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Windows 7: Gigabyte GTS450 causes random black screen


16 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Gigabyte GTS450 causes random black screen

I recently purchased a new PC. The following are the specs:

Processor: Intel Core I7 2600K
MOBO: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3
Graphics: Gigabyte GTS450
RAM: 2 x 4GB - Corsair PC133
HDD: 2TB - WD SATA 3
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium x64

NOTE: I have not overclocked the hardware.

When I installed the OS and drivers, I used all the default drivers provided by the hardware manufacturers.

After setting it up, I was seeing black screen without a mouse cursor displayed after the Welcome screen. At this point the HDD activity led stopped blinking and the only way for me was to do a hard reboot/shutdown. I found that I was only able to access the OS through Safe Mode.

I proceeded to uninstall the graphics driver and all the graphics apps, and allowed Windows Update to detect and install the graphics driver accordingly, which it did. It seemed to fix the problem **partially**, where I was no longer seeing the black screen immediately after the Welcome screen. Now, what I have found is that the system boots up find and I see the desktop coming up. However, at random point after the PC is turned on, I hit the black screen of death (mouse cursor not available, HDD activity led not blinking). At this point, the only way to get out of it is to perform a hard reboot/shutdown.

I removed the GTS450 graphics card and I'm using the MOBO on-board HDMI to connect to my monitor, and now it seems to be working just fine - been using it for 2 days and I have not seen any black screens.

I would like to re-install the GTS450, but I do not know how to fix this issue. Given the hardware config above, would any of you know why I might be facing the random black screen problem? And any suggestions or known methods to overcome this problem?

-DR

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Aug 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Hello Dr. Welcome to the Forum.

It sounds like a failed video card. But you should check to eliminate other simple reasons before replacing the card.

A graphics card can also fail due to insufficient power, overheating, driver conflicts, RAM issues, and connection issues.

Power: check to be sure that the PCI-e power connectors are properly plugged into the card. IIRC the 450 uses two 8 pin connectors. Unplug and re-plug these any make sure they are fully seated.
Check your power supply specs and let us know the Brand & Model, how many total watts, and if you can, the number of Amps it puts out on the 12 volt. It should be 22A or more for that card IIRC.

I think we can rule out overheating, as the error occurs right away. The card doesn't have time to overheat.

Driver conflicts might occur when both graphics engines are trying to run at once. Many modern motherboard's BIOS automatically switch off the onboard graphics when a graphics card is detected in the slot. But you should check.
With the 450 installed in the computer, go into safe mode and navigate to the Device Manager and check to see if only one or both graphics adapters are shown.
If both are shown, choose the on-board adapter, right click, and then DISABLE (don't uninstall).
If that makes no difference, and you can go into your BIOS settings, you could disable the onboard graphics manually there (be sure the 450 is still installed when you do this).
In all cases above you want to see if the system will run the 450 w/o problem.

RAM issues can be tested simply by downloading and running http://www.memtest.org/#downiso for at least 3 passes. There should not be any errors.

Connection issues are tested by re-seating the video card being sure it clicks into its slot correctly and checking the DVI cable connections.

Try those diagnostics and see if they uncover anything. If not you could just have a dud card. If this is a new boxed system then your best back is to bring it back for warranty repair/replacement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Hi Dr. If you're using the latest nVIDIA driver, that could be the problem, many people at the forum have had various issues with the new 280.xx. So far the most stable driver has been the 270.61 WHQL from nVIDIA, plug in your specs and try the 270.61, you should have the GTS450 installed for this.

Use Phyxion.net - Driver Sweeper to remove old graphics driver first, the nVIDIA clean install, well, isn't always clean.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

TVeblen & Britton30 - thanks so much for the advice and guidance.

I tried the following:
  1. performed memory check using memtest86+ - no problems detected
  2. tried running Phyxion.net Driver Sweeper - but everytime I ran it (I ran it as Administrator), Windows 7 complained and gave an error - any idea why I could not get it to run successfully?
  3. uninstalled all the nVidia drivers via the Uninstall programs
  4. using devcon (which I got from WDK), I removed all the nVidia drivers which were not removed cleanly - I am familiar with devcon because I have previously actually develop Microsoft MPIO drivers and used devcon to clean up the DriverStore after a driver uninstall.

