Question Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding + occasional DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION errors.

Nov 14, 2020
Greetings to everyone who reads this post.

Short story is in the title, long story is next. I've been using this PC for about 3 years now. Specs will be below. Half a year ago it happens that I've moved out, so before that everything was fine (except the first problem). Due to low usage, PC got dusted, maybe someone else from the family used it occationally, but not daily. I came back home, and now I notice different problems with it.

  • First one, most obvious - PSU buzzes loudly, most likely due to dust inside or long-term usage. Fixes itself after some time or after switching the PC to sleep mode and back.
  • Second one - when using the PC, right after the startup, or after a couple of hours from the startup, the screen can freeze occasionally, mostly when switching windows from browser to other stuff. In the Event Viewer the error is showed as "display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered". This error can happen a couple of times in a row, or one time in 10 minutes etc, didn't notice any specific logic.
  • Third one, similar to the previous one - after trying different fixes for this error, such as using a high efficiency modes in windows, and disabling all of the animations etc, the issue still there, but when the display driver is stopping, the screen can go black for 3-5 seconds, and then the actual window that I switched to becomes black too.
  • Last one, the worst one - occasionally, when the the PC freezes not for a second, but for a 10, 20 seconds, it may not unfreeze, and it shuts down with DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION blue screen.
I've tried all of the possible software fixes, I believe, that can be found on the first page of google results, so GPU drivers are up to date. A couple of hours ago cleaned the GPU from dust completely, but not the CPU/PSU tbh since it is a pain to clean (I've vacuumed it a bit tho). After cleaning, the second problem didn't come up for a couple of hours, but it came up after I've tried running some games, and after closing the game the PC started freezing when switching windows.

Now, specs:
GPU: Asus PCI-Ex GeForce GTX 1060 Dual 3GB GDDR5 (192bit) (1569/8008)
CPU: Intel Core i5-6400 2.7GHz/8GT/s/6MB (BX80662I56400) s1151
MB: Gigabyte GA-B150M-D3V (s1151, Intel B150, PCI-Ex16)
PSU: Chieftec GPS-600A8 600W
RAM1: Kingston DDR4 2133 8192MB PC4-17000
RAM2: Kingston DDR4 2400 8192MB PC4-19200
HDD: Western Digital Blue 1TB 7200rpm 64MB WD10EZEX

I'm quite desparate with this problem, because I need to fix it as soon as possible, otherwise it is real pain to work on this PC for long hours. I'm ready to send all of the possible info and benchmarks, just point me to them.

Thank you so for reading this, I hope that you will share some knowledge and help me with this problem. Stay safe everyone!
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Nov 14, 2020

Booted my PC this morning and received watchdog error two times in a row within 5 minutes of starting the PC.

Cleaned my PSU, deleted GPU drivers using the guide on this forum (thanks), installed "older" drivers dated from April 2020 (questionning this fix, since I was using the drivers dated from March until yesterday, and only yesterday updated then with intention to fix my problems, but it didn't help).

For 2 hours or so didn't see any issues with the nvlddmkm driver, so far so good.

Also I've found a solution to fix this problem with downclocking Core Clock and Memory Clock using MSI Afterburner by 100. Didn't try it yet, but some people mentioned that it worked with them as a last solution. Will update the post if I experience problems, and I will try this solution.

Update #2:

After 4-5 hours of usage the issue appeared once again. Rebooted the PC, tried lowering the clocks, it didn't fix the problem.

For reference, I wasn't playing games or anything, just browsing the internet, and temperatures were OK, it just started happening without any specific reason, and happened quite consistently, every 1-2 minutes (when I'm switching windows), up until crashing the PC with watchdog error.

Update #3:

Changed the GPU to integrated one, everything works fine, so the problem is most likely in the GPU. Thinking about buying a new PC, since this GPU is clearly living it's last years. Possibly will give the GPU card only in service centre, maybe they will help.

If you have any suggestions - I'm still open ears. Thanks.
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