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Windows 7: BSOD after playing Skyrim - faulty graphics card?

11 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
BSOD after playing Skyrim - faulty graphics card?


I was playing Skyrim last weekend, and the game froze on a black screen just as it was cutting to a kill animation. I had to restart the computer but when Windows loaded I had a BSOD. The computer booted fine up till this point.

I've been looking up causes and fixes all week, and the dump files seem to suggest a 0x116 Video_TDR_error. I've attached all the requested information.

I've already tried installing several different graphics drivers - the newest, the one supplied with the card, and one between. Windows and DirectX were fully up to date. I've also tried formatting the hard drive and installing Windows fresh, twice. I've had the computer back to the state it arrived in, when the drivers worked fine, and I've tried it with only the video drivers installed. Everything I try now is still resulting in the same BSOD

I can only get Windows to load in Safe Mode, or if I go into Device Manager and disable my graphics card. I am now fairly convinced the card itself is the problem, and I'm looking for confirmation before I go and get a new one fitted.

My spec is:

AMD Phenom II X4 3.5 GHz
ASUS M4A87TD motherboard
ATI Radeon HD 6950 2GB
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
650W PSU

The computer was new at the end of November. I had the same Windows install since then, but now I'm running a fresh install.

Any extra information needed please ask.

Thanks in advance
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

To check the graphics card and your hardware:
  • If you are overclocking any hardware, please stop.

  • Monitor temperatures during the following tests.
    Use the following programs to monitor the temperatures.
  • Run the boot version of Memtest86+ paying close attention to Parts 2 and 3 of the tutorial. Also, in case Memtest86+ misses anything and comes up with no errors, run the extended version of the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool for at least five passes. These you may want to run overnight since they take a long time to complete (run them an hour before bed each of the next two nights and check before going to sleep that they are still running).

    warning   Warning
    Before you proceed with the following, answer these two questions: Are you still under warranty? Does your warranty allow you to open up the machine to check hardware? If you are unsure of the answers to these questions, contact your system manufacturer. WARNING: The steps that follow can void your warranty!!!

    For Part 3: If You Have Errors: If you swap any memory components, follow these steps for ESD safety:
    1. Shut down and turn off your computer.
    2. Unplug all power supplies to the computer (AC Power then battery for laptops, AC power for desktops)
    3. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds to close the circuit and ensure all power drains from components.
    4. Make sure you are grounded by using proper grounding techniques, i.e. work on an anti-static workbench, anti-static desk, or an anti-static pad. Hold something metallic while touching it to the anti-static surface, or use an anti-static wristband to attach to the anti-static material while working. If you do not have an anti-static workbench, desk, or pad, you can use your computer tower/case by finding a metal hold in it, such as a drive bay.
    Once these steps have been followed, it is safe to remove and replace components within your computer.

Also, STOP 0x116: VIDEO_TDR_ERROR troubleshooting

And make sure the system has good airflow and the graphics card does not have dust built up in the fans. Also check that no power cables are blocking the graphics card fan from spinning.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Still running the tests, but a couple of things first.

FurMark won't run, I get the message "Could not initialize ZoomGPU. FurMark startup failed."

Video Memory Stress Test also won't do anything, I just get this displayed:

Changing video mode to 640x480x16...OK
[12/06/2012 06:27:26] Test started for "Primary Display Driver ()"...
Trying 16bpp RGB:565 mode...NOT SUPPORTED (Code: 88760233)
Trying 16bpp RGB:555 mode...NOT SUPPORTED (Code: 88760233)
Trying 16bpp BGR:565 mode...NOT SUPPORTED (Code: 88760233)
Trying 32bpp RGB:888 mode...NOT SUPPORTED (Code: 88760233)
Trying 32bpp BGR:888 mode...NOT SUPPORTED (Code: 88760233)

Is this because I am running with the card disabled or no drivers installed? I can't access Windows with it enabled as that is when BSOD appears.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

See if you have different behavior if you install your drivers without Catalyst.
  • You should already have the installer downloaded and installed the drivers/Catalyst software, so your drivers probably exist in C:\AMD\Support\xx-x_vista_win7_64_dd_ccc where the x's replace your version number of the driver software.
  • Uninstall all AMD software related to your graphics card by uninstalling AMD Catalyst Install Manager in Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Uninstall a program
  • Restart your computer.
  • Re-install your drivers from the C:\AMD\Support\xx-x_vista_win7_64_dd_ccc folder using a similar method to that in OPTION TWO of Drivers - Install Vista Drivers on Windows 7

If you still cannot run the graphics card tests after doing the above, move on to the other hardware.

Also, you never said whether you checked the system's airflow, fans, and whether it is clean of dust.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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