Urgent nvlddmkm.sys Error

By Tiro3
Sep 21, 2009
  1. Hi!

    I have an urgent question regarding my Gainward GTX285 2048MB GPU.
    Hope someone can help me!

    I recently purchased a new computer, but have been having severe problems with the GPU and its drivers.
    I do not believe it is a hardware issue, as the card is brand new, works as it should prior to driver installation and in Windows safe-mode,
    and several softwares for testing for hardware faults all passed my system.

    The problem:

    In the beginning, my computer often crashed to a Blue Screen. The Blue Screen would show different STOP errors:

    - STOP: 0x00000116
    - STOP: 0x0000001E
    - STOP: 0x000000D1

    Most frequent was the 116 error. However, all errors mentioned a failure in GPU drivers, and they all pointed to an error related to the same file:


    Since this suggested the error was in the GPU drivers, I tried using the system without the drivers, and I have never experienced a crash when drivers are not installed.
    In Windows safe-mode the computer works as it should. In normal mode Windows would automatically install it's own display drivers, and I had to delete the display drivers
    from the Windows directory in order to keep the OS from installing them. Thus the computer was running without any display drivers installed, and it worked as it should.
    However, whenever I tried to install different drivers downloaded from NVIDIA's website, the computer would begin crashing again.

    However, over time a few things changed. First, it seems the most common Blue Screen STOP error was D1, and no longer the 116.
    Second, while the computer would still crash very often, it would now simply freeze while in Windows, and display small screen artifacts all over the screen.
    The aritfacts are like small, blue, diagonal lines or spots all over the screen, and I have to press the restart button.
    A few D1 Blue Screens still occur.

    The most common time for the computer to freeze is right after Windows has loaded the desktop after turning on the computer.
    However, I have also experienced freezing while doing other things like browsing the web.
    Additionally, whenever it has crashed once straight after boot-up, it usually continues doing so for quite a few restarts after that.
    Some few times, it can work for hours without a single crash.

    What is very interesting is that the computer NEVER has crashed while playing a game or a DVD film! It always happens right after loading desktop, or while performing mundane tasks like browsing the web, or the computer simply idling.

    I have tried for a long time to resovle this issue myself, and done quite a bit of research on the internet concerning this issue.

    Here's what I have tried, based on experiences from others online:

    - Different drivers (Windows' own drivers, NVIDIA drivers 190.64 beta, 190.62, and an older driver I found on Gainward's website, something like 18x.xx)
    - Downloading the newest drivers from NVIDIA and using the Windows CMD to manually expand the nvlddmkm.sy_ to nvlddmkm.sys in the Windows' drivers directory
    - Cleaning old drivers with Driver Sweeper before each driver install
    - Disabling Windows UAC
    - Disabling Windows Power Options
    - Updating BIOS
    - I have no viruses

    I also read that many people who had this problem resolved it by underclocking their GPUs, however I have not tried it.
    One reason is that I do not know how to do it, and the other is that I believe it is silly to have to underclock a product in order to get it to work as it should.

    Finally, I read somewhere that USB conflicts can cause problems for graphic card drivers, and that any such issues must be taken care of before driver installation.
    I have been having a small USB issue. Whenever I start the computer, Windows identifies an "unknown device" and says that it has malfunctioned, and gives an error Code 43.
    This also occurs when the only USB device I have plugged into my computer is my Logitech optical mouse, which is corrently identified by Windows and works as it should. I have been having some contact with ASUS about my MB about this, no luck so far.
    Could this have anything to do with my GPU error?

    As I understand it, this is a very common problem for many NVIDIA GPU users that has been around for a long time, and I find it strange that the ones responsible for it have not done more to offer a solution.

    I am currently running Windows 7, and while I do understand that there's probably not full support and compability for this OS yet, I do not think it matters.
    This is because this problem seems to occur and behave in the exact same ways on Windows Vista computers, and also the drivers are the same for the two systems.

