nVidia nvlddmkm Vista Driver Fix – Here is the Solution

So ever since I installed Windows Vista on my computer I had been having this apparently common nVidia driver problem. Recently, I installed the most recent nVidia graphics drivers and have not had the problem since. My computer has been running perfectly, and not crashing, freezing or erroring out as it had previously with the nvlddmkm driver.

Here is a link to the most recent and up-to-date version of the nVidia driver set: Windows Vista 32-bit nVidia driver

ForceWare Release 100
Version: 100.65
Release Date: February 20, 2007
WHQL Driver

Apparently this driver has been out since late February, but I noticed that I’m still getting a large amount of traffic due to this problem, so I hope this updated driver works for all of you as it has for me – but don’t stop reading my blog just because I solved your problem! Add me to your RSS reader and come back soon!

If you’re still having problems after installing this version, check out the nvlddmkm resource site at All of Your Questions Answered.

249 thoughts on “nVidia nvlddmkm Vista Driver Fix – Here is the Solution”

  1. Hi guys,

    First of all I would like to thank all of you for the many tips! I worked through each one of them until I got my 8600 GT to work. I’m so happy that I just had to come back to encourage you.

    My hardware:
    * Acer Aspire T650 (w onboard ATI Radeon Xpress 200)
    * Mobo: Acer ERC410M
    * Pentium4 3.06GHz HT
    * 2GB of RAM (DDR2 PC2-5300 333MHz)
    * XP Home SP3
    * ZoneAlarm free
    * AVG antivirus free
    * Swap file = 1GB

    In its original state my PC was very stable. I played lots of games (at low rez and the eye candy cut right back) and did a lot of virtualization on it.

    But I needed a bit more oomph than what the Xpress 200 could give me. My first choice was an 8600 GTS w 256MB, but the shop did not carry it. So in a moment of weakness I fell for an 8600 GT w 512MB instead.

    * Zotac Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT with 512 MB

    Great was my horror when I discovered that it was incredibly unstable in my rig — frequent blue screens, freezes and getting kicked out of games. Max playtime was 15 minutes. Something bad usually happened within the first 2 minutes.

    I started googling around and landed on this forum. I was even more horrified to discover that everybody seems to have serious problems with Nvidia. In dispair I read through the ranting and raving, and made notes along the way.

    I followed a process of elimination: try one thing at a time until it worked. After each change, I play-tested some games. If it crashed or BSoD more than once, I discarded it as a potential solution.

    *Disabling the Nvidia service stopped most of my blue screens. But I could still not play games for very long. Instead I just got kicked out back to Windows. Better, but not by a big margin.

    *I upgraded my BIOS to the latest (could never find a BIOS for my rig until today — Acer is hiding it well on their PanAsia website).

    *I tried the nTune tip about setting the GPU fan to 100%, but the card never ran above 65 degrees C anyway. It is much hotter than anything I’ve seen before, but it seems to be “normal”.

    * I installed various Nvidia drivers from various sources, from the oldest I could lay may hands on to the latest.

    * I tried disable memory caching/shadowing — my BIOS does not have such options.

    * I installed all Windows patches, including SP3 that I was afraid to install in the past.

    * I tried various suggested BIOS settings.

    * I tried Single Display Performance mode

    * I tried Driver Cleaner in Safe Mode.

    * I tried the swap file at 0 and 1024MB.

    In the process I saw a variety of BSOD STOP errors: 8E, D1, 24 and 7F.

    * I tried swearing at Microshock for 14 minutes and 34.73 seconds continously. That did not solve the problem, but I did feel much better.

    And then I stumbled upon the solution…

    My mobo has 2 RAM slots, and I had 1x 2GB DDR2 PC2-5300 333MHz in one slot. (I tried it in the other slot too, but that did not solve anything.)

    I still had my original 1GB of RAM (2x 512MB DDR2 PC2-4300 266MHz), so I replaced the 2GB with the slower 1GB memories.

    Viola! Problem solved!

    I played for hours without any blue screens, freezes or crashes at 1280×1024. Well … to tell the truth, there were a few freezes, but those were because of bugs in the game (it is still in beta), or bandwidth issues. I can recommend the game anyway: see WarRock.net. It is something like BattleField Earth, and FREE! My favorite word.

