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Windows 7: Dual Monitor Causing Crashes.


04 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7 professional X64
 
 
Dual Monitor Causing Crashes.

Hey peeps, I was wondering if any of you could give me some assistance with an issue I used to have when running two monitors. I say used to have because I decided not to run 2 anymore for this obnoxious issue. I couldn't find a way to describe it so while looking online for a solution, I found a thread at another forum that describes is perfectly. However not a single reply was given to that thread, and it is the only one that gets so close to my actual issue.

''After installing the second monitor I started having problems when watching videos.
When I watched any kind of video the primary monitor would start to flicker so bad that it would become unreadable the secondary monitor would work fine. This seems to happen randomly. sometimes I can watch several videos and it will work fine.
If I tried to switch the secondary monitor to the primary monitor the same problem would happen with the primary monitor again and the monitor that had the problem originally (the one that is now set to secondary) would now work fine. I updated my drivers thinking this might help but the problem still persists.
one work around I had was to watch the video on the secondary monitor, this would still cause the primary monitor to flicker and sometimes black out but the secondary monitor would play the video fine allowing me to watch it. After I was done watching the video I could stop it and the screen flicker on the primary monitor would stop.
Recently I did this and the computer crashed to a BSOD (this has happened twice now). I don't recall the error number it gave. I wish I would have wrote it down. I just remember reading something about if I have installed any new hardware to check it and if it persists to contact support.
This only happens when I am watching videos. When I am gaming everything works fine. I play most games with all the graphics set to ultra and experience pretty good frame rates.''

I want to answer some questions before they are asked of course.. so these are the ones I assume will be asked.

GPU: Sapphire HD7770 Vapor X OC Edition
Monitor interphase: ACER AL2216W DVI-D Dual Link Output to HDMI input in GPU. No adapters used.
2nd Monitor Interphase: Dell E177FPf running from it's VGA Output to the GPU's DVI-I input, it is using an adapter for VGA to DVI-I.
Monitors are difference sizes, 22Inch and 17Inches respectively.
Different resolutions. 1680x1050 and 1280x1024.
Used Drivers 12.11. 13.1 and 13.2 issue is present with all three.

Now. This had happened before I did a rebuild of my computer. When I performed a clean install with it's new hardware, and then set up the second monitor, the issue continued happening. A part of me tells me the GPU is at fault, but games run extremely well. Sometimes I even run games on just the bigger monitor while I skype a videocall on the second one, and the issue does not occur.

What I am trying to say is that when performing real stressing tasks for the GPU the issue does not happen whatsoever, but the moment I click on a video thumbnail to play it, the second it renders, the second my monitor will crash.

At the moment this is keeping me from purchasing a matching monitor (same size and resolution) and I really doubt that the difference in resolution makes a difference.
One thing to notice is that the monitors do -NOT- run in eyefinity so the system sees them as two different ones, and not as one huge monitor, so I was thinking that might be an issue, however it is not possible to run eyefinity with such a difference in resolution, and my smaller monitor does not support my main monitors resolution.

Any ideas, thoughts or information would be highly appreciated, thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Feb 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Here I run a matching pair of Acer 19" lcds without having run into any glitches as far as video playback. The older MSI HD Radeon 5750 1gb video card simply runs the pair at their native 1400x900 screen res. I can run with the UltraMon or DisplayFusion having bought both full versions without experiencing any dilemnas.

The 17" and 22" combination is one possible problem but wouldn't account for everything. When going to use a program like UltraMon or DisplayFusion you can have two different screen resolutions as well as different wallpapers on each display when creating a custom profile that loads up with Windows. The player and/or video source(video files, online media stream, etc.) could be a cause for concern there.

Since you are not seeing any gaming issues since more recent game titles in the last few years tend to place a larger demand on the graphics that shows the card and lcds are working properly leading us right back to the possible codec and player type problems which are a bit more likely. Are you always using the same player to watch videos or have you tried any other players to see if the problem persists?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2013   #3

Windows 7 professional X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post

The 17" and 22" combination is one possible problem but wouldn't account for everything.

Since you are not seeing any gaming issues since more recent game titles in the last few years tend to place a larger demand on the graphics that shows the card and lcds are working properly leading us right back to the possible codec and player type problems which are a bit more likely. Are you always using the same player to watch videos or have you tried any other players to see if the problem persists?
First off, thanks for the reply.

I doubt the monitor combination is an issue. The thread I saw had the same issues with matching monitors.
With the video players it is only online videos, Youtube and Facebook embedded videos. With regular playback, VLC and WMP act perfectly fine and I am able to watch a movie while gaming and being on a video call.

I was thinking perhaps monitor drivers. But when going to the device manager, it is up to date.
Funny thing about that. The version is 1.0.0.0 and listed with a released date of 2006 in the DM properties.
When I go to ACER support online, it offers the same version with a release date of 2009. 3 years seems like a lot of difference to keep the same driver version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Feb 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Except in rare cases Windows will automatically install the correct driver for the monitor once first detected. The native resolution followed by all of the MS updates will usually tend to see the drive installed there or from the driver base already included in Windows depending on when the model lcd came out.

