Aspire M1640 Issue (Display Driver Stopped Working And Recovered + Other Related Issues)

Kflash08
Kflash08 Member Posts: 6

Tinkerer

edited 7:31PM in 2020 Archives
I have an Aspire M1640 desktop computer running Windows 10 64 bit. The problem I occasionally run into is that the 'NVIDIA display driver has stopped responding and has successfully recovered'. This usually happens while using Firefox, but I've had it happen on other occasions. Sometimes it will recover and I get the picture back on my monitor, but lately the picture never comes back, forcing me to manually turn off the system. When I boot back into Windows and check the event viewer, there are duplicate entries (once there were 100+, one after another within an hour) stating that the display driver crashed and recovered. Also related but doesn't occur when the display driver crashes are random PS/2 communication loses (keyboard quits responding until restarted) and Windows soft locking.

Here's what I tried to resolve the problem...
  • Running Memtest86 to detect faulty RAM (RAM is OK)
  • Resetting the memory modules & swapping them between slots
  • Resetting the CPU
  • Resetting expansion cards
  • Cleaning all expansion card and memory slots & contacts
  • Resetting SATA connectors
  • Switching between different power supplies
  • Using Display Device Uninstaller (DDU) to cleanly remove all display drivers
  • Installing the latest display driver from NVIDIA
  • Removing a cheap-o no-name USB 2.0 PCI expansion card. (Seem to have made the issue less common)
  • Resetting CMOS values (Both from within the BIOS and by removing the battery)
  • Changing power management settings (both in Windows and the NVIDIA Control Panel) to maximum (Helped a little)
  • Added an expansion slot fan to help cool the graphics card (Card has passive heat sink)
  • Verified that all capacitors on the motherboard and graphics card are not bulged or leaking
Here are the specs...
  • Windows 10 Home 64 bit
  • Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 (upgraded from a Pentium Dual Core)
  • 4 GB of memory (2x 2 GB PC6400, both are the same brand and model)
  • Western Digital 250 GB hard drive (original)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT710 PCIe 16x graphic card (MSI branded)
  • CD/DVD RW drive (original)
  • Mulit card reader (original)
I use this computer for light applications. Mainly photo and music management, but occasionally some web browsing. I'm not a gamer and any intensive games that I play (if they are compatible) all date back to XP and earlier versions of Windows. I may use the computer once in a while for productivity and managing files and drives, but that's about it. The computer for the most part does handle Windows 10 well for its age, especially after I upgraded the RAM, CPU & graphics. I can't afford to buy a new system at the moment, so this computer will have to do for the time being. I just need it to be stable and reliable.

Answers

  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,161 Trailblazer
    Do the issues go completely away if you pull the NVIDIA card out and run off the VGA on the motherboard? If so I'd suggest a video card replacement to clear things up. If you still get video errors (obviously Intel related instead of NVIDIA) we're going to be looking at software...
    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • Kflash08
    Kflash08 Member Posts: 6

    Tinkerer

    billsey said:
    Do the issues go completely away if you pull the NVIDIA card out and run off the VGA on the motherboard? If so I'd suggest a video card replacement to clear things up. If you still get video errors (obviously Intel related instead of NVIDIA) we're going to be looking at software...
    I think I did that but I'm not sure, though that was a few years ago. The thing is that drivers for the on-board graphics (Geforce 7000 something) are not made for Windows 10, which is why I installed a graphics card. For the onboard video, I would be using the Basic Microsoft Display Driver, which provides no acceleration, so scrolling and animations would be extremely jerky.  Even with official drivers, it would really be outdated for modern applications and websites. And if I remember correctly, I would also be limited to certain resolutions, which would mean a stretched image on my Acer X223W at best.
  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,161 Trailblazer
    Likely the onboard is one of the Intel HDx000 chipsets. It can be a challenge to get the early ones up and running in W10, as you found out. But you would at least be able to pin the issue down to the NVIDIA card. Then it's likely just a matter of replacing the card. If you purchase a replacement card and then find that it's something else going on it'll be a hassle because you'd have to go through the return process on the new card. Of course, if it is the card, that would get you back up and running pretty fast...
    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • Kflash08
    Kflash08 Member Posts: 6

    Tinkerer

    billsey said:
    Likely the onboard is one of the Intel HDx000 chipsets. It can be a challenge to get the early ones up and running in W10, as you found out. But you would at least be able to pin the issue down to the NVIDIA card. Then it's likely just a matter of replacing the card. If you purchase a replacement card and then find that it's something else going on it'll be a hassle because you'd have to go through the return process on the new card. Of course, if it is the card, that would get you back up and running pretty fast...
    Believe it or not, the onboard video/northbridge is a NVIDIA GeForce 7050/nForce i610. Yeah, that surprised me as well, being paired with an Intel processor.

