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Audio and video driver problems, reinstall windows?

For roughly the past month, I have been having what I think is problems with my Nvidia GTX460 video and audio drivers (The latest one, 285.62 ). It is rather sporadic, which is the reason I haven't felt like doing anything as serious of taking the time to reformat my HDD and reinstall win7 and all of my programs and such. But to make sure that I need to do this and that there is nothing else on top of what I have already done that I can do, let me say what has been happening and what I have done to attempt to fix it as of now.

The most basic thing that has been happening is a random black screen with one of two things happening after that:
It would go black for a several seconds and then the screen would come back and it would give me a notification saying "you graphics driver has crashed and now recovered" (or something along those lines) and sometimes instead of saying graphics driver it would be the audio driver.

The other thing that would happen would be that the screen would go black for several seconds and my monitor would show that their is no connection any more and it would keep searching its different inputs. After a short amount of time, the computer would either restart on its own, or I would have to do a force shut off. However, once it restarted, it would often freeze after I type in my password or right when windows desktop would show up the same thing would happen all over again. It would take numerous restarts to finally get into windows, and then it would give me a notification saying: "Your audio driver has crashed but now recovered" and sometimes it would even say that my pc didn't have an audio driver so it would install it. Sometimes, after numerous restarts and it still not wanting to work, I would go into safe mode which always worked 100% and after that I would either uninstall my drivers and reinstall ( which didn't always help) or just restart the computer from there.

What I have tried to do so far:
Reinstall the drivers (making sure that the old ones were completely removed)

Make sure nothing was plugged into the computer that could be causing the problem

Taking off the small oc I had on my gpu and uninstalling MSI afterburner completely

None of that worked permanently, and it didn't always work for the short term either

When it happens:
Completely randomly and with different severities as mentioned earlier. It has only happened in a game twice, and both of those times was on LoL which isn't very demanding at all and it hasn't happened on BF3 yet (haven't played it too much yet, only a few hours compared to playing a lot of LoL recently so games don't really seem to be an issue or a direct cause) which is also why I am relatively sure it is not a hardware problem. It has happened randomly just on the windows desktop, while browsing online, and on just about any other random task on the computer.

So is their anything else that I can try or should I just reformat my HDD and reinstall win7?

Thank you for any help and I will update this thread with any other information that I think of.
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  1. Best answer
    Have you tried checking for viruses?? Also, did this happen as soon as you installed a game?? maybe compatibility issues?? Plus, if your PC is older than 1 year old, with no formating, I would recommend you do a format and a fresh install,... not because of the issue that you experiencing now, but as an overall maintenance, and the current issue might be resolved as well.
  2. Yes, viruses were the first thing that I thought of, as I had a problem several months back that was relatively similar to this one. But complete scans in both safe mode and regular win7 with Avira, Malwarebytes, and Superantispyware showed nothing so it is a definite possibility, but one I would have to do a complete reinstall to fix. And no, this doesn't coincide with any installed games or anything that I can think of. But thank you very much for your help, I have decided that I will reformat and reinstall.

    However, I do have one question regarding that. I know that this isn't an issue with my steam games, but will I be able to download and install bf3 again with origin without having to pay for anything?

    And thank you again for your help.

    EDIT: Never mind, I found out for sure that I can in the Origin FAQ. Thank you for your help!
  3. Best answer selected by oparadoxical_.
  4. This topic has been closed by Nikorr.
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