Display driver stopped responding and has successfully recovered.


Jul 12, 2015
Hey it's my first time here and this error is driving me crazy. I can normally fix problems on my own with enough research but this one is giving me trouble. I must have read a hundred cases of this error and a lot of people never find a solution. When someone does find a solution, it often turns out to be temporary.

When playing a game, the screen goes black for a few seconds then recovers and continues normally. This happens more and more frequently until it stays black and crashes. Sometimes there is an audible buzzing sound. To stop it, I have to press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and end the process. The desktop reappears with some missing or chopped up elements, with this error in the corner:

"Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered."

Mine says nvlddmkm, but this part can be different for everybody depending on their system. I assume this is just the name of the driver. Here are some other names you might see instead of nvlddmkm.

Intel Graphics Accelerator Drivers
NVIDIA WIndows Kernel Mode Driver
AMD driver

What game are you playing?
It happens when I play Starcraft II, Path of Exile, or Banished. It doesn't happen when I play Hearthstone or Minecraft.

What are your computer details?
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4460 CPU @ 3.20GHz
Manufacturer Intel
Speed 3.2 GHz
Number of Cores 4

Power Supply Turbolink Apevia ATX 2.03 500W 12V 20/24 Main Power Connector

Video Card NVIDIA GeForce GT 740
Manufacturer NVIDIA
Chipset GeForce GT 740
Dedicated Memory 1.0 GB
Total Memory 4.0 GB

Memory 8.1 GB

Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 (build 7601), 64-bit
Service Pack 1
Size 64 Bit
Edition Ultimate

Display Maximum Resolution 1920 x 1080



Drive 1
Size 223.5 GB
Free 124.9 GB

Drive 2
Size 911.9 GB
Free 115.5 GB

Drive 3
Size 100.0 MB
Free 61.9 MB

The first suggestion is always to update your drivers.


I updated my graphics and audio drivers through windows automatic driver update. I went to the websites of my graphics and audio device manufacturers and manually downloaded and installed the latest drivers. I used my GPU's software to update the driver. I used a driver updater program to scan my computer and check for drivers that need to be updated. Believe me, all the drivers are up to date.

Some people suggest the GPU isn't getting enough power because of power settings. Change your power options to high performance.


I did that but the error still happens.

I read that this error happens when your GPU overheats. Using msi Afterburner, I monitored system temperatures as I played a game. Before during and after the error happened, GPU temperatures were around 55ºC, GPU usage was around 50%, which spiked to 100% at the moment of the error. After reading around I learned 55 is very cool and even up to 80+ is normal.


I read somewhere that the solution is in the NVIDIA control panel.


If your computer has multiple cores, threaded optimization has to be Off. Vertical Sync has to be On or Off, depending on who you ask. Use the highest power management setting. Anti-aliasing has to be On or Off, depending on who you ask. A lot of these options exist in the game client as well. I tried all of them in every possible combination. VSync On reduces my CPU usage from 100% to 50% while playing a game, so that's nice. But the error persists in every scenario.

I found a downloadable Fix-It from microsoft that supposedly fixes this exact error by adjusting a registry value that has to do with timeout detection and the way your GPU communicates with your display.


Needless to say, that didn't "fix it".

I read somewhere that this error is caused when your RAM DIMMs are in the wrong slots. I tried different memory arrangements and nothing got better or worse. My computer didn't seem to notice. The error persists too.

I read that this error is exclusively an NVIDIA problem. That's definitely not the case because I see it happening to AMD users as well.

I read that it's a DirectX problem. Use DirectX 9 instead of 11. Or vice versa. I tried it.

I read that you have to Run the game as Administrator. Or Run it in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 3). I tried it.

Run the game in windowed mode, in fullscreen, in a lower resolution, and so on. I tried it.

I feel like it must be harmful to reproduce this error, or to continue trying to play these games with it happening. Not to mention the frustration. So I stopped playing them. But I built this computer so I could play them.

Here are some thing I haven't tried.

I read that some GPUs are overclocked and you should underclock it. Then I read that's a really bad idea. Having never done it myself, I'll hold off for now.

I haven't tried throwing the GPU in the trash and buying a new one yet. I just bought it less than a year ago, and I like to try to fix things before I throw them away or replace them. If nothing else, I've learned a lot already.

Can anybody please help me? Thanks for your time