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Black screen / sound skipping/ computer freeze

Last response: in Systems
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March 25, 2012 10:39:07 PM

Hey guys, I've been doing alot of digging to try and figure out why this issue keeps happening. At first, I thought it might be my GPU overheating or a memory issue. (And it still could be. I know very little about these kinds of problems.) But recently my computer has been really agitating me because when I've tried playing a game like dota2 or deus ex, the issue described in the title happens. Suddenly, and without warning the screen will go black and the sound will begin skipping. At the same time the GPU fan ramps up to what I'm guessing is 100%, and the whole thing freezes. I have to actually restart the computer and then power it off again, then power it up once more to get it running again.

I don't -think- it's a temp issue, as it only runs about 44c or 110f max when it crashes like this, and I've run windows memory diagnostic as well to see if it's a problem with my ram. I'm lost at this point, and I could definitely use some help. Also, my card drivers are up to date, so there's that as well.

Right now my specs are as follow:

Intel core i7 960
EVGA SLI3 motherboard
12 gigs of DDR3 triple channel memory
and finally i'm running crossfire with two AMD radeon HD 6950s

Would appreciate any help trying to hammer out this problem.

Best solution

March 25, 2012 11:02:33 PM

Try Memtest: http://www.memtest.org/ in addition to windows memory diagnostic. Run several passes. Also, i do not see your psu on the list of your specs.
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April 3, 2012 2:37:09 AM

I have a 920 watt power supply, and after running the memtest a good number of times it came up with a bunch of errors on what is pretty much brand new RAM. 18 errors in total all on test #8 (6 at a time on each pass)
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April 3, 2012 2:41:28 AM

Replace that ram with a new ram kit. if you can, RMA iit.
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April 3, 2012 2:43:58 AM

I'm not sure what you mean, can you elaborate?
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April 3, 2012 2:46:45 AM

The RAM is defective as noted by the errors on your memtest. If it is new you should return it to the manufacturer for a refund, which is commonly called an RMA.
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April 3, 2012 2:54:39 AM

not a problem!
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April 4, 2012 6:54:04 AM

Er, alright. So, 8 passes on the new memory and it's clean, however the issue is still happening. Is there any way I can report what happened during the time of the crash even though my computer is freezing?
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April 4, 2012 7:16:16 AM

Have you updated your graphics driver and sound driver?
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April 4, 2012 6:00:23 PM

My graphics drivers are completely up to date, not sure about sound though? Would that really cause the whole computer to freeze and the screen to go blank?
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April 4, 2012 8:03:33 PM

Where is the dump file so I can post it here when it happens again?
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April 4, 2012 8:14:12 PM

It's called event log in Win 7 and can be found from the search feature in the start menu.
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April 4, 2012 8:21:54 PM

Also, what brand and model psu do you have?
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April 4, 2012 8:43:26 PM

I can't actually figure out -what- my PSU is. Nothing comes up after I search for the model for it - only that it's a 950 watt power supply
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April 4, 2012 8:45:01 PM

Judging by the models of other PSUs I found on newegg, it was made from Azza I think?
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April 4, 2012 8:48:49 PM

hmm.. also, you might try running prime 95 for a while to see if any of your components fail. this stress tests your system. Also, monitor your cpu temps while doing so, they should not get much of 70c.

Is this your psu? http://www.xoxide.com/enermax-revolution-950w-psu.html
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April 4, 2012 8:52:51 PM

No, it's not Modular. It's model number is simply PSAZ-CP950
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April 4, 2012 9:13:44 PM

Well, it no longer looks like they make that psu. I see some AZZA models are 80 + certified and some are not. 80+ certified speaks to the reliability of the psu.

http://whitecapcomputer.com/newsletter/articles/compute... shows some of the most common causes of pc freezes. I think we've ruled out memory and video. You said your drivers are up to date. do you have the most recent BIOS for your motherboard? http://www.evga.com/support/download/default.aspx

Also, use a registry cleaner to clean up any errors you have there. http://download.cnet.com/Registry-Cleaner/3000-2086_4-1...;rcol
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April 4, 2012 9:19:49 PM

Quote:
But recently my computer has been really agitating me because when I've tried playing a game like dota2 or deus ex, the issue described in the title happens. Suddenly, and without warning the screen will go black and the sound will begin skipping. At the same time the GPU fan ramps up to what I'm guessing is 100%, and the whole thing freezes.


Does this statement mean your issue only occurs when gaming? If so, try removing one card and gaming on one card only. If that works fine, switch cards and see if you are able to game on the other card. This will better rule out video issues than installing the latest drivers. Could be one card is going bad.
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April 4, 2012 9:20:47 PM

Some Cyberpower PSU... not sure what the OEM is. You could maybe figure it out if the was a UL number on the label.