I then re-fitted the GTS450, installed the 270.61 nVidia driver and rebooted the PC. After the reboot, everything seemed to be working fine - no black screen after the "Welcome screen". I decided to reboot the PC and KABOOM - BSOD with the message BUGCODE_USB_DRIVER. I power cycled the PC and from this point onwards, shut downs always resulted in black screens and after about 1-2 minutes after the black screen, the PC would reboot and indicate that the PC did not shut down properly and ask whether I wanted to boot into Safe Mode, etc. Also, opening certain software resulted in a black screen as well - back to square one.

I had a hunch it was something to do with the installed drivers. I proceeded to disable the nVidia High Definition Audio devices (four of them) in the Device Manager. From this point onwards, everything seems to be working fine. No more random black screens when running certain software and no more black screen during shutdown. So, I think I can root cause the black screen to the nVidia High Definition Audio device/drivers.

I then did a search for nVidia High Definition Audio and black screen and found the following:
Now, my question is whether this is a driver or hardware issue. And ideas/comments?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #5

W7 Professional x64
 
 

I had a similar issue with the sound features fighting over control of my machine. I disabled the nvidia HD audio (useless anyway if you don't use HDMI outs) and that fixed the issue, so I concur that that might have been your problem. The Driver issue on windows 7 would throw a "display driver has stopped working" or something similar message from the taskbar. Other than this snafu, which I'm sure is correctable with research, but I'm lazy and don't use HDMI so I think it's pointless, the GTS450 is a strong card, and I've thoroughly enjoyed mine. (So much I'm about to pick up another)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

You should have some "minidump" files from the BSOD events.

I suggest reading this http://www.sevenforums.com/crashes-d...tructions.html , and then start a new post in that forum to get one of the bluescreen gurus to take a look and advise as to what Windows says is the cause of the crash.

We have been focusing on the graphics card because that is what you suspect, but it could very well be something else completely.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

BUGCODE_USB_DRIVER
I have had this myself Drdunno and was related to my USB 3.0 driver and usb3mon. Do you have the Renesas driver?
In msconfig or through CCleaner, if you have it, disable the usb3mon starting on restarts. Let us know how that goes.
Note   Note
This will likely disable USB 3, it is a buggy driver
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
You should have some "minidump" files from the BSOD events.

I suggest reading this http://www.sevenforums.com/crashes-d...tructions.html , and then start a new post in that forum to get one of the bluescreen gurus to take a look and advise as to what Windows says is the cause of the crash.

We have been focusing on the graphics card because that is what you suspect, but it could very well be something else completely.
I will possibly do this the next time I hit a BSOD (hopefully, I never face this problem from this point onwards - famous last words )


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
BUGCODE_USB_DRIVER
I have had this myself Drdunno and was related to my USB 3.0 driver and usb3mon. Do you have the Renesas driver?
In msconfig or through CCleaner, if you have it, disable the usb3mon starting on restarts. Let us know how that goes.
Note   Note
This will likely disable USB 3, it is a buggy driver
I have an Etron drivers installed. The Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 MOBO has Etron EJ168 chips (USB3.0/2.0). I have a couple more tests to run to finalise whether the Etron driver could be a culprit. I'll post an update when I am done with this.




BTW, for the nVidia Hi Def Audio driver issue (where I have now disabled this driver to avoid the black screen), I was wondering - I am using a Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 MOBO and a Gigabyte GV-N450OC-1GI (powered by nVidia GeForce GTS 450 GPU). Since MOBO and graphics card are both by Gigabyte, shouldn't Gigabyte have found this during their h/w compatibility tests and tried to fix it? (I'm asking just to check if any of you know how Gigabyte test their products).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

The nVIDIA HD Audio is for the HDMI output and shouldn't affect your normal playback.
I think Gigabyte does little in quality control from my experinces with them, both with my current mobo and a GFX card from them which I trashed. They even told me their own GFX card would not work with my board even though its spec said otherwise. It will not work in another computer either.

I have no info on the Etron USB drivers, but they could well be causing the same issues as Renesas' do.

OFF topic: I sent my Gigabyte mobo in twice to be fixed, the first time nothing was done. The second time they only updated the BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

"Shouldn't Gigabyte have found this during their h/w compatibility tests and tried to fix it?"

You are their quality control! You are doing the compatibility tests right now!

Your symptoms are common when there are conflicting drivers. I just took a look and that board has onboard graphics. Now normally a modern MB will switch off the onboard graphics chip when it detects a graphics card but sometimes that does not happen.

Check in Device Manager to see if it lists 2 graphics adapters.
Test by either disabling the onboard one from Device Manager, or go into the BIOS settings and disable it from there and see if it changes anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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