    My nTune settings are set as follows:
    * Manage 3D settings — set all to default (by pressing the Default button).
    * 1280×1024, 32bit, 60Hz
    * Adjust GPU settings — automatic fan control

    * The Nvidia service is running again.

    Being a bit of a lunatic for pain, I swapped the 2GB RAM back into the rig as a test, and immediately all the problems surfaced again. Changed back to the slower 1GB, and all was fine again.

    The only thing that made a difference was that I used less/slower RAM. A timing problem? XP don’t know how to address 2GB of memory? A memory address clash between XP and Nvidia? Who knows…

    I hope that my experience will help at least one of you.

    Yes, downgrading RAM is not the best solution. Unless it is the only solution. 😉

    I never got round to trying the other possible solutions:
    * Replace the PSU.
    * Try the beta drivers.
    * Uninstall onboard GPU drivers.
    * Disable BIOS sound.
    * Set power option to Balanced.
    * Reinstall DirectX.
    * Reload Windows.
    * Underclock with 20 MHz.
    * Reinstall chipset drivers.
    * Change LCD.
    * Turn off screen saver.

    Happy gaming!

  2. I just can’t believe that nvidia has dropped the ball on this so badley. After all thats been posted on this since for example the 6600 oc came out they have the nerve to claim the service pac fixes the issue and it doesnt. I can understand why this issue would cause people to look into other products (video cards) or even other operating systems all together as bad as vista has seemed as far as issues as well. If there was an os that ran better I know everyone would jump for it which is sad because I would like to me a microsoft fan. I dont have the error in xp I have a dual boot system but I would like to play games or have vista work correctly with the 100 $ I spent for the 6600 card and 100 something I spent for the Vista upgrade. I also purchased by the way the 5500 gforce pci which doesnt have the same error but its an 128 mb card not 256 so I’m stuck with the system I have until I upgrade

  3. Well. First day with Vista and Nvidia, and it crashed within 20 minutes.

    I will try the stuff suggested here, thanks all.

    BTW– I installed the most recent driver, and it did nothing. If anything, it got worse (now, it doesn’t just blank out, BSoD and shut down. It has a bit of a nervous breakdown too.)

  4. New hard drive, new Windos installation. So I thought, perhaps my problems will be fixed now if I revert back to my faster 2GB RAM. After all, a reinstallation worked for some…

    Ha! BSoD within 20 minutes, and I was not even playing games! Scratch another few idea from my long list above:

    * Reinstall DirectX.
    * Reload Windows.
    * Reinstall chipset drivers.
    * Turn off screen saver.

  5. Okay, I found my solution:

    I asked my suppliers if they could loan me different memory modules of different sizes and speeds to test with, and they kindly agreed. The first module I installed (2GB 333MHz) was rock solid. No crashes whatsoever after playing games for hours.

    I was surprised to find that the stable memory is the exact same make, size and speed than my original 2GB 333MHz module with which I had all the trouble. So that can only mean one thing: the original 2GB is flaky, even though it never crashed on me *before* I installed the Nvidia 8600 GT.

    Glad to see that the process of elimination still works.

    Blessings, guys and gals. May you find your solutions too.






  9. I had recently bought an ASUS nvidia GT 8800, I would say, about a month ago.

    I installed it and it had been working perfectly until yesterday, which is the first time.

    I had been playing Warcraft III, and I encountered that nvlddmkm error.

    it’s odd, as I had been playing previously for a month, I’d play pretty much all day, and after a few hours of gaming, suddenly this error is cropping up today.

    I suspect that for me it is a heating issue, possibly the fan on the card may have busted and isn’t working. I’ll have to check and see though.

  10. I doubt its a heat issue. I have got this on 2 different computer systems, both very cool and very ventilated. WTH is the problem? Now it occurs more often with this new driver update 178.13?? I tried the Nvidia one and the Microsoft one, now it happens more!!! Geeeeez! This boggles my mind how my computer can send this error message for a solution 100 times for over a year and through 2 computers with Vista 64 and 32 bit, 8800GTX (SLI) cards and still no fix. WOW! I have used DC pro and done all the different drivers, patches, updates, default settings, reformats, read multiple forums, etc. Surely Microsoft gets these problems submitted manually and automatically by several people and investigate????? Sometimes it happens 2 week and sometimes 1 months. Never know when its gonna happen again………and again. BSODS frying my computers!


