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"graphics Card Driver Has Stopped Responding"


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Just completed a couple of flights with the given flight plan and everything looks, feels, sounds and works great.

Had some memory problems and the fps were slow so I decided to take Lefeteris's advice and to upgrade my system. Installed a fresh copy of Win 7 x64, and boosted my RAM memory to 6Go DDR2-800 (dual channel of course).

Now I have no more problems with the frame rates, no lacking textures, nothing like that - everything works fine...

...HOWEVER there is a problem that appears ALL the time : when I swith to external view while in flight (and while in flight only), I get a message saying that my graphics card driver has stopped responding.

If I swith to external view on the ground, nothing happens, it works perfectly.

After that, FSX keeps running but on a black screen. I can hear the sounds, move the switches and everything, only there's no image, just a black screen.

Here is my config :

- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4Ghz

- 6 GO RAM DDR2-800Mhz dual channel

- Gainward Bliss Geforce Go 8800GT 1Go

- Windows 7 Professional 64bits (brilliant stuff by the way)

- FSX SP2 installed in the default directory

Let me now if you need anything else.

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Günter Steiner
I get a message saying that my graphics card driver has stopped responding.

I assume its like "NVLDDMKM stopped responding etc"?

If you search about it at google you will find countless posts about it, since several years now.

I have had trouble with this error for almost 2 years and found the issue some weeks ago: one RAM was faulty!

I have bought new RAM two years ago and few weeks later the NVLDDMKM error comes up.

Then, the last two years I have changed every component in my PC: Motherboard, PSU, Graphiccard, Soundcard etc.

I have tested RAM with Memtest and any other program available and all said, that RAM is ok, so I never changed it.

Then I have just for fun put one RAM away and the error was gone.

I have bought new RAM now and have never seen this error again!

I don't say that your RAM is faulty, maybe some other parts or constellations of your PC are slightly damaged...but I'd just like you to remember about my story if you get this message more often.

Don't trust RAM testing programs! :rolleyes:

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This error is totally bogus, and compounded by the trash written by nVidia that the driver is almost certainly not at fault. You can read the not-so-official line on it here: http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=65161

Why does the driver produce this stop message? Because of TDR (Timeout Detection and Recovery), introduced in Vista, and implemented in the 18x.xx and later series of nVidia drivers (I'm not sure about ATI). NONE of the drivers that include this TDR feature work with my card (I feel deliberately on the part of nVidia to make me buy a new card).

The idea behind TDR is that your graphics card can die doing some processing, and the driver can do a hot restart and recovery of the graphics card/driver without necessitating the restart of the entire computer.

Reasons this error can occur (according to nVidia):

- Bad memory

- Insufficient/problematic PSU

- Corrupt driver install

- Overheating

- Unstable overclocks (GPU or CPU)

- Incorrect MB voltages (generally NB/SB)

- Faulty graphics card

Fair enough you may think, but a load of crap when you suddenly realize your card (and system in general) has run perfectly fine for the preceeding TWO YEARS under heavy load, and now it decides to suddenly die because you upgrade your graphics drivers? This certainly rang alarm bells with me.

The next two items would be hilarious if nVidia weren't so serious:

- Your asking too much of your graphics card. Not one that many people like to hear, but as the blurb from Microsoft states, if your game falls below a certain FPS and something graphically complex occurs, it could trigger a TDR.

WTF? Design the card and drivers better then if they can't cope under load!!!! Design new bus architecture if the current design is broken.

- The issue can potentially be caused by a badly written driver or piece of software, but this is an unlikely cause in most cases.

No, of course - nVidia drivers are renowned for working flawlessly and being bug-free. * falls off seat in laughter *

I run Version 169.25 for Vista 64-bit on Win 7 64-bit without any issues, Aero is fully functional, and no TDR errors in sight (because it is not supported in these drivers).

The proper Win 7 drivers disable Aero as it says my card doesn't support the required features, as well as ALL TDR-supporting drivers throwing chronic TDR-induced STOP messages even before the mode switch to the login UI. Utter BS. I tried a tweak that is supposed to be for developers only that allegedly disables TDR in TDR-enabled drivers for test purposes - they still balked at my graphics card with the same STOP error even though the TDR function was supposed to be disabled.

The final nail in the coffin of TDR-enabled drivers is that these older, non-TDR drivers can still recover without a restart of the entire system, and have been able to since Windows XP (maybe even Windows 2000 but can't remember enough about it now).

My suggestion is downgrade to earlier drivers first before you go ripping out perfectly good hardware.

If you want a memory testing app, get MemTest86 ( http://www.memtest.org/ ). Read the usage notes carefully - it is not for the faint of heart, and can produce known false-positives on certain systems. I'm not aware of hardware memory testers, but I'm sure they must exist somewhere.

Best regards,


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What's your motherboard? I used to have this issue with NV chips motherboard.

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Ouch. Sounds scary.

Only the thing is that this only happens with the concorde if I change to external view while IN FLIGHT. On the ground, it's all good ! Strange ain'it ?

My motherboard is an Asrock4CoreP35 Wifi+

My RAM is brand new Corsair (2x2go + 2x1Go) DDR2 SDRAM PC6400 (800Mhz).

But basically, you people would recommend that I buy an ATI graphics card ? If so, do you have a specific recommendation ?

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Guest Paul Smith

Personally, i wouldn't recommend an ATI, but looking at Robin's post i can understand the logic.

I'd consider switching back to the older drivers and doing a rebuild of your CFG.



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I'm not suggesting new hardware AT ALL. This is very expensive for a problem induced by poor software design/bug, that can be eradicated (or significantly alleviated) by downgrading the drivers.

The second post suggested that if there was a STOP message blaming NVLDDMKM that you need to start pulling your hardware apart. This is not so.

If you do not see the STOP error (you'll know it if you do!) then just change your graphics drivers (ensure you know where your present driver installer is) and try a different version. I suggested V169.25 as I run these without issues.

Unfortunately Windows does not make it easy to downgrade a driver - it always assumes you want a later driver. You have to start deleting files to prevent it installing previous drivers which I will not write how to do here as I can't test it for Windows 7 (I have to hack the install DVD to stop it installing the shipped drivers as they too cause the perpetual STOP errors after second stage install). If you get it wrong, you can break your system. That's guaranteed.

Google "nvidia 169.25 win vista 64-bit" (WITH quotes) and the drivers should come up in the first page of results (for me it is the first result). They are not accessible directly from the nVidia website anymore, but they're still up on their servers.

Best regards,


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Günter Steiner
The second post suggested that if there was a STOP message blaming NVLDDMKM that you need to start pulling your hardware apart. This is not so.

The second post DOES NOT suggest to pulling hardware apart.

That was only my fault and search over the last two years.

I wanted just give the hint, that in my case it was reproduceable one fault RAM.

The RAM was new and no diagnostic program have sorted it out.

So, if the NVLDDMKM error occurs more often (reproduceable), just pull out one RAM and then the other.

Takes 10 minutes and you know if the fault is there... instead of countless hours Memtest, Grafic-drivers etc.

I have tried all sortes of NVidia drivers, software, tweaks (TDR disable etc), different mainboards, Graficcards etc with no succes...

Since the new RAM, no single error!

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The second post DOES NOT suggest to pulling hardware apart.
I don't say that your RAM is faulty, maybe some other parts or constellations of your PC are slightly damaged...

The highlighted part suggests that some part of the hardware is faulty, which is likely not the case. Try different drivers first, before you go pulling hardware apart (and I include removing memory in that statement).

Best regards,


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