t want to repave my box: apart from the time loss, I’m not convinced that it would help if I got the same driver config all over again.

I contacted a friend at Microsoft who tried to hook me up with a driver guy, who is un­for­tu­nate­ly out of office. I’m hoping that it can be fixed early next week or my temper is going to fray rapidly.

Update: June 19th: See When Video Cards Go Bad.

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