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Windows 7: Windows Aero randomly shuts off, and GPU temperatures elevate

17 Nov 2013   #1

Windows Aero randomly shuts off, and GPU temperatures elevate

I hope I'm just being paranoid and everything is fine but...

A few days ago, I had an incident of "Display driver has stopped responding and successfully recovered" for the first time in more than a year, and I freaked out thinking my graphics card was starting to fail.

I discovered then there was a very big update for the graphics card released a week before that, and so installed that and restarted. Not sure if that was in any way related.

Now tonight, in the middle of playing a video game, while playing music in Windows Media Player, and watching a video clip on Media Player Classic (I do this frequently enough without issue), my screen began to sloppily black out---one black window for the game in windowed mode, then the rest of it---and the screen returned, but my Windows Aero had shut off, reverting my computer scheme back to basic.

I had experienced similar things with my old graphics card, and it typically led to the computer freezing up, so I rapidly closed all my open programs, and ran up SpeedFan to check the temperature.

Despite closing everything, the temperature remained steadily high, and suddenly a weird, faint noise began to emanate from my computer. I think it sounded something like a squeaking or whining sound.

Gradually, the temperature started to go back down, though it took longer than normal, and the Aero returned after I logged off and logged back in.

I also checked my computer properties, and saw that my Windows Experience Index was grayed out as if outdated. So I refreshed it---the temperature rose again and made similar whining noises during the Direct X testing---then came back with the exact same rating as before.

I looked around online and found that almost this exact thing has happened to other people, where Windows Experience Index will automatically refresh itself at some point, when the computer is idle. But my computer wasn't idle at this point in time.

What is going on? Is something wrong with my graphics card or was this some odd occurrence? It's the first time this has ever happened to me ever since first getting Windows 7 in 2009.

My computer specs are:
Intel Core i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40 GHz
Nvidia GeForce GTX 570
AsRock Z-77 Extreme4-M motherboard

EDIT: I haven't restarted yet, but I've tried launching a game that is much heavier on graphics. Thus far, I haven't noticed any odd noises coming from the computer, and the GPU temperature is at the same level it was when this incident occurred (which is normal when under load---60-70 degrees C)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #2
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot

From what you've said it seems like you're having a fan problem on your GPU. Try a stress test like MSI Afterburner, and monitor the fan speed and temps while you do it. Your fan should spin quite fast when the card is under heavy load. Don't let your temps get too high. We just want to see if the fan is spinning correctly.

MSI Afterburner

Let us know how it turns out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #3


I got that program and forcibly boosted fan speed to highest, let it run for a few seconds. It made no noise. I'm not seeing any options to administer a stress test, save for a "K" button for a MSI Kombustor program, which identifies as a "stability test"
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Nov 2013   #4
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot

Kombustor will run your GPU at maximum, and it will make the temperatures go very high. It's a good test to run, but if you do, you'll have to watch the temps carefully. Also, listen to the fan if you run it, and see if it starts squeaking over the long term. It might be an intermittent bearing problem that's slowing the fan down, causing the heat to rise and shut your GPU down. An over heated GPU can cause all sorts of strange things to happen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #5


how long should I run it for? And what exactly should I look for in terms of limits and such? Thus far, it's been on for 5 minutes, temperature stabilized between 77 and 80 degrees C, and there's been no problems, no change, no unusual noises.

And how does the Windows Experience Index incident fit into all this too?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #6
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot

Let it run for 10 to 15 minutes or so to see if it acts up, if not then run it the next time you hear that squeaking noise. Hopefully, there won't be anymore resetting and squeaking from your GPU.

As for the WEI, it may have grayed out when you installed the new update for the graphics card. I know with the AMD/ATI cards that I've had, my computer will sometimes detect new hardware when I install a new driver pack.

The Aero turning off might have been the WEI running automatically. I've had my computer run a WEI check in the middle of stuff before, but never when I'm gaming. It's usually when I'm on the web at 1:00 AM or writing code. I don't think there's much to worry about there, unless it starts to happen frequently.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #7


The only reason I freaked out as badly as I did was because this was just two or three days after my card did a "Display driver has stopped responding..." thing for the first time in almost a year, after a big long time of having it happen all the time, regardless of GPU load or temperature.

Also, it was around 1 AM when this occurred, but I've never had WEI automatically run on its own
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #8

Win8/8.1,Win7-U64, Vista U64, uncounted Linux distor's

temperature stabilized between 77 and 80 degrees C, and there's been no problems, no change, no unusual noises.
Normal temps for a gpu at 100%, most gpu's can exceed 90C without ill effects. Make sure you dust the inside of the puter.

When you installed the new gpu drivers did you do a clean install? I've seen a lot of gpu blue screens caused by remnants of old drivers fouling the works. Uninstall gpu drivers from control panel, run "Driver Sweeper", reboot and then install the new gpu drivers. Fixed a lot of boxes with this procedure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows Aero randomly shuts off, and GPU temperatures elevate

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