  11. I have a massive problem with my HP laptop which has an nvidia graphics card. I bought it in February this year and it’s been causing me dramas eversince. Only thing is that now it’s completely screwed.

    When I first had it there were issues of the laptop freezing and the only way to do anything was to literally take the battery out as it never responded to anything else. Eversince then I had about 10 instances of a ‘blue screen’ appearing after a crash and then restarting….I now know that is the BSOD ya’ll are referring to.

    Well now, the landscape has changed dramatically. I can’t even turn on my laptop without the display screwing up and all these pixels and mosaics appearing and then the thing shuts down and restarts. It then attempts to restore to a previous date, which works for about 5 mins and then I get this nvlddmkm thing before it crashes again.

    HP’s call centre in India just doesn’t get the point that the laptop needs to be fixed by a technician. They want me to restore to factory settings and try the “steps on their troubleshooting checklist” which is frustrating the sh!t out of me because it’s a clear hardware fault and the laptop is still under warranty. I just want someone to bloody look @ it not some nitwit from India tellig me stuff which wont work. I paid $1800 for this (Australian dollars) and I’ve had nothing but problems with this sh!t.

    Now I don’t know how I’m going to back up my files if I can’t even log on without it shutting down and the screen pixelating on me within 5 mins.

    p.s: I tested the temp using speedfan and when the laptop was idle the temperature reached 82 degrees celsius (boiling point is 100). Surely that’s a bit disturbing, my hand nearly toasted when i touched the bottom of the machine.

    What do I do?

    It’s a hp 2637tx laptop – core 2 duo 7250 2.2ghz, 2gb ram, 250 hdd, 256mb nvidia

  12. I had same problem with a DELL XPS M1330.
    I check any thing … restore to previous state, image factory, changing os and… finally my labtop was dead.
    Suppoters said that it’s a hardware problem and now its gone for service,… i don’t know but I think they will change the mainboard (GPU on board)

    … I’m just waiting now

  13. For what’s worth: I believe the problem to be both hardware and software issue. I don’t think the NIVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT is playing nicely with the motherboard in the ACER Aspire E380 and vice versa. I also believe that Vista’s Power management is also causing a problem. In my case, when I set the power options to never shut down harddrive, never shut down display, and set the screen saver time to 9999 the PC seems to be at it’s most stable.

    So far it has not crashed after just letting it sit idle for 10 hrs straight(overnight). If I have any of the power options set differently then not long after the screen saver comes on or the hard drive or the display shuts down, then the crashes reappear. If I let the PC sit idle for 9999 minutes and the screen saver came on, I believe the problem would reappear. I don’t ever plan to let it stay on that long. fyi – with one my iterations, I did try having the screen saver set to 20 minutes on and sure enough it crashed.

  14. K, I actually have the solution to this problem, turn ur antialiasing off
    Seems vista don’t really support it as well as xp does
    I went and turned everything off to lowest graphics, then slowly bumped everything up
    Seems that when I turned the antialiasing up I started getting that message about it being recovered, screen turning black ,the whole bit
    So try this out, it worked for me.

  15. Having a 8800GT I can tell you that the problem isn’t specific to Vista. It also occurs in XP. Ram tests fine, CPU and graphics card temps are fine, have gotten a more powerful power supply, reinstalled both OS’s multiple times, have tried various bios settings, updated both the graphics card and motherboard bioses, tried numerous graphics driver revisions, all to no avail.

    Like others I believe the problem to be specifically with Nvidia and will ikely remain unsolved until lawyers get involved. There are more than enough people involved to hit Nvidia with a class action lawsuit!!!


