1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Another nVidia Driver Issue...

Discussion in 'NVIDIA' started by El Fiendo, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. El Fiendo

    El Fiendo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,305 (1.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,164
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Ok, before we start things off here, I'd just like to start by saying I did do a search for this problem (knowing its a little prolific) and I did find previous threads. However these were either solved by a method that didn't work for me, or were not quite applicable. Basically all I'm looking for is more insight to the matter as I've melted my brain on it to the point I can't think straight anymore. The problem? The infamous nvlddmkm.sys issue.

    So, it started about 1 month ago after over 1.5 years of no similar issues. The biggest change I can think of that happened was a driver change. However rolling back my drivers hasn't solved the issue, nor has installing various revisions from 169.xx - to the current 180.xx. Every uninstall was followed by a running of Driver Sweeper. I'm pretty sure it isn't software related though because I eventually broke down and did a fresh install of Vista, which only seemed to 'reset' the issue. It still happens though alot less frequent but it is picking back up. This effectively removes drivers from the list of possibilities, unless most every driver release has been faulty, including ones that have worked for other people. Failing drivers, I have run several passes of Memtest being that some have said faulty RAM can be a cause. I have encountered 0 errors on all tests done. Also, I've tried removing sticks as per another solution to change around the configuration and this only seemed to slow down the problem. Even though I know the Kingston memory isn't top notch, I think this effectively is eliminated as a variable.

    Currently I'm waiting on my brother's brand new 9800 GT to arrive in the mail because he is going to allow me to test it in my system to see if its a problem with the 8800GTX or not. Also, I have the 8800GTX pulled out and cooler pulled off as I was reapplying thermal paste due to some saying overheating is the issue. Slight hiccup here though, for two reasons.

    1) I go out and purchase an aftermarket cooler ($50-$70 Cdn) that may not even help if the card itself is the issue. Then I'm stuck with a purchase I can't use on any other piece of hardware I own. I'm not sure of the return policy at the local computer shop but I do know they have a minimum 25% restocking fee.
    2) I put the stock cooler back on with a new application of thermal compound, though I'd need to go pick up some thermal tape for the other parts of the PCB that need cooling. I've already tested and theres too much of a gap to use AS5 like I used on the core. If I go with the thermal tape I've done very little to lower temperatures, other than 'refresh' what was originally there, as I had AS5 on the core and the stock tape elsewhere to begin with. There probably wouldn't be enough difference to test the overheating aspect.

    If the 9800GT doesn't work, I have hit a dead end. I've seen some mention it could even be a motherboard issue, however I have no way of testing this that I can think of. And although replacing mine is probably a damn smart idea seeming it isn't a stellar board, I don't have the money to fling at this system till it works. With that in mind I'd kind of like to be a bit more sure than guess and test.

    Things that point to a hardware issue:
    - at times, from POST to Windows Desktop to eventual shutdown, there are constant graphic distortions, usually not changing at all from start to finish. Best described as red or green lines that are static on the monitor no matter what is displayed. BSOD usually follows quick on this one.
    - constant failures no matter the circumstances, be it My Computer, WoW or any other window open / opening / opened.

    Things that point to a software issue (because I'm not convinced its not)
    - switching user accounts can sometimes resolve the issue entirely. If it was my video card frying, why wouldn't it do it constantly across both accounts?
    - sometimes nothing at all will be an issue no matter the current stress or length of time running. Can change at the drop of a hat though.

    The fact that most cards in my price range right now would actually be a step down from the 8800GTX or just on par with. Replacing it exactly is straight out due to the odd pricing of ~$400 Cdn for a new 8800GTX. I really don't want to have to buy a new card after looking at those statistics. Though I suppose it shows the lasting power of the G80 chipset. I was wondering if anyone here had any further insight into the matter, any tips or tricks I may try. As a note everything is stock speed currently and has never been overclocked, though I was tempted to start a few weeks before this started happening. I apologize for the long read, I just dumped my brain on all that I've learned on it. I'll probably remember more later but this is good for now. Please help!
  2. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    24,324 (8.44/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,778
    What mobo? And what OS? And if some say it may be a mobo issue, have you tried a BIOS update?

    Filling out your system spec for this site may help us to better diagnose it as well.
  3. El Fiendo

    El Fiendo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,305 (1.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,164
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Its an Intel DP965LT. Sorry thought I'd made up my system specs. And yes, I flashed it to the most recent BIOS available. There wasn't any difference unfortunately. Thanks for the prompt reply though.

