How to Fix Video TDR Failure in Windows 10

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How to Fix Video TDR Failure in Windows 10

Video TDR failure is a common issue that can occur in Windows 10 when your graphics card driver encounters problems and stops responding. TDR stands for Timeout Detection and Recovery – it’s a Windows mechanism that monitors the graphics card driver for hangs or crashes. If a problem is detected, Windows will attempt to reset the driver to recover it. This often results in a crashed or blank screen.

Don’t worry though – in most cases video TDR failure can be fixed with a few simple steps. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the most common solutions to get your PC’s graphics and video back up and running again.

What Causes Video TDR Failure?

What Causes Video TDR Failure?

There are a few potential causes of video TDR failure in Windows 10:

  • Outdated, corrupt or incompatible graphics drivers – The most common cause is graphics drivers that are buggy, broken or not optimized for your hardware. Keeping your drivers fully updated often resolves this.
  • Overheating – Dust build up and poor cooling can cause your GPU to overheat, resulting in video TDR crashes. Cleaning your PC and upgrading cooling helps.
  • Overclocking – Pushing your GPU beyond its stable limits with overclocking can induce driver crashes and TDR errors. Ease back on overclock settings.
  • Faulty hardware – In rarer cases, hardware issues with your graphics card, motherboard or RAM can be the culprit. Troubleshooting hardware is required.
  • Power supply issues – An inadequate PSU that can’t deliver stable power to your GPU may also lead to this problem.

Knowing the potential causes will help you pinpoint the best solutions. Now let’s go through each fix…

1. Update Your Graphics Drivers

As mentioned, the #1 cause of video TDR failure is buggy, outdated graphics drivers. So the first thing you should try is fully updating your graphics drivers.

Here’s how to update drivers in Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings > System > Display > Advanced display settings > Display adapter properties
  2. Under the Driver tab, click “Update driver”
  3. Choose “Search automatically…” and follow the prompts to update
  4. Restart your PC once finished

This will install the latest optimized drivers from your graphics card manufacturer. Be sure to check for newer updates every few months or so to keep drivers fresh.

Updating drivers resolves video TDR failure for most users. If this doesn’t work, try the next steps…

2. Clean Out Dust Build Up

Dust and dirt build up in your PC can lead to overheating of components like your graphics card. High temperatures induce hardware instability and crashes.

It’s a good idea to open up your PC and thoroughly clean it out every 6 months or so. Use compressed air to blow out dust from your GPU, CPU cooler, case fans and other components.

A few quick tips:

  • Shut down and unplug your PC before cleaning
  • Hold fans in place when blowing air to avoid damage
  • Use a microfiber cloth to wipe dust from boards and connectors
  • Vacuum up all dust blown out to keep area clean

Properly cleaning your PC helps lower temperatures and prevents video TDR errors from overheating.

3. Check GPU Seating and Power Cables

It’s also a good idea to reseat your graphics card and check power connections. Follow these steps:

  1. Power down and switch off your PSU
  2. Unplug all power cables from GPU
  3. Unscrew and remove graphics card from PCIe slot
  4. Gently clean PCIe slot and GPU gold contacts with a soft brush
  5. Reinsert GPU firmly back into PCIe slot
  6. Reconnect all power cables tightly to GPU
  7. Power up PC and check for video signal

This helps ensure your graphics card has a clean connection to PCIe slot and is getting adequate, stable power delivery. Loose connectors can cause crashes.

4. Downclock GPU Overclock

If you have manually overclocked your graphics card for extra performance, this GPU overclock could now be unstable and cause driver crashes.

I recommend returning your graphics card back to default stock settings:

  1. Open your GPU overclocking software (like MSI Afterburner)
  2. Reset the Core Clock and Memory Clock sliders back to default
  3. Save settings and restart PC

This eliminates instability from overclocking. If the system is now stable, you can slowly increase your overclock settings again while testing for crashes along the way.

5. Check RAM for Errors

Bad RAM sticks can also lead to random errors and crashes in Windows. Test your system memory for faults:

  1. Type “Windows Memory Diagnostic” into the Start menu and open the tool
  2. Select “Restart now and check for problems”
  3. Let the test run – your PC will reboot and diagnose RAM
  4. Once completed, check the “Notification area” on the taskbar for results
  5. Red means errors found. You may need to replace faulty RAM sticks

Testing RAM ensures there are no memory issues contributing to video TDR failure.

6. Stress Test Your Graphics Card

A great way to identify hardware instability is by stress testing your components. I recommend running a GPU stress test tool like FurMark:

  1. Download and install FurMark
  2. Run the FurMark benchmarking stress test
  3. Monitor temperatures and check for artifacts, crashes or other errors

If your graphics card is faulty, the stress test will reveal problems quickly through overheating, visual artifacts or crashes. You may need to RMA and replace a defective GPU.

7. Check System Temperatures

Get a sense of your overall system temperatures at both idle and under load. Use a system monitoring tool like Core Temp and HWMonitor:

  • Core Temp shows CPU temperatures
  • HWMonitor displays GPU, motherboard and hard drive temps

Compare your temperatures against the maximum safe limits for each component. High temps point to potential overheating issues. Taking steps to improve cooling may be required.

You want your PC and GPU to stay safely below around 85°C to avoid heat-induced crashes.

