Why is my NVidia card crashing?

Episode 1336 (10:19)

Larry from Melbourne, AUS
NVidia video card

Larry is having trouble with his NVidia video card which keeps crashing, especially when watching HD video. The screen will go black and he'll get awful sounding audio. Leo says that's a sign of a bad or corrupted driver that will write improperly to the memory buffers. The only thing that can do that is Windows itself or a driver. Reinstalling the driver could solve the problem.

NVidia has pushed out a couple of driver updates this last week to address issues like this. But the problem is, there are a lot of different drivers based on manufacturers who are making the NVidia card design. So which one would he get? The NVidia reference driver? The manufacturer version? The Manufacturer WHQ driver? The Windows Certified version? It can get quite confusing. Leo advises going directly to the source first and use the NVidia reference driver first. He can get it from nvidia.com here. If that doesn't work, then he should go to the manufacturer and try that one. Lastly, the Windows Certified driver, but generally Windows Update will install that one. He should also get the NVidia cleanup tool to remove any competing drivers.

Image By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.