Screen goes black for a second every minute or so during gaming

This is the weirdest problem that iv been trying to solve myself for months now. Basically while playing pc games the screen goes black for a second then comes back and resumes as normal. thing is it is totally intermittent and slightly different for different games. e.g

Titan quest, mass effect 1 and 2, need for speed shift 2 unleashed, HoN - it will go black for a second or so but the game will carry on as normal, sound continues and when the short black out is over my character has carried on moving as normal just without me being able to see what is going on

F1 2010, Grid, Quake live - No black outs occur whatsoever

Dead space, Dead island - the blackouts seam to affect the game either pausing or freezing the game when they occur

to be honest it looks to me like the graphics driver is stalling for a few seconds and then recovering, But iv updated my graphics card drivers 4 times since this problem started and that hasn't changed anything, i even completely uninstalled the graphics drivers and reinstalled them to no avail. The only thing i haven't done is reinstalled windows and replaced my graphics card. Both of which i don't want to do unnecessarily. I read somewhere that video codex could be the issue, so a while ago i uninstalled k-lite and it seamed to fix the problem in mass effect 2, (not completely but id did seam to reduce it (coincidence?)) but after i finished that game i noticed it cropping up in other games again.

I know it is not the monitor as it does this same thing with 3 different monitors.

I am running windows 7 64bit on a Nvidia 9600GT Thru DVI to a VGA converter (Old i know i'm broke :( ). im pretty sure the rest of the pc components don't matter but basically its a G31 mobo with a 775 chipset.

So basically the advice im asking for is, Do you think its a hardware problem, should i invest in a new graphics card? or do you think its software that either a fresh copy of windows or some installing/uninstalling combination of different software might resolve the issue?

Thanks so much for the help


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  1. Oh one last thing, my main C HDD is ticking, iv only started hearing it recently because i opened my side panel. i know the hdd is gona crash soon so im gona have to replace it, just do you think the hard drive may also be linked to the black screen issue?
  2. Hi liqwidsnake, it seems that you have a fair grasp on the problem and have tried most things besides the obvious change of hardware.

    To be honest the screen blacking out intermittently like that would suggest a graphics card problem, have you tried overclocking it?

    The hdd clicking is a certain sign of imminent death, so back-up all your crucial data now, before its to late. Have you any mates who have old or current graphics card for you just to borrow before you go and buy a new one? The clean install of os is also a viable option, with only system and graphics drivers installed, then you could test games out under a clean environment without additional software installed.

    Since the hdd is going to fail ( may be a day or a year, never an exact answer once ckickung starts ) you may as well get a new hdd and do the clean install; at least that way you will have a better idead if graphics card is at fault or its a combination of software which is causing problems.

    Get a new hdd, and clean install, back up all critical data from old hdd and let us know how you get on.

    Good luck :-)
  3. haha so new hdd and clean install, if the problem persists then i know its most likely my graphics card, hopefully then i can con a mate into lending me his card just to do final testing, if it works fine with his then i gota go out and spend more cash on a new card for myself, yay :D. haha you are completly right tho dude thanks for all the input :)
  4. Your welcome :-), part of the reason i gave up building myself was the never ending upgrade cycle, laptops are so easy ( as long as they too don't fail! ).
  5. Was there any final resolution to this issue? I am too finding this problem with my system while in game...
  6. I am also having the same issue and it seems to be focused in the graphics entirely. I actually get it even when watching videos in a high resolution versus low res. It is really finicky - but it seems to sometimes stem from the temp of the card itself. If my card is hot and I use an external fan to cool the overall temp it tends to happen less-often, generally the same results occur when just browsing the web, but even then sometimes the blackout will occur randomly.

    I don't know if it is necessarily a hdd issue but I am also having some issues with mine so after a clean swap I will try to post my own results..
  7. Removing the graphics driver in safe mode might work for you. Just remove it via Device manager. Re-install updated drivers .
  8. @liqwidsnake , have you found the solution to your problem?...

    ...i'm asking this ofc because i have exactly the same issue...some days ago I started to have this intemittent black screen (not bsod) , I have the latest drivers and all and I have tried out different monitors with diferent resolutions and the problem still remains , for an experienced PC user like myself I've never faced an issue like this one and i find it very dificult to detect without change entire hardware and I dont have the money to easly go and test it...

    I've tried to search arround internet for a while about this perticular issue and I find curious that a lot of ppl seems to have similar problems but I didnt found any reliable answer or solution, usualy ppl just buy a new hardware and dont give the feedback about what was causing the problem...

    my pc specs are:

    Win7 ultimate 64bit
    Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q800 @2.66GHz 2.66GHZ
    Ati Radeon EAH5670 1GB gDDR5
    6 GB ram
    Samsung SyncaMaster 2032bw monitor
    PSU 500W(brand new)
    Samsung HD103Sj ATA(hard disk)

    My monitor links to video card via standard VGA cable with an DVI adapter on Video card side ( didnt had time($) yet to test with a normal DVI cable)

    All my hardware , excluding the monitor and PSU , was brand new 2 years ago and all worked fine until some days ago...intermittent black screen mostly occurs only when I'm playing games or browsing on internet/youtube and its progressive along the time but becomes completely normal when I'm working on desktop as night and day (and that's what I find a very strange behavior)


    Still didnt found the problem ,I did a registry clean up and instaled the oldest video card driver available still no improvements.

    I'll will post periodically updates...

    **Update2** April 14,2013

    I've notice lately that heat helps issue be more frequently,45~48(ºC) is the normal temperature while playing games as (ex:Legue of Lengends or Crysis3) so honestly it should NOT be a problem...but we never know... and playing games like (Ex: Starwars: the old republic ) wich have a lighter FX or graphics requirements the issue is less frequent and almost can play it normaly...

    I also notice that using PC on "Max Power Saving" mode help reducing problem, like 30% but ofc the problem still remains and still annoys.
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