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How do you fix the blue screen of death error nv4_disp.dll

Posted on 2008-10-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Have a dell laptop xps gen2.  It is having video problems.  Got the blue screen of death nv4_disp.dll error.
Have updated video drivers.  When I go into safe mode and uninstall the video card, then boot back up it reinstalls the video card, but when you try to change the resolution the screen goes blank and then you have to go thru the hold uninstall and reinstall and now the nv4 error. Please help with any other suggestions.  
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Question by:pwarren1212
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by:Ara-
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From what I can see, this is not an unusual problem.

I found a link to this file:
http://www.savefile.com/files/80394
In this thread:
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=4432

I cannot vouch for the file in any way, but you might check out that thread and try the file if you want to.
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by:silemone
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you have to get a copy of the .dll...it must have corrupted...
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willcomp earned 150 total points
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Uninstall nVidia drivers/software in Add/Remove Programs rather than just deleting in Device Manager. Then install updated drivers.
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by:pwarren1212
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I haven't tried what willcomp suggested yet.  I will do that next.  I did put in a new hd and install windows and when I installed the video driver the same thing happens.  Does this look like a video problem on the mb?
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by:willcomp
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It's the driver. Have you downloaded and installed the latest driver from Dell web site? If not, do so.
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by:Tx74Qp853mR
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willcomp and pwarren1212, i have the same problem, on a brand new dell model.

dell precision t3400 workstation
intel core2 quad q9300 2.5ghz 1333mhz 12mb L2
4gb 800mhz ddr2 ecc sdram
nvidia fx570 256mb
winxp 32bit sp3

The system works fine on the 2d apps i've tried, such as the ms office apps, etc.

But when running a 3d app and displaying 3d content, such as on the director11 3d stage, eventually the system locks up, although the mouse pointer still works.

I saw one bsod (winxp stop error) saying the problem was an infinite loop in nv4_disp.  That was with the original dell video driver that came with the system.  However, after upgrading to the nvidia drivers i don't get the bsod... but i do get a locked system every time i run a 3d app, which is just as bad as a bsod, at least from a user's point of view.

Interestingly, when the system locks i can still click buttons on the locked app, such as the exit or stop buttons, and eventually (minutes later) the system responds to those queued button clicks and quits the app, and the computer works fine after that.

This behavior supports the theory that the problem is not a locked cpu, but rather a looping video driver, because stopping the app that causes the loop allows you to regain control of the system, and afterward the computer works normally.

Occasionally though, the looping cannot be stopped, which requires a hard reboot.

I tried your suggestion of using Add/Remove Programs (rather than uninstalling the video card from the Device Manager), then reinstalling the latest driver from nvidia.

Unfortunately, that did not solve the problem.

I tried all the drivers available from nvidia's website for this card, including:
178-26 -- driver recommended by nvidia dated october-8-2008 -- WHQL certified
176-04
169-96
169-47
169-39
162-65

I also tried the latest driver from the dell support website:
R176513

The problem occurs with all of these drivers.

I've tried the standard methods of installing new video drivers, including:
1) uninstalling the video card from device manager -- the card re-installs automatically on reboot -- then installing a new driver.
2) add/remove programs to remove the old driver, then install a new driver by launching the new driver exe.
3) launching the new driver exe without removing the old driver.

This problem appears to be very common, as a google search for "nv4_disp" will reveal.  And it's apparently always an nvidia video card on a dell computer, running a 3d app.  It doesn't appear to matter which 3d app, because the problem occurs on a broad spectrum of 3d apps, such as 3d games, autocad, etc.

Any idea how to solve this problem, short of sending the computer back to dell for a refund?

