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Windows 7: Whole windows freezes after graphics driver update! :(

03 Dec 2012   #1

windows 7 ultimate 64bit
Whole windows freezes after graphics driver update! :(

-I'm new to these forums so let me introduce myself, my name is Amélie, nearly 18 years old, from Europe and currently studying medicine.

- please help me, I need this computer to study because it has all my files and projects, it started freezing after installing ati drivers,
please read my steps:

1 - Yesterday, my pc was running very fine, Uninstalled amd drivers to reinstall them, in the middle of uninstallation the screen went wrong (colors badly displayed: white/black and random colors everywhere). after uninstalling rebooted pc, reinstalled latest drivers = colors back normal.

2 - pc worked for an hour to two, started a game (saint's row 3), main menu was fine, in the loading the pc freezed with brown screen, and had to long press power to shut it down. tried another games later, same problem

3 - now when turning pc on, sometimes the screen is displayed wrong, white lines behind the mouse, they stay the same and never move or disepear. but when starting a game the pc freezes.
sometimes when starting pc, the lines come, sometimes they don't: when pc starts with them they stay, when pc starts without them they don't appear until starting a game and pc crashes.

* the lines always when they come, they start after the windows loading logon step. never before, and safe mode always works perfectly.

Things I tried to fix the issue:
- reinstalled drivers / completly removed them and installed latest ones / completly removed and installed original ones from original cd (same problem)

- reinstalled windows!! = pc worked fine, until the step I installed the ati drivers and rebooted pc, pc froze after the windows logon loading step.

- checked temperatures of all my computer parts, checked fan speeds and voltages, everything fine.

- tried a cpu, gpu stress test and it worked fine, I even let gpu temperature go to 80c and fan was running at top speed, no problem,
played 4 full hd movies at the same time to test if gpu crashes and it did not. played a heavy flash game and it did not crash. but when starting a normal game, even windows titans chess, the whole pc freezes.

Please I need this pc to study so badly, especially when I'm having exams this week before christmas vacations.
Thanks a lot for reading, I would really appreciate and thank you if you help me.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


When a driver fails in the way you describe and Win7 becomes unbootable, the best approach is to boot into System Recovery Options to run System Restore to before the driver was updated. Then take note of the driver so you don't install it again unless you want to test it.

Was this driver provided by Windows Updates? If not check now if there are drivers which Win7 prefers that are delivered via Important and Optional Windows Updates when you enable Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3).

In fact I'd look over the steps given in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which compile the tools and methods which assure you'll get and keep a perfect install. These are the same for retail.

I would try all possible drivers for Win7 for your Display adapter from your PC maker, device maker, Windows Updates, etc. These remain cued in Device Manager>Display>Driver tab>Update Driver>Browse>Let me choose. There is also a Roll Back Driver button to use, or System Restore if it won't boot as noted.

You have a good command of your PC so here are other Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 to work through.

If you'll post back results as you go we will work with you to help resolve this fully.

Please fill out your system specs in the bottom left corner of your post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2012   #3

windows 7 ultimate 64bit

Hello Sir!
Thanks a lot for replying and taking the time for helping me.
Also Thanks for notifying me about the system specifications and I have updated them in my public profile.

- for the drivers, (when starting fresh windows), I let windows download all recommended updates. then I Installed the latest display driver, same problem, then removed it and tried the original one that came with the cd, then removed and installed the before-latest one. same problem.

- when I uninstalled windows, I haven't done a clean uninstall, I set it to reinstall in the same old windows partition without formatting it,

Now I'm going to format the windows partition, and reinstall windows 7 (ultimate 64bit) on it. following the steps from the links you posted me.

I will reply with the results after the format,
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Dec 2012   #4

windows 7 ultimate 64bit

Hello again Sir!

- I have deleted the harddrive partitions, created them again, formatted them and then installed a new fresh windows 7 (ultimate 64bit) on one.
I made sure the windows doesn't install any update or automatic drivers by unplugging the router and shutting it down.

- the pc started and worked fine, after installing the display driver (catalyst 12.6) the system asked me to reboot so I did, when the system started the pc froze after getting on desktop by less than 20 seconds.
(decided to wait it for a while but it was still freezing / all the fans were still running and motherboard light is on / can't shut it down unless by unplugging electricity or long pressing power button)

Also, I have noticed one thing, after rebooting and when in desktop before the crash by seconds, I have noticed that the aero transparency was disabled, tried enabling it from tasks bar properties but the option was in grey and uncheckable/disabled). then pc froze after few seconds.

to be able to use the pc without crashing I had to get on windows safe mode, change display adapter to 'VGA standard", and then restarting windows normally,

Please help,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP


If you read the steps to get a perfect Clean Reinstall then you would have first installed all Important and Optional Windows Updates after enabling Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3).

In 90% of cases you will be given the latest Display driver which Win7 wants, avoiding the adapter maker's bloatware package and problematic drivers.

May I suggest you try it again? This time to get the cleanest slate access DISKPART At PC Startup to run Diskpart Clean Command.

Once you have a stable display driver you can run the Aero troubleshooter which will detect why aero is not displaying, usually when only the VGA placeholder driver is installed: Troubleshooting - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #6

windows 7 ultimate 64bit

Hello again Sir.

I did all the steps you listed which caused my whole harddrive to format,
But sadly the problem didn't go and now i can't even get on desktop when installing graphics card driver.

Though safe mode works, and when enabling vga adapter instead of amd radeon adapter: the normal windows works fine.

here is my ntbtlog.txt when starting windows with amd driver, before the pc freezes:

Please help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP


That was the point of starting over: to give you the cleanest possible slate by wiping the boot code on the HD which sometimes interferes. It did more than format the HD, it wiped it which is what the Clean command does. This is why the warning is clearly posted that it will wipe out everything, i.e. Start over.

Did you follow exactly the steps this time in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 and try the drivers Windows Updates delivers first before importing any? If so and the Display faltered did you then import ONLY the driver from the Acer Support Downloads webpage for your model?

I notice in the log that your CPU driver is failing to load. Is that the one provided by Win7 installer or Updates, or from the Acer Downloads page chipset? If you have not yet installed the Acer chipset I would try that next, after trying the driver Windows Updates wants for Display, or if that fails the Acer Display driver too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #8

Microsoft Windows 10 Professional / Windows 7 Professional

Do you have both power connectors plugged on the videocard? My wife's 6870 uses 2x6 pins power connectors.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #9

windows 7 ultimate 64bit

yes I have my both power cords connected correctly.

I took the pc to a computers shop near my house, they cleaned it for me and tried removing and re-plugging things but the problem is still happening.

they told me that my graphics card is failing, but when I told them about the full story they said that it is a weird problem and not sure how to solve it.

according to that ntbtlog file and my tests, the problem is either caused by the gpu, or psu.

Is there a chance the problem is caused by the graphics card bios (if exists)?
because the whole thing started occuring after a software update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP


You can try unitstalling the Display driver then cleaning out any leftovers using Driver Sweeper, Then I'd physcially reinstall the video card, use default Standard VGA until Windows Updates delivers the driver it wants for it. If that fails install only the card maker's latest display driver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Whole windows freezes after graphics driver update! :(

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