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Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by gdpuffs, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. gdpuffs

    gdpuffs Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2011
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    Timeout causes graphics card to fail.

    Occasionally, when on a web page with pictures/video/flash, the screen will "freeze" and have some random colored pixels appear or sometimes it will just go black. Sometimes when this happens the whole system will remain locked. Other times it will recover and I will get a notification balloon saying the the graphics driver has stopped and recovered from an error. I've looked for answers to this on the web and I have seen reference to it being caused by a Windows timeout waiting for a response from the video card. Is there a way to modify (extend) the timeout value to try to prevent this? I have the latest drivers. In my case the graphics card is NVidea Quadro FX 1800M on a Dell Precision M4500 notebook (8G RAM). OS: Win 7 Enterprise 64-bit.
    #1 gdpuffs, Sep 24, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  2. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    May 16, 2010
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    Re: Timeout causes graphics card to fail.

    Have you obtained your drivers/updates from the Dell website?
  3. bd3D

    bd3D Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2012
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    Re: Timeout causes graphics card to fail.

    this is my 1st Windows7 forums post. so plz excuse my noobyness.

    You said,
    "..."freeze" and have some random colored pixels appear or sometimes it will just go black"....

    i have had the exact same symptoms (including the notification balloon saying that the graphics driver has stopped and recovered from an error). but for me, it only occurs when i'm downloading; to be precise, when the DL has just completed fully. (all DLs are fine and complete.) and like u it does not always happen.

    i have been procrastinating finding a solution for months now. so thanks for ur thread, gdpuffs.

    and i bet that like me, nothing else seems wrong with ur PC.

    In my (PC) case (lol sry i just had to plz forgive me) the graphics card(s) are NVidia 560-ti SLIed on an Intel LGA 1366/ i7-950 (12G RAM). OS: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit.

    also note: i'm using two monitors. one is a 27" @1920x1200 and the other is 17" @1280x1024.

    (are you running two monitors too?)

    i have scanned for Spyware and viruses and found nothing. i too suspected that the problem was grafx driver related because of my two SLIed Vid Cards.

    luckily, i have never had to reinstall grafx drivers as a result. because after the "freeze" and random colored pixels appear or sometimes it will just go black; i just wait a few seconds and all works fine including the most resource intensive video games.

    as far as how to diagnose this problem i haven't a clue. until ur thread, gdpuffs, i was starting to think nobody else in the world had this problem. so thanks i guess.;)

    i'll be glad to try anything that ppl suggest we do in order to diagnose/ solve this mystery.

    And i reiterate: have no virus/ spyware symptoms. Scanning has found nothing. everything else hardware and software seems just fine.

  4. gdpuffs

    gdpuffs Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Re: Timeout causes graphics card to fail.

    Hello GL,

    I used the error message in a search and it is hard to find any answers about how to fix the problem. Some results said that there was a windows timer that decided that the video card had taken too long to respond and that causes the error. But I do not know how correct that assessment is. When the screen goes completely black there are times when it does not recover and I have to power down and restart, but most of the time, when it happens, it recovers. Now that you mention it, it does only happen when I'm downloading stuff. Lets hope one of these experts can shed some light on a solution.

    Oh, to answer your other question, just 1 monitor for me.
    #4 gdpuffs, Sep 25, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  5. bd3D

    bd3D Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Re: Timeout causes graphics card to fail.

    too cool. and my nick-name is, bd3D. GL=Good Luck;)

    Better yet that u confirmed it only happens when DLing. So we have a truly identical problem. YAY!:)

    Sometimes the Video drivers briefly Stops and recovers when completing a DL.

    And this problem seems to be a mysterious Gremlin. Meaning there's no explanation.

    We both have 64-Bit Win7 and NVidia Vid cards. Plus nothing really seems wrong with our PCs. It's just an annoying problem that seems NOT a contribution of anything obvious like a DL application installed causing it or after doing something specific. It just happens.

    Let's try what tblount says to do in order to identify the problem,

    [1.] "Click Start and type and enter "ev" and it will run the Event Viewer. Look under Custom at the Administrative logs. Problems with initializing drivers are logged here at startup."

    (it should be easy to find urs, gdpuffs, because it happened yesterday. Mine was a few days ago but i'll try and find it too.)

