Monday, May 12th, 2008

nVidia Drivers for Vista-64 and FSX Crashing (BSOD)

Well during some of the gap since I last posted an entry I’ve been literally pulling my hair out over the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) with FSX in Vista-64. In short, I was experience constant random crashes with FSX (and several other games) leading to the BSOD. These crashes would occur without warning and at seemingly random intervals. Vista was generally useless when it came to diagnosing or fixing the problem simply, occasionally, stating that it was a problem with the “graphics driver.”

Obviously this leads to a totally useless situation when it comes to FSX since about 50% of the time my system would crash in the middle of a flight (talk about frustrating! 😉 ). My system is essentially state-of-the-art so there should be no issues with components not being able to handle the rigors of FSX (see previous entries regarding my system specs).

Thinking that perhaps some FSX file was corrupted I did a full re-install… still got regular BSODs.

Thinking that Vista SP1 would fix the issue I installed that… still got regular BSODs.

Thinking that perhaps something with Vista or another file was corrupted I reformatted my hard drive and did a fresh install of Vista and FSX… still got regular BSODs.

At this point I was really pulling my hair out. Then I came across this Slashdot entry which pointed out that over a quarter of all Vista crashes are caused by flaws in nVidia’s drivers.

After finding that I was then able to browse a variety of reports of widespread complaints regarding the instability of many of nVidia’s Vista drivers and in particular BSODs in high performance games. Eventually I came across some reports saying that one of the older Vista drivers (100.65) was much more stable than some of the more recent releases so I removed my “updated” driver and installed this older version. After that, I have yet to have a single BSOD in FSX (knock on wood). That would seem to be consistent with some of the other reports I’ve seen out in cyberspace. It’s possible that the older driver is not quite as efficient as some more recent releases (although I haven’t noticed much difference), but of course I’ll always take stability over performance.

So anyway, I thought that little tidbit might be useful to anyone else out there being plagued by lots of BSODs with FSX (especially if indications are that the BSOD is caused by something to do with the graphics card or driver). Give the older 100.65 driver a try and see if helps you run a more stable system.


P.S. It’s been a while since I last posted… (some people have messaged me asking where I’ve gone 😉 ). I haven’t given up or anything just have been busy with some traveling and other projects. Since this is all just a hobby for my free time, when I have some, I don’t have a regular schedule for posting and just pop something up when I notice something interesting that I think may be of interest or assistance to others. Thanks for the comments I’ve received thus far both on this site and my YouTube videos.

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8 Comments on “nVidia Drivers for Vista-64 and FSX Crashing (BSOD)”

  1. James Baxter


    I have a very similar system to yours, running a EVGA 8800 GTS card. I came across a post discussing FSX, stability and Nvidia drivers. The post discusses the amount of memory to provide the buffer pools in FSX. The post recommends setting the buffer pool to PoolSize=3500000

    After I made this change I returned to stability that I first saw with my Vista 64 bit system and FSX in April of 2007. Here is the link

    Bufferpools link

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  4. Juan

    Hello. I like your homebuilt simulator. I’d love to have one. I’m running FSX on Win vista 32, and I’ve never got a BSOD. My processor is 64-bit but my vista is 32. I tried to install win vista 64, but I’d get a BSOD on the vista setup boot. Nothing to do I guess, I didn’t find a solution.

    I’ve found out that both Autogen and Light Bloom kill FPS so I don’t use them and I get 30-40 FPS.

    I’ve got 8800GTX on a DELL XPS system. We’ll be talking around…

  5. Hi.

    In response to your BLOG, I hope this may help aswell, I have loaded the driver recommended and I was still getting the BSOD.

    I found though if I turn off everything you can turn off in the Nvidia control panel and then run FSX and change your setting to what ever you use – Mine are all maxed out I have not yet had the BSOD. I have completed a few flights and so far have not had a problem. I think that settings between the control panel and the game do not communicate for some reason, (I’m no teckie).

    Before I would get the BSOD about 5 minutes into the game.
    Also using the driver recommended in the BLOG my system is vary stable – it used to crash whilst my son was surfing the internet and playing games in the Nick Jr site, this no longer happens.

    I hope this comment helps those who are trying to fly but finding themselves permanantly grounded.



    Windows Vista Ultimate 64
    2 x Nvidia 8500GT 512mb in SLI Mode
    Intel Dual Core Processor
    4 x 1 gb Ram

  6. John

    I always get out of memory errors under Vista (32) bit. I am running the latest Nvida drivers for my GeForce 8800GT. I downloaded Vista drivers (100.65)as per your blog but when I go to install them I get an error message which reads “Nvida setup program could not locate any drivers that are compatiable with your current hardware”. Any idea on the problem or could you give me the link to the drivers required in case I am trying to install the wrong one.


  7. Callsign: Eagle694

    i get BSODs almost everyday thst i run FSX, this information is great im goin to try this and hopefully get good results Thanks a lot keep the great info coming

  8. You should use the 32 bit version of Vista, it is more compatible with the nVidia drivers for some reason.

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