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Computer screen goes black and locks up

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October 12, 2009 7:14:11 PM

I just recently built my computer and it will sometimes go to a black screen and lock up. Actually, the monitor loses it's feed from the computer and goes into hibernate mode. I thought it might just be the video card, but if music is playing at the same time it happens, it starts to skip. I have to hold the power button and turn it off, then turn it back on again. Reset will not bring it back up. This is annoying.
October 12, 2009 7:56:37 PM

Could you provide more information about it?
Which OS? Parts in your rig? Multiple monitors?

Make sure your power settings aren't for hibernate.
Do you have a bad overclock?
October 12, 2009 8:12:07 PM

I have a rampage ii extreme mobo, i7 975 processor, 6 GB ocz blade ram, BFG gtx 285 GPU, ocz vertex 128 SSD, a seagate 1 TB HDD, Antec signature 850 watt PSU.

I am currently running at stock speeds, no OC.
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October 13, 2009 12:24:23 AM

So what operating system are you using? Does it happen randomly, say while you are surfing the web or playing a game watching a movie? or maybe when the computer is idle?
October 13, 2009 12:25:09 AM

What OS are you using?

I have a similar problem right now. Happens most often if I do something like Hulu full screen. I'm running an i7 860 - GA-P55M-UD2 - Gigabyte HD 4670 1GB - 2x2GB RAM 1600CAS9 with a Dell UltraSharp 22" monitor (1680x1050). It's driving me nuts. I'm really not sure what to blame and not having much luck tracking it down. I'm leaning graphics card and/or drivers. Which is why I asked what OS you're using. I'm on Windows 7 RC x64.
October 13, 2009 12:29:47 AM

i know it sounds trivial, but have you both checked your hibernation settings? I don't think a video through Hulu is counted as active so the computer may go to idle if it's playing a video long enough.
October 13, 2009 2:27:36 AM

Fair question. I have checked hibernation and even gone so far as to turn it off. The freeze happens usually in less than a minute. And the sound keeps coming out of the speakers while frozen. Sometimes it's not entirely frozen, parts of the screen kind of show up and then disappear again, but the whole thing never fully comes back. For example, sometimes if I drag the mouse, a long time later (maybe 20-40 seconds) the mouse will move on the screen and part of the taskbar will be shown. The rest of the screen will remain black. The entire screen usually blacks out again another 10 seconds or so after that. Sometimes when this is going on the mouse cursor is 5x its normal size.
October 13, 2009 3:33:28 AM

hmmm... well it could always be a virus. also, do either of you have the power saving settings on the i7? I've heard of people having locking up issues due to the power save or turbo boost features of the i7. similar to an overclock problem even though its not really overclocked. if it is enabled I'd try disabling that and seeing if you can still duplicate the problem
October 13, 2009 8:48:32 AM

I'm running XP. It will happen at any time, idle or if I'm running a program. But, it usually will happen early into my session. If I have my comp running for 5-10 min and it hasn't happened, I am pretty safe to do anything problem free. I haven't checked the turbo function, it will test it out. Of course, I haven't adjusted anything from factory settings.
October 14, 2009 12:08:21 AM

I can tell now it's actually a crash. Keeps doing it. I checked the turbo function and I don't see a problem there, or any hibernation issues.
October 14, 2009 12:32:15 AM

Try safe mode to see if the problem occurs there.
October 14, 2009 3:59:56 AM

SCJ, I hope you don't mind me piggy-backing on your thread here.

arrghushakaboorga said:
do either of you have the power saving settings on the i7? I've heard of people having locking up issues due to the power save or turbo boost features of the i7. similar to an overclock problem even though its not really overclocked. if it is enabled I'd try disabling that and seeing if you can still duplicate the problem


I have tested with all power savings functions turned off including screen saver, hibernate, etc. I also turned off XMP and tested. Then turned off Turbo mode and tested. Then turned off HyperThreading. All tests failed. When Turbo was off it seemed to fail right away. Granted I ran 2 tests; enough to know it didn't work.

aford10 said:
Try safe mode to see if the problem occurs there.


Hm. Interestingly when I booted in "Safe Mode with Networking" I was able to play over 20 minutes worth of Hulu at full screen before I stopped it myself. Most of my other tests lasted around 1 minute with maybe 5 being the max I ever saw successfully. I thought it might be resolution related so I booted in normal mode and set my resolution to 1024 x 768 but the test failed very quickly.

So if it works in Safe Mode, what does that tell us?
October 14, 2009 4:10:42 AM

sorry if I'm asking you to check the same thing again, but you didn't mention if you also turned off Intel's Speed Step (EIST) underclocking utility.

At this point I'm not sure what else it could be in terms of safe mode working but I'll continue looking into it
October 14, 2009 5:31:38 AM

If it works in safe mode, it could be a driver issue. Safe mode uses windows default drivers.
October 15, 2009 3:02:00 AM

Thank you all for the help. I'll give you the short story first, aford was right.

aford10 said:
If it works in safe mode, it could be a driver issue. Safe mode uses windows default drivers.


Getting the latest driver seems to have solved my problem. I haven't pushed it very far but I just watched 20 minutes + commercials on Hulu in full screen glory with no lock ups and no problems. 1 successful test doesn't necessarily prove anything, but I'm going to take it as a good sign.

I had suspected it might be a driver / windows 7 RC x64 issue but had been running into dead ends. At aford's suggestion I went back down the driver rabbit hole again. I rolled back the drivers and installed the version that Gigabyte lists as the most current on their website. Crash. I installed the version that came on the CD with the GPU. Crash. I ran Windows Update and it found a more recent version than either of those. Crash. All of this I had tried before. This time I chased it a little further looking all around for more drivers. Finally I installed and opened the "Catalyst Control Center" AMD software. Found an option in there to check for software and driver updates and it took me to the following web site:
http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx

After picking my graphics card information it took me to an updated set of CCC software which included ... another new driver! The driver details that work (updated for Windows 7 x64, and I believe Vista too) are:
Driver Provider: ATI Technologies Inc.
Driver Date: 8/13/2009
Driver Version: 8.650.0.0

Thanks again. scj, I hope you get your problem straightened out soon.
November 5, 2009 11:21:52 AM

scj123solid,
Did you ever find the solution to your problem? If so, what was it?

I've been doing some more testing and it seems my problem has not completely gone away. It's more stable now, but every once in a while when running video at full screen it still occurs. I'm now running the RTM version of Windows 7 x64 Pro and have another new set of drivers (the latest) from ATI.
November 5, 2009 3:30:26 PM

ekoostik said:
scj123solid,
Did you ever find the solution to your problem? If so, what was it?

I've been doing some more testing and it seems my problem has not completely gone away. It's more stable now, but every once in a while when running video at full screen it still occurs. I'm now running the RTM version of Windows 7 x64 Pro and have another new set of drivers (the latest) from ATI.


Since the problem got better, I still believe it's driver related. With windows 7 being so new, it may take a little while to get more stable drivers.
September 3, 2012 4:06:34 AM

it cant be the windos 7 becaous it is new i got this problem to and have checked all drivers and i got good protetion for virus i need help
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