Just Cause 2 and nvlddmkm crash: SOLVED

“Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered.”

Oh the pain of this message… for two months I battled this issue as did gamers all over the world… but I finally fixed it!

The issue presented itself like this:

  1. The game freezing.
  2. Then the screen going black.
  3. Then the desktop showing up with only the sound playing.

You have to use ctrl+alt+del to kill justcause2.exe.  Once you do this and restart the game… it may work for a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes before the same crash occurs.

First off, I’m running a fine system… I can play Crysis 2 on high settings easily with no crash.  I can run Unigine’s Heaven Benchmark on very high settings and it looks great.  My card stays at about 70C while playing Just Cause 2, which is fine.

Here is what I did to solve the problem:

First off, try the usual stuff as this has helped many folks.  Info on this is all over the web.  I’ll put some suggestions down below.  If this stuff doesn’t help, do this.

Tweak sound (an unlikely but potent culprit):

  • Start, control panel, sound

 

Sound

  • Click “Properties”
  • Click the “Advanced” tab
  • Change the Default Format to 16bit, 48000 Hz DVD Quality or lower.

Advanced

  • Go back to “Sound” and select the device you use for sound… usually “Speakers”.  Click “Configure”
  • Change your speakers to “Stereo” and click next until you reach “Finish”.

Tweak video card settings:

  • Download your vid vendor’s advanced tweaking utility.
    (I have an EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 (superclocked) card.  I downloaded EVGA Precision from: http://www.evga.com/precision/ )
    Most, if not all, video card manufacturers have these utilities for your card.  Get the proper tool for your card!

EVGA's Precision Utility

  • First off, use the tool to check your video card temp when running the game.  I get nervous if it goes over 80C.  You can manually make the fan run at 100%.  This should keep you very cool.
  • If you still crash when your card is cool, tune down the core clock by about 50 and the memory clock by about 80.

Test your game.  Mine ran flawlessly for the first time ever.  I have the in-game video settings on the highest value with no problems!  Once you get it to run well, turn your sound options back to their defaults one-by-one.  Sometimes it is just the core clock that is the issue.  If the sound makes it crash again, try to change your core clock back to defaults instead.  In this way, you will start from a functional game and move towards an optimized system.

I have no idea why Just Cause 2 needs so much loving in order to get it to run properly… it is a sweet game, though!

The stuff to try first:

  • Uninstall steam, delete steam folder, reinstall steam, re-download games and verify game files
  • Test vid card on other games to make sure vid card is good
  • Check vid card temperature
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