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“Display Driver Stopped Responding And Has Recovered” Error Fix (Windows 7)

The “Display driver stopped responding and has recovered” error is a problem surrounding the display adapter, specifically Nvidia.  The error message appears on your screen as a result of problems with the device driver for the display adapter, causing Windows to fail to read or load some of the settings or files related to the device driver.  The error message normally shows when you try to use the Windows Aero Desktop theme or games with high resolution requirements.  You need to repair the error in order to do away with this annoying error message.  This tutorial will enable you to fix the Nvidia device driver problem quickly and easily.

What Causes This Error?

When you come across this problem, the computer will display one of the following error messages:

  • “Display driver stopped responding and has recovered.
  • “Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered.”

The primary cause of the problem is the Nvidia driver having files or settings that are damaged, corrupted or missing, resulting in Windows having difficulty properly loading and executing the device driver, especially when the program that you are attempting to use is graphics-intensive.  The problem can also be caused by you running an outdated device driver or else could be due to some problems in the registry.  You need to identify the source of the problem to fix the error – which can be accomplished using the steps below:

How To Fix The Display Driver Errors

Step 1 – Update Windows

The first thing that you need to do is ensure that your Windows system is up-to-date with the latest updates in order to keep it running as smoothly as possible.  To update Windows, click Start > All Programs > Windows Update and follow the update wizard to navigate the update process.  Wait for the update process to finish downloading all the necessary updates and then, when prompted, restart your PC. If this doesn’t fix the problem, go to step 2.

Step 2 – Download & Install The Latest NVidia Driver

Installing the latest Nvidia driver into your system might be required to resolve the problem.  You need to obtain the latest version, which probably has recent updates.

  • Launch your browser and go to this link.
  • You have two options when downloading your device driver.  Using option 1, ensure that you select the correct product type, product series, product, and Windows version. Fill in these fields and then click Search and you will be taken to the correct download page.
  • Click Download and the device driver installer will be saved onto your hard drive.
  • Run the installer file and follow the installation wizard to complete the installation.
  • Reboot your PC.

Step 3 – Uninstall The Display Adapter

To prevent conflicts between the older and latest version of Nvidia drivers, you need to uninstall the old version from your hard drive.  Here’s how to do this:

  1. Click Start > Control Panel > Device Manager.
  2. Select your display adapter, right-click on it and click “Uninstall.” When prompted, choose to delete drivers.
  3. Reboot your computer and press “F8” before Windows has a chance to load and select “Safe Mode” from among the list.  When prompted by Windows to install a new display driver, choose “never install a driver for this device.”
  4. On your Windows Explorer, navigate to “C:\windows\system32\drivers\” and rename the file nvlddmkm.sys to “nvlddmkm_old.sys” and take note of the date of the file.
  5. Next, navigate to “C:\windows\system32\” and rename all files that have the same date as nvlddmkm_old.sys and begin with the letters “nv.”
  6. Reboot again and this time boot up normal Windows.  When prompted again to install a new display driver, choose “never install a driver for this device.”

Step 4 – Clean Out The Registry Of Your PC

The registry is another place where errors in your system will appear. Any problems with the registry could prevent you from using your computer properly.  This is because it is an important component in your system, serving as a central database for options and settings that your programs use. Windows will read these settings before loading your applications.  However, errors continually occur in the registry as a result of keys being saved the wrong way by Windows, as it creates multiple registry entries at the same time.  You need to repair the errors inside the registry to resolve the Nvidia display problem, which you can do by using a “registry cleaner” to wipe out all of your registry errors.

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