Blue Screen of Death, or “BSOD” errors, never seem to get less frightening, no matter how much experience you have with them. Sudden loss of your computer’s functionality in the middle of work is always worrying and frustrating.
In this manual, we will discuss the “VIDEO TDR FAILURE” blue screen problem, a frequently occurring yet slightly complex issue that Windows users often experience.
If you’ve recently encountered this problem and looking for a way to fix it, keep reading to learn more.
Let’s get into it.
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The Problem Explained
Compared to other BSOD errors, the TDR Failure crash is a tad different because it manifests with a different message based on your computer’s hardware.
But before we get into that, let’s first look at what triggers this error.
Most users who experienced this problem reported that their computer crashed right after attempting to open a video, an app, a game, or anything else that requires at least some effort from their graphics card.
The “TDR” abbreviation stands for Timeout, Detection, and Recovery.
A failing GPU driver or a dying card could be the culprit of this blue screen crash.
Now, as we mentioned earlier, the message of this error is different based on your computer’s hardware, and here’s what we mean by it:
If you have an NVIDIA GPU, the message on the blue screen will say nvlddmkm.sys.
For Intel GPUs, the message will say igdkmd64.sys.
AMD users will instead see the “atikmpag.sys.” error code.
But, regardless of the message type, the VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE blue screen error is caused by a sudden failure of your graphics card driver or the graphics card itself.
Now, whether your GPU failed due to an unsustainable overclock scheme, an outdated or faulty driver, overheating issue, or any other reason, you’ll have to find out by yourself by troubleshooting using the methods listed below.
Fix 1: Power Off Your PC And Do A Hardware Inspection
Once you come across the VIDEO TDR Failure blue screen error, your computer will crash and start rebooting automatically. Our suggestion right after the crash is to turn off your PC and allow it to cool down for a couple of minutes.
Then, if you have at least some basic hardware knowledge, switch off the power supply using its power button, open the case, and unplug all external cables going into it.
Once you unplug the GPU, take it off its slot and install it again. Ensure it’s tightly seated and that nothing blocks the fans from spinning. Then, plug it back in and do the same for your RAM sticks.
Once you plug everything back, turn on your PC and see if the GPU fans spin as they should and if the rest of your cooling system within the case works as intended.
If you get the error immediately after booting your PC, it’s likely an improper overclock or a dying card.
But, if the error occurs after some time (like ten minutes after your PC is on), it could be an overheating issue. Download a temp-monitoring software and carefully check your GPU temps.
Fix 2: Reset Any GPU Power-Tweaks (Overclock) You’ve Made
As mentioned earlier, if you’ve overclocked your GPU to a point making it impossible to run, you’ll experience the TDR failure crash. You will then have to reverse the change. The same problem could happen due to a too-high power draw that cannot be sated or unrealistically high clocks that make the GPU crash.
Either way, we recommend removing all overclock changes you’ve made to hopefully restore GPU functionality and avoid the Video TDR Failure error.
There are two common ways of doing this. You can boot your PC into Safe Mode and reverse the changes within the overclocking software you’re using (or uninstall those programs completely) or use the physical switch on the GPU’s circuit board to reset its BIOS and settings.
After implementing these modifications, the issue should cease to happen.
Fix 3: Boot Into Safe Mode And Reinstall Your Display Drivers
As mentioned earlier, a faulty or outdated driver that’s damaged or malfunctioning in any way can cause the same blue screen error.
That is why we always recommend keeping your drivers up to date.
However, once your PC goes into a reboot loop due to the Video TDR Failure error, you can’t just update your drivers regularly.
Instead, you’ll have to use Safe Mode again. However, for higher success chance we recommend a clean driver uninstall and downloading the latest version rather than just updating using the built-in updater.
We have a dedicated section in one of our guides on performing a clean driver uninstall in Safe Mode using the Display Driver Uninstaller tool.
It should help you overcome the problem, if not caused by a faulty or dying graphics card.
Fix 4: Test Your GPU On A Different PC
If you keep getting the error and your PC crashes even after trying the methods listed above, it could be that your GPU is failing and may need replacement.
However, to be sure, we recommend testing it on a different computer. If the same error appears on the other PC, the GPU is likely failing.
If this is your second (or more) GPU failing on your PC, you should look into other components as the potential cause. It could mean that your power supply is faulty.
That covers everything you need to know about The “Video TDR Failure” blue screen error on Windows.
Although it’s not a simple problem to diagnose and fix, the methods listed in this guide should make the task less daunting.