Thanks.
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by:Ara-
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Did anyone try the thing I suggested?
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by:Tx74Qp853mR
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ara, i saw the "RX55 register" patch a while ago, but i have a nagging concern...

if the problem is so common and so easy to fix (i've seen references to this problem and to this patch dating back to 2001), why hasn't nvidia fixed it already by releasing new drivers, or patches for all the affected drivers?

also, the so-called RX55 main BIOS register patch always comes with a long list of warnings, such as:
1) if the patch doesn't work, try upgrading to winxp 64-bit, or vista 64-bit.
2) try a bunch of other things before you try the patch (check your power supply, do not overstress your memory, upgrade your BIOS, mess around with agp fast write and test, etc.)
3) don't worry if your computer continues to freeze after installing the patch... 2-3 second freezes are not too bad and you should be able to live with that !
4) please note that the patch is in beta.
5) etc.

this does not inspire confidence... again, if the problem is definitely the RX55 register, why didn't nvidia fix their drivers a long time ago?  i mean, this problem has been around since 2001 at least... and the RX55 patch has been around at least that long... for example, see:

http://www.warp2search.net/contentteller/news_story/via_rx55_memory_register_beta_patch.html

also, who wrote this patch? if the nvidia drivers are buggy, and nvidia has complete access to all system specs and programming api's, how can we trust a patch written by some unknown entity?  why does the mysterious coder know more about writing video drivers than nvidia?

as an additional data point, i ran a different 3d program on the t3400.  it's a flight sim i wrote in c++ and dx8... the sim runs flawlessly... no crashes, no freezes, no stop errors... it just runs and runs and runs.  so the problem is likely the video driver and apparently not a hardware problem... note: the t3400 is running dx9c.

my 3d app that crashes the t3400 is adobe director11, but only when running a 3d movie on the stage... director11 runs fine in coding mode on the t3400... as a side note, the same director11 movie runs perfectly fine on several other computers, so it's not the movie.

of course, the dx8 sim and the director11 movie are two different 3d programs, and they almost certainly exercise different portions of the graphics driver.

so it's possible that one graphics api method is buggy in the video driver, and the buggy method happens to get called by the director11 movie and not by the dx8 sim.

at this point i'm seriously thinking of returning the t3400 to dell for a refund... i just don't have the time or inclination to experiment with this thing much longer... and besides, a brand new computer should work properly out of the box... i mean, this business of having to patch things up the wazoo to get them to work is just plain wrong...

i'm so fed up with dell... on problems with other dell computers i've wasted weeks (literally) dealing with their tech "support" department, which is now in bangalore india... they steer you wrong as often as they solve the problem... not looking forward to calling them again.

maybe hp makes better computers and supports them better too... anyway, that's the word on the street... i'll try them next.

thanks for the input.
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by:pwarren1212
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I did try what ara suggested.  And everyone else also.  Nothing works.  We are sending the machine back to Dell.  Thanks for all the input.
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by:pwarren1212
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I am sending the computer back.  Everything that was tried did not work, but I want to award points because everyone helped.  Thanks for the help.
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by:Tx74Qp853mR
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a note about returns to dell...

dell will try to sidetrack you by asking that you troubleshoot the problem with their tech "support"... don't fall for it... dell tech support will run you through the ringer and waste days if not weeks of your time...

you only have 30-days from the day you placed the order (not the day you received the order), to request a return due to "cause" (i.e. the computer is not working properly... that's your cause of action in legal terms.)

if you go past 30-days without requesting a return for cause... you're legally bound to keep the computer... and then you're stuck with trying to have tech support fix it for you... however, if you do keep the computer, you may still have recourse under your state's lemon laws in case you can never get it to work properly... but trust me, it's a lot easier to return the thing and be done with it.

also, don't just send dell an email asking for a return... call them and make sure you get an rma# and a case#... and get them to send you an email while you're on the phone with the returns department, confirming both the rma# and the case#... dell should also schedule a pickup through ups or fedex, at their expense, not yours, and dell should give you a date for the pickup (usually the following day.)

dell has outsourced most of its support duties to india, the phillipines, etc... except for specialized high end tech support which is still at round rock tx... so don't be surprised to get the run around between departments spread out all across the planet... keep at it until you speak to the returns department and get your return request entered into their system.

if you're returning everything you ordered, you should get a 100% refund... you shouldn't have to pay a nickel out of pocket.

good luck.
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