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Video Driver Ceased, Heat Issue? (PIC)

By EXCellR8 ยท 10 replies
Aug 18, 2008
  1. Alright I need some advice on this one. I was running Unreal Tournament 3 this evening and my video driver (nv4_disp.dll) stopped working for some reason unknown to me. Anyways, I had been playing the game for maybe 45min and everything was running smooth until everything went black and I was thrown onto a really ugly desktop with an error message. The message basically told me that the driver stopped (duh) and that I needed to reboot the machine.

    I've attached a pic of what my desktop looked like after the driver failed. I didn't get a blue screen (so no minidump) but I was prompted with a serious error pop up box when Windows restarted. Do you guys think this is just a faulty driver or could it be heat related? I did NOT have my VGA fans running at full speed so maybe all the power finally caught up with the cards? Here are my current specs:

    XFX 8600GT XXX - 2 in SLi
    ForceWare version 175.19 (WHQL)

    As you can see in the pic the CPU temps were fine and the "CHASSIS2" indicator is actually the speed of one of the GPU cooling fans. I can usually find a solution to my own display issues but this is one of the most hardcore problems yet! I hope someone will be able to help me out. Thanks in advance for any input!

    Attached Files:

  2. Darth_Terra1

    Darth_Terra1 TS Rookie Posts: 212

    try running the fans at full speed or if there is an automatic setting set to that it may fix the problem. it does look like a heat issue to me.
  3. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    Okay I'm 99% sure that this is in fact a heat issue, which sucks, but at least I'll (hopefully) be able to fix it. I ran UT3 again with the same video and game settings I used when I first encountered the driver problem last night. I made sure that both VGA cooling fans were cranked and I launched a match. I played the identical match this afternoon and came across a similar issue...

    The driver didn't fail this time. Instead, the screen went black for a few secs, returned, and then produced all kinds of weird video glitches like out of place boxes and a snowballing effect much like on a TV. I terminated the game but I didn't have to restart the machine this time. So, now I'm stuck on what to do to cool these puppies down. I guess I could apply some AS5 to the cores but I already spread some decent thermal compound on there. Both cards are using Zalman VF900Cu coolers. Anyways, if anyone has any suggestions feel free to post.
  4. jkim

    jkim TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Are you running Windows Vista?
    There is a known problem in the Windows Vista NVidia drivers, which was fixed in July I believe.
    I had the same problem on my 8600M GT.

    Upgrade your drivers should do the trick. It did for me.
  5. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    ^Nah I'm still running a 32-bit XP OS. I am going to try some different drivers because the version I am using right now seems a little unresponsive at times for some reason. The 177.83 drivers are out but I'm not sure I want all that new PhysX stuff, probably just make things worse. Hopefully installing a new driver does the trick because I dunno what I'm gonna do otherwise.
  6. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    Well I installed a newer driver (177.83) and now UT3 can't run for 5 secs, during a match, without freezing up. I don't know, I think I might try to contact XFX about it and maybe they can give me some advice. I'll be buying a 9800GTX on monday anyways so if it turns out that one of the cards is bad I'll rma it and then sell it or something.
  7. TBolt

    TBolt TS Rookie Posts: 65

    Wow, EXCell...I have/had almost the identical issue; would run a 3D app, about one minute in the screen would go goofy and either freeze or BSOD with the nv4 error. My understanding is the nv4 driver is specifically related to NVidia's SLI configurations with a failure being 1 of 3 things; a known incompatibility with the nv4 driver and Windows (which, in your case as well as mine, likely doesn't apply due to it working flawlessly before), a corrupted or out of date driver install, or a failing component.

    In my case, I first tried different drivers from the 169s to the 177s...all produced the error
    Then I disabled SLI and ran one card, the one I believed was not the problem...no BSODs :)
    I then tried the suspect card alone...BSOD <1 minute into a 3D app
    I then swapped slots and enabled SLI...BSOD <1 minute into a 3D app
    CPU and system memory tested with various diagnostic apps...no errors, no heat issues
    Contacted XFX...although they said that version of my card had a normal operating temp (load) as high as 95C (yeah...no typo there) they clarified that my problem sounded like failed/failing GPU memory. RMA pending.

    The card did get hot...usually between 85C and 88C during load. I find it interesting that the second XFX 8800 GT I purchased was a revision of the first...with a much bigger cooling solution. That card has not been higher than 78C on full loads for hours. Unfortunately, it sounds life a friggin' dust buster when the fan is at 100% :S Oh well...just crank the surround sound :p

    With yours, as it sounds very similar to my issue, I would be willing to bet one of your cards is crapping out. Good thing XFX has the double lifetime warranty, eh? :)

    Either way, you'll be stepping up big time with that 9800 GTX (compared to the 8600s)
  8. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    ^That does sound a LOT like what has been happening to me. The last time a 3D application froze up on me I lost the video signal completely and had to restart my computer. I also woke up to a nice blue screen this morning, so I think I've ruled out heat as the issue. These cards do run a little hot, but I have reapplied and reseated the fans. Both cards are using the VF900Cu coolers along with RAM sinks on each module. These fans are quite fast at max speed, which I can adjust from outside the case, so the cooling situation is far better than the stock setup.

    I am still trying to get a response from XFX regarding my problem. I just need to figure out which card is the culprit and hopefully they will just RMA it. Like I said before I want to upgrade anyways so it's not that big of a deal. Turns out I can't get the 9800GTX though... won't fit in my case. The only way I'd be able to stuff it in there would be to drill the rivets out of my hard drive cage and relocate it more towards the front. I kinda don't want to have to do that but it might be worth it. I dunno why they had to make the card so long, 10.5 inches! I've been looking at the 9800GT which is much shorter but I really had my heart set on that GTX. Oh well, that's how everything seems to go. Anyways, thanks for that info and hopefully I can get this mess sorted out soon.
  9. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    [UPDATE]: Sure enough, I disabled SLi on my machine and ran UT3 with a single 8600GT. I was able to play for ~1.5hrs without any errors or freezing. Playing without SLi was a real drag, especially with only 256MB video memory, but it sure beat the hell outta the game crapping out every time.
  10. TBolt

    TBolt TS Rookie Posts: 65

    Good to hear you likely found the culprit. XFX's responses can usually take a couple/few days, but they atleast respond...might have to do a bit of hoop jumpin' but they do own up to their warrantees.

    Sorry to hear about the 9800 not fitting. I know ASUS makes a short/compact 3870 but if your wanting to stay with NVidia or go with SLI, that probably does you no good with your board (I had the ASUS 3870 with a Zalman cooler - ran GREAT until it crapped out 2 months later - no heatsinks on the memory :S That's when I switched to the 88s...haven't looked back). Anyway, good luck with your 86.
  11. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    Yeah I'm kinda bummed out about the 9800GTX but I think I'll be getting two 9800GT's instead. Hopefully I will be able to run them in SLi and if not I'll use one for PhysX since a single unit is more powerful than two 8600GT's combined :D
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