    Unfortunately I can't return the card since I bought it back in 2018. I don't have a spare desktop computer modern enough to run Windows 10 that I can use to verify if the card is at fault. I do have a GeForce 8400GS which I've tried, but it can't keep up with YouTube (even at lower resolutions) and it struggles with my monitor's native resolution. I don't think the GeForce 8400GS suffered from driver crashes, though interestingly enough, GPU-Z claims that it's fake. My only other guess is that the GT710 is just to modern/advanced for the Aspire M1640, where the 8400GS is compatible. I hate to buy another card only to find out that the problem still exists, though it appears that the driver crashes are a common issue with NVIDIA cards, even for people who build high end gaming systems.
  • Kflash08
    Kflash08 Member Posts: 6

    Tinkerer

    Revising this thread...

    Still having issues with the problems mentioned in my initial post. One thing that I've recently noticed is that storage devices that are USB 3.0 capable seem to have issues with the onboard USB controller. While copying large amounts of files to such devices (flash drives and a Western Digital My Book), Windows may soft lock. The strange thing is that this doesn't happen with older USB 2.0 storage devices. After installing a different USB 2.0 PCI card and using that for my USB 3.0 devices, Windows no longer soft locks upon large file transfers. I'm guessing that there's an incompatible driver for the onboard controller that's causing this, and I wonder if another USB device (like my mouse or the internal card reader) could be causing this as well.

    NVIDIA video driver still crashes with Firefox, but the video has been recovering as of late. Once it recovers, I get a message about acceleration being blocked for Firefox. Closing and re-launching Firefox restores the acceleration.

  • ttttt
    ttttt Member Posts: 1,947 Community Aficionado
    @Kflah08
    I believe your PC is approaching the end of its life. Problems happened here and there. Even though you made upgrades to it through the years, the motherboard is still the original one, that must be more than one decade old.
    If you cannot afford a new PC now, buying a refurbished PC maybe a good compromise. For about $100 you can get something comparable to your current PC. For $120-$200 you can get DDR3 RAM, third to four generation i5 processor PC and SATA3 HDD with W10/W7 loaded. So many options to choose.
    I had retired a DDR2 RAM PC a few months ago. It had some little problems for years that I could not fix but the PC was still usable. Glad to have it replaced, considering the time saved each year with a higher performance , newer machine.

  • Kflash08
    Kflash08 Member Posts: 6

    Tinkerer

    ttttt said:
    @Kflah08
    I believe your PC is approaching the end of its life. Problems happened here and there. Even though you made upgrades to it through the years, the motherboard is still the original one, that must be more than one decade old.
    If you cannot afford a new PC now, buying a refurbished PC maybe a good compromise. For about $100 you can get something comparable to your current PC. For $120-$200 you can get DDR3 RAM, third to four generation i5 processor PC and SATA3 HDD with W10/W7 loaded. So many options to choose.
    I had retired a DDR2 RAM PC a few months ago. It had some little problems for years that I could not fix but the PC was still usable. Glad to have it replaced, considering the time saved each year with a higher performance , newer machine.


    I actually now have another system that's a few years newer than the Acer that I'm considering replacing it with. It has a Athlon 64 X2 4200+ processor in it, but I want to upgrade it to a Phantom II X4 quad core for better performance. The memory and graphics card I can swipe out of the Acer, so hopefully that will help bring the performance of the replacement up to where it was. My only concern with the replacement is that it uses a GeForce 6150SE/nForce i430, which is older than the GeForce 7150/nForce i610 that's in the Acer. Not sure why the PC industry was still using outdated chipsets 2-3 years later, but I don't want to run into compatibility issues or reduced performance. The Acer still runs fine for what I use it for, it's just unstable, either with the video card or with Windows 10. If I had the time, I would remove the video card and re-load the original Windows Vista OS on it and see how it performs.
  • Kflash08
    Kflash08 Member Posts: 6

    Tinkerer

    I replaced my Acer with the computer mentioned in my last post. Moved the memory and graphics card over to the "new" one and upgraded the processor to an AMD Phenom II x4 820. Other than gaining a little more performance over the Acer, the replacement hasn't suffered from any of the issues that I've experienced. Downgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 7 on the Acer and installed an older video card (GeForce 8400 GS) as well for some testing and other tasks. Didn't experience any problems with that configuration, so either the motherboard had issues with the GT 710 or there was an incompatible driver with one of the devices while on Windows 10.