I downloaded BioShock through Steam a couple weeks ago and have had trouble getting it to run. Sometimes it will randomly crash and send me back to the desktop with a message that tells me the display driver stopped working and has recovered successfully. I have to restart the program through Task Manager to get it to run again, but I can only play 5 to 10 minutes at a time. I have an Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT in a MacBook Pro running Vista 32-bit.
Unfortunately, this is a problem that plagues a number of Steam users. Countless forum threads about this very issue are on the Steam troubleshooting boards.
The Doctor suspects that this error is related to the size of your operating system’s paged pool memory. But users have reported varying degrees of success after applying the registry hotfix, so don’t fret if this doesn’t work for you.
See that error message? You won’t for long. An issue with the Steam driver can send your videocard into a crashing loop until your rig finally blue screens.
As it stands, you’re in for a round of troubleshooting. Valve itself has a number of potential fixes—try them at your leisure. If none of them works, you can also try running BioShock in a window. It’s not the best solution, but it has worked for the Doctor on occasion. You can also try adjusting your graphics settings in BioShock to the minimum. Installing different or newer versions of your Nvidia drivers is also an option.
The Doctor isn’t avoiding your question. On the contrary, he’d love to have a permanent fix for the identical problems that plague his Steam games. And it is a Steam issue: The Doctor would bet a day’s salary on the fact that if you installed and played BioShock using a CD, you’d be just fine.
SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on how to solve your technological woes.