  17. Hey guys,

    I was having this issue as well. WoW would crap out every 10 minutes. My issue(I believe) was my RAM. It seems pretty stupid now but I bught 4gigs to increase performance on my laptop. I didn’t realise that it was maxed out at 2 gigs. Im sure it was a power problem from the RAM. I also updated my BIOS and NVidia driver. I took out one 2gig stick after all this and voila I was able to play with no crashes for about 2 hours(had to go to bed). If you got new hardware/RAM to help increase performance then make sure either A) it’s not too much or B) that the RAM is properly powered.

    I would definetly try to reinstall my NVidia driver after uninstalling it through the hardware manager. That removal method seemed to get rid of my old driver files so the reinstall worked no problem. I did notice that the game video settings that I had been trying to set seemed to actually take hold after that. Almost like the old driver wasn’t listening to the game settings. I did have it on “Let the Application” decide before.

    This is with a HP Pavilion dv6000(dv6428ca). Some things I learned from this. You cannot mess with the BIOS on this computer so don’t try to change the voltage settings. You cannot use more than 2 gigs on the laptop. You cannot change bus speeds either. I replaced 2 1 gig 500/667 Hz ram sticks with 1 2gig 667/800 stick and its working so far. Updating the BIOS was easy and they have a new one that controls the computers fans better.

  18. Well it’s 2009, I’m on 181 drivers for my 9800GTX and I’m full of BSOD’s from this. Absolutely doing my nutt in. Thought it may be my RAM as I have 8GB of OCZ 8500 but after playing with voltages, number of sticks and even swapping it out for 2x1GB of Samsung RAM, I’m sure it’s not the problem.

  19. I have a 9800 GT form PNY and i got the same prob. i have tried evey thing i can think of. like ( uninstall all games re intall them , update drivers , driver sweepers, safe mode , difrent computer, stand on one foot and turn it on , let some one els play ( not a good idea ) and powere suply reinstall vista ) so i think that when i would call PNY i could get some sorta of help they said its vista and thiers nothing they can do for me. again tho thats after i called geak squad and them and that. so really i feel i have goten used by my card now…. :(

  20. it’s the nvidia card guys
    got my laptop back from repairs and it’s that for sure, even the guy said they have heaps of repair tasks on this problem

    that and hp being a sh1t laptop maker

  21. Hello to everyone.
    I have a really big problem guys. Everything started with this nvlddmkm error. At first, i had some problems with the screen while playing games and that’s all. But after happening 3,4 times i cannot actually enter the Windows (Vista). I restart my computer, i get to the point that it asks the personal code… after… message -Windows Loading- and that’s all…black screen after this and nothing else! I cannot even try to update the drivers or whatever since i cannot reach the point to use Windows.
    Pls any solutions?? In a week i leave for a trip for about a month …….
    Tks in advance and take care all

  22. I have had my laptop for over 2 years now. I have an Alienware 5500i-R3 with Nvidia Ge force 7600. I never had a single problem with my vista or laptop till just recently. My problem started when i unhooked my Cintiq tablet monitor without “safely” removing the hardware. I also had it on “extend to other monitor” so i was running dual monitors. I have looked up many solutions, found none. I tried to safely remove the hardware from my computer, but nothing. Occasionally, when i reinstalled wacom cintq driver, everything would be normal, then the problem comes again.

    Reinstalling windows does not solve anything. Also, Window updates can screw you over. Updating driver does nothing as well. I have tried replacing the nvdlddmkm file, but nothing has happened. Basically, tried many things. For me, this all started with my Cintiq. What a shame.

  23. I have been having the same problem!

    Display driver failed but has recovered message when playing games and the screen goes black and crashes out of the game!

    Found the solution for me was that if you go into start>run

    or for some of you it wud b start>all programs>accessories> run

    type in msconfig and hit enter and go to the startup tab

    if you see the startup item nvidia compatible vista display driver and a driver version, both this version and the version of your drivers in control panel should be the same, i found these to be different and therefore a conflict was caused between vista and the new drivers!

    To fix the error i removed all traces of nvidia drivers and installed the new drivers fresh and i have not had the problem for weeks of playing BF2 and Crysis and the odd battle of COD4

  24. I had this after playing Empire Total War for a few hours, after endless searching I tried uninstalling KB952287 and this solved my particular problem. Start > Control Panel > Programs & Features > View installed updates > [Find KB952287] and uninstall. Reboot. Test.