    [2.] "Click Start and type "perfmon /report" and press enter... it takes 60 seconds to gather a comprehensive diagnostic report and then it presents resolutions."

    (credit for those two goes to,

    Let me know what u find, gdpuffs. If, mine is hard to find, I can use what u find to narrow down my EV search and Perfmon/Report results. And i think I will be about to find the whole history of mine.

    GL and TY again.:)
  6. gdpuffs

    gdpuffs Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Re: Timeout causes graphics card to fail.

    OK bd3D. After going back a way I found that I had numerous 7000 and 7011 errors leading up to the 4101 error. In English:

    7000 The Multimedia Class Scheduler service failed to start due to the following error:
    The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.

    7011 A timeout (30000 milliseconds) was reached while waiting for a transaction response from the ShellHWDetection service.

    4101 Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered.

    A search on the last message revealed that we indeed have a lot of company with this problem. There is a lot of information on another forum. I will cut and paste a post from TVeblen that is really good. You will see that many things can cause this type of problem based on Windows Vista and 7's Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR). OK, here goes:
    "Display driver xxxxx stopped responding and was recovered"

    Timeout Detection & Recovery (TDR) = "Display Driver Stopped Responding and was Recovered" is a useful feature that started in Vista and is also in Windows 7 that allows the OS to try and recover from a video timeout so that the system does not crash to a bluescreen. Symptoms included a screen flash with the TDR message appearing one or more times or the screen blinking out to black. If the system cannot recover it will crash (Stop Error 116 typical). The issue is that the video card is not responding as expected. The solution is in the: why?

    There is no one-size-fits-all solution to TDR errors. But the problem is usually found in the local environment (your computer). Finding the cause is a matter of checking every possible cause and uncovering the culprit through a simple process of elimination. By methodically running down a checklist of diagnostic procedures you should be able to find the cause and can correct it.

    There are numerous reports of hardware solutions to TDR's. The most common are:
    Poor Cooling
    Problems with the power supply
    Overclocking Issues
    Bad System memory or incorrect memory timings
    Defective PC Components

    The order you do the diagnostics is not all that important. My personal strategy is to do the cheap & easy stuff first, the cheap & harder stuff next, and then the stuff that costs last. But whatever order you do it in you need to check or confirm the following:

    Poorly written software and games will cause TDRs. But if this were the case it would affect lots of people, not just a few. Check the game's website & forums for patches and tips.
    See if other people in the forums are having the same problem and if they were able to solve it and how.
    You could also be asking too much of your video card. Check to see if your video card is tested and recommended for the game/program. Test the game at reduced settings.

    It helps if you can isolate the actions that trigger the TDR. Most often it will be an application using 3D graphics. But if the incidents occur constantly it would point more towards defective hardware. If it happens more specifically (just when running Game X) it points towards overheating, settings, software, or driver issues.

    You need to eliminate the possibility that your computer has a global problem. You can use a program like Prime95 to stress test your system. Free Software - GIMPS
    You can run the "Stress Test" for a few hours or overnight. This will not tell you what the problem is, but it is helpful to uncover any issues your system has with instability and cooling.

    Running a video intensive game for hours can generate some serious heat and overheating will cause video errors. You can check your temps by looking at your BIOS readings or use a free program like Speedfan SpeedFan - Access temperature sensor in your computer .
    A real easy test is to just pull the side panel(s) off your case (You can also blow a house fan directly into the open case) and see if the problem goes away or gets better. If it does then the issue is definitely overheating. If you are overheating you need to look at installing some cooling upgrades. You want to look at ventilating the case (more or bigger fans), Upgrade your case to a larger gaming case (lots of fans, water-cooling), etc.
    There are free utilities like BurninTest PassMark BurnInTest software - PC Reliability and Load Testing that you can use to test your system's cooling capability. Caution is recommended using these types of programs.

