dwm.exe crashes a lot


  • Hey There,

    I have a problem that is more frustrating than critical - dwm.exe will crash, and crash often, making my screen flicker, and sometimes turning off the aero style until i log out and back in.

    my hardware is ati x1950Pro (installed just yesterday) but i also had it for about 6 months with an X1600Pro too.

    here is the report from event manager:

    Faulting application Dwm.exe, version 6.0.6001.18000, time stamp 0x4791944e, faulting module ntdll.dll, version 6.0.6001.18000, time stamp 0x4791adec, exception code 0x80000003, fault offset 0x0000000000044ea0, process id 0x2bc, application start time 0x01c91595286bd822.

    According to event manager, this has happened 66 times in the last two days.

    It happens when i'm in vista basic, vista classic, aero and third party visual styles.

    I have the latest graphics card drivers from ATI, i've tried it with a lot of different ATI graphics drivers, always have the same problem.

    Saturday, September 13, 2008 12:52 PM

All replies



    Do you have SP1?

    Update your Bios!


    I already solved a problem same with hotfix include in SP1





    Samuel Ribeiro


    • Proposed as answer by Raymond_W Tuesday, December 30, 2008 9:50 PM
    Tuesday, September 16, 2008 4:15 PM
  • I have to bump this because the issue persists. Yes, SP1 has always been installed.  It has persisted through a second clean installation of Vista - although I have to correct my initial post, it only happens in aero mode.

    All drivers up to date, BIOS up to date (march 08) M2V-MX

    Fully System Spec:

    Server 08 x64 Enterpirse SP1
    AMD64 X2 6000+
    Asus M2V-MX mobo
    ATI X1950 PRO 256Mb PCI-E
    4GB DDR2 RAM @ 667Mhz (2 x 2)
    Thursday, December 18, 2008 1:35 PM
  • Hey Wakers,

    As you described in this thread, you got the ati x1950 pro installed recently. Have you had the most recent driver installed for it? From ATI website, they recently offered new display driver for this type of product.

    Please installed the latest driver to see whether the issue can be resolved.

    If problem persists, run dxdiag on command line, save the result and send it to me (zhali AT microsoft DOT com)


    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:04 AM
  • I had the same Error:"Faulting application Dwm.exe, version......"
    I solved by updating my BIOS........
    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 9:53 PM
  • Sadly, this doesn't help me at all, as the BIOS i have is the most up to date available for my mobo :( Is that the only possible fix?
    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 10:19 PM
  • Hi,

    Was this problem ever solved? I am having a similar problem on the windows 7 beta using the same motherboard

    Monday, January 12, 2009 5:26 PM
  • No - issue not solved.  I think the mobo just doesn't like Vista.

    I also get the same issue on Win7 on this machine.  I don't think they want to know anymore because the mobo is quite old.
    Monday, January 12, 2009 7:45 PM
  • It is strange though becuase I have not come across anyone else with the same problem whilst running vista on the board while I have been searching for an answer. I have never used Vista on this board so I dont know if I would have problems or not.

    Also do you get any graphics corruption whilst running Windows 7? If I use aero and the PC turns off the monitor I will get blue and white lines covering the screen, then the only way to stop this is to restart. This also happens after I log on if I use any vista drivers for my graphics card.

    Monday, January 12, 2009 7:57 PM
  • I've never had any graphics corruption no.

    I have to say, the dwm.exe error does gradually "calm down" i.e. once your computer has been running a few days, the error only happens sporadically or once or twice an hour when you're playing a game/watching videos.
    Monday, January 12, 2009 8:01 PM
  • I dont mind the dwm.exe error coming up now and again as it has gone within a few seconds, my problem is I cannot leave the pc without the graphics corruption happening, unless i use the basic theme but I dont really want to.

    I have just been looking on the Asus website and found that that board is certified for vista. This seems abit strange.

    It can be seen here

    I think that it could be the bios, maybe an older bios may work?
    Monday, January 12, 2009 8:27 PM
  •  I'm having exactly the same problem on a completely different setup.    Jetway HA07 (AMD 790GX) running Hybrid Crossfire with a Radeon 3450.   Latest BIOS, Latest Drivers, all up to date.

    It happens at spurious intervals, up and crashes, recovers, then back to normal.

    Here's what I see as the error signature

    Problem signature:
      Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
      Application Name: Dwm.exe
      Application Version: 6.0.6001.18000
      Application Timestamp: 47918c97
      Fault Module Name: atiumdag.dll
      Fault Module Version:
      Fault Module Timestamp: 4934492a
      Exception Code: c0000005
      Exception Offset: 00136233
      OS Version: 6.0.6001.
      Locale ID: 1033
      Additional Information 1: fd00
      Additional Information 2: ea6f5fe8924aaa756324d57f87834160
      Additional Information 3: fd00
      Additional Information 4: ea6f5fe8924aaa756324d57f87834160
    • Edited by nanohead Monday, January 12, 2009 9:10 PM
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:04 PM
  • That's interesting - the faulting module in my instance is always ntldll.dll
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:05 PM
  • Yeah, definitely strange.   I can't seem to trace root cause yet.   I suspect its something to do with the video setup on my system, but its somewhat befuddling at the moment.

    I wish there was some kind of debug method for some of these embedded processes.   Lots of folks have suggested that turning off Aero makes the DWM crashes go away, but I like Aero.....

