This is normally coupled with a popup error message in the system tray:
Display driver stopped responding and has recovered. Display driver NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 331.82 stopped responding and has successfully recovered.
I’m not sure why it says it has “successfully recovered” because I am unable to launch NVIDIA control panel until I’ve restarted the computer.
My display adapter is an NVIDIA NVS 310, computer is a DELL Precision T5610 running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.
FIX Step 1 – Update NVIDIA drivers
It seems like there is always a new GPU driver available from NVIDIA. My workstation is set to check and install approved updates from DELL via Dells Command Update Utility which should include any verified working drivers that Dell have tested on this system. However, in this instance I went direct to NVIDIA and downloaded their latest drivers for the NVS 310 so I’m now on version 391.33
FIX Step 2 – Turn off Optimum Power Setting
This is mentioned in many forum posts about similar issues, turning off “optimum power” setting can help resolve some of the ‘black screen of death’ or crashes.
If you launch NVIDIA Control Panel, which wouldn’t launch for me at all until I’d installed the latest driver in Step 1, then navigate to Manage 3D settings and then select Power Management Mode and change the dropdown to “Prefer Maximum Performance” rather than the default “Optimal Power”. Hit Apply and you’re all done.
That’s it, Step 1 and Step 2 above seemed to have resolved my issue and my NVS 310 is running problem free again.