I'm receiving the following BSOD:

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I've tried installing the latest driver from nVidia (296.10), but it says "NVIDIA installer cannot continue", "The graphics driver could not find compatible graphics hardware.":

enter image description here

I installed it manually at device manager, but problem still occurs.

The problem does not happen in safe mode at all.

Note: After restarting the computer when seeing this BSOD, the BIOS welcome screen is full of random black dots spread around:

enter image description here

Any solutions?

Update: I've tried disabling Aero by following this guide, but that didn't help.

  • You might have a faulty video card, not a driver. – Moab Apr 1 '12 at 1:01
  • @Moab I thought about that, is there a way to verify it without having a different card for testing? It's been a while since I last worked in the lab, I don't have a test card handy. – Shimmy Weitzhandler Apr 1 '12 at 1:25
  • Not that I know of, I always kept spare video cards just for this purpose, only other thing I can suggest is a clean install of the OS. – Moab Apr 1 '12 at 1:35
  • @Shimmy one way might be to run stress-testing software like Furmark and see if it crashes – nc4pk Apr 1 '12 at 1:35
  • @tapped-out, i hope it's 1) standalone - not installation 2) not malware is it? – Shimmy Weitzhandler Apr 1 '12 at 1:36

The BSOD you're getting has to due with PCIe card power-saving (akin to sleep); you should be able to fix it by changing power settings to disable PCIe power-saving.

The driver issue is a separate problem. Malware I doubt, there's no motive AFAIK to screw with hardware identification, though a rootkit could theoretically do it. You never mentioned your videocard, but I'd check that this driver release actually supports it. (really old videocards require older drivers)

If that doesn't do the trick, try (in order, stopping once you fix the problem):

  • resetting your CMOS (weird PCIe configuration possibilities)
  • removing all installed videocard drivers in Device Manager and rebooting
  • testing the videocard in another machine
  • running glxgears in a terminal off an Ubuntu LiveCD (3D acceleration test)
  • and finally re-installing Windows

If glxgears on Ubuntu fails, and re-installing Windows doesn't work, you've most definitely got a bad card.

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  • how do i disable pcie power saving? – Shimmy Weitzhandler Apr 1 '12 at 2:06
  • Control Panel -> Power Options -> Edit Plan Settings (whatever plan you're using) -> Change advanced power settings -> PCI Express -> Link State Power Management -> Change to off. I had this same BSOD a few years ago and that fixed it; hope it works for you. – BinaryMage Apr 1 '12 at 2:15
  • @BinaryMage: How do you conclude that this is due to power-saving? That BSOD is at most a VIDEO_TDR_ERROR and that could be the result of many problems... – Tamara Wijsman Apr 1 '12 at 23:21

It looks like a video card problem, or (rather less likely) something else, like a power supply problem. Does it happen if you boot with another OS, like an Ubuntu live-CD?

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  • As stated in my question, this doesn't happen in safe-mode. – Shimmy Weitzhandler Apr 1 '12 at 1:51

Temporary workaround that allowed me loading the system and work until I find a proper solution:

  • Load in safe mode
  • Uninstall vid. driver
  • Uninstall driver and restart system
  • Disable Aero as soon as system loads, before it manages to install the driver automatically
  • Remove driver and manually install legacy "Standard VGA Graphics Adapter"

System should now be able to load and work.

Now looking for a normal driver installation. BTW, This post helped me during my process.

Update: it was probably a hardware error. After replacing the video card the errors are gone.

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