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Windows 7: computer stops working, and screen goes black. Any suggestions?

22 May 2012   #1

windows 7 ultimate 64 bit
computer stops working, and screen goes black. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for any help! I'll try to explain as best I can. I have a custom built pc, running Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit, 8 GB RAM, Intel LGA 775 motherboard, Intel Xeon 2.4 Quad processor, 550 watt power supply and nvidia GeForce 9800 GT graphics card. I do audio recording, and use an external audio interface (novation x-station 49). My computer has ran flawlessly for the past year or so, now my 2 (22" Samsung) monitors go black after a few minutes. It started out once or twice a day, now it only takes about 5 minutes.

My first thought was the video card (because both monitors go black) which I'm still in the 5 year warrantee period, so I can get it replaced. Everything is normal, then I get a second of messed up screens, then it goes black. When the screens are messed up, they look like the one referring to bad video card ram in this link... Diagnose video card problems by comparing with example corrupted screens

When it goes black, I have no audio either. ?

I cleaned the dust out, ran with cover off, all fans are still running, and computer appears as its operating as normal, except the screens go black and audio stops. I guess my question is, if my video cards ram is bad, and it crashes/overheats and stops working, would it cause the audio to stop also? Or could it be something else, like the mobo, or cpu?

I also don't get a error message, and don't see it in error logs, but have to do a hard re-start to get it back on and working for a few minutes at least. :'-(

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Hello aaronuws. Welcome to the Forum.

My first thought, as was yours, was overheating. If the 9800 is inside a hard plastic case be sure to blow or vacuum that out carefully.

I think the best way to start would be to simplify. Disconnect all but the minimum needed components of the system and run it for a while just to test to see if the problem remains. That will give a clue about which direction to investigate first.

The usual questions:
Have you made any hardware changes recently? OS changes?
Have installed any new programs (particularly games) recently?
Is the symptom regular and constant (happens every time) or random and occasional?
If a regular occurrence: does it happen after a certain period of time, or is the amount of time random?

Let us know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2012   #3

windows 7 ultimate 64 bit

Thank you for welcoming me here! And thank you for your effort to help me!
Actually, I have a metal rack mount case. I have not installed anything new (except Windows updates), and have no games installed (dont have time for games unfortunately). I haven't done any hardware changes for over a year, and I haven't moved the computer for months.
The problem was consistent, and a regular occurrence. After 2-5 minutes, I'd get a checkerboard like distortion of the screen for a split second, then it goes black on both monitors. After the screens go black, the computer appears to be running. The lights are working showing hard drive is active, and fans are all still operating as normal. It didn't matter if I was running programs, surfing the web or sitting idle.
I sent my video card in for replacement today. Hope that fixes it, if not, I'll be back. I just hope it's not the mother board and/or processor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 May 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Suspecting the video card is a good call. Testing a new/different card will answer a lot of questions.

Are you using a temporary card in the machine now? And if so, does it run OK?

One thing that can cause a problem is a bad graphics driver or a driver corruption. One of my suggestions would have been to completely uninstall and the reinstall the graphics driver. It would not be a bad idea to do that anyway before you install the new card when it comes back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2012   #5
Wandering one

Win7 sp1 Pro 64bit / XP sp2 Pro (games only)

I had the exact same problem as you and it ended up to be the video card (again same one). Card looked fine and clean but when i finally did an autopsy and removed all the pretty cover it was blocked solid with dust.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2012   #6

windows 7 ultimate 64 bit
Solved: It was the Vido Card!

It was the video card that was bad. Must have over heated, and been a problem with the cards design, as PNY nVida replaced it (free of charge) with a different card, and now problem solved. Thank you all for your help and advise! Cheers!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

That's good news. Glad you got it sorted.
And thank you for updating us with the solution.
I guess you can mark this thread as solved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 computer stops working, and screen goes black. Any suggestions?

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