How to fix video_tdr_failure (nvlddmkm.sys) on Windows 10 [QUICK GUIDE]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
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There is a common blue screen error known as “video_tdr_failure nvlddmkm.sys”. Users who are using both the Windows 10 operating system and an Nvidia GPU may face this error.

If you are seeing this blue screen, then you will be glad to know that there are workarounds you can use to resolve the issue.

In this article, you will find 3 fixes for the error, but first, let’s discuss what exactly is the video_tdr_failure error and what causes it. 

The T in TDR stands for Timeout, the D stands for Detection, and the R stands for Recovery. The Video_TDR function is designed to prevent blue screens of death from occurring.

It does this by resetting your drivers or GPU if there is an error or unnaturally long delay. Therefore, if there is a Video_TDR_Failure, then the blue screen of death will appear.

The error “nvlddmkm.sys” is a problem most likely related to the display driver of your Nvidia graphics card.

Fortunately, there are several workarounds that can help you resolve the issue. If one of the solutions below does not fix the problem, then you can try another one. Since there are multiple possible causes of the error, so are there multiple possible fixes.

How do I fix the video_tdr_failure nvlddmkm.sys on Windows 10?

  1. Check for any new Windows update
  2. Check for updates for the drivers of your graphics card
  3. Re-install your graphics card drivers

1: Check for any new Windows update

Usually, computers that use the Windows 10 OS will automatically update when a new one is released. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to check manually to see whether or not you have the latest Windows update.

Keeping your Windows updated is essential for your Nvidia GPU drivers to run smoothly. Updates also sometimes come with fixes that resolve errors or bugs. If you are not sure how you can manually update windows then follow these instructions:

  1. Open your start menu by either pressing the Windows key on your keyboard or by clicking on the Windows icon that is located on the bottom left side of your screen by default.
  2. Once inside the menu, click on the gear icon on the left side to enter the settings Window. Alternatively, you can type in ‘settings’ to enter the same Window. (1)
  3. Next, click on the Windows Update tab.
  4. You should an option where you can ‘Check for Updates’. Click on it and update.

If you can’t open the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue quickly.

Having trouble updating your Windows? Check out this guide that will help you solve them in no time.

2: Check for updates for the drivers of your graphics card

Naturally, you will want to see whether or not your graphics card is up to date also. In fact, most of the time the error is caused by an outdated driver.

Fortunately, it is very easy to update your drivers. For detailed instructions on how to update your graphics driver, check out this article.

There are also third-party drivers that make it easier for users to keep their drivers updated. However, if you want to manually update your GPU drivers then you can follow these steps below:

  1. First, you will find out what your graphics card model is. If you already know this information, then move on to step 2. To check what type of graphics card you have you will need to open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. You can do this by holding the windows key and R together to open the Run dialog box. Once the dialog box is open type in dxdiag and press Enter. When you are in the diagnostic tool window, click on the Display tab to find information about your GPU. You will also need to know whether you have a 64-bit or 32-bit OS. This information can be found on the System tab.
  2. After you find out what type of model you have, you will know what to download. Go to the official Nvidia website and download the latest driver for your graphics card.
  3. It is advised to use recommended/certified updates and not updates that are still in beta. There is a filter option you can use before you start a search.  It is also important to remember to download the latest driver. The latest driver will be the first one on the list.
  4. Once you choose the update, you will need to agree and download.
  5. Install, and then you will need to restart your computer.
  6. Check to see if the problem persists.

Want the latest GPU drivers? Bookmark this page and always stay updated with the latest and greatest.

We also strongly recommend TweakBit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton) to automatically scan and check for outdated drivers on your PC.

It’s a great tool which scans for updates as antivirus scans for threats. This tool will keep your system safe as you can manually download and install the wrong driver version.

Did you know that the majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers? Be a step ahead using this guide.

3: Re-install your graphics card drivers

So if updating your graphics card’s driver still doesn’t fix the issue, then you may need to completely reinstall your drivers. The reasoning behind this is that TDR failure could be caused by corrupted files.

You can repair corrupt files by using dedicated third-party tools such as the ones listed in this article.

A clean reinstall of your drivers will also replace the corrupted files with files that work properly. Before we get started, restart your computer into Safe Mode.

  1. Open Windows in Safe Mode.
  2. Open Device manager. Do this by typing in Device manager in the start menu. Alternatively, you can press the Windows Key and together to bring up a list. In this list, you can find Device Manager and click on it.
  3. Next, locate a section called Display Adapter and expand it.
  4. Right click on your graphics card driver and uninstall it.
  5. A window box will appear with the option to delete the driver software for this device. Select it and press OK. 
  6. Download and install the latest update for your specific GPU. Refer to “Fix 2” for a refresher on how to do this.
  7. Go to the drive’s directory. This is usually located at C:WindowsSystem32Drivers. Find the file nvlddmkm.sys, and rename it to nvlddmkm.sys.old. 
  8. Open Command prompt (admin). You can do this by typing in command prompt in the windows menu and right-clicking it to select ‘Run as administrator’.
  9. In the command prompt dialog box type this in”exe nvlddmkm.sy_ nvlddmkm.sys”. Remember to press Enter. This will create a new nvlddmkm.sys file.
  10. Locate this file in the Nvidia directory usually found in C drive.
  11. Copy it into  C:WindowsSystem32Drivers.
  12. Restart your computer.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.

Safe mode is not working? Don’t panic, this guide will help you get past the booting problems.

There you go, we hope that one of these three solutions helped you to fix the annoying video_tdr_failure (nvlddmkm.sys) error on Windows 10.

As always, if you came across other workarounds to fix this problem, you can help the Windows community by listing the troubleshooting steps in the comments below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.