Yes, I also downloaded the 196.21 driver. While I did not have problems for several weeks, I have noticed that not all of my problems are completely gone. I did not have a black screen for weeks, then I would get one. Not nearly as bad as before, just happens rarely. The most annoying problem is the fact that the computer occasionally freezes up. When I reboot, the computer needs to validate the volume. As I said, the new driver has worked mostly. It is just that I believe that the small problems I still have are still related to the video card. I could be wrong, however.
This morning I had a serious crash. First the screen froze, then after a while I had a video black out. I waited 45 minutes to see if the computer would recover, but it did not. I manually shut it off. When I turned it on again, I got a screen, asking if I wanted to start the computer in Safe mode. When I got into Windows, I got a message, "The data in a volume is being verified and repaired."
I am one of the people that have reported that the black out issues had disappeared after uninstalling the old driver and installing driver 196.21.
Indeed, I have never again seen the temporary black out and the "driver has recovered" message. However, just like jtorrone, I now and then have a complete system freeze which I suspect very strongly is due to the video card. Usually the freeze is accompanied by a complete black out of the screen. The mouse and keyboard are unresponsive (even the num lock cannot be toggled anymore). The power button does not send the system into sleep. Only remedy is push the power button for 8+ seconds to initiate a hard reset.
In the log files, I did not find any usable information concerning the freeze up.
The reason why I suspect the video card is that I have only experienced freezes while playing movies (either inside my browser or in a movie player application). I can also more or less reproducibly trigger the freeze up by opening 5 or more instances of mediaplayer classic and moving the windows around a bit, resizing them, etc.
I tried switching off the Aero theme but the freeze still occurs.
I installed Nvidia system tools and monitored the GPU temperature. The temperature does not rise above about 42 degrees C prior to the freeze. Wat is remarkable however is that the fan speed stays at 0% all the time.
At the moment, I am waiting for driver 197.xx to become official.
desmet, I have not found any one factor that causes the freeze. Interesting that you can pin the freeze down. Dell should make note of what is happening with you and come up with a fix. Sometimes trying to open up AOL causes the freeze for me. I do find that the freeze is usually going to happen shortly after I turn the computer on and try to do something. Have you experienced on your hidden icons the message, "The data in a volume is being verified and repaired?" You have to open up the hidden icons to see this message.
What I find strange is that when I manually shut down when the freeze occurs and rebot I do not see anything wrong at startup when the hard drives and volume screen appears. Once I get into Windows, however, I do see the message about the volume being verified and repaired in the hidden icons.
I bought an xps 8000 refurb and this happened within a few days of ownership. I complained over and over and tried all their tricks. Nothing worked. They tried to replace it with a gt240 and the card didnt work. I then threatened to take it back and spread dell hate around to all my friends for their poor hardware and service. A tech guy said to get the gtx260. So I demanded it and spoke to several supervisors until they finally gave in. They overnighted a gtx260 and a new motherboard. It has been a couple months and all is perfect. I can even do hardcore gaming but I dont do it that much. Anyhow, demand your rights. Because I was within 30 days I was blessed.
I didn't see the message "the data in a volume is being verified and repaired" but I am not familiar (yet) with 'hidden icons' and I suspect they are not turned on. I guess this message means that a 'check disk' operation is going on in the background, which seems logical after a hard crash.
By the way I am using Windows 7 64 bit.
VERY FRUSTRATED WITH THE LATEST DELL XPS 8000; THE LAST PROBLEM WAS THE SAME BLACK-OUT ISSUES WITH THE GT220 AS MENTIONED ABOVE.
RESOLVED THIS BY INSTALLING V196.75 FROM NVIDIA WEBSITE ON 3/4/10 AFTER DELL COULD NOT FIGURE IT OUT; NVIDIA SUBSEQUENTLY PULLED THIS UPDATE DUE TO FAN SPEED ISSUES; SO V197.** IS AVAILABLE! SEE BELOW:
Updated March 17th, 2010
NVIDIA is aware that some customers have reported fan speed issues after installing 196.75 drivers from NVIDIA's website. NVIDIA has removed these drivers and asked its partners to also remove the drivers. Any customers still using 196.75 drivers are asked to immediately discontinue use and either roll back to their previous driver or install the new 197.13 drivers. Driver roll back help can be found here.
Download the New 197.13 Drivers (Posted March 17th, 2010):
Windows 7 and Windows Vista (32-bit)
Windows 7 and Windows Vista (64-bit)
Windows XP (32-bit)
Windows XP (64-bit)
NVIDIA apologizes to our customers that installed the 196.75 driver and experienced quality issues. For the small number of customers that did experience problems, in almost every case reverting back to our 196.21 driver immediately resolved their issues. We continue to work closely with our add-in-card partners and PC manufacturers to help resolve any additional customer issues not solved by reverting to the earlier driver. Any NVIDIA customer who has questions about their board as a result of downloading 196.75 driver should contact their board supplier.
If you need help contacting your board supplier, please contact NVIDIA Customer Care.
I AM STILL RUNNING THE V196.75 AS I AM NOT HAVING THE FAN SPEED ISSUES - MY VIDEO ISSUES ARE NOW NON-EXISTANT! FOLLOW THE LINK AND TRY THE 197.** GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL!
Did you have the screen freeze up issue? If so, did this new driver resolve that?
I don't remember having the screen freeze up issue before but now I do and its very annoying. For the longest time, I thought it was the batteries on my mouse or keyboard but it still continues after new batteries. Now I see people are reporting it here as well. I thought I was going crazy. I will need to try this new driver and see what happens.
Yes; from time to time my screen would freeze and I'd have to do a Hard boot. The blacking out of the screen was much more frequent! Since I updated to V196.75 on 3/4; I have no more issues with my PC at all.
I have not done the V197.** update as yet because as I mentioned the fan speed issue is not related to my GT220; this driver is for many different graphics card models so it could have an effect on others...
I am always careful updating drivers etc; but when you are desperate....
GOOD LUCK - It worked for me!