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Old November 9, 2013, 01:53 PM
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Default Periodic Black Screens When Not Gaming

Hi Everyone. The desktop I occasionally use has been acting oddly for the past year or so. Since I have a little more free time, I'd like to fix it.

I'm a little stumped. I'd figure the video card is the culprit but I'll let you all hazard a guess.

The specs are:
Phenom II 955 @ 3.2
790FX GD70
nVidia GTX 470
Corsair TX750

My PC has intermittent black screens, but they only occur when the machine is not being used for gaming. So far, I've noticed them occurring whenever I'm:
- Browsing websites using Chrome
- Browsing YouTube
- Using Google Docs
- Uploading media onto Wordpress
- Using Adobe Suite
- Using Zune software (running in background, too)

These black screens will only last for several seconds and don't require a restart. Music and audio will continue in the background. Once things go back to normal, I'll often find the YouTube video to be blacked out, the Zune program blacked out or Adobe Suite frozen. These black screens can occur several times a day.

On rare occasions, I'll receive a notification that the nVidia Display Driver has crashed.

By contrast, I can play modern games at high settings for hours without any sign of stress, crash, or driver error.

I've replaced the 470 with an old ATI and the issues have gone away. But it's odd the card would have trouble on mundane tasks and not heavy gaming.

I'm unable to check if it's a power supply issue because I don't have another PSU with 2 PCI-e plugs, nor do I know anyone with one.

Zotac offers a lifetime warranty on this card but before I have to go through the hassle, can anyone offer some help? Thanks!
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Old November 9, 2013, 02:03 PM
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1 see H1 feb 18 2011 Update CPU AGESA code

other is power/sleep mode
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Old November 9, 2013, 03:17 PM
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hibernate has been known to cause this disable it. Try setting your power options to high instead of balanced and see if the issue continues. I'm assuming this happens WHEN you are using the computer.

Also try running MEM test on a small usb stick over night... Sounds dumb but if the memory is causing problems it can crash the NVidia driver.
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Old November 9, 2013, 03:45 PM
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I checked and I was already running 'high performance.' Anything hibernation or sleep related was already off.

I'll do the Memtest thing tonight. I did run the program overnight at the beginning of the year thinking my memory was the culprit but nothing came of it. Won't hurt to check again though.

Edit: So far, no issues with the ATI card with the computer having been on for over 8 hours. If I had my 470 still in, I would've had at least two black screens by now.
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Last edited by DkRk; November 9, 2013 at 04:13 PM.
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Old November 9, 2013, 04:49 PM
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seems like you found the culprit imo.
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Old November 9, 2013, 05:56 PM
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How's the airflow in your case? Any chance the vid card's memory isn't getting enough airflow when the GPU's fan cycles down for low usage? If you haven't already, try pegging your fan speed with afterburner to see if it makes the issue go away.

edit: You also didn't mention if you'd completely deleted both Nvidia and AMD drivers prior to doing a fresh install of the NVidia ones. It's possible that you've got a buggered up driver, although I can't imagine a scenario where it would only fail under 2D usage.
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Old November 9, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
How's the airflow in your case? Any chance the vid card's memory isn't getting enough airflow when the GPU's fan cycles down for low usage? If you haven't already, try pegging your fan speed with afterburner to see if it makes the issue go away.
I've had the side panel off for ages out of sheer laziness.

So there's a lot of cool air for the card. I did take out the card a couple days ago and blew out what little dust was inside with compressed air. So while I don't think it's a heat issue, I'll definitely try the Afterburner suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
edit: You also didn't mention if you'd completely deleted both Nvidia and AMD drivers prior to doing a fresh install of the NVidia ones. It's possible that you've got a buggered up driver, although I can't imagine a scenario where it would only fail under 2D usage.
Sorry, I forgot to mention that I did totally delete both the nVidia and AMD drivers using DriverSweeper from Guru3D. Each time I swapped a card, I uninstalled the drivers, then booted into safe mode to wipe the remainders.
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Old November 9, 2013, 07:13 PM
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My Computer does not like certain power events in my house. When someone flicks a switch in other rooms of my house I get black screens and some BIOSOD. Its only gotten worse simce they switched us to a smart meatier.

I think its dirty Dirty contacts and 20 year old switches. Garage door starts are bad also.
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Old November 10, 2013, 01:56 AM
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Appears I spoke too soon. The ATI card has given up the ghost. Civ4 just caused the game to artifact and make my monitor go disco-rave on me. The computer still turns on but that card can't make it past the BIOS splash without artifacting and then causing the screen to go black.

Fun day.
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Old November 10, 2013, 04:35 AM
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Did you reseat the motherboard power connectors? It's a pity you don't have access to another PSU for testing.
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