I installed the latest drivers from NVIDIA and that did not help. I also updated my BIOS from Dell and that did not help either. So I just leave my computer on all the time and turn off the monitors at night. The problem only occurs when I do a cold boot. Apparently HP has a BIOS patch that addresses the problem. I am going to see if it will work with my Dell. This is definitely not a cooling problem.
Cleaning the inside of the case, reseating the card, installing the latest drivers from NVIDIA, and updating the BIOS (as recommended from Dell support) has not helped for me either.
Doesn't matter if I run the computer 24x7 or not, although accessing and using the computer from another machine via Remote Desktop (instead of using the monitor) seems to prevent it from crashing. I assume that's because the video card is not being used.
Yesterday, only crashed once at the end of the day. Today already crashed twice this morning.
I used a flash utility from HP for the NVIDIA Quadro NVS 295 to update the BIOS on my Dell. IT WORKED. I wonder Dell does not have the same utility on their website? Here is the link.
Dell support helped me get rid of the old driver and get the new one installed properly. It appears it now works on my system too.
I reflashed the Dell BIOS (probably not required - don't know), ran the Dell diagonistics in BIOS (didn't find anything) booted into VGA mode in Windows (hit F8 when starting up - don't use Safe Mode must use VGA mode).
Then remove the NVIDIA driver using Control Panel Add/Remove Progams AND use Device Manager (My Computer > Manage .. etc.) to uninstall the NVIDIA driver. Reboot back into Windows in VGA mode again.
Make sure the VGA driver is being used in Device Manager - not the NVIDIA driver - it needs to be gone.
After that is confirmed, install the NVIDIA driver from scratch. Tell the NVIDIA installer to do a clean install (I think you have to select Custom and check the checkbox for clean install that flashes or whatever). I just installed the driver only with a clean install.
After it reboots, check in Device Manager to make sure it is using the new driver (not an old one).
It appears that may have finally fixed the problem for me. I haven't had any crashes yet. Still waiting to see if any come back.
Okay, this is my last follow up. I can confirm (at least in my case) that the video crashing was resolved by properly updating the NVIDIA driver (which neither Windows Update nor the NVIDIA installer previously accomplished) and flashing the Dell motherboard BIOS to the most recent version (not sure if required, but perhaps so, and seems beneficial in any case). Hope this helps.
Lantram post of 03/25 worked for me. He had Dell support walk him through the process, so maybe you can try that. I now have NVIDIA driver version 126.96.36.19973 installed with Dell Bios version 2.4.0. I also had to fix errors on my hard disk, probably caused by numerous crashes. Right click on your drive and run error-checking under Properites/Tools. Computer has not crashed in the past seven days since I did this.
One day after I posted that my problem was solved, my machine froze again during start-up. Oh well. Looks like I will wipe the slate clean and try doing a clean re-install when I have a free weekend to load everything. Or maybe just replace the NVIDIA NVS 295 with a card from a different company.
Ironicly, everything worked for me about a week as well, and then started crashing again. Less often, slightly different (not so much a scrambled screen but a bit scrambled with partially painted remenents), but still a complete lock up requiring a cold boot to get the computer restarted. I don't have any other machines that lock up like this. IMO, it has to be something either inheritly wrong with the video driver (no matter how updated), or with the integrity of the video card. It is the equivilent of the "blue screen of death", but no blue screen, and a quicker more solid death. The only thing that can do that is hardware, or software that has direct access to hardware (which is a driver).