    If this works for anyone, Great! Otherwise, keep trying & dont give up!

  25. Polpol: controlpanel>system>device manager

    you will find display adapters, double click on your display driver and you will see a driver version

  26. The NVLDDDMKM problem is related to memory issue’s. I was running 8 gigs of corsair 1066 at stock voltage of 2.1.The driver would crash and recover.When I played the game with just 4 gigs it ran just fine and no crash at all. What I did was put all 8gigs in and went into the bios turned up voltage to 2.275 from 2.1 and no crashes at all. This has worked for me. I believe this is whether us use all 4 ram slots or not, so if you are using all 4 ram slots up your voltage in bios just a little at a time until you find sweet spot.Good Luck.

  27. I’ve had this problem with my MS-7093 motherboard since i bought my nVidia 8500GT card. The problem was the low compatibility of the bios with nVidia products, bios flash to gateways oem bios helped, not even one hang up since three months where it would happen up to 6 times per day.

  28. I have had this issue for about 6 months but until this last week it was only when i play City of Heroes/Villians and it would kick me out of the game but not crash the system. 3 Days ago the problem went to bizarre levels where my system would crash no matter what i was doing even with no apps open. I tried probably 80% of the solutions offered here and i believe what did it for me was going into windows classic and disabling my windows screen saver. From all that i have read i would say that it you are just gonna have to try everything possible before spending any money to fix the issue because new hardware does not seem to be a reliable fix. Good luck to any and all who are cursed by this.

  29. I had this problem and here is a more in depth description of how i fixed the issue.

    Navigate to your control panel and then to your device manager

    Under the display adaptors tab you will find your graphics card.

    Click on your graphics card and click properties then click on the driver tab at the top.

    Here you will see a driver version, keep this page open and click on start then navigate to run

    type in msconfig and hit enter

    Navigate to the startup tab and here u will see:
    NVIDIA Compatible Windows vista display driver , Version (version number)

    your graphics card driver version would be something like where as the one in mscongig will say 169.6

    1.6906 = 169.6 this is the correct driver being loaded by windows, if these 2 do not match uninstall all of your nvidia drivers and install the new up to date drivers without any backdated driver files on your system,

    Windows Vista has a problem with letting you write over files inside the windows folder as a way to protect against any serious viruses and so all the old driver version files from the nvidia installation are not overwrite with the new 1s.

    I hope this helps you all like it helped me and thanks for takeing the time to read this 😀

  30. Hmmm, well you’re right, mine don’t match … but I don’t know how to uninstall *all* the old invidia drivers (including the current one) so I can install the most recent. Can you give a step by step please, and thanks!?

  31. Ok step by step instructions on how to delete ur drivers!

    1st you have established that the driver versions do not match due to my last post

    step 1. Navigate to device manager and here you will find your graphics card under display adapters

    step 2. click on your graphics card and at the top of the screen you wil see a symbol of a computer with a red X on it click this to uninstall the driver.

    step 3. Open add remove programs (programs and features for vista users) and scroll down till you find nvidia drivers. Click on this and then click uninstall/change.

    step 4. Restart machine

    This should be your drivers completely removed from registry and the msconfig window

    Now install the newer version of your drivers and you will see in msconfig that the driver versions should now match!

    Thanks for reading and glad to be of help 😀

  32. Also something that i should point out to everyone that if you need to upgrade your Nvidia drivers on vista and this hasnt happend to you yet it is a good idea to run the update as administrator, this helped me in the overwriting process of the original files in the windows folder!

    As soon as i fixed the problem i had i started to run updates this way and the problem has not occured since!

  33. Thanks ;o}

    Are you really, REALLY SURE this is the cure for this ongoing issue? I’ve read a gazillion supposed fixes only to see people have come back later to say what they thought worked temporarily is *back*. How long has your fix lasted? And how were you able to pinpoint this as the real problem verses all the others suggested like undo overclocking, get a better fan, flash or update the bios, replace graphics card, etc LOL … I don’t mean to doubt but this problem has been ongoing for what … two years now!? Ya can’t blame a girl for being skeptical right? LOL I DO appreciate your replies tho, and seems to be relatively easy so can’t hurt to try it 0.o hugzzz

  34. For what it’s worth tho, I’ve not had this problem until recently when I decided to just *accept* all windoze updates (one of which was a graphics driver update I’d been putting off for months 0.o). For my hubby it’s been an ongoing problem.

