Article ID: 2665946 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

Your PC may temporarily hang or become unresponsive, and you receive the following error message:
Display driver stopped responding and has recovered

Cause

This behavior can occur for one or more of the following reasons:

  • You may need to install the latest updates for your display driver
  • Visual effects, or too many programs running in the background may be slowing your PC down
  • The GPU is taking more time than permitted to display graphics to your monitor
Note: If you are using an older video card, there may not be a video driver that is fully compatible with your version of Windows.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, follow the steps in the methods starting with method 1 and then proceding with method 2 if that solution does not resolve the issue.

Method 1: Increase the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) processing time by adjusting the Timeout Detection and Recovery registry value

Timeout Detection and Recovery is a Windows feature that can detect when video adapter hardware or a driver on your PC has taken longer than expected to complete an operation. When this happens, Windows attempts to recover and reset the graphics hardware. If the GPU is unable to recover and reset the graphics hardware in the time permitted (2 seconds), your system may become unresponsive, and display the error “Display driver stopped responding and has recovered.”

Giving the Timeout Detection and Recovery feature more time to complete this operation by adjusting the registry value, may resolve this issue.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up the registry in Windows 7, see Back up the registry

To have us modify the registry value for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you prefer to modify the registry value yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.
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Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 50848
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Notes
  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.




Let me fix it myself

  1. Exit all Windows based programs.
  2. Click Start, type regedit in the Search box, and then double-click regedit.exe from the results above. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. Browse to and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers
  4. On the Edit menu, click New, and then select the following registry value from the drop-down menu specific to your version of Windows (32 bit, or 64 bit):

    For 32 bit Windows
    1. Select DWORD (32-bit) value.
    2. Type TdrDelay as the Name and click Enter.
    3. Double-click TdrDelay and add 8 for the Value data and click OK.

    For 64 bit Windows

    1. Select QWORD (64-bit) value.
    2. Type TdrDelay as the Name and click Enter.
    3. Double-click TdrDelay and add 8 for the Value data and clickOK.
  5. Close the registry editor and then restart your computer for the changes to take affect.
If this method did not resolve the issue, continue to method 2.

Method 2: Install the latest updates

You might need to set Windows Update to automatically download and install recommended updates. Installing any important, recommended, and optional updates can update system features and other software that might help to fix your hardware problems. To update to the latest display driver for your graphics hardware using Windows Update, click the link specific to your version of Windows and follow the steps in the that article:

Update a driver for hardware that isn't working properly in Windows 7

Update a driver for hardware that isn't working properly in Windows Vista

If installing the latest updates did not resolve the issue, continue to method 3.

Method 3: Investigate possible issues with visual effects or background programs

Having multiple programs, browser windows, or email messages open at the same time can use up memory, and cause performance issues. Try closing any programs and windows that you are not using.

You can also adjust your PC for better performance by disabling some of the visual effects. Here’s how to adjust all visual effects for best performance:
  1. Open Performance Information and Tools by clicking the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type Performance Information and Tools, and then, in the list of results, click Performance Information and Tools.
  2. Click Adjust visual effects, if you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. Click the Visual Effects tab, click Adjust for best performance, and then click OK.
    Note: For a less drastic option, select Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer).

More information

For more information about Timeout Detection and Recovery, see Timeout Detection and Recovery of GPUs through WDDM.

Properties

Article ID: 2665946 - Last Review: February 12, 2013 - Revision: 8.0
Applies to
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
Keywords: 
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