Method 1: Setting the time delay before display driver recovery.

This method is a bit more risky since it involves editing your registry so be warned!
1. Goto registry editor (start -> run -> regedit)
2. Navigate yourself to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlGraphicsDrivers (make sure GraphicsDrivers is highlighted).
3. Right click -> New -> DWORD (32-bit) value -> Name it: TdrDelay -> double click it -> Set it to A (hexadecimal) or 10 (decimal).

The reason for doing this is because the default value before Vista tries to recover the display driver is 2 seconds. When you are playing games or watching HD videos, the display driver is doing complicated calculations and Vista may think it has stopped responding. By prolonging the delay, you’ll receive the message less often and hopefully completely gone.

UPDATE: I’ve just tried this again. What happen is that my computer would freeze for 10 seconds, then display the message. So if your delay before the message appears has been increased to 10 seconds, I suggest setting the delay to 1 second instead until you find a permanent fix.

UPDATE2: Try turning off the timeout detection:

  1. Regedit.
  2. Navigate to: HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetControlGraphicsDrivers
  3. Add the following DWORD: TdrLevel and set the value to 0.
  4. Reboot.

See this Microsoft support page for more information.

4 Responses to “Method 1: Setting the time delay before display driver recovery.”

  1. Hikaru42 Says:

    Had this issue with my Radeon HD 4850 1G card. I have 2 identical systems, and it occurred on both of them with different RAM, OS’s and different versions of the drivers. I RMA’ed the card only to have to next one do the same thing…

    Finally did Update 2 as posted, and it seemed to fix it. Not sure what to say on this… This card does not seem to like my mainboard or vice versa, but at least it seems to be going now, thanks for the info.

  2. jipfransen Says:


    Thanks for making this site, it helped me out. I have been having problems with the error since i wanted to run Shattered Horizon on my Win7 x64 with an ati hd2900XT.

    Setting the reset delay to ten seconds seems to have fixed the problem. It looks to me exactly like you said that when the vid card makes a complex calculation the driver thinks it crashes and resets.

    Anyway many thanks,


  3. andrew Says:

    ive got vista. so do i get rid of the tdrdelay when i create tdrlevel then, or should i leave both?

  4. Raymon Says:

    This worked for me! Many thanks!

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