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I have an Elitebook 8540p where I have installed Windows 7 x64. It has 4 GB RAM and the Nvidia NVS 5100M graphics card.

When playing games like L4D2 or Monday Night Combat the screen flashes and freezes and it ends with the drivers stops responding and Windows recovers it.

How can I play games without this happening?

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Make sure your computer is fully up to date. Download all critical updates and device driver updates from Windows Update, then go to your vendor's website and download the latest drivers for each device, particularly the video card.

If the crash is caused by a buggy driver, updating it may correct the problem.

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I'd have to agree. The situation you're describing definitely sounds like a driver. NVidia usually has updaes you can check out. Also, make sure your laptop is getting enough cooling as I've seen overheated cards act strangely.

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Okay, so I should be able to play those games on that hardware? – Michael Feb 9 '11 at 13:21
Also, should I use the manufacturers driver (NVIDIA) or Vendors driver (HP)? – Michael Feb 9 '11 at 13:26
@Michael Try the nVidia drivers first, those are usually updated more often and 99% of the time will work just as well as the laptop manufacturer's drivers. Your laptop should be able to play both games. – Indrek Apr 15 '12 at 16:13

Buy a can of compressed air and blast all the air vents. My old 8540 would get extremely clogged up with dust and overheat.

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I have a lot of HP EliteBooks in the office here (8540p, 8560p, and 8570p). I have had 3 out of the ~75 here have video card issues where the motherboard had to be replaced. I tried diagnosing by using different video card drivers, monitoring the heat produced by the laptops, cleaning the dust out, and even wiping the machines. The laptops were all under the 3 year warranty so I sent them to our HP Partner and they ran diagnostics and replaced the motherboards for me.

I would suggest try using different drivers provided by the HP website here and see if that fixes the issue. If it doesn't I would try to monitor the amount of heat being produced by the laptop with a tool such as speedfan and possibly clean it out. If all else fails try to RMA.

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