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Why am I getting consistent Kernel exceptions from my Nvidia Drivers?

Flea Habilis

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I am not writing this for myself but for my friend. I will try to provide as much information about the situation as I can, but I am trying to give her the confidence not to give up on trying to fix this problem. Graphics card is Nvidia Geforce GT 740. The crashes began on Windows 7, but the PC currently runs Windows 10 with no issues. Windows 10 has been completely re-installed as well, following a complete hard drive format. This was not by choice, as an issue entering safe-mode without the password required formatting the hard drive.






The above images are from an event viewer description of the error in question. Here are the particulars of the crash:

1) The crash only happens in Second Life viewers and has occured with the use of the Linden Lab viewer, Firestorm, Singularity, and Black Dragon. Every other game, including graphically intense games, like Saints Row 4, runs like a dream. We have tried clean installs of all viewers multiple times. Not just uninstalling via the program's built-in uninstaller, but using the method recommended by Firestorm's "clean install" instructions. All viewers that have been tried are either currently the most recent version or were the most recent version at the time the install was attempted. Currently using Firestorm 4.7.3 (47323) as the most recent. We have also tried the 32 bit versions of the Viewer with no improvement.

2) It seems to happen at random intervals. Sometimes it will not crash for 4 or 5 hours of pay, sometimes it will happen 3 or 4 times in the space of 15 minutes.

3) We have tried updating the graphics drivers (they are currently at the latest version), we have tried installing older drivers, we have tried uninstalling Geforce Experience, we have tried clean-installs of all drivers. Nothing seems to affect the frequency of the crashes.

4) We have replaced the hard drives, power supply, the case, the motherboard, the graphics card (All GT 740s, from the 2 gig to the 4 gig. The 2 gig card resulted in BSODs so we stopped using it), the ram sticks, fans, the keyboard, the mouse more than twice. The only thing that has not been replaced is the processor, but we have reapplied the cooling gel with no noticable impact on the crashes, either good or bad. The Pc has been cleaned by a professional and has no dust buildup.

5) Every method of determining the error in question points to this Kernel exception 3. There is virtually no deviation from this except for an occasional Error Code 7.

6) The crash happens regardless of how many people are around in a sim, as it happens both in populated sims and empty ones. There is no framerate drop or any other flucctuation in performance up until the crash takes place. The computer, itself, both before, during, and after the cash functions normally with no performance issues.

7) We have tried many recommended compatability modes for running Firestorm or the SL viewer. They all have administrator rights. We cannot claim to have tried every possible combination under compatability mode.

 We are mystified after how many times this computer has been rebuilt and, like the Ship of Theseus, one could make the argument that it is a completely different computer from the one we started with. We are completely out of ideas about what could be causing the problem across these different machines.

We welcome ANY advice that doesn't involve repeating advice we have heard from multiple sources to update the drivers. We have updated the drivers. Please do not ask us to update the drivers. We will not install an old driver unless you can specifically tell us which old driver we need to install and why.

If you know where else we might post this question to get answers, I would also welcome these answers as well. We have been running under the assumption that the graphics card, either the driver or the card itself, is to blame. However, there are conflicting symptoms. If the graphics card was somehow physically damaged, why does it only affect second life and no other game? La Noir, Sims 3 and 4, Saints Row 3 and 4, GTA4, Star Wars:The Old Republic, Civilzation V and a host of other games are ALL played on the HIGHEST settings specifically for the purpose of stress testing the machine to reproduce the error.

If the graphics card was physically damaged, we would have expected to see performance issues or errors there. We have yet to see any other program behave like this. This leads us to believe the issue might be with Second Life alone, but we don't know for a fact. There is only one other game that crashed like this and it was Minecraft. We don't know what caused that, either.

We have run out of options and ideas. Please help.




P.S. Seriously... don't ask us to update the drivers.





Firestorm 4.7.3 (47323) Aug 18 2015 03:46:39 (Firestorm-Releasex64) with OpenSimulator support
Release Notes

Second Life Server
Release Notes

CPU: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 965 Processor (3400.07 MHz)
Memory: 16346 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit (Build 10240)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce GT 740/PCIe/SSE2

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 10.18.0013.5582
OpenGL Version: 4.5.0 NVIDIA 355.82

RestrainedLove API: RLV v2.8.0 / RLVa v1.4.10a
libcurl Version: libcurl/7.38.0 OpenSSL/1.0.1i zlib/1.2.8
J2C Decoder Version: KDU v7.6
Audio Driver Version: FMOD Ex 4.44.56
Qt Webkit Version: 4.7.1 (version number hard-coded)
Voice Server Version: Vivox 4.6.0017.21209

Settings mode: Firestorm
Viewer Skin: Firestorm (Grey)
Font Used: Deja Vu (96 DPI)

Font Size Adjustment: 0 pt
UI Scaling: 1
Draw distance: 128 m
Bandwidth: 1200 kbit/s
LOD factor: 2
Render quality: High (5/7)
Advanced Lighting Model: Yes
Texture memory: 512 MB (1)
VFS (cache) creation time (UTC): 2015-9-26T8:19:20
Built with MSVC version 1800
Packets Lost: 8/47,783 (0.0%)

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Rhonda made good suggestions.

I suggest you get the free programs: Open Hardware Monitor, GPU-Z, and System Explorer. This will give you more information about what is happening with the computer.

Watch for temperatures exceeding safe levels and memory consumption.

The last two NVIDIA drivers have bugs that cause problems with my 560. You could try a beta version driver. Only the final version are pushed via NVIDIA's automatic update.

If the problem only occurs with SL, try a couple of different viewers. Alchemy and Cool VL are good choices to detecting if the problem is viewer related. I currently have more problems running Firestorm than I do the Linden or Alchemy viewers. Debugging should always include running one of the Linden Viewers.

Also, I find that HTML5 video can produce some of the same video inspired problems. If I run Google Chrome and a viewer, I am more likely to have a problem.

Don't assume that the problem can be fixed or that it is just a viewer issue. It may be both are true, but it may be neither is true. I believe there are currently problems with the NVIDIA drivers because they often reset or crash while I am running SL via FS and Linden. I can delay that by using System Explorer to clean system memory. 

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