One of the most common blue screen of death error messages on Windows 7, 10 is Nvlddmkm.Sys. This specific error message is most familiar to Windows users that happen to have an NVIDIA graphics card.
What causes this problem? And, more importantly, what can you fix it once and for all? If you are currently asking yourself any of these questions or other similar to them, you have come to the right place.
In this article, I will give you all the information you need in order to fix this error message. Of course, understanding this error in some detail will always help you in fixing it.
Here at Error Codes Pro we firmly believe that the key to understanding any software issue is in understanding it as much as possible.
What Does Nvlddmkm.Sys Mean?
In this tutorial, we are talking about a specific error that you will identify by the following full error message:
“Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We’re just collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you. If you’d like to know more, you can search online later for this error: VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE (nvlddmkm.sys)”.
So, the full name for this error is TDR Failure (nvlddmkm.sys). TDR is an acronym for Timeout, Detection and Recovery. These are three key components of Windows 7 and Windows 10 computers.
The purpose of these elements is to reset your GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) or a driver whenever an issue comes up. When you get this error is when too many problems happen in fast succession affecting you’re the drive or GPU.
There could be different reasons responsible for this. As I hinted in the introduction this error is a lot more likely to occur for users that have an NVIDIA graphics card. So, it would follow that the error has something to do with this graphics card, and it does.
If the driver that houses the NVIDIA graphics card either becomes overloaded or it just stops working because it has become overloaded or it has exceeded its capabilities, you will get this blue screen of death error message.
But those are just the main reasons that could be causing this error message to display on your screen. There could be others including, for example, the memory timings are incorrect, the voltages are incorrect, there are driver conflicts, or you have installed a graphics card that is faulty or a driver that is corrupted.
“The PC is successfully because we’re all benefiting from the competition with each other. If Twitter comes along, our games benefit. If Nvidia makes better graphics technology, all the games are going to shine. If we come out with a better game, people are going to buy more PCs”. – Gabe Newell
It can be difficult to determine the cause of it. But, the good news is that whatever the problem actually is, it can be easily fixed. Even if you have no previous knowledge or do not consider yourself computer savvy, you would be able to fix the issue by yourself.
All you would have to do is follow the simple steps that make up pretty much the rest of this article. It is important that you do this carefully and do not skip over any of the steps. There are no shortcuts to fixing this error.
I would also strongly suggest that you go over all the steps before you set out to fix the error. This is because it is always an excellent idea to understand what is actually involved in fixing a problem before attempting to fix it.
All that being said, here is what you need to do in order to fix this issue:
Re-Install the NVIDIA Graphics Driver
The first thing that you will need to do is to perform a clean re-install the NVDIA graphics driver. You will need to follow these simple steps in order to do so:
- Grab your Windows computer.
- Turn it on several times in succession (usually, more than twice), until you get the following message displaying: “preparing automatic repair”.
- Wait until the following message displays on your screen: “Diagnosing your PC”.
- Once the start-up repair window appears, click on Advanced Options. This action will send you over to the Windows recovery environment (RE).
- Then, click on the Troubleshoot option in the Windows recovery environment.
- Next, choose Advanced Options. You will then presented with several different options.
- Click on Start-up Settings.
- Then, click on Restart.
- Hit the number 4 key to enable the safe mode.
- One in the Windows safe mode, go to the Device Manager.
- Go through all the different categories until you find the one labeled Display Adapters.
- Expand the Display Adapters category.
- Right click on the NVIDIA graphics driver (this could be labeled in many different ways but you should recognize it easily because it would say NVIDIA, among other things).
- Select the Uninstall option.
- You will then be prompted to confirm whether you would like to uninstall the NVIDIA graphics card. Check the box next to “Delete the driver software for this device”.
- Then click on OK.
- Then you will need to head over to the support site and download the latest version of the NVIDIA graphics driver.
- Once you have downloaded it, you will need to install it.
- Then head over to C:\\Windows\System32\Drivers
- Next, find the file labeled as nvlddmkm.sys.
- Once you have found the file, right-click on it.
- Select the Rename option. If you are prompted to confirm whether you would like to rename the file or not, just click on Yes.
- Then head over to either C:\Nvidia or C:\drvvganVidia.
- Once there, locate the file labeled nvddmkm.sy_ If you are struggling to find the file, just type it into the search box.
- Once you have located the file, copy it and then paste it into your desktop directory.
- Next, hit the following two keys at the same time: the Windows Key and the X Key.
- Select the Command Prompt (Admin) option among all the others.
- Once the Command Prompt (Admin) displays, types in the following command “expand.exe nvlddmkm.sy_ nvlddmkm.sys” [no quotation marks].
- Then press Enter.
- Head over to the C:\ drive once more and copy the file labeled nvlddmkm.sys.
- Next, paste it into the following folder: C:\\Windows\System32\Drivers.
- Finally, restart your computer.
In most cases, following these steps fixes the error. But if you still get this error message there are a few other things that you could try out.
Troubleshoot the Error
If the steps did not work you may want to think about what installations you have performed recently.
If you have installed any new programs or new drivers close to the time in which you experienced this error, it is likely that you have found the culprit. If that is the case, then you should try uninstalling the program/driver and install it again.
Some users experience this error when using an external webcam. So, getting rid of the camera and uninstalling all of its drivers should get rid of this error.
If you use your Windows 7 or Windows 10 computer to play games it is worth checking for game patches.
Another thing that is well worth doing is to always ensure that your video games are not overloading your graphics card.
If the steps did not work and you have troubleshot other reasons, including video games there are still two things that you could do.
You could run a memory test. If you do not how to do this, here are the simple steps to follow:
- Grab your Windows computer.
- Hit the following two keys at the same time: the Windows key and the R key. This action will prompt the Run command box to display.
- Type the following text into the Run command box: “mdsched.exe” [no quotation marks].
- Then click on OK.
- Select Restart now for problems (recommended).
- Once your computer restarts you should able to see what errors have been diagnosed and act accordingly.
You could also run a disk check: If you do not how to do this, here are the simple steps to follow:
- Grab your Windows computer.
- Hit the following two keys at the same time: the Windows key and the X key. This action will prompt the Command Prompt (Admin) to display.
- Then, click on Yes.
- Once the Command Prompt (Admin) displays, type in this command: “chkdsk /f c:” [no quotation marks].
- Click on Enter.
- Type Y where prompted and restart your computer.
Once your computer restarts, you should be able to verify whether there are any problems with your disk so you should be able to zero in the issue and fix it.
So, this is how to fix Nvlddmkm.sys error message on Windows 7, 10. If you have any feedback on this tutorial or would like to share your own experience dealing with this error, please leave us a message in the comments section below.
Ryan is a computer enthusiast who has a knack for fixing difficult and technical software problems. Whether you’re having issues with Windows, Safari, Chrome or even an HP printer, Ryan helps out by figuring out easy solutions to common error codes.