Several times a day my computer freezes, the screen goes blank and then restores with a message that the video driver stopped working. Usually this has been an NVIDIA driver but today the error message also mention ATI. Apparently this problem goes back about three years. My tech person at work thinks the video card is failing (this is a brand new Vostro).
What should I do?
I am answering my own question: replace the video card. It is probably overheating. Dell support has told me (twice) that this is a "software problem." But I have Windows 7 and there aren't any drivers to download on the Dell site. Indeed, if you want to fill out a support ticket they don't even list Windows 7 among the operating systems from which to choose. But I digress....
Video cards have fans for a reason: they get hot. Sometimes in the factory something goes awry and the fan doesn't dissipate enough heat to keep the card running, or the card was faulty and super-sensitive to heat.
Save time and aggravation. Replace the card. I did and I have no problems whatsoever.
You didn't think to just try replacing the standard graphics cooler with a better third-party cooler first emoticon.Idea.title
If the replacement cooler doesn't improve the overheating problem, then fair enough. That suggests there's something else wrong with the card, and it may well need replacing altogether.
But replacing a cooler is certainly worth trying first, being a far cheaper option than replacing the graphics card emoticon.Surprise.title
From experience, I've found that: “Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder”!!
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