I have a new Windows 7 64-bit computer with the these specs:
CPU: i5-2500K 3.3 GHz
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTS 450 OC
HDD: 120GB Corsair Force Series 3 SSD and 320GB Seagate Barracuda as well as two WD external hardrives
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz
PSU: Corsair 750W
My computer has recently started to proceed to a black screen after the "Starting Windows" logo screen and I am unable to see the login screen. I have to hard-restart to be able to restart the computer. On the occasion it has started okay and I have been able to log into Windows, the graphics driver crashes and then eventually goes to a black screen and I cannot see the desktop. I will be doing anything on the PC, watching a movie, on the Internet, playing a game, or Windows 7 will just be idling when the screen goes black.
What I have done so far:
1. The HDDs:
- Replaced SATA cables
- Run chkdsk on both hard-drives and run a check on them using HD tune pro for bad sectors. Both tests came back as alright for every hard-drive.
- Re-installed Windows 7 on the SSD and also as a test, installed Windows 7 on the Seagate HDD.
None of this fixed the problem.
2. The RAM:
- Have fiddled with the voltage and frequency in the BIOS within recommended limits (my BIOS limited the frequency to 1333MHz)
- Have run several tests and passes using Memtest 86+ and Windows Memory Diagnostic. All tests came back with no errors.
- Have removed 3 sticks of RAM and replaced one by one and then alternated the RAM sticks to check for defective RAM.
None of this fixed the problem
- Have checked the positioning and made sure it was locked in properly to the motherboard.
- Looked for any signs of damage. None were found.
4. The Motherboard:
- Looked at the motherboard for any signs of damage, components were all plugged in etc. As far as I could tell everything looked okay.
5. The Graphics Card:
- Have taken the Graphics Card out and cleaned using air hose.
- Re-seated into the PCI-E slot and checked to ensure it was seated properly and no damage in the PCI-E slot.
- Have updated the driver to the latest (306.23 at the current time) and done a clean install with the driver. Have installed old drivers as well (also clean installs)
- Have tried to fiddle with some voltage values (within recommended limits).
This did not fix the problem.
6. General things:
- Have run Malware bytes and removed some viruses found
- Have run CCCleaner to detect any errors in the registry (backed up registry first)
- Have decreased the amount of RAM usage Firefox takes on the PC.
- Have run virus scans constantly using AVG Anti-virus
- Have altered the Startup and Services to have a "clean" startup and then re-enabled them one by one to check any driver issues. For a time this was ok, but then the kernel graphics driver became an issue.
- Have flashed the motherboard BIOS to the latest version
- Have upgraded the firmware on the SSD to the latest version
- Have checked the drivers and ensured they were all up to date.
- Ran OCCT and Prime95 tests before the issue started happening and they came back as alright.
- Have changed the power levels to maximum performance to ensure enough power is getting through to the peripherals etc.
- Have switched the PC off for a few days and then switched back on.
- Have checked the BIOS temps and it says 30 - 40 degrees Celsius which seems a bit high to me, but OCCT says the CPU is 26 degrees Celsius so don't know which one is accurate?
8. Safe mode:
- Have run the computer in Safe Mode and interestingly the PC has never gone to a black screen. I have left it running for days on end without any issue.
The only thing I haven't been able to test is the PSU, but I reckon it has to be the graphics card as the kernel graphics driver keeps popping up as recovered and when running in Safe Mode, it disables this driver. I have not tested the PSU and I know in Safe Mode the PC won't be drawing as much power, but the PC has never crashed in Safe Mode. I have looked at the Event Viewer, but cannot find anything related to the driver.
Can anyone give me advice about this? It's been going on for a few weeks now and it's driving me insane.