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Radeon 4850 on Windows XP 64 bit - > black screen/computer freeze

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June 18, 2009 8:39:03 AM

Hello all,

I have a big problem and you my only hope.

I have an ATI Raden 4850, driver version 9.5.
Operating System: Windows XP 64 bit
6gb Corsair Dominator
PSU: Antec 420W

The problem appears when I want to enter in any game. After I double click game icon, the game starts loading, enters in full screen, and after this nothing is going to happen. Only a black screen and my computer is freezed up. I cant Alt+Ctrl+Del, I cant do anything. No sound, no nothing. Only solution is to manual reboot.

First I was suspecting the Game, so I tried with Wolverine, Prototype, Sims3, WOW. None of this worked.

I suspected 64 bit OS and I installed in dual boot win xp 32 bit. All the games are working fine. Again I suspected 64 bit OS and I start searching for problems with 64 bit XP and games. I found many post who confirmed that those games are working fine under XP x64

Another reason for thinking that 64 bit is not the issue here is the fact that the game is starting, but freezing after "post" in black screen.

Also I installed beta version of Windows 7 64 bit. The games are working here.

Therefor my conclusion is that the XP 64 bit drivver has a problem.

Do you have any idea ? Any suggestion would be great.
June 18, 2009 9:05:57 AM

I was thinking at PSU but this should also be available in XP 32 bit and Windows 7 RC 64 bit right ?

In those OSes the games are working fine. No black screen/freeze.

And also I switched to 64 bit for 2 weeks because I added 4 gb of ram. Before this I was using XP 32 bit with my current Graphical Card and PSU for the last year and no issue at all.

Can this be suddenly an issue only in XP 64 bit ?
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June 18, 2009 2:56:48 PM

Maybe try an Uninstallat ATI drivers>then get the latest one (9.6) I see you have 9.5 ... soo.... just try the 9.6.... If it still doesn't work...>Uninstall ATI drivers> Get 'driver sweeper'.. > Now go to safe mode analyse and clean ATI graphic/display drivers>go back to normal mode>Install the 9.6 driver... If still not working... Did you have the latest chipset driver???? Chipset driver is like DAMN IMPORTANT! If you don't know your chipset, just tell us your Motherboard model....
June 18, 2009 3:01:49 PM

MB is Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 rev3.3.

I am at work right now and I can not see exactly the Chipset driver version. Although I am pretty sure that I installed it from gigabyte web site, because the Installation CD does not contain the XP x64 driver.

I will give it a try with latest ATI driver and also check the chip set driver and let you know the result.

Thanks for helping.
June 18, 2009 6:26:02 PM

Updated the Catalyst Driver and also re-installed the Chipset and same think. :( 

I am really out of ideas.
September 15, 2009 8:36:00 PM

I currently have the same problem. I had been running Windows XP 64-bit for over 2 years with absolutely no problems. I then installed some updates to my ATI drivers and the Catalyst Control Center. About a week after the updates I encountered some problems. When I was running a game (any game) my computer would lock up and the screen would turn black and the monitor light would flash and I was forced to manually restart.

I then thought it was because of dust build up, which is very hectic in my home. I cleaned out the case thoroughly and thought I had solved the problem, but then it happened again. I then thought I had a bad motherboard. So I then decided to upgrade my computer anyway. I now have a Crosshair 3 motherboard, a AMD|PH II X4 955 3.2G AM3 processor, 2 1G Kingston DIII1066 KVR1066D3N7 memory sticks, a ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, and a Hitachi 750gig hard drive.

When i assembled the new computer, everything worked fine for about a week, then the same thing started happening as before. It seems to happen now more and more often for no reason, even when I'm not in-game. It happens at startup sometimes or just happens at random intervals after startup. I have absolutely no idea what the problem is. I uninstalled the catalyst control center thinking it was that, but the problem still happened. I also did 2 full hard drive wipes and restarted with bare bones updates and such and it still happens, even when nothing extra is installed.

I'm thinking it is either the newest windows update or the latest ATI drivers update that is the problem. If anyone has answered this problem, please let me know.
September 19, 2009 11:36:57 AM

evilgoodguy said:
I currently have the same problem. I had been running Windows XP 64-bit for over 2 years with absolutely no problems. I then installed some updates to my ATI drivers and the Catalyst Control Center. About a week after the updates I encountered some problems. When I was running a game (any game) my computer would lock up and the screen would turn black and the monitor light would flash and I was forced to manually restart.

I then thought it was because of dust build up, which is very hectic in my home. I cleaned out the case thoroughly and thought I had solved the problem, but then it happened again. I then thought I had a bad motherboard. So I then decided to upgrade my computer anyway. I now have a Crosshair 3 motherboard, a AMD|PH II X4 955 3.2G AM3 processor, 2 1G Kingston DIII1066 KVR1066D3N7 memory sticks, a ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, and a Hitachi 750gig hard drive.

When i assembled the new computer, everything worked fine for about a week, then the same thing started happening as before. It seems to happen now more and more often for no reason, even when I'm not in-game. It happens at startup sometimes or just happens at random intervals after startup. I have absolutely no idea what the problem is. I uninstalled the catalyst control center thinking it was that, but the problem still happened. I also did 2 full hard drive wipes and restarted with bare bones updates and such and it still happens, even when nothing extra is installed.

