Driver updates can't detect video card, constant blue/blackscreens

By Coatal
Jul 21, 2012
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  1. Video card NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS - 1.0 GB GDDR3 SDRAM

    Explanation: I used to have a problem blackscreening while gaming, so I took my computer to a computer shop where they said they'd install a new video card (same card I had before, NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS - 1.0 GB GDDR3 SDRAM and motherboard to go with it. When I got my computer back and downloaded the newest NVIDIA drivers from the website, they "couldn't find compatible hardware." I got a little suspicious and questioned the guy, who said since the card is Chinese I have to use Chinese drivers, so he installed Chinese DriverGenius on my computer and used it to download driver version from 1/11/2009. I was like "woah that's old as hell" and he just said "try it," which I did and everything worked fine so I was just like whatever. For the first week or so everything worked fine, then I started getting major blackscreen/bluescreen problems. While playing games, while not playing games, on startup, basically any time.

    Sometimes the screen flashes black then says "The NVIDIA Kernel driver has stopped working and recovered" or something like that, then it's fine for a while and happens again or just crashes. Sometimes it blackscreens and I can still hear my music no problem until I turn it off. Sometimes it blackscreens, sound goes staticy, then normal, then staticy, then normal, then bluescreen. Sometimes it bluescreens. Sometimes it does what I can only call a "rainbow wipe" where the screen changes a bunch of different colors and it's like someone is wiping it from top the bottom with a napkin or something. The most frequent is the blackscreen with mixed static and music, the second most frequent is blackscreen into bluescreen.

    So I took my computer back to the shop where the guy installed some compatibility driver which he downloaded through Chinese DriverGenius which has "crack" in the file name. When questioned about it he just said "no problem, if this doesn't work reinstalling Windows should do the trick." Compatibility fix does nothing and now I'm away working and can't take my computer back to their shop to at least get my money back, not sure if I want them touching it again.

    If I uninstall the drivers my computer works just fine for surfing the net, but is completely unable to play games.

    Attempted fixes: Took my laptop back to the shop where they installed some sort of compatibility update that did nothing. Uninstalled and used Driver Fusion/CCleaner/Advanced System Care to get rid of as much of the stuff from the old drivers as possible, but there's still some stuff left over in PNPPLockdown, not sure if this is normal. Downloaded multiple versions of the drivers, the version right before the one I have installed wouldn't even start Windows. The newest ones all "Cannot detect compatible hardware."

    Recent changes: New motherboard which I don't know if I need to update drivers on and also have no idea how to even find out what kind of board it is. System restored a couple times to see if that could get it working. Clicked an option on startup that was something like "Enable unverified/unsigned drivers" and that made games better but I still had the blackscreen problem.

    Operating system: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with Service Pack 1 installed.

    System specs: Processor / Chipset

    Processor Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 / 2.26 GHz
    Multi-Core Technology Dual-Core
    Cache L2 cache - 3.0 MB
    64-bit Computing Yes
    Front Side Bus 1066.0 MHz
    Chipset Mobile Intel PM45 Express
    Platform Technology Intel Centrino 2

    RAM 4.0 GB ( 2 x 2 GB )
    Max RAM Supported 4.0 GB
    Technology DDR3 SDRAM
    Speed 1066.0 MHz / PC3-8500
    Form Factor SO DIMM 204-pin

    Audio & Video
    Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS - 1.0 GB GDDR3 SDRAM (supposedly, see explanation for details).
  2. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Hi, First thing to do is find out what hardware you have actually got installed.
    I would install something like; 'Speccy' from Piriform,
    Run it, and then click on the light blue 'Graphics' line to get more info.
    Can't say what chinese drivers are as all drivers for nvidia cards are supplied by nvidia, and if you go to their site, and 'Support' you will find an automatic detector, if you are not sure what you have.
    But before you install another driver, be sure to uninstall the previous one.
    That's in Control panel, Hardware and sound. Device manager.
    When the list appears, click twice on 'Display adapters', then right-click and choose 'Properties'.
    Then click on 'Driver' tab, and click on Uninstall (Driver, Advanced).
    Then Windows may need to be rebooted, when it will install a generic driver, so you can see the screen.
    Then go to, then support, then Download drivers.
    Try the automatic detect feature, or if you know from Speccy what card you have, select it from the drop-down menus.
    That should work as far as the Graphic card driver is concerned.
  3. DjKraid

    DjKraid TS Guru Posts: 551   +26

    No offense but to me it looks like they (the guy at the shop) are ripping you off and/or they don't know anything about anything...
    Do as mike1959 says and then also as a suggestion you could check that all the components (hardware) are installed "Control Panel -> Device Manager". If there is no yellow triangles or anything there then it should be in order even tho it doesn't show if the right drivers are installed :/
    If I were you I would check exactly what hardware you have (by opening the computer for ex.) and then download and install the manufacturers drivers :)

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