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My current ThinkPad laptop is a T440p equipped with a NVidia graphics card. The graphics driver to this system is an OEM-customized one because of the NVidia Optimus technology [1] that enables switching between the integrated intel graphics (inside the CPU) and the dedicated graphics card.

Since I received this machine and upgraded to Windows 10, I found that the graphics driver will crash one or few times everyday. When that happens, everything will freeze for a few seconds and then a message pops saying that “Display driver …… stopped responding and has successfully recovered”. For most time it happens to the Intel driver since it is in charge of screen displaying under the Optimus technology.

The most popular solution I can find on the Internet is to set the delay time of TDR, a tracking mechanism to monitor the computer hardware. [2] However this does not solve my problem.

It then occurred to me that my graphics drivers are not the newest. Since Lenovo distributes the customized driver, I cannot receive or manually install the generic driver package from Intel. The Intel driver included in the Optimus driver from Lenovo is very old, which turned out to be the culprit.

There is one way to force updating the Intel graphics driver.

  1. Download the driver from Intel’s website in zip format.
  2. Unpack it to somewhere.
  3. Open your Device Manager, find the Intel HD graphics card under the Display adapters section.
  4. Right click on it and select “Update Driver Software…”
  5. Select “Browser my computer for driver software”, Next.
  6. Select “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”. Note that using the “search for driver software in this location” will not work since the system will refuse to install it. Next.
  7. Select “Have Disk…” Navigate to where you unpacked the new drivers, enter the Graphics folder and select the ini file in it. ok and next…
  8. Then the new driver should be installing. It may take a few minutes to finish.

At least after force updating the driver, it has remained stable for a few days. We will see whether the problem is completely solved by time.

References and Further Readings

[1] http://www.nvidia.com/object/optimus_technology.html

[2] http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-hardware/windows-10-display-driver-has-stopped-responding/5caff7ea-bed5-4111-baac-e72d32d4dbe2