TDR (Timeout Detection and Recovery) and Collecting Dump Files

Answer ID 3335
Published 07/26/2013 02:20 AM
Updated 03/23/2016 03:11 PM
TDR (Timeout Detection and Recovery) and Collecting Dump Files

TDR stands for Timeout Detection and Recovery. This is a feature of Microsoft's Windows operating systems (Windows Vista and above) which detects response problems from a graphics card, and recovers to a functional desktop by resetting the card. If the operating system does not receive a response from a graphics card within a certain amount of time (default is 2 seconds), the operating system resets the graphics card.  If the operating is not able to reset the graphics card driver, your system will likely lock up or experience a blue screen of death.

Before TDR existed, graphics card driver problems of this nature would have resulted in a system freeze and required a reboot of the operating system.  If TDR is enabled and you see the TDR error message, "Display driver stopped responding and has recovered," this means that the Windows operating system succesfully reset the display driver.



This article explains how to obtain a crash dump file.  NVIDIA support agents may request that you provide them with a crash dump file from a TDR which contains vital graphics card driver information at the time of the crash.

Types of Crash Dump Files
There are two basic types of crashes:
Kernel Mode Crash - Also called Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). This is a system crash. The system will either show the blue screen or will automatically reboot your system.
User Mode Crash - This type of crash is caused from access violations that results your application such as game or web browser to crash but won't cause the entire system to freeze/reboot.

System Crash (BSOD)
Kernel Mode Crash dumps come in a variety of flavors:
Complete Memory Dump
Kernel Memory Dump
Small Memory Dump

In most cases, you will be asked to provide a minidump file as these are small in size and can easily be attached to an email.  By default windows saves off a minidump every time the computer BSODs. By default kernel mode crash dumps can be found in the directory:


The files are named "MiniDDMMYY-NN.dmp". DDMMYY is the date in day/month/year format. NN is a counter that starts at the value 01 and increments each time a new minidump is created on a given day. 

For fmp files related to a TDR and not Blue Screen of Death, they are located at:


Application Crash
User Mode Crash dumps are available in full and mini sizes. The process for automatically obtaining a user mode crash dump file is explained in great detail from Microsoft at:

To access the default crash dump location on your hard drive:

1) Press the Windows key on your keyboard and the letter "R" at the same time to bring up the Run command
2) Type the following in the Open field:


3) Press OK button
4) It should open up the default folder where Windows saves your crash logs. Look for the most recently dated files as those represent crashes that have occured with the most recent driver.

If your application crashes frequently and consistantly and the NVIDIA representative requires a full dump file in order to collect much more detailed information, it is easier to obtain a User Mode Crash full dump file manually at the time the application crashes. 

1) When your application crashes and Windows gives you an error message, do not close any windows.

2) At the same time, press the keys "Control" plus "Alt" plus "Delete" at the same time to bring up the lock screen.  Select "Task Manager" from the lock screen.

3) Search for your program that has crashed and right-click over the file.  Then select "Create Dump File". 



4)This will create a large full dump file.  Once the dump file is created, the location and filename of this new file will be displayed to you by Windows. 

5) Full dump files are generally between 1GB and 1.5G in size.   Due to its large file size, full dump files can't be attached to an email and sent as an email attachment.  They must be uploaded to a file hosting location or use a file transfer service.  The NVIDIA support representative can assist you with this.


For more information on TDRs, please visit Microsofts website at:

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