December 09, 2009

Windows 7: "display driver stopped responding and has recovered"

Let me get some bitching out of the way before I start. I really hate Windows. I have hated DOS, 3.1, 95, XP, Vista, and now 7. As far as I'm concerned, it's an operating system made in Hell by incompetent demons and why it sets the status quo for most of the world is beyond my understanding. I do still need to use it because not every program I need runs on a Mac or Ubuntu, but I hate it every time I use it. Now to some specifics.

I recently migrated most of my Windows operations to a new and cheap Win7 box (an HP/Compac CQ4010F), because my XP box was in pretty bad shape and the reviews have been mostly good. In my experience, every time MS comes up with a new release, a few things are less annoying, and many things are more annoying. Par for the course and still true.

But I wasn't ready for all the error messages with a brand new clean install, and apparently no solution from all the online answers I could sift through on Google. This was the message:


Display driver stopped responding and has recovered
Display driver NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 186.55 stopped responding and has successfully recovered.

In the error logs, the message looks like this:
Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered.

This happened every time I woke the display up. The error messages appeared after several seconds where the display was essentially frozen. I tried every solution I found including updating the driver, but nothing changed.

I finally found the solution that worked for me by accident. It was simply to turn on the screen saver back on. One can still set the display to turn off, but make sure the screen saver activates first. In my case, I use the screen saver that's a simple black screen, so not much energy is wasted.

The reason I had initially avoided the screen saver is that is what the setup script recommended, so I'd imagine a lot of other people have experienced this issue. I've been using it this way for a couple of weeks, and no more errors. If I switch the screen saver off, the error messages come back.

As they say, your mileage may vary.

Posted by Hal Eckhart at December 9, 2009 11:50 AM

It works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Greatful! at March 23, 2010 10:58 PM

I looked everywhere for a solution to this for so long too!!!

Posted by: Greatful! at March 23, 2010 11:00 PM
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