    I sincerly hope you are able to help me with my problems, as it currently renders my computer close to useless, and it seems this is far from an uncommon problem


    My system specs:

    - OS: Windows 7
    - Motherboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2
    - CPU: Intel Core i7 920
    - RAM: Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600MHz 6GB CL9
    - GPU: Gainward NVIDIA GTX285 2048MB
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    If you are using VISTA, this is a common driver error from using an outdated driver.
    There are tons of information available with a Google search.
  3. Tiro3

    Tiro3 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for the reply, but as you can see from my specs, my OS is Windows 7, I use the newest drivers, and I have already Googled it! ;)

    Looking forward to more suggestions :)
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Nice system Tiro3,
    your symptoms point to an unstable motherboard setting. Try upping the memory voltages a bit
  5. Tiro3

    Tiro3 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks! ;)
    Pity I can't get it to work properly!

    I'm not really familiar with tweaking HW settings, but I tried upping DRAM Bus Voltage in BIOS. Is this what you had in mind?

    It might have helped a little, but the crashes still persist.
    I have researched it some more, found some other people with similar issues.

    This guy's screenshot has the exact same artifacts as I do.
    Many people seem to have similar issues, but nothing I found helped.

    What I am thinking more and more about, though is the fact that I can play or watch DVD films as long as I like without any crashes.

    Does this indicate that the issue is somehow related to Windows itself?
    Also, does anything special happen in Windows when playing games or DVDs, that might explain the lack of crashes?

    Thanks for the help so far!
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Have you tried downloading and installing the latest Nvidia video driver from Nvidia's support website? You must be running Windows 7 RC 64-bit... right?
  7. Tiro3

    Tiro3 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yup, tried both NVIDIA's latest stable driver, 190.62 and the beta driver 190.64. And running Win 7 RC 64-bit, yeah :)

    EDIT: Oh, BTW, sound already playing will typically continue to function after a freeze, even if I can't do anything else...
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    I am running the 9600GT with no problems. The only other thing I can suggest is to replace the video card for test purposes
  9. Tiro3

    Tiro3 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Allright, thanks! :)
    I'll see what I can do about replacement.

    Anyone with more suggestions?
  10. freak4speed

    freak4speed TS Rookie


    I just found this thread trough google,I just got a brand new PC and I have the same problem!
    Everything is fine until I start to play a game,it frezzes!But the sound goes on.. sometimes Im able to crtl+alt+del but most of the time I got a bluescreen witch points to nvlddmkm.sys;
    Have you ever found a solution?
    Please help!
  11. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    "Brand new PC"...

    means that you are missing a lot of critical and hardware Windows Updates. Run Windows Update manually and choose the "Custom". Keep running Windows update until there are no more updates to install
  12. freak4speed

    freak4speed TS Rookie

    But I did all the Windows Updates avaliable,they're all installed!
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    So how about updating your video card driver right from Nvidia's support website?
  14. freak4speed

    freak4speed TS Rookie

    I also did that.
    And I cleaned my previous drivers with regclean,reinstalled brand new drivers from nvidia and still have the same problem. :(

    Last but not least,I tried what everybody says to do about this kind of error,replacing the old nvlddmkm.sys with the uncompressed nvlddmsm.sy_ from the new driver but I still have the error.
    I cant PM TIRO3 to post in this thread again,I think he may have found a solution or something :(
  15. Tiro3

    Tiro3 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm back! ;)


    Sorry for not having been around here for a while, haven't had anything to do with computers the last days, too much other stuff going on.

    Anyways, I did find a solution, but it's not gonna be what you want to hear.
    As much as I couldn't imagine it, extensive testing left hardware fault as the only plausible explanation, so I sent the entire computer to the retailer.

    They used quite some time, and didn't really know at first what to do, but today they confirmed a faulty GPU. I should have my computer back within a few days.

    Luckily for me, they upgraded me to a 295 because of low stocks of 285s and because of all my troubles! :p

    Never so wrong that it isn't good for nothing!
  16. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    So a new video card in the solution here freak4speed
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