For the small 17" being older you could expect to see a 2006 time stamp there since most new lcds now are typically growing in size! In fact retail stores no longer want to carry monitors under 20"! That includes office supply stores like Staples as one example since new pcs as well as the cards seen out in recent years even the lower end models tend to support the higher resolutions.

The video card's own drivers would be called into question if you were having other anomalties as well the video glitching problem. The fact that both WMP and VLC are performing well just further points at the playback as the source rather then at any hardware issue. Things like Flash Player, Shock player depending on which browser you use as well as Silverlight for IE are a few things to toss around since this seems to be limited to web playback.

The fact that you can have a video call going at the same time you are running a pc game in full screen on the primary lcd is actually a good sign! Often once you even open a browser window on the second 19" here a pc game will minimise itself to the taskbar even when paused and need to be restarted all over again! This is seen often with the Windows Live Messenger, Skype, or simply pausing to check the main.

Since everything has been narrowed down to web videos like youTube the next thing for you to look at is how to address YT video playback issues. One blog that gets into this type of problem offering some solutions can be looked over at Youtube Videos: Playback Problems And Fixes -

That goes into things like how much memory is used and adjusting the browser's cache and other settings. This usually comes down to some type of buffering issue. YouTube has a page for that type of problem seen at Buffering and playback problems - YouTube Help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2013   #5

Windows 7 professional X64
 
 

Hm... interesting, I should look into that. And of course start the troubleshooting of seeing if the problem persists with IE, or Chrome.

However I'm afraid I still cannot find the connection (or make sense of it yet=P) between the issues..
I'll try running some tests tomorrow after work, in the meantime, more resources would be the most welcome, and I thank you for your help. Let me send some REP your way for your assistance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

I wouldn't let this problem stop you in the meantime from upgrading the second monitor for either a matching 22" or simply a larger display that is HD capable as an improvement. Lately there has been a good number of specials seen on the larger screen lcds to pick and choose from.

Presently I wouldn't worry about IE so much while MS puts out a block to companies to prevent the automatic update from IE 9 to the new 7 version of IE 10 coming out sometime soon. Or you could revert back to IE 8 which will then swiftly jump up to IE 9 again faster then you can blink an eye to correct any problem there. As for Chrome it might take an uninstall and fresh download to install in order to clean things up if this is somehow registry related as far as web playback is concerned.

As far as playback issues on FaceBook FB has it's own troubleshooting page for Bugs & Known Issues in regards to not being able to play videos, uploading any, playback problems like you are running into, and a list of other things to go over on the page there.

Besides IE and Chrome if you decide to give FireFox or any other open source browser a try to see if the problem persists(then proving it is Windows related) you would want to look over the FF page for problem with Flash videos on YouTube, FB, and other sites as well seen at Flash video won't play full screen on YouTube, Facebook and other websites | Firefox Help

The page there refers to FF 12 not being the latest finished version of FF available at this time however with FF 18.02 release out now. But the tips are for general troubleshooting purposes.

As for looking at a possible glitch in Windows one fast idea would be giving the System File Checker a run just in case a system file is having a bad day. Simply type "sfc /scannow" in at the Start>Run command line or in command prompt window and press enter(or click the ok button on the Start>Run) to get that going. The file verification will usually take several minutes and may prompt for the Windows dvd if any files need to be replaced if found missing or corrupted.

Surprisingly it will usually turn out to be one simple item that is found to be the problem. It may vary between users as well as different OSs however. You can easily find a ton of threads on the support forums for various player as well as others where people are running into all sorts of issues with videos. The Yahoo, Google, and MS Answers sites have a good number on each to look at as well.

Another fast guide to add to the list is found on the eHow guides site at How to Troubleshoot a YouTube Video That Runs Slow | eHow.com

About.com is another place to look as well for this type of guide. A fast search there can produce a ton of links! About.com Search - Find it now!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2013   #7

Windows 7 professional X64
 
 

I'm bringing this thread back on track.

After what I thought could have been a bad driver installation, and after hardware upgrades, this crash keeps happening. Screen flicker, main monitor turns solid color with multiple vertical lines on the upper half.

I have noticed that it only happens after my GPU has been stressed. So after a long session of gaming when the card is still warm.

Now. I do have to admit that I thought my error was because of the uhm ''doubtfully legal'' version of a game I wanted to try. So I went and uninstalled it, then bought the game off of steam, but the same BSOD would occur.

I found the culprit is Atikmpag.sys. Did some research and some people say it is means your GPU is bad.
But my HD7770 works beautifully with games, and playback, no artifacts, no crashes (unless I exaggerate the OC) and no overheating at all. Some other people say it is because of a bad Driver Installation. But I find it weird that this happened with 4 different driver versions, even on a machine with a clean Windows 7 install..


Any other ideas?

Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Quote:
I have noticed that it only happens after my GPU has been stressed. So after a long session of gaming when the card is still warm.
I think you found the main culprit on your own that has nothing to do with any driver version but the VPU itself being stressed resulting in a distorted signal going out to the display. When lines are seen it is either the adjuster you can often correct by tweaking the monitor's adjustments or the input source is corrupted in some way. The screen only reflects what is fed into it.

Now you are also reporting that at other times despite the amount of load placed on the same card it doesn't appear suggesting an intermittency of some type where under certain circumstances the card acts up! You now have to see just what is different about the times it does and those times when it doesn't have any problems.

Has the pc been running longer that day?
Is there something else running at certain times like a scheduled system scan by the av program?
Is the card simply heating up more at certain times? would be another possible cause where the chip is overheating.

To avoid replacing the card to correct this additional cooling would be a thought. If the case itself is lacking that would be an improvement in getting all temps down a bit. Or you could add a card cooler as another option if you find the card is overheating a bit at times. The best way to know would be to use a program that can monitor card temps to a degree without any physical sensors being attached separately.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2013   #9

Windows 7 professional X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Quote:
I have noticed that it only happens after my GPU has been stressed. So after a long session of gaming when the card is still warm.
I think you found the main culprit on your own that has nothing to do with any driver version but the VPU itself being stressed resulting in a distorted signal going out to the display. When lines are seen it is either the adjuster you can often correct by tweaking the monitor's adjustments or the input source is corrupted in some way. The screen only reflects what is fed into it.

Now you are also reporting that at other times despite the amount of load placed on the same card it doesn't appear suggesting an intermittency of some type where under certain circumstances the card acts up! You now have to see just what is different about the times it does and those times when it doesn't have any problems.

Has the pc been running longer that day?
Is there something else running at certain times like a scheduled system scan by the av program?
Is the card simply heating up more at certain times? would be another possible cause where the chip is overheating.

To avoid replacing the card to correct this additional cooling would be a thought. If the case itself is lacking that would be an improvement in getting all temps down a bit. Or you could add a card cooler as another option if you find the card is overheating a bit at times. The best way to know would be to use a program that can monitor card temps to a degree without any physical sensors being attached separately.
But you see, card temperatures and load are almost the same if I game with one monitor, or two. Temperature changes only by 6 degrees, and load is 100% how it should be during game.

So theoretically, shouldn't it happen with -one- monitor as well? The highest temperature was 70 and only for a few seconds, the fans kick in at 100% and take the temperature back down to 65 which is my comfort zone.

Now. I found a thread about a guy who had the same issue, he RMA'd the card and the new one had the same problem.

I don't want to go buy another card because this one does work. And if I try to apply for the warranty I can bet they will test it on a single monitor environment, and will not be able to reproduce the BSOD, so I will not get my money back/get it replaced.

I've tried numerous times to replicate the BSOD on a single screen, but it never occurs. Only dual. This is why I believe something else might be wrong.

I guess I can take the card out and run both monitors off of my motherboard to discard a possible faulty gpu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2013   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Don't forget when having a dual display both HDMI outputs are in use where the heat may not be limited to just vpu but something else on the card with a vulnerability. The threshold for the vpu is never reached at the same time. So with no problems seen with a single display you now would need to focus on what else is involved besides vpu as far as the dual outputs on the card.

With any "Blues Screens of Demise" the first thing always is trying to get the error information displayed as well as looking analysis on the memory dump files. The BlueScreenView program is a good freebie to help. For anything not pointed to right away however you might want to start a new thread in the Crash section to have someone go over those for you since the dump files will contain a bit more detail.

I do think you will find the dump files will point to a hardware problem and may even include a driver as well when looked over. When a hardware problem comes up the driver will act up as well whiile the lines are an indicator for a sloppy signal going out from the card. Without this being a regular issue seen all the time the next thought would be on a design flaw in the card's design for that particular model or model series which only appear sporatically.

It kind of reminds me about an old gaming cd you have to put in the drive when going to run the old title where once I got a new case together with a new faster optical drive that became the standard at the time a line would be seen scrolling down the screen on the main menu constantly despite not finding one scratch on the cd itself not even a finger mark! The newer drive and improvements seen in the lazer readers seen since revealed an imperfection in the disk itself. Nothing ever went wrong any time the game was played while the flaw was noticable.

Likewise with any signal source you expect to see a perfect signal all the time and when not able to find a flaw that lingers when the display ends up singing the BSOD "Blues" you have to start looking at the things you wouldn't normally expect to find. A cold solder point on the secondary connection inside the HDMI output? I would suspect that the problem is ahead of the final output stage however since a bad connector would shunt the display alone not see any blues onscreen come up.

The thought here focuses on hardware or a combination of hardware with driver being goobered by hardware fault when being loaded sideways like GDDR memory fault?! Faulty ram even on a card can cause any number of display problems. And if not the onboard memory something before the final output or even before the memory nbetween vpu. A weak cap, resistor, or diode on the card?

First the information you can get out of any dump files found and maybe something in one of the Event Viewer logs would be the place to go now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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