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Nvidia 8600M GS only works when disabled


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#1 Delphi51

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 11:34 AM

I'm helping a friend with her HP Pavilion dv9700 (also says dv9740ca) notebook with T5450 1.66 GHz cpu running Vista 32. At first it started only once in a while in safe mode, but after removing and cleaning the contacts on the memory modules and two hard drives, it started very reliably in safe mode. In normal startup, the screen went dark before seeing the colored lights that form into the Microsoft logo.

I read a lot of complaints about the Nvidia GeForce 8600M GS video. Updated the driver to version 8.17.12.6658 dated 07/01/2011. Finally got some success by disabling the Nvidia device in device manager. Now it starts reliably in normal mode and works well except no hibernate or sleep feature is available. It is using a "VGAsave" video driver. A 1280x800 resolution is available and looks very good. My friend is not a game player, so this is not too bad. Much better than those people who had to toss their computers because HP did not support their problematic Nvidia video cards.

I would like to understand this a little better. Disabling the video card seems rather like putting a tourniquet on someone's neck. What is actually happening? I'm picturing some kind of basic video card hardware within the big GEforce chip that is awakened when you disable. Is that correct or is it using a separate chip?

Is there a better choice for the driver - perhaps the "windows standard VGA driver" - that would allow sleep or hibernate to work? If so, how do I switch to it? (something here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/268852) I never heard of the VgaSave driver and don't know what the difference would be between the two. Pressing F8 while starting brings up a menu with "enable 640x480 video" but no "standard VGA" choice as some computers have.

All the stories about the Nvidia 8600M GS I've seen are at least 2 years old. It would be interesting to know if their suit against Nvidia and HP brought any resolution or if there is any point in complaining to HP now. My friend thinks her computer is less than 2 years old but the release date for it is January, 2007 according to Wikipedia.

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:09 PM

I have looked up both the DV9700 CTO and the DV9740ca laptops and did not see any issues with video cards, just defective batteries.

Here is a link to DV9700 CTO

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/product?product=3636841&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&submit.y=7&submit.x=8&lang=en&cc=us


Here is a link to DV9740ca


http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/product?product=3650230&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&submit.y=6&submit.x=13&lang=en&cc=us

I am curious where you are getting the video driver package from?

Bruce.
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#3 Delphi51

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:44 PM

The video driver is from the Nvidia site, automatic selection of best driver.
I also got a 2008 one, version 7.15.11.7713 through clicking the update button in device manager. Forgot to mention that; it worked for a while, then stopped. I am confused about what I did when. I think that was before cleaning the contacts on the memory. I have just rolled back the driver to the 7713 one and the notebook is starting up okay with it! I have sleep, hibernate and even the video card temperature gauge program works (55 degrees). Very tricky when there is more than one problem. Will try this for another day or two and see how it goes. Thanks very much for mentioning video drivers!

Wikipedia says

Some chips of the GeForce 8 series (concretely those from the G84 and G86 series) may suffer from an overheating problem. NVIDIA states this issue should not affect many chips,[37] whereas others assert that all of the chips in these series are potentially affected.[37] NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and CFO Marvin Burkett were involved in a lawsuit filed on September 9, 2008 alleging that their knowledge of the flaw, and their intent to hide it, resulted in NVIDIA losing 31% on the stock markets.[38]

The reason for the high failure rate was because of improper selection of the underfill material for the chip. Underfill materials are a sort of glue that keeps the silicon die firmly attached to the packaging material, which is where the connection to the actual pins takes place. On this chips, the working temperature of the underfill material was too low for the task and allowed the chip to move slightly if temperature was raised above a certain level, weakening the solder joints by which the die is attached. This eventually leads to a catastrophic failure, although the way the chip fails is quite random.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_8_Series


There is an old discussion of the problems with this video card in another forum:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/gaming-software-graphics-cards/211114-geforce-8600m-gs-problems.html

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:56 PM

Okay I recall those issues now thanks for refreshing my memory.

There have been recent buggy drivers coming from the nVidia download site as well, I had an issue with the latest one for my video card, the system would shut down on me to prevent damage.

It had to do with a driver related to the video card.

I was lucky to find a copy of it in a folder on my hard drive and installed that instead.

Odd thing is both drivers were the same version and release date.

This is why I sometimes recommend trying an earlier released driver, because sometimes the latest releases still have some coding bug in them.

Please keep us posted.

Bruce.
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#5 Delphi51

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 11:35 PM

The 2008 driver didn't last long. Two good startups, then on the third a video card failure & recovery error message and black screen stall on subsequent tries. I put it back on disabled where it still works well and returned it to the friend. She was disappointed that it doesn't do solitaire well. The cards move very jerkily. Oh well, it is pretty silly to turn a $1000 computer into a deck of cards anyway.

I'm still curious about what actually happens when the video card is disabled.

#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:51 AM

Ya know, just today I seen my screen flash for one second and then a message popped up saying my graphics have recovered from an unexpected error.

I'll have to check event viewer later, but I recently re-installed windows 7 two weeks ago and I have the latest driver from nVidia's web site, I had this same issue a while back and I had to use a driver that I had in a folder on my hard drive and it never did that afterward.

So I may have to do it again and I bet I know which .sys file caused it.

In fact I am going to check it before I send up this post.

Here's the error Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered.


That is a nVidia display driver, same driver I had issues with before.

So as I said earlier, sometimes a driver release is buggy, this nvlddmkm.sys driver has an issue.

Check to see if you have this same file in your system32\drivers folder

Bruce.
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#7 killerx525

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:54 AM

Hmm, looks like i won't be buying Nvidia graphics card for a long time due to this annoying buggy driver.

>Michael 
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#8 Delphi51

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 10:36 PM

Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered.

That sounds familiar, though perhaps not the exact name.
I don't have the computer now, but could get it back. Likely there is one of those in the 2008 and in the 2011 driver package (I have backups of both). I suppose installing one of those drivers would install the file. Is there anything else I could try with some hope of success?

#9 MrBruce1959

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 12:09 AM

Well when you find out what driver your installation files planted on your hard drive, please let me know, then we can go from there.

I have a copy of the nVidia driver package I downloaded like a year and a half ago, that package never had an issue, but when I updated my video driver back in October 2010, the driver started blinking out and through that same error at me.

Now recently, I downloaded the latest driver from nVidia thinking they may have fixed the bug, but I have had this driver act up twice now inside the 3 weeks I have re-installed Windows 7.

Although that's not bad considering how many hours I have this thing running and only two errors.

Mind you though, memory brings back the fact in the past, windows would shut down saying Windows is shutting down to prevent damage to your computer. I am not seeing that exact error this time around.

So maybe they did a partial bug fix.

Bruce.
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