The 'Video_TDR_Failure' error is a warning stating that Windows attempted to recover from a display driver's timeout error and couldn't do so, precipitating a system crash. It's a possible problem in scenarios with poorly-configured or maintained graphics hardware and software. However, users can resolve it without undue expenses or third-party assistance in most cases.
A Graphics Failure Windows can't Brush Aside
Display hardware and software can be fussy or demanding, and not taking their requirements into account can result in a 'Video_TDR_Failure' error. It's often but not associated with ATI and Nvidia graphics cards exclusively. This BSOD or 'Blue Screen of Death' error alerts the user to a failed attempt to recover and reset the driver from a timeout. A worst-case circumstance implies permanent hardware damage, but most users should check all other solutions and possible causes before replacing their graphics card.
The first step for users in most troubleshooting cases, including this one, is checking their driver and other software updates. Out-of-date drivers can cause unforeseen issues like 'Video_TDR_Failure' error, even to the point of crashing the PC. Most graphics card manufacturers provide specialized update-managing applications. Users can also check their drivers from inside the Windows Device Manager, use the Windows update feature, or find the update on the Web themselves.
Some users also report a 'Video_TDR_Failure' error occurring from damaged system files specific to some graphics card manufacturers, like AMD and Intel. Users can try reinstalling their graphics cards' software or remove and replace the files manually. Examples of potentially-troublesome components include 'igdkmd64.sys,' 'nvlddmkm.sys,' 'atikmdag.sys,' and 'atikmpag.sys.' Nvidia users can rename these files and copy 'nvlddmkm.sy_' to the desktop. AMD ones can rename them and copy the 'atikmpag.sy_' folder from the C drive to the desktop. Then, navigate to the desktop from within the Command Prompt and enter the appropriate command:
There will be a renewed version of the damaged file to copy back to the original location, although functionality may require a system reboot.
When a Display Error is More than a Patch Away
The 'Video_TDR_Failure' error also can be one of many negative results of running hardware beyond its intended specifications. Specialized user configurations, such as 'overclocking,' can include some degree of risk to the hardware or software environment. Usually, a bad overclock won't cause permanent damage if the user reverses the settings changes promptly, but there are no guarantees.
Users with a 'Video_TDR_Failure' error also should check for environmental problems that may or may not be within their control. Cooling problems from dust buildup or a failing fan can create additional errors with overheated graphics cards. Higher-end graphics cards also include more rigorous power requirements, and users should check to confirm that the hardware is receiving appropriate power.
Windows users also have built-in power-managing options. From the Control Panel, open 'System and Security,' and then 'Power Options.' Reducing power-saving settings can improve power flow to the graphics card and prevent issues.
Although it's sometimes a part of hardware failure, a 'Video_TDR_Failure' error is a security problem rarely, and users shouldn't treat it as such in ordinary circumstances.
Graphics failures aren't something to brush off one's shoulder. When even Windows's recovery defaults fail, it's up to users to track down the source of the problem before it causes even more harm than a Blue Screen of Death.