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I'm asking on behalf of another friend who's having a puzzling problem with his machine.

This is his current machine:

The only two changes he made to that machine is to swap out the gfx card for a EVGA GTX 460 and the PSU for a Corsair TX650.

Here's the problem, when he starts up his machine, whether it's from sleep/hibernation or from a cold start, the initial startup seems to POST, but he gets a blank display. He seems to hit the Windows startup logo or something just past it, and the machine seems to bluescreen. During this entire time, the display is blank (the monitor says no display).

If he restarts a SECOND time, the display works, and everything is perfectly OK. Right after the restart when he logs into Windows, if he checks Bluescreenview for the minidump file, it states that the ntkrnlpa.exe and nvlddmkm.sys drivers/executables crashed during the previous startup. Quick Googline points to the general Windows kernel and an NVIDIA driver.

The problem here is, these drivers don't crash all the time when he starts up with the blank screen. The other puzzler is, his computer is PERFECTLY fine after the initial bootup/no display/blank screen. If he does a warm restart the computer boots up without any problems.

Unfortunately, I'm asking on behalf of a friend who's nowhere near me, and he's not as tech-savvy as me, so I'm not sure what sorts of things I can have him do (or I can remote into to do) to help him out.

He's using the latest 295.73 drivers and even tried downgrading to older ones and this still happens. Windows 7 Home 32-bit.

Any ideas?

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It could be a hardware failure or a dirt/moisture problem. Might be able to trigger the failure with cold spray. Check connections and clean excessive dust, cat hairs, etc. Once in a while, dirt will cause a short until it warms up and dries out. – Brock Adams Mar 5 '12 at 6:38
What Brock Adams said, plus try re-seating RAM. Sounds counter-intuitive, but would not hurt. – Eugene Mar 5 '12 at 6:57
What's chkdsk come up with? – Joseph Mar 5 '12 at 7:11
@BrockAdams So basically grab a can of compressed air and have him blow everything inside the computer out with it huh? I'll also tell him to reseat the RAM and run that chkdsk. I'll tell him to check the connections too. – White Phoenix Mar 5 '12 at 11:34
It would be better to use a vacuum for as much dirt as possible. Don't forget static protection while working on the innards. And the freeze-spray tests. – Brock Adams Mar 5 '12 at 20:55

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