BSOD and NVidia

BSOD and NVidia

I had recently been getting multiple crashes and even the dreaded BSOD (blue screen of death). Some of the errors reported seemed to point to a possible fault with the video hardware, although there were some “hangs” with no information available. I had not made any significant changes to the computer recently (I did a few months ago!), and the only recent activity I could think of was that Microsoft pushed a big security update. Is it possible that this caused the video driver to be unstable?

Googling some of the error codes listed in the BSODs, some people suggested installing updated video drivers. Could it be that easy? I was thinking maybe something needed to be replaced, maybe the entire computer (as it is a few years old).

I found a command that is helpful; run the below statement in the “run” box or from a Command Prompt.

perfmon /rel

This is an easy way to see if any major problems have occurred, such as the computer having locked up, over the past several days. At a glance, I can see that has identified the video hardware as the problem for the first crashes. It also shows other activity, such as some updates.

As it turns out, I started getting these errors before the big Microsoft update. I have no idea why this behavior started, but before tring to replace hardware, I decided to go ahead and re-install the latest video drivers. The system has been rock-solid ever since (about 4 days), where before, I was having daily crashes for over a week.

So, I don’t know why my computer started crashing recently, but the driver reinstall really worked.


OK, after a few days of quiet, there was more crashing. (BCCode 117, in particular.) At this point, I suspect a hardware problem, so I’ll replace the video card and see how it goes. Since I have a Dell, I have to be very conscious of the limits of the stock system, unless I want to replace the power supply, for starters. There are some new NVidia cards that perform very well with relatively (for video cards) low power. I want to stick with NVidia for their good performance, plus this newer card (model GEForce GTX 750) that should work with my computer’s power supply, all at a reasonable price. Hard to argue with its bang-for-the-buck value!

After installation, so far, so good. If I can go a few days with no crashes, I’m calling it good. I should run some games to put it through its paces.