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Another Case of the Black Screen

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 18, 2010 4:37:00 AM

I seem to only have this problem with newer games. It usually happens with The Godfather 2, Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, and A.V.A.

After playing for 10-30 minutes, my screen just goes black. I can still hear sound, though. The screen goes black and nothing I can do will restore it. No words pop up, nothing. Just black. I have to restart my computer every time.

Specs:
Windows 7 64-bit, 8 Gigs of RAM, Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo @ 3.06GHz processor, and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 graphics card at 1600 x 900 resolution.

I just don't know what's going on with my screen. Some people say it's an overheating problem while others say it's a resolution thing. I'm pretty sure my problem isn't with resolution, so that leaves me with overheating. Is this really the cause? If so, how do I fix it? I have one of those cooling pads, but it doesn't do much.

More about : case black screen

August 18, 2010 10:56:09 AM

Could be a case of heating. I am not quite familiar with heating issues and how a laptop reacts to temperatures. So cant say. But what are your temperatures when you play? I would suggest pop it to the service centre and ask them to look at it.
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August 18, 2010 11:16:29 AM

Download GPUz, and log the temperature to a file. either play the game, or run something like MSI Kombustor.

almost certainly the GPU, but it could either be heat, power or simply a driver problem.

you do have the latest drivers right?
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August 18, 2010 12:30:29 PM

You say you continue to hear sound, only the monitor goes black. That should be an indication of a problem related to graphics chip/card. It should not be overheating gfx card issue because your laptop does not freeze. It should be a driver issue.

In certain cases, when the monitor goes black, then the video returns after a few seconds. This is called TDR. In your case, it does not return or you do not wait long enough for its recovery.

What version CCC do you have ? AMD now issues new driver releases for laptops as well except for a few manufacturers, such as Toshiba.

You can try new CCC to see if it resolves the issue.
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August 18, 2010 8:08:55 PM

All of my drivers and CCC are up to date. This doesn't happen to every game I play, only newer ones with higher graphics. I usually wait about 15 seconds before restarting. Usually I can still hear sound, but there have been times where the computer froze.

EDIT: According to GPUz, my temp stays between 50 and 52 degrees Celsius. Today it lasted for about an hour before going black. After it went black, the sound continued for about 15 seconds, then it froze.
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August 22, 2010 2:07:32 AM

it seems like a driver crash. you can try rolling back to older drivers 10.4 or 9.6.

in all honesty though, this is one of the problems that usually requires an RMA.
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August 22, 2010 2:24:07 AM

It just doesn't make sense to me as to why it only happens with three of my games. And what do you mean by RMA?
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August 22, 2010 2:55:53 AM

RMA means to return it to get fixed.

only happening with the newer games usually means the load on the card is the culprit. a faulty GPU will return incorrect info and cause a video crash. similar to how a CPU will crash the OS when unstably overclocked and handing out the wrong numbers, a GPU can crash a video driver when its faulty.
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August 22, 2010 4:55:48 AM

So what you're saying is that the newer games are putting too much stress on my video card, thus causing it to crash?
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August 22, 2010 7:23:46 AM

pretty much yes. you can try downclocking the GPU to see if it fixes the problem. performance would take a hit but it would help identify the problem.

are you still under warranty?
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August 22, 2010 10:34:13 PM

I've had my computer for six months, so I think I'm still under warranty. I've never done the clocking before, so how would I downclock it?
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August 22, 2010 11:07:54 PM

in catalyst control center, there's an 'overdrive tab' with adjustable sliders for the3 clocks.

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August 23, 2010 4:04:36 AM

Hm.. I can't seem to find that tab, and I can't find any information on downclocking the gpu while searching around.
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August 23, 2010 5:56:47 AM

It may be locked because of it being a laptop GPU. to be honest, i think you are going to have to contact the manufacturer. this is unlikely to be something we can fix easily.
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