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Windows 7: Strange video issues

30 Sep 2010   #1

HP Win7 Pro x64 | Custom Win7 Pro x64
Strange video issues

I'm having a few issues, and just wanted to see if anyone else has had this happen, or may know what causes it.

First, this could be related, I'm not sure, a few days ago I ran GPUZ and CPUZ, clicking through the tabs and realized my video card was set at Pci-Express x4 1.1. I reseated the card several times, cleaned the pci-e slot, then used my secondary pci-e power connectors, and finally it's running as it should @ x16. I'm not sure how long it was like that, the performance decrease wasn't noticeable. (I'm actually curious if it was just reporting it wrong, because my benchmarks were extremely close; Counter Strike: Source| Video Stress test 216fps at x4, then when I fixed it, 224fps. All settings maxed. This all happened two days ago, and has been fine since fixing it, but..
Now, and this never happened before, and started right after that issue, sometimes when I boot up, if I right click the desktop, and select 'Refresh', the screen go's black for a moment, for about exactly 1 second, not long enough for the monitor to say (no video), but close. Once or twice it did do that though. Once yesterday while browsing this forum, it started, but this time it only did it if I tried to scroll up or down a thread. I minimized my browser, and tried to select refresh at the desktop, to see if it was the same bug, and it did it, I had to restart the machine.
Then just now, today, I booted up, signed into my user, and exactly then, as it said loading, just as the desktop should appear, it did it, and it lasted a little longer, this time the monitor said no video detected, for just a moment tho. I immediately restarted, and here I am, the bug is gone.

Note: It doesn't seem to matter if it's a cold boot or not. I'm going to reinstall my video card drivers now, but somehow I don't think it will change anything, but who knows.

Any idea's? Thanks, and sry for the length!

Edit: The reason I'm leaning away from a bad Gpu, or dying rather, is the fact that Windows Vista, & Windows 7, both have an effect exactly like this, sometimes when the UAC comes up, the screen go's black, in exactly the same way, then go's to the dimmed out screen with the prompt. This is common and it's just, too similar to what's happening, I can't help but think they may be related.

I'm installing the drivers now, so it would be great to get some ideas, between now and when this happens again.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Oct 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

I can only guess at this, of course, but that certainly sounds like it could be a failing video card. But it could also be due to a under-powered or failing power supply or even bad or faulty RAM.

The symptoms are very similar to TDR events, but since you are not getting any messages (Display Driver xxx stopped responding and was recovered") then we can assume it is not that, for now.

Try the new drivers. Make sure you are doing a clean driver install when dealing with video issues.

Also test to see if advanced graphics trigger the events by changing the desktop from an Aero theme to one of the basic themes. When I refresh my desktop it is nearly instantaneous - I can barely see the flash. Your video is dogging down to perform that simple task.

Also, look in your Event Viewer to see if there are any Critical Errors or Warnings that might point you in the right direction.

Hope that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Oct 2010   #3

HP Win7 Pro x64 | Custom Win7 Pro x64

Well I reinstalled the drivers, I've rebooted several times since then, and also had the PC off all night (Never leave it on) and everything seems normal.

I stress tested it with 4 hours of Bad Company 2 last night, which pushes this rig to its thermal limits, no problems.

It's survived half a dozen benchmarks today. Also, refreshing is nearly instant, I don't have a ton of icons, but enough for it to take maybe 100ms, but only when the Cpu is idle 800mhz, otherwise, when the Cpu is full speed, I can't even see it refresh.

I ran WEI, all scores are good, everything is reporting normal.

What's strange, I've gone through 2 power supplies, on my third one. The first was DOA, the second just stopped working out of nowhere and the rig shut off, tested it, bad. This new one seems perfectly fine, but I'm not sure how to stress it any further. Now, the other day when it was stuck at pci-e x4 1.1, I'm not sure if it was the new power connectors that helped, or, if it was just ripping everything apart, and putting it all back together. I suspect it had nothing to do with the new connectors, and was the slot, because even then, the Gpu pulled 190 watts as normal, it just wasn't at the full speed, according to CPUZ and GPUZ.

Oh I forgot to mention, I'm not sure, but I 'think' it all actually may have started when my house lost power recently, I can't be certain, but I was in the middle of a game, for now I think it's possible it was the drivers got corrupted, but they'd have to have been pretty messed up I'd think... I'm gonna restart many times today, cold boot a few times, and stress it like hell, and report back.

Thanks for the post, and sry for the length.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Oct 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

No problem. Glad it's up and running.

Unexpected shutdowns can cause all sorts of mayhem. That is very likely a cause. That's why so many people use a UPS in areas where the power grid is chancy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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