I think my graphics card is causing BSOD -- any way to be sure?

  • I've been battling BSOD for a month now and have reinstalled Vista 3 times. I am still getting BSOD with a 116 error code indicating nvlddmkm.sys. I can boot into Safe Mode and I can boot Vista with the nVidia graphics driver disabled. When I get the option to check for solutions (after going into Safe Mode following the crash), I get a message that the nvidia driver has failed. I tried downloading the newest driver from nVidia's website, but I'm still getting BSOD. I have run diagnostic tests on the hard drive, CPU, memory and motherboard and it passes all these tests. I did try running a diagnostics test on the graphics card twice (with the driver enabled) and it crashed the system both times. 


    So, I think the card is shot since I'm still getting BSOD with the newest drivers. I'm fine with replacing the card if it will save my computer, but I don't want to spend the $$ if something else is wrong with my computer. Are there any other tests I should run on the computer before buying a new card? Also, what card should I get. I have an HP m9150f with a Nvidia 8500 GeForce card. Also, I have not downloaded the Service Packs or updates from Windows (I did the first 2 times I re-installed and the system was still crashing). Should I install them right now or will that just complicate things until I get the graphics card figured out?



Question Info

Last updated December 6, 2018 Views 19,849 Applies to:

Video/Display drivers and antivirus/antispyware/security products are the major suspects. Which
of the malware detection/prevention have EVER been on this machine even if you uninstalled them.
Those type programs can leave trouble causing remnants and current ones, especially some antivirus
and firewalls are known to cause strange issues.


Remove ALL power and remove and reseat the video card - do not just snug - actually remove the card
and replace it - do same for other cards, memory and cables (on both ends when possible).

Get Support involved as there may be known issues.

Best chance is via System maker and Nvidia Support and their forums.

For drivers : (have you tried rolling back to an older version?)

Download - SAVE  go to where you put the driver - Right Click on it - RUN AS ADMIN

Nvidia - Drivers - Use OPTION 1 to manually enter your driver info to get most current drivers. 

Nvidia Support - check with Support as it could be a known issue

Nvidia Forums - also check for forums as it could be a known issue and/or others likely to have it

Also check with HP support and their forums.

HP Support

Contact HP

HP Forums


Yes add the Service Packs though make redundant backups and use the Download versions and not
the Windows Updates versions.

Get Service Pack 1 and 2 for your version of Windows Vista.

See method 3 here for SP1 and SP2


If you end up needing a new video card shop for one with at least the same features and better
with-in your budget. Check with the game forums and request info on ones that do not exceed
the ability of the rest of your system.


This is my generic bluescreen troubleshooter - 116 used below as an example is just incidental
and only means its a common occurring error.

Look in the Event Viewer to see if anything is reported about those.

MyEventViewer - Free - a simple alternative to the standard event viewer of Windows.
TIP - Options - Advanced Filter allows you to see a time frame instead of the whole file.


Here are some methods to possibly fix the blue screen issue. If you could give the Blue Screen info
that would help. Such as the BCC and the other 4 entries on the lower left. And any other error
information such as STOP codes and info such as IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA and similar messages.

As examples :

BCCode: 116
BCP1: 87BC9510
BCP2: 8C013D80
BCP3: 00000000
BCP4: 00000002

or in this format :

Stop: 0x00000000 (oxoooooooo oxoooooooo oxooooooooo oxoooooooo)
tcpip.sys - Address 0x00000000 base at 0x000000000 DateStamp 0x000000000

This is an excellent tool for posting Blue Screen Error Information

BlueScreenView scans all your minidump files created during 'blue screen of death' crashes,
and displays the information about all crashes in one table - Free

Many BlueScreens are caused by old or corrupted drivers, especially video drivers however there
are other causes.

You can do these in Safe Mode if needed or from Command Prompt from Vista DVD or Recovery
Options if your system has that installed by the maker.

This tells you how to access the System Recovery Options and/or from a Vista DVD

You can try a System Restore back to a point before the problem started if there is one.

How to Do a System Restore in Vista


Do this to repair/replace damaged/missing system files. These can be done in Safe Mode -
repeatedly tap F8 as you boot.

Start - type this in Search Box ->  COMMAND   find at top and RIGHT CLICK  -  RUN AS ADMIN

Enter this at the prompt - sfc /scannow

How to analyze the log file entries that the Microsoft Windows Resource Checker (SFC.exe) program
generates in Windows Vista cbs.log

The log might give you the answer if there was a corrupted driver. (Does not tell all the possible
driver issues).

Also run CheckDisk so we can rule out corruption as much as possible.
How to Run Check Disk at Startup in Vista


Often updating drivers will help, usually Video, Sound, Network Card  (NIC), WiFi, 3rd party
keyboard and mouse, as well as other major device drivers.

Manually look at manufacturer's sites for drivers - and Device Maker's sites.

How to Install a Device Driver in Vista Device Manager

How To Disable Automatic Driver Installation In Windows Vista - Drivers


How to fix BlueScreen (STOP) errors that cause Windows Vista to shut down or restart unexpectedly

Troubleshooting Vista Blue Screen, STOP Errors

Understanding and Decoding BSOD (blue screen of death) Messages

Windows - Troubleshooting Blue Screen Errors


In some cases this might be required.

StartUp Repair from Recovery Options or Vista disk

How to do a Startup Repair

This tells you how to access the System Recovery Options and/or from a Vista DVD

Hope this helps.

Rob - Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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