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Ominous Black Screen of Doom!

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#1 Kayla0440


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Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:10 PM

Okay, maybe not really.  I certainly hope not anyways.  I apologize now for a lengthy post but I am going to try to give you all the information I can think of at once instead of ton's of posts. =)



                                                                                          AMD Phenom ™ II X4 965 processor 3.40 GHz

                                                                                          8.00 GB

                                                                                          64- bit Operating System

                                                                                          8192 MB RAM

                                                                                          DirectX 11


(Under Display Tab in the DirectX Diagnostic Tool)           NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560



Okay, so here is where the lengthy post comes in.  I will try to narrow it down as much as possible but I am a female and I can ramble and again, I really want to give as much information as possible!   Here we go...


The Problem/s:                                     

     My issue started a few months ago.  My screen would randomly flash and I would get a error message on the bottom right corner of my screen saying, "NVidia display driver stopped responding and has recovered."  After that I could go back to whatever it was I was doing without any problems.  That rocked on for probably about two months.  Sometimes my monitor would get these pretty little "rainbow blocks"  all along my screen in random places, (An obvious error with something.) and I would have to generally restart the computer to get them to go away.  That particular error I have to stress was random.  I have left the computer just chillin and came back to find the blocks there, or I was in a game and would alt-tab out and find them waiting for me on the desktop.  Or even with my internet browser (Google Chrome) they would just pop up.  


     Starting last week however the errors became REALLY frequent.  Again, typically finding some of these errors with alt-tabbing I would see that my start bar would no longer be transparent.  It would look like windows what 95? I know that sounds stupid but nonetheless its true lol.  Anyway, 3 days ago I purchased a new expansion for one of the games I play.  That was literally the only change I have done on my computer and well, I don't know if its related but my problem escalated literally that night.  In the middle of the game I had it on pause and went to grab a drink in the kitchen.  House was quiet and suddenly I swear my computer was trying to take off and fly.  The fans started churning hardcore like I was going balls to the wall in a flaming gun battle or something.  (keep in mind the game I was playing was friggin Sims 3. COME ON)  So I looked over at my screen to see what the heck was going on there and my screen just went black.  My monitor couldn't find the connection.  Like it was suddenly unplugged.  The kicker was my computer was still running, although I am pretty sure its dreams of learning to fly were sated for the moment.  In other words the fans were quietly running like normal.  Everything sounded and looked normal.  Excluding my black screen of nothing of course.  So, I restarted and everything came back up just as normal and peach as can be.  No error messages, nothing.  I thought it was a weird fluke, got back into the game and it went to lock up on me.  I task managed quickly and saw that it said my game was not responding (well DUH) and before I even clicked on it the game recovered.  I figured to be safe I would go ahead and just shut the game down and try again.  Shut it down with a end process and everything was fine. Restarted the game.  SAME THING.  This time however when the game recovered and started responding I tabbed back in.  It actually loaded up to the home screen of the game and then I got the black screen.  Same thing, computer running but the monitor just chillin, all black screeny.     Rebooted again and tried different games.  They all responded, none froze like Sims but they all made my screen dive bomb to black within probably a minute at best.   I felt all around the computer for possible overheating, checked for overheating in the menu when you first boot up the computer.  No clue what its called.  Anyway, fans running fine according to that.  After a few reboots there was a system message in the lower right corner asking if I wanted to send in a error report.  I looked at the errors, all 23 of them said there was a, "video hardware malfunction"



Attempted Solutions:

  1. I started with the basics.  I ran a virus scan, defragged, and did diagnostics on my drivers.  Everything came back clean with no errors.  No drivers missing or malfunctioning it said.  (keep in mind my cd drive has been messed up since a week after we built this computer and the diagnostics says the cd-drive is fine as well)
  2. Bought an aerosol air spray can thing.  Cleaned out the dust and such from the computer.  Found a little dust but definitely not enough to really mess the goods up.
  3. Updated the NVIdia gtx 560 drivers from their website. (Note:  This did temporarily give us some false hope.  Computer ran like a peach for about 8 hours then back to the black screen fiasco.)
  4. Changed the color settings under the NVIdia control panel to the use NVIdia settings option. (Again, another temporary fix.  This one lasted much longer.  A full 24 hours at least.  At the time of the fix we ran Guild Wars 2, Sims 3 and were watching YouTube videos for at least 2 hours.  Trying to really make sure it was a fix.  No crashes, no nothing.  Then blam, black screen.)

     So there you have it.  My husband has the same exact computer as I do and he is also getting the error recovery's and rainbow blocks I started with.  Nothing else though.  He is pretty sure it is a simple fix with just buying a new video card or graphics card whatever the heck it is but I just thought I would try to get a few more peoples opinion before we do that.  I really would hate to spend the money on a new one if the problem could be with something else. 


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#2 AngryRaisin


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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:25 PM

I would agree with your husband - the video card has failed.

#3 Kayla0440

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:51 PM

Update:   After looking on another board on this site, I read about switching monitors to see if its the monitor.   Anyway, I have a HP LCD/HD  and my husband is using a LED screen.  Been about 2 hours now and no crashes yet.  When he unhooked my monitor it was loaded with dust.  I can't believe we didn't think to clean that sucker out the other night when we cleaned the tower out.  DERP!  He is running it on his computer now playing some games and no crashes for him yet either.  The mystery continues!  lol

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