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Windows 7: Black Screen of Death - Complete with brief sound loop

06 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Black Screen of Death - Complete with brief sound loop

Hi everyone.

I've looked around every corner of the internet and seen that many people have had this problem. Unfortunately though I can never find threads with solutions that work. I apologise if this has been asked/answered before but I couldn't find anything so far that's worked for me.

The Problem:

My PC will crash to a black screen (like someone has pulled the video cable out of the monitor) and whatever sound was playing at the time will loop for about 30 seconds, then the speakers go dead. It seems to occur solely during gaming (although not at particular points within games, nor does it seem to depend on how demanding the game is in terms of processing power, gfx or RAM). Due to the apparent randomness of it, it could be that it is not limited to gaming, although I have never seen it happen at any other time so this seems unlikely.

The PC does not reset, it idles in "power on" requiring a manual hard reset.

No dump files are written (either kernel or minidump) - the PC doesn't seem to know it's crashed. Event log logs my manual reset but nothing else "Critical".

This problem does seem pretty common, as I say Google pulls up a fair few threads where people complain of this. Some are resolved but as yet nothing that worked for them appears to be working for me.

PC Specs:

AMD Athlon II X4 645 - 3.10 GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GT 440

What I've tried:

  • Monitored CPU, Core, GPU, MoBo temps. CPU peaks at around 60 C (which I think is safe for my CPU model). GPU peaks ~70 C. MoBo doesnt get much higher than 50 C. The crashes don't seem to be dependant on temps, i.e. the crashes occur at lower temperatures than the max recorded. Eg a crash before occurred with CPU and GPU temperatures ~5 degrees lower than their peaks within the log (which were 75 and 59).
  • Monitored voltage on 3.3, 5 and 12v lines. The values do creep over their "maximum", the 3.3 is frequently at 3.36, the 5 will reach 5.05ish, and the 12 will reach 12.05. Again these variations and maximums don't coincide with crashes (at least apparently not)
  • Ran Memtest86 several times - no errors
  • Ran FurMark on various different settings - no crashes or problems
  • Uninstalled, sweeped and reinstalled the nVidia driver (I did think that this might be the issue, maybe not though?)
EDIT: I've also upgraded chipset and bios to their most recent iterations

None of that seems to have changed anything, crashes still occur at random times. They have been going on for quite a while now (at least 6-7 months) but can go months without one, then have 3 in a day with no change in PC usage over that time.

As I say I have not got any dumps to upload, unfortunately. I've also dl'd the SF diagnostic tool but unfortunately it's misbehaving. All tests other than system info give an "Unhandled exception error" citing "Could not find file C:\*.txt". The filename changes depending on which test I try to run. I have a feeling this is probably a stupid error on my part .

If anyone has any idea of anything more I can try, or what the problem might be I would be eternally grateful.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2012   #2

windows 7 ultimate*64

when i play game black screen is appered...
i can not do anything without shutdown or sleep...
nvidia geforce gt 520m
i3,4gbram,lenovo ideapad z570
i try to update all graphics driver but still problem is not solve can anyone help me.....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Jay, I can't really suggest anything other than what I've tried. I wouldn't even do that till someone who knows what they're doing turns up since it could make the problem worse.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Aug 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Update: I've been running driver verifier today to see if anything interesting happens. During a quick LotRO session everything began to lag very badly. I assumed it was just ingame lag so quit out, but it was the PC it's self responding very slowly (>5 seconds) to my input. Then the familiar crash with sound loop, except this time the screen went bright Green, rather than black.

Still had to hard reset to get anything moving, still no dump files. Could verifier have noticed a faulty driver, hence the slowdown and subsequent crash?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Update again:

Subsequent crashes without Driver Verifier active reverted back to the standard black screen and speaker loop. I shall try again with DV active and see if they follow the laggy -> greenscreen crash.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Driver verifier did seem to be responsible for the changed behaviour of the crash.

They've been happening on and off as usual, except just now one happened outside of gaming. I had firefox and itunes up under "normal" use. I wasn't streaming any video, just text based sites. This is the first time the crash has occurred outside of a game so seems to rule out that line of enquiry. Once again no dumps or logs.

Does anyone here know what would happen if the memory was to become "overloaded"? I wonder if this could be a cause since crashes tend to happen quicker (i.e. time since start up to crash) during gaming than this one today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Black Screen of Death - Complete with brief sound loop

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