    Edit: Heh, have to check 'yes' let people see my system.
  4. zithe

    zithe

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,088 (1.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    345
    Location:
    North Chili, NY
    You ever register your card for the warranty?
  5. El Fiendo

    El Fiendo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,305 (1.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,164
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Like the fool I am, no. Wouldn't have mattered anyways seeming I'm pretty sure 8800GTX is considered at the end of its product lifecycle which is what their 'lifetime' warranty covers. Besides I've had the cooler off now twice so they'd probably have an issue with that.
  6. zithe

    zithe

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,088 (1.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    345
    Location:
    North Chili, NY
    ...I think they replace it with the modern 'equivalent' or probably a 9800gtx.
  7. Tatty_One

    Tatty_One Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    16,552 (5.27/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,429
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    Thats not the case, lifetime really does mean lifetime, another member just got a support ticket for a warranty return at the manufacturers cost, as they dont make them anymore he has been offered a GTX260......give it a try!
  8. El Fiendo

    El Fiendo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,305 (1.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,164
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Oh? Well that just makes me depressed that I didn't register for the warranty. Ah well, thanks for the responses though. Guess I'll need to keep looking for other solutions. Unless I wanted to start some scheme into fooling the Warranty folk and applying now and waiting a month.
  9. Tatty_One

    Tatty_One Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    16,552 (5.27/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,429
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    They may well still take it, I had an 8800GTS 640MB and had not registered, EVGA still replaced it :)
    El Fiendo says thanks.
  10. El Fiendo

    El Fiendo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,305 (1.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,164
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Did you tip toe around the issue of having not registered? Did they even ask? Heh may have some hope for a replacement yet. I'll try that route tonight perhaps once I'm home. If that doesn't work I'm afraid its back to the drawing board.
  11. Tatty_One

    Tatty_One Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    16,552 (5.27/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,429
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    No they didnt even ask truly, I do think that i had the old invoice for it somewhere but in the end I didnt even need to send that!
  12. El Fiendo

    El Fiendo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,305 (1.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,164
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Well, I've got the original proof of purchase so I'm good there. I'll try and get a RMA request out tonight. Failing that I can test in 2 days to see if the 9800GT solves anything. And if that fails, then I move out of my basement and become a functioning member of society during weeknights. Until I can upgrade that is.
  13. El Fiendo

    El Fiendo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,305 (1.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,164
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Well, popped in my brother's 9800GT and the problem went away. I don't know how but sometime between one shut down and one start up the next day my 8800GTX seems to have developed this issue. Like I said the biggest change at the time would have been drivers. At any rate, I'm going to pick up some thermal tape on the way home today, put the stock cooler back on and reinstall my card to see if problem reoccurs / persists. If so I have a fried 8800GTX that I will try for the RMA on, but I don't feel confident about it.

    As a side note, can anyone recommend any GPU intensive benchmarks / burn in apps I can download to further test that the problem is actually gone and not 'dormant'. Already used Vantage and a couple of my games.
  14. xubidoo New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    882 (0.35/day)
    Thanks Received:
    69
    Location:
    Lancs,UK
    set 3d mark running on an indefinate loop ?
  15. Tatty_One

    Tatty_One Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    16,552 (5.27/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,429
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    Furmark is an excellent stress test for the GPU, there is little that will generate as much heat as it, you have 2 options on startup of the app, bench or stress, try both.

    You can download it from TPU....here:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1146/FurMark_1.4.0.html
    El Fiendo says thanks.
  16. El Fiendo

    El Fiendo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,305 (1.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,164
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Thanks again! I'll get home and start it up on the 9800GT and let it crank while I clean (isopropyl) my 8800GTX in case there's any refuse on contacts or somehow something shorting. It's an outside chance, but at this point I'm willing to try anything to get my old sucker working. Once I'm done that I'll reinstall it and hope I don't see a BSOD, driver crash message or other.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  17. El Fiendo

    El Fiendo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,305 (1.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,164
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Well, its definately the 8800GTX and cleaning it didn't help at all (long shot). Also, after dangling the chance of an RMA in front of me, they ripped that chance away after 'reviewing my date of purchase'. Guess the first guy's email had overlooked that. Ah well. Anyone wanna buy a semi functioning but artifacted 8800GTX?

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page