    Bad drivers happen and they can get corrupted. Before installing or reinstalling any video drivers first completely uninstall all video software and the drivers. (Some people say to run a cleaner program from safe mode, some say this is unnecessary). Never rely on the driver package to overwrite the old drivers. Also: Delete the video driver folder (ex: C:\NVIDIA) in Windows Explorer (or windows may install the same drivers again!).
    After uninstalling the old drivers and rebooting Windows 7 will install it's own WDDM 1.1 driver. Check for the video problem while using the generic Windows driver.
    You can then install the latest drivers for your card (or try older drivers).
    See This Tutorial: Installing and updating drivers in 7

    Look in Device Manager and make sure there are no problem devices (yellow ! icon). Correct these by loading the correct drivers or disable the problem device and see if the video problem goes away.

    Reseat video card and memory modules. Make sure the contacts are clean. Check all the electrical connections.

    In BIOS, check the listed voltages against the manufacturer recommended specs. Reset the voltages to factory defaults and see if the video problems disappear.

    Memory errors can cause video problems. Run a program like Memtest86+ for at least 3 passes to see if there are any memory errors. Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool .
    You can also test for a bad memory module by installing one stick in Slot 1 and testing, and then switch it out for the next stick, etc.

    Overclocking can be a trial and error process. The clocks and/or multipliers you set or change for CPU, Memory, or GPU could be unstable. Eliminate this as a possibility by resetting these to their defaults to see if that clears the video problems. The simplest way to do this is to "Restore Bios Defaults", or Clear CMOS.

    Some people have reported that by going into the video cards control panel and "down-clocking" the cards performance settings they were able to clear up the TDRs. Since Windows 7 does not seem to tolerate any hiccups in the GPU, this would allow you to run a poor perforning card in the Windows 7 enviroment.
    So for instance, you could set the GPU clock from a 777 MHz factory setting to 750MHz, and the ram clock from a 1126MHz factory setting to 1050Mhz, or similar small change for your particular card.

    Check for and install an updated BIOS, particularly if it says the newer BIOS corrects memory errors or bug fixes. You could also try loading the BIOS defaults.
    While you are there, check the motherboard manufacturers forums to see if others are having issues with the same board.

    Eliminate Power Management settings as a possible cause, especially if you are working with a laptop. These settings could be particularly important if the issue is in playing games.
    Go to Control Panel > Hardware & Sound > Power Options. Under "Select a Power Plan" you will find that "Balanced" is the default setting.
    At the bottom you will see a Down arrow next to "Show Additional Plans". Click that and select "High Performance". See if the TDR issue is affected.
    Alternately, you can click "Change Plan Settings" next to the "Balanced" plan and change the setting to "Never" put the computer to sleep (This is the default on a desktop) and/or change when the display is turned off as a test.

    You need to know that your power supply is delivering sufficient power. Power supply problems are the most common cause of video problems, especially using high end cards.
    Check the power supply's amperage ratings. Be sure it has the ample amperage for your video card and the rest of the system.
    Test the supply with multimeter to measure for a steady 12v to the card's power connectors. (The only true way to test a power supply would be to use the very expensive diagnostic equipment used in labs). But for us regular folks: I tested my power supply by hooking up my multimeter to the PCI-E connectors that I was using to power my video card (I used a spare pair from the power supply to run the card while I was testing). I then observed the meter while I used the computer, first watching the voltage, then the amps, to see if there was any drop-off or erratic behavior while booting or using the computer. My readings were rock solid. So I declared my power supply good.
    Otherwise you need to replace the supply to eliminate this possibility. Or borrow one from another computer.

    I suspect that a video card must perform flawlessly to operate in a Windows 7 environment and run the most recent games. If you tried all the above diagnostics and no problems were found then that leaves you with only one possibility: a defective video card. Some brands have the problem more consistently than others. You could check their forums for clues.
    You could try your card in another computer running Windows 7 to see if the problem goes along with the card.
    You could try a different card in your computer. I bought an inexpensive card to use. My TDR's disappeared using a "lesser" card. Or borrow a card from another computer.
    Otherwise RMA or replace the card.

    TDR complaints have come from PC owners running virtually every PC configuration. They occur regardless of which video engine, manufacturer, driver, or system used. They are too numerous to write off as a random problem, but at the same time if people are getting their systems to run correctly using the same hardware and software that you are then it follows that your problem must be solvable.

    More Info Here:
    Timeout Detection and Recovery of GPUs through WDDM
    NVIDIA Statement on TDR Errors - NVIDIA Forums

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