    Both our computers are about a year old with NVIDIA cards on Vista Home, his a laptop and mine a desktop. I’ve fixed his for the most part by just changing the program (SecondLife.com) that crashes’ compatility to Win XP. He still crashes sometimes but not nearly as much as without that change. Since SL is about the only program we use that really sucks up the graphics resources it’s the only one causing problems with the driver. In other words we only crash the driver in SL.

    He just blindly accepts updates without question. I however am abit more cautious and really don’t do graphics or driver updates until I absolutely have to because experience tells me it’s a bad idea (and requires thought for which I don’t want to expend). I’m an *if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it* kinda gal LOL So, moral of the story, I shouldn’t have accepted the windoze update for the graphics card as now I have to *fix it*.

  35. This issue has not come back to me and this fixed it about 6 months now, never get kicked out of games now since i did this and never get the nvlddmkm error since, try it for yourself and see what happens it should fix the problem for you the way it fixed it for me or atleast i hope it does fix it for you! and i agree with you that you cant blame a girl for bein skeptical lol i had the error for nearly the same amount of time and got sick of games kicking out and trying new things but then i realised after checking activity that happens in the background when updateing drivers that the file kept the same in the windows folder, this told me that the driver that the device thought it was running off was different to the one that windows was loading and so i checked msconfig to see what was running on the startup and seen the driver versions where different! All i can say is to try it and atleast knock one fix off your list if it dsnt work but do not believe that this is a hardware issue its just windows vista bein paranoid! x

  36. OK I haven’t done what you suggested but I’m sure I’ll be forced to LOL … what I did was rollback the driver to the previous (was the one installed when I bought it), which is v.

    I haven’t looked to see if the system shows the same as the driver but I will do that, I am curious!

    I doubt I will crash now. What I did notice is this driver did NOT have the nvlddmkm file at all! Whereas the windoze update v. does! So, I can’t possibly get that error cause the file isn’t in the driver. I was/am getting some faint black flickering horizontal lines across my screen now n then, which is why I had decided to just update b4. The flickering lines stopped with the newer windoze driver BUT I was constantly crashing SecondLife with that nvlddmkm file error. So rollback to the one mentioned above was/is my fix, for now.

    I’ll report again if/when I decide to play with it some more. If anyone can find an NVIDIA driver for GeForce 8500GT without the nvlddmkm file in it please post it here!

    Thanks for your input and if forced I’ll do your suggestion next LOL

  37. hey guy i think i know what happens when you get nvlddmkm, the nvidia card gets too hot , so ive put an extra fan for my computer now and it works great but you have to turn the fan on before turning the pc on.

    belive me this will work!!!!!

  38. well sorry i only made a suggestion because my card gets hot some times and thought that was the problem, but it fixed my problem it does not come up again!!

  39. Thanks Rizwan 😀 always wanted to be called a pimp 😀 :D, and aiman did u happen to update your drivers after the installation of the new fan? or did you maybe reconnect something that had slipped out at all, i dont mean to sound like a mr know it all cos well im not a mr know it all lol im jus curious as to how an extra fan fixed this error for you!

  40. hey i only put a new fan but it has to be 120mm+ or else it wont be that powerful enough. try it, i might work for you or not i dont really know what your spec is for you pc and keep it COOL

  41. I got a water cooling unit runing to all my graphics cards and my processor and ram heat sinks too so cooling aint the problem i found out wat fixed mine was driver problems

  42. I’ve not crashed again since rolling back to the driver that doesn’t have the nvlddmkm file in it. I still get black horizontal lines streaking through every now and then but that’s due to a windoze update and I don’t know which caused that … prolly directX10 (maybe I was on 9c b4) but I don’t know how to get back to 9c yet 0.o

    Again, if anyone knows of a newer Nvidia driver without the nvlddmkm file in it please let me know, I’d like to try it.

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