8. Scan and Repair System Files

Corrupted Windows system files could also be contributing to graphics driver problems. Run SFC and DISM scans to scan for errors and repair system files:

  1. Type “cmd” into Start to open an admin command prompt
  2. Type “sfc /scannow” and hit Enter to run System File Checker
  3. Once complete, run “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” to scan and repair component store
  4. Restart your PC once finished

This will scan Windows for file corruption, missing files and system inconsistencies, repairing any issues found.

9. Uninstall Third-Party GPU Software

Some third party tools that interact with your graphics card like GPU Tweak, Afterburner or Fraps could be contributing to driver crashes. Try uninstalling any GPU utilities:

  1. Open Settings > Apps
  2. Scroll and locate any GPU tools like MSI Afterburner
  3. Select “Uninstall” to remove the programs
  4. Restart your system

This eliminates potential conflicts or issues. Only install GPU software again if needed.

10. Check Event Viewer for Errors

Checking the Event Viewer system logs can provide hints to the cause of video TDR failure. Here’s how to view relevant events:

  1. Type “Event Viewer” into the Start menu and open the app
  2. Expand “Windows Logs” and click on “System”
  3. In the right pane, look under “Source” for “Display” and “nvlddmkm” events
  4. Double click each error and inspect error details

Event logs can indicate specific drivers, apps or hardware causing the problem. Research error codes for potential solutions.

11. Test Integrated Graphics

If you have Intel integrated graphics as well as a discrete NVIDIA or AMD graphics card, switching to integrated graphics can help identify if your dedicated GPU is faulty.

Unplug the monitor from your discrete graphics card ports and connect directly to your motherboard video output instead. Then test for video TDR errors.

If the integrated graphics works fine, your dedicated graphics card is likely defective and should be replaced.

12. Clean Install Graphics Drivers

If updating drivers doesn’t help, try completely uninstalling and reinstalling the latest graphics drivers with a clean install:

  1. Download Display Driver Uninstaller from
  2. Run DDU to fully uninstall current graphics drivers
  3. Download fresh drivers from NVIDIA or AMD
  4. Disconnect from internet and install new graphics drivers
  5. Reconnect to internet once done and reboot

This wipes any corrupted driver files and provides a fresh driver installation, resolving software issues.

Check Event Viewer for Errors

13. Test Your GPU in Another PC

To confirm if your graphics card itself is faulty, the best way is swapping it into another system for testing.

Borrow a friend’s PC, install your GPU, and see if video TDR errors persist on their system. This will definitively tell you if the GPU needs to be replaced.

14. Replace the Graphics Card

If you’ve tried all other troubleshooting steps exhaustively with no success, then your graphics card is likely irreparably damaged and needs replacement.

Consider upgrading to a newer, more powerful GPU that will give you better performance and stability. Be sure your power supply can support the new graphics card.

Replacing a defective graphics card will permanently resolve video TDR failure issues.

15. Reinstall Windows as a Last Resort

If all else fails, completely reinstalling Windows 10 can wipe out any lingering software issues causing video TDR crashes:

  1. Backup all important data
  2. Boot into Windows 10 Recovery mode
  3. Under Advanced, select “Reinstall Windows” to do a clean install
  4. Choose “Remove everything” when prompted
  5. Follow the steps to reinstall Windows 10 fresh

This should fully eliminate any corrupted OS and driver files responsible. Only attempt as a last resort.

Summary of Fixes

To quickly recap, here are the main solutions covered to fix video TDR failure in Windows 10:

  1. Update graphics drivers
  2. Clean out dust build up
  3. Check GPU seating and cables
  4. Downclock GPU overclock
  5. Test RAM for errors
  6. Stress test your graphics card
  7. Monitor system temperatures
  8. Run SFC and DISM scans
  9. Uninstall 3rd party GPU software
  10. Check Event Viewer system logs
  11. Test integrated graphics
  12. Clean install graphics drivers
  13. Test GPU in another PC
  14. Replace defective graphics card
  15. Reinstall Windows

Carefully going through these steps should help troubleshoot and resolve your video TDR failure issues for good.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the TDR Delay setting in Windows?

A: The TDR Delay controls how long Windows waits before resetting a graphics card driver. Increasing it from the default 2 seconds buys more time before a TDR error occurs. This can help in some cases but typically just postpones failure.

Q: Can outdated BIOS or chipset drivers cause TDR crashes?

A: Yes, having older motherboard BIOS or chipset drivers can potentially contribute to instability. Updating to the newest versions from your manufacturer is recommended.

Q: Should I reinstall or rollback my graphics drivers?

A: Try updating to the newest drivers first. If issues persist, cleanly reinstalling the latest drivers from scratch is the next step. Rolling back to older drivers likely won’t help resolve problems.

Q: What power supply do I need for my graphics card?

A: Check your graphics card manufacturer’s system requirements. For high-end GPUs, a quality 600-750W 80+ Gold PSU from reputable brands is recommended. Insufficient power can cause crashes.

Q: Can overheating cause video TDR failure even at acceptable temps?

A: Yes – some sensitive components may crash from overheating even below temperature thresholds. Improving cooling overall is advised.


Video TDR failure can certainly be frustrating. But in most instances, it can be resolved through updating graphics drivers, cleaning your PC, adjusting settings, isolating faulty hardware, or repairing software issues.

Quickly identifying the hard disk sector size in Windows is crucial for efficient troubleshooting. Carefully going through the organized troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide should help get your PC’s graphics and video back up and stable. Just take it slow and methodically rule out potential causes, ensuring a seamless resolution to any issues encountered.

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