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Windows 7: temporary black screens

18 Jan 2011   #1
AndyH W7f

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
temporary black screens

I’ve installed Windows 7 on a computer and am testing to determine how best to set-up the machine for my particular use.

Every now and again, say once or three time an hour, apparently no matter what I’m doing, the screen goes black for a short time (at least up to 5 seconds), then everything seems normal again. I found many complaints about black screens on line but they all seem to be a different situation.

I was told by an acquaintance who has long used Win 7 that this is normal for everyone using Vista or Win 7, it is a feature of basic Windows security and can only be overcome by deactivating UAC so as to be running in “root” mode. That seems too nonfunctional and inconvenient to be true but ...?? is it? What is going on? If I’m recording a live performance, is there going to be 5 seconds or so missing every little bit?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jan 2011   #2
Johnathan Lyman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Two things can be happening here and I'll try to explain them the best I can.

1. On lower-performing computers, UAC will try to prompt when an app loads and darkens the screen (partially, not completely) to present and focus the prompt on you. Sometimes the prompt never shows but the screen should never be going completely black.

2. Your graphics driver could be crashing and recovering. Please check your Windows event log (Under Windows > System) by typing "eventvwr.msc" in the search box of the Start Menu. Look for anything worse than INFORMATION around the time this happens. Typically, however, Windows is supposed to give you a pop-up in the bottom right corner of your screen saying the graphics driver crashed and recovered. It wouldn't hurt to make sure your graphics drivers are updated. Please post your specs so we can assist you with that if needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2011   #3
AndyH W7f

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

The problem may have been solved by updating the display driver, but since the black screen occurrences were so erratic, it is perhaps a little premature to say it is gone. Finding the event log was very helpful in getting information. There were 23 separate items listed for each black screen event, more than half complaining about attempts to write to protected memory. Perhaps if the problem does still exist I will post a bit of the msg text to see if it illuminates anything more.

As for the hardware, it is a hodgepodge. The low end ECS MB, with its Athlon 64 X2 3800+ CPU and 2GB of 400MHz DDR RAM (and SATA/150) is from 2005. It was put together with an old case and somewhat newer power supply. I purchased a new ATI HD 3450 PCIe video card, new hard drive, and new Zonet win modem for it, plus Win 7. Any or all of that may be significant information for sorting out difficulties, but I hope this particular problem really is past.

Updating the video driver was on my to-do list from the beginning but the “driver only” download was 56MB. Anything over about 5MB is a big deal on my dial-up line. I was finally able to borrow a broadband connection and bring the software home on a flash drive.

Which leads to the next difficulty, although it properly belongs elsewhere in the forum. I need to search more to see if it has already been addressed. The “new” computer has not yet been on-line; I don’t know if I can trust connecting to be safe. I’ve been told that the OS updates total 20 to 30 GB. Getting the Windows 7 updates would take months, at least, and it might take years to actually catch up with the new ones that keep coming out. It just isn’t practical without broadband and broadband isn’t an option. Neither is leaving this one and only phone line tied up with computer stuff most of the time. I disconnect and write something as long as this post while off-line.

Are there no other ways of obtaining a functional operating system? Doesn’t the download approach leave a large number of computer users out in the cold?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Jan 2011   #4
Johnathan Lyman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

I believe you can order Updates on CD from Microsoft. If we're talking Window 7, Service Pack 1 will be OFFICIALLY related to the public in the next week or so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2011   #5
AndyH W7f

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

That will be very convenient, if I can afford it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2011   #6
AndyH W7f

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Does anyone know for sure about availability of Win 7 updates by snail mail, and if so, how to go about getting them (or, better, the SP1 update when it is officially released)? I spent 50 minutes trying to find something useful on the Microsoft site, the last 10 trying to sign-up for the Win 7 forum (click on a link, wait several minutes for the screen to load, click on the next ...) .

At the end I was told I needed a newer browser in order to be allowed to post — download the latest IE. If I wanted that, which I certainly don’t, getting it would be a large undertaking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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