A Guide to the VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE Blue Screen of Death Error


There are many Blue Screen of Death errors that can occur for many reasons. What happens with a Blue Screen of Death is that the computer halts all operation, and instead of shutting down completely, a blue error screen will pop up and display the error that occurred. It is through this specific error that you can determine what went wrong. Unfortunately, many of these errors won’t mean much to those who aren’t the most technically aware.

What Does the VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE Error Mean?

One such error that can pop up in a blue screen will be one that reads “VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE”. This is normally only seen with users running Windows 7 or later. There are several causes for this error, so if hiring a computer repair professional to diagnose and treat the problem isn’t in your best interest, there are steps you can take to find and both eliminate and prevent the problem.

The first thing you need to know is that this error pertains to an issue with the video card, and that your display driver failed. The display driver in your video card could be the problem, indicating you need to update the driver. Depending on the kind of graphics card you have (popular brands include ATI and NVIDIA) you may need to find and visit the company’s website to download the latest driver. Manufacturer websites will often provide you with a guided form you’ll need to fill out based on your system in order to find the driver that works best for you.

See NVIDIA’s guided driver update website for downloads.

Other Causes and Possible Fixes for the VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE Error

Overheating of the card and dust can also be another source of the problem. Making sure the card in the case is free of dust with canned dust or is properly cooled with a fan can help eliminate VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE errors.

Another cause can be the failure of the hardware itself, meaning you may need to purchase a new video card or possibly other components relating to it. A good way to determine the problem is through a free video stress test performed on your system. You can get free stress tests from various websites and software, including GIMPS and FurMark, that can be found online. A MemTest, performed on a system reboot or downloaded, can test the memory of your computer to help show how well your computer runs in all areas, and may indicate your computer needs more RAM, or memory.

Some brief instructions for running a MemTest:

  • On system start-up, you can bypass the windows boot screen (keys for doing so are usually displayed at the top of the screen) and select the option for a Memory Test.
  • Alternatively, click Start
  • Click Control Panel
  • Type Memory in the search box and press Enter
  • Click Diagnose your Computer’s Memory Problems
  • Choose to restart now and perform the test, or run it next time you restart
  • Finally, sites like www.memtest.org or www.memtest86.com offer free downloadable memory tests that can be saved to a CD or flash drive and run on your PC.

This is the FurMark video stress test software, which can be optimized for your system.

Stressing the video card (with video or games that push the card’s capabilities to or past their limits) can cause many issues, and this can be one of those as a result. Making sure the card is properly cooled (testing component temperatures with software like SpeedFan can help), and is running the latest drivers that are optimized for the hardware can prevent this error from occurring.

There are few things more frustrating than a Blue Screen of Death error, which can ruin your progress with a system crash and indicate serious problems. Knowing how to fix these and make sure they never occur again will prolong your computer’s life and, if the problem is correctly identified, lower the cost of unnecessary components or an entire computer altogether.

If you’re having a different Blue Screen of Death, here’s our master list of BSoDs and how to fix each one.

Steve Horton

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Kees.Ter.Wisch.Bakker Kees Bakker

    All the above is very well, but what if, like my case, The PC is crashes and during the restart I am totaly unable to get in either the boot(F11) or setup screen (F2/Del), simply because the #@%#@$ PC is too fast. So I keep on ending with the silly screen “:( your pc…… restart…..”

    Anybody any advice?????

  • reviversoft

    Hi Kees,
    It’s likely that you have Fast Boot turned on. You’ll need to enter your BIOS quickly in order to turn this feature off and allow you to enter the boot menu. Good luck!

  • CrySkyMen

    its defenitly not graphic card failure, coze i did put another graphic card from another pc withc runs proper, and problem remains same, like it have been with my main graphic card, so people think they know whats wrong, but i believe its not graphic card problem, its somthing else, not related with graphic card. I will try to put my graphic card to another pc and have a look if the graphic card will work fine. Both pc runs on windows 8 enterpice system. i need more infor about this error, because all forums full about graphic cards, but im sure, thats not the case, there is samthing else! I tryed to install fresh windows 8 instalation, but everything works till screen shows prepering your seestem and at about 78% it crash

  • http://ragex.ca RageX

    For me TDR_Failure occured because Windows 8 Update was on and it installed the “Microsoft version of GTX 580 drivers” which ever since even doing reinstall of drivers and so on from Nvidia with clean install give me HEADACHE and problems.

  • Robert Zeurunkl

    Where can I get some of this “canned dust” you speak of? ;-)

  • Karim Allam

    hi, i get “video-tdr-failure” when i install my graphical driver amd radeon 7600m in my laptop Samsung (NP350V5C-A01US) so what i will do, please help

  • Саша


  • Arie Klep

    After many hours of research i finally found the cause AND solution to this problem !

    I’m not going into details about the cause since there are many aspects to discus before even adressing the topic of TDR, so i skip to the solution.

    Turning off TDR (set TdrLevel to 0) did solve everything on my part on Windows 7 32/64 bit and Winxp.

    Here you can find the proper registry keys and their possible settings, just play around with it and see what fits your demand :

    KeyPath : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlGraphicsDrivers
    KeyValue : TdrLevel
    ValueType : REG_DWORD
    ValueData : TdrLevelOff (0) – Detection disabled
    TdrLevelBugcheck (1) – Bug check on detected timeout, for example, no recovery.
    TdrLevelRecoverVGA (2) – Recover to VGA (not implemented).
    TdrLevelRecover (3) – Recover on timeout. This is the default value.

  • Andreas Busschop

    What are the risks, and what does it instead of a BSOD now?

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