I'm thinking it is either the newest windows update or the latest ATI drivers update that is the problem. If anyone has answered this problem, please let me know.


I have the exact same issue. I think it really must be the result of a windows update because I only updated my catalyst drivers after this problem began. Similarly, my system has remained largely unchanged for the better part of 2 years before this issue.
September 20, 2009 4:29:06 AM

I have searched this site extensively and also Computing.net and have noticed many people also have this problem. No one has a definite answer and most people have different issues as to why it occurs. I ordered a new graphics card, which is a ASUS ATI RADEON HD 4850, and it will arrive on september 21st. I will install it that day and post here if the problem still occurs or if I've solved it.
September 20, 2009 4:38:57 AM

Let us know, as this is a very weird problem. Also to remove other variables, run memtest and prim95 to check CPU and Ram. Then something like 3DMark to stress the whole system (and PS). Also, ATI has old drivers on their website. Try going back to some of the older ones. If you still have issues after all of that, it probably is a Windows Problem. You could try manually windows updating only to May (or some earlier date) of this year and see if the problem still happens as well.
September 22, 2009 1:51:06 PM

I also have a very similar situation. Recently I've tried installing various games with no problem however upon loading them I get a black screen and the hourglass. There is no sound either and the only option is to kill via Ctrl+Alt+delete. I thought it might be the chipset, vid card, sound, directx or G4WL. The only thing I can think of to do is exactly what EXT64 suggested. Hopefully I'll something good/interesting to report.


My Specs:
x6850
P5E64 WS Evolution
HD4870 512
4gb DDR3 (can't remember brand)
ACER 24'
September 22, 2009 3:43:20 PM

Yes, see if you can get it working on a fresh install (old drivers and not fully updated Windows). If that works, you can slowly upgrade each until the problem emerges. Though the real question is whether the first step will work.
September 23, 2009 1:11:57 PM

So I tried to backtrack in terms of drivers with no avail. In addition I thought maybe my AV was preventing something from loading and uninstalled it but nada. Also I tried to see if desktop compositing could maybe prevent the window from loading but nothing as well. I also tried updating/reinstalling Visual C++. I just found a site that talks about video and audio codecs as potential issues. That will be where I next focus my attention and I've been wondering if maybe .Net framework would also cause problems or not. At point I'll try anything.
In regards to what you said Templar_93, I've noticed that ATI cards are not alone in this but also NVidia cards. Actually the only thing I've seen is that generally its a 64bit OS. Also the weird thing is that I do have games that work. My steam games and a couple others do but anything I'm installing now is unable to start so for whatever reason . So any additonal suggesions or comments would be appreciated. Thanks.
September 23, 2009 6:58:21 PM

"Actually the only thing I've seen is that generally its a 64bit OS's"

Ive had the problem with xp x32 all the way up 7 x64, the only thing I have had any luck with is xp x32 and Cat ver 8.5 I did a fresh install last night and got it working but CrossfireX doesn't work it just freezes my system and I have to do a hard reboot.
September 28, 2009 2:18:09 PM

I have the exact same problem. Steam games seem to work okay, but mostly everything else fails at loading; the screen goes blank after a while and the systems seems to freeze. At this point there's nothing left to do but to reset. All of this started one or two months ago, without any hardware updates - actually only Windows updates and Catalyst driver updates.

For the record, my system is as follows:

Abit P5B SE (newest bios, newest chipset drivers in every windows install)
Antec high effiency 500W power
Sapphire Radeon 4850 (newest drivers, tested different bioses)
Q6600 (unclocked)

Things I've tried in solving the problem:

Various OSes:

XP 32-bit, 64-bit
Windows 7 32-bit, 64-bit

Catalyst drivers:

From 9.6 -> 9.9 (actually 9.6 helped a bit - majesty 2 loading screen no longer causes the freeze if I keep alt-tabbing :) )
I've used driver sweeper to erase leftover bits of previous drivers to ensure that I won't make mistakes.

Chipset drivers:

Problem persists.

Somewhere else it was speculated that this is a problem caused by a combination of the following: the tendency of ATI cards to change core and memory frequencies when transitioning from idle to performing stuff and Windows determining at this point that the card is inactive and/or faulty motherboard and/or faulty power supply.

I've ran memtest, occt gpu and cpu tests, and nothing points to any abnormalities and the games that survive past loading screens run without problems. The problem, however, is easily reproduced my trying to start some other game, so it isn't my imagination and/or random luck.

I am fairly sure, above withstanding, that the problem is indeed caused by some Windows update messing things. This leaves me in a difficult position as I'm not going to run my computer without latest updates. This is very, very frustrating and I'm pondering what should be my next move. There are a lot of Windows updates that could have caused this and I've no wish to go through every one.

Let me know if you figure something out.
September 29, 2009 5:07:59 PM

I actually found my problem, and as stupid as I feel about it when I was rummaging around in my case I found that my slave card I found that the 6 pin power cable was not completely attached :whistle:  once I plugged it in all the way I have not had a single problem , I am running 9.9 now on Server 2008 r2 and Windows 7 Ultimate x64, so I doubt this helps anyone else but thyats all my problem ended up being.
September 29, 2009 5:37:07 PM

Haha, happens to us all, so don't feel bad.
!