Display Driver has stopped responding and has successfully recovered

Hi all, I am running into a serious problem with my laptop. First a little history. I purchased a Gateway P-6831FX back in March '08 and have had no problems with it, other than minor heat issues where the system crashes to a black screen. I've solved this heat issue by buying a good laptop cooler from Zalman. I upgraded the CPU to a T9300 last summer and upgraded the ram to 4gb. This fall I wiped the HD and installed Windows 7 as a clean, new install. Since October I've had zero problems, has run beautifully, especially with Windows 7.

Here are the specs for this laptop from Gateway's website. As I've said, I'm now running a T9300 Duo Core instead of the stock CPU.

About a week ago after a long session of playing Dragon Age I exited to the desktop to see the system crash to a black screen. I rebooted to a desktop that was littered with missing pixels flickering around the screen. I recognized this as a hardware issue and powered down again and rebooted. This system came back, but now everytime I boot my laptop once Windows boots up there's a brief moment where it goes to a black screen and comes back with the message, "Display Driver has stopped responding and has successfully recovered" at the bottom. Now I'd worry that my GPU is failing, but what's odd is I can load up a game, like Dragon Age or Borderlands and play them for an extended period of time with no issues. This only seems to happen when I boot my system. Sometimes it boots to the missing pixel issue, so I reboot and it comes back fine. Sometimes the desktop crashes to a bsod and reboots. Still after all this I can start up a graphic intensive game and have no issues beyond that.

Any ideas what can be causing this problem and what can fix it? I do still have a 2-year warranty through Best Buy, but I'm worried if I take it in they'll just say it's because I swapped out the CPU or upgraded to a version of Windows that did not come with the laptop and they'll say it's not covered under warranty. :-\


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Does you computer have shared video RAM? If it does, have you changed any settings there?

Are there any bios updates for your system?

The specs say the video ram is shared, yes. It's listed as "Discrete Video Memory". I haven't seen any BIOS updates, Gateway is horrible for system updates as I've discovered. Looking at their support page for this laptop they haven't updated anything on it since it shipped. For example, they still list the original video drivers from 2008. :-\


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Well, all I might think of is the boot sequence is encountering a problem and having to work around it. If you know what video system you have on your computer, you can probably get a new driver from the video maker.

Your problem might be related to the heat issue, maybe something is running in a dimished capacity. It could be the new processor and the video driver, or the new memory/video memory. Mine has a setting for how much memory the Video card should use, which is what I was referring to in the bios.

You might try putting the old RAM back in..or take out the additional you put in..

I had the same problem on Vista and now on 7, but I have downloaded newest Catalyst Drivers 9.12 and no issue from 1,5 week.

Yea I am wondering if the video driver may be causing a problem too. Since the drivers for Windows 7 are relatively new (I only have 2 to pick from for the RTM version of Win7) and I tried both, and completely uninstalled and reinstalled both. I might try swapping out the RAM, never thought of the fact that it's shared RAM. That would make it a cheap repair anyway, since RAM is dirt cheap anymore.

Well I tried swapping out the RAM and it still had the same issue, so that's not the problem unfortunately. :-\


Essential Member
Post the make and model of your video card and we'll find you the LATEST drivers.

It's the onboard laptop GPU, nVidia 8800M. I am running the newest drivers off of nVidia's website, 195.62 for Win 7 64-bit.


Essential Member
OK. did you perform a clean install, or did you "upgrade" from Windows Vista? Sorry if this question has already been asked.

It was a fresh install, I don't like upgraded OS versions never works right. This is only the 2nd driver that I've installed too. First was what they had on the day Win7 launched. I even tried uninstalling (and cleaning off driver files) and reinstalling the video drivers. That didn't help either.


Essential Member
Have you tried booting with "Disable driver signing enforcement" enabled? Press F8 during the boot process and select it,

Didn't know that option was there. Unfortunately it didn't work. :-\ Still got the black screen/error message on bootup.

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