    Dunno, I'll definitely post back if I learn anything.    DWM crashing is not unusual though
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:10 PM
  • Yea - turning off Aero does eliminate the dwm.exe crashes, because dwm.exe isn't running in basic mode :P (i don't think) but it does stop it.
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:11 PM
  • Mine is also ntldll.dll. Atiumdag.dll is to do with ATI drivers, have you tried disabling hybrid crossfire?
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:12 PM
  • Do we all have ati cards? 
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:12 PM
  • No I have a Geforce 7900gs
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:13 PM
  • Wakers, our problems are most probably to do with our motherboards, as ntldll.dll is not related to anything to do with graphics. Dwm.exe is not running in basic mode, I can use windows 7 in basic mode fine but I really want to use Aero. I will try an older bios as version 0502 was used when the motherboard was certified for Vista.
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:17 PM
  • Let me know how you get on with that :)

    I can't go back too far with the bios because I'll lose support for my processor :(
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:19 PM
  • I guess it could be caused by something related to the specific driver.   I submitted a bug to AMD on this issue already, but not sure when they will get to it, or if they can even figure out what the issue may be.

    Personally, I cannot believe that the BIOS has ANYTHING to do with this issue, unless you are using embedded graphics and it shares memory with the main memory system and memory allocation is changed/fixed with a new BIOS.  (that is the only condition I could imagine where these two issues could connect ? ;/ )

    I only have 1 out of a dozen or so machines that this is occuring on, and it seems to only happen early in the runtime session (within an hour or so after bootstrap).   Then it seems to stop.

    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:21 PM
  • Yes I was thinking that as you have a 6000+. I have a 3800+ so I will be ok. I will let you know the outcome.
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:21 PM
  • If you look back in this thread someone said that they fixed this problem with a newer bios. Also I have tried every graphics driver and none work. I would think that you problem is to do with your graphics driver though.
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:25 PM
  • I have the newest bios available for my mobo :( So it looks like im stuck with this issue until i get a new one!
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:27 PM
  • I am also using the newest one available but i am goin to try an older one. I dont think it will work but its worth a try.
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:28 PM
  • I have just downgraded my bios but it has made no difference :(
    Monday, January 12, 2009 9:47 PM
  • This happens in Win7 RTM as well. The BIOS is up to date, the ATI drivers are up to date (10.7 - ATI 4550 HD). DWM.exe crashes. It crashed about 10 mins ago, (was using Aero, it went back to basic, on the bottom), then crashed again about 3 mins ago (went back to Aero).
    Saturday, August 21, 2010 1:16 PM
  • I have the same issue, but my computer actually crashes and I cannot open the task manager.  I have to hard reboot. Here's what I've done so far:


    Windows 7 64 BIT SP1-Windows fully updated

    AMD 955 BE (not overclocked)


    GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 RT motherboard 


    Cooler Master GTX 750 watt PSU


    -Used Drive Sweeper to remove old drivers

    -Updated ATI graphics card drivers to latest version

    -Tried increasing and decreasing the memory and processor clocks on the vido card with the AMD Vision Control Center

    -Tried turning off TDR and changing values for the TDR delay

    -Updated GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 RT motherboard bios to the latest version

    -Updated ATI GIGABYTE GV-R577UD-1GD graphics card bios to latest version

    -Ran MEMTEST 86 on RAM and RMA'd all sticks of RAM. 

    -Verified my 750 Watt Cooler Master power supply was plugged in properly to graphics card

    -Have .NET 4 Client and Extended Profile installed

    -Have Microsoft Visual Studios 2005, 2008, 2010 installed

    -Tried rebuilding computer multiple times, issue persists.

    -Replaced ATI ATI GIGABYTE GV-R577UD-1GD with a Nvidia PNY GTX560 and issue persists

    -Tried Ccleaner to repair registry


    If I turn on the Windows Desktop Manager service, the computer will crash periodically--sometimes it will happen with in 1 minute, other times it will run for 45 minutes then hang and crash.


    With  Desktop Windows Session Manager DWM.EXE disabled, my computer doesn't crash anymore. It's a workaround at best.


    At this point, I'm willing to try and RMA the motherboard. I've read other posts that it could actually be the PSU as well. Anyone have any ideas?

    • Edited by kaizenlpi Friday, January 27, 2012 11:56 PM
    Friday, January 27, 2012 11:54 PM
  • I have the same problem, flickering and window loss especially when playing cards or all inbuilt games...Win 7 ultimate x64, Gigabyte 990x ud3 motherboard with the latest BIOS, amd bulldozer 6100 6 core cpu, 8 gb memory and (ati) asus eah 3650 graphics card. I borrowed different, newer card but problem remained. 3 x 500gb hdd in raid 5 mode.

    Eventually I re-installed C:/ and periodically checked to see if fault came up as I re-installed.  Surprisingly it didn't come up once!!! which i found to be very strange. I ran it for a few days and all ok.  I re-installed again and all was fine. At this point I wish I'd left it alone but I decided to try once more and, low and behold, after checking and fully installing came back. In my opinion, my issue is the order in which I install my programs, which I didn't write down!!!. The newest driver install and sp1 didn't make any difference...I didn't get the fault until I installed programs.

    Office 2007, Nero 8, winzip 11.2, winrar 3.62, auslogic boostspeed ver, dvdshrink 3.2,adobe acrobat 9 adobe reader 10, bonc.enc and a few others.

    I installed speedfan to check temperatures and found that when dwm started to throw one, the activity on all the cores went up as did the temperature....and on a couple of instances actually shut my pc down.

    One thing I havent mentioned is when I had my other motherboard, a gigabyte ga-m57 sli -s4 rev2 and amd 6000+ with 8gb of memory with same graphics card and all the programs mentioned....i never had the fault once.

    • Edited by RichNLou Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:14 PM
    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 5:50 PM