It's probably poor at best, and could be a source of instability. No way to know without swapping it out.
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April 4, 2012 9:21:12 PM

Alrighty then. Well, it looks like I have alot of options, so, what I think i'll do first is try and post the error here? I was told that it wasn't always the best thing to update your bios, but I can't remember why, but if you think it will help I will after posting the error.
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April 4, 2012 9:25:14 PM

A lot of options, yes. most often freezes are bad RAM in my experience, that's why i jumped on that first. Report your errors and try swapping out the graphics cards to see if that is your problem. if you have a spare psu, swap that out as well and report back :) 

Flashing your BIOS can be dangerous to your PC and should never be a first resort, but it can improve and correct incompatibility issues with the components in your motherboard, so it might be that could resolve the problem. lets do the other things first, though. What RAM did you get out of curiousity? Some motherboards can be very picky about the RAM you put in them
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April 4, 2012 9:34:28 PM

At first I was using a triple channel kit of Corsair Vengence, and I thought that the RAM was the issue as well so I switched over to G-Skill, which was just defective. (I've sent it back now for a refund, and the Corsair RAM went through 9 passes without a single error, so I jumped the gun).

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April 4, 2012 9:36:33 PM

what are the timings and voltages on your corsair vengeance?
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April 4, 2012 9:39:19 PM

Is it possible for me to pull this up on CPU-Z so I can give you an exact and correct answer?
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April 4, 2012 9:40:49 PM

yeah, it should show that on the memory tab.
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April 4, 2012 9:55:21 PM

I'm not sure if this is right? But we'll see.

The voltage is

1.50 V 1.50 V 1.50 V 1.500V

I'm not sure what the timings are.
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April 4, 2012 10:30:47 PM

did you get a dump file to post? The voltage on that ram looks good and it is passing all tests. X58 motherboards support up to 1.65v i believe. I'm not thinking that is the problem.
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April 4, 2012 11:02:28 PM

The dump file didn't load into the folder I made, I do have this though.

The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.

This is how Even Viewer describes the event, but the computer never actually turns off? I have to physically restarts it after it crashes, but I dunno.
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April 4, 2012 11:06:48 PM

I'm running the registry cleaner now, as well.
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April 4, 2012 11:09:54 PM

Weird? The registry cleaner doesn't appear to be working. After running the program, and then checking back once it's cleared... everything is still there?
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April 4, 2012 11:11:11 PM

I'm also assuming you reverted to the defaults in bios, correct?
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April 4, 2012 11:12:56 PM

Reverted? I haven't ever changed them at all.
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April 4, 2012 11:12:57 PM

may need to reboot to clear them out of the list
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April 4, 2012 11:31:08 PM

Nah, even rebooting the list still comes up with almost 400 things to delete.
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April 4, 2012 11:35:12 PM

Okay, it said Can't Save Logfile. Why is -nothing- going right? Damn.
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April 4, 2012 11:36:00 PM

Quote:
Reverted? I haven't ever changed them at all.


k.

wierd that registry cleaner won't remove those. i've never had a problem with that. Could try in safe mode.


Quote :


But recently my computer has been really agitating me because when I've tried playing a game like dota2 or deus ex, the issue described in the title happens. Suddenly, and without warning the screen will go black and the sound will begin skipping. At the same time the GPU fan ramps up to what I'm guessing is 100%, and the whole thing freezes.





Does this statement mean your issue only occurs when gaming? If so, try removing one card and gaming on one card only. If that works fine, switch cards and see if you are able to game on the other card. This will better rule out video issues than installing the latest drivers. Could be one card is going bad.

also try this please. sorry this is taking so long, i'm really jsut trying to narrow it down.
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April 4, 2012 11:43:16 PM

Nah man it's alright. It's just really annoying. I built my own computer years back, and even after selling it to a friend, it's been dropped while moving a dozen times. The actual case is almost nothing but the basic frame, and I don't think he's dusted it once since getting it a year and a half ago - but it still works perfectly. I got CP to make this because in the end it was cheaper, and... argh... yeah. I'll try switching cards to see if that works.
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April 4, 2012 11:47:48 PM

ArtisticAnarchist said:
Nah man it's alright. It's just really annoying. I built my own computer years back, and even after selling it to a friend, it's been dropped while moving a dozen times. The actual case is almost nothing but the basic frame, and I don't think he's dusted it once since getting it a year and a half ago - but it still works perfectly. I got CP to make this because in the end it was cheaper, and... argh... yeah. I'll try switching cards to see if that works.


I hear you. Just feel bad that almost everything we've looked at has been a dead end so far, except possibly the PSU. :( 
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April 5, 2012 12:03:45 AM

Also, the crash -has- happened when I have not been gaming once or twice, but i can literally force it to happen by just starting up Deus Ex and starting a new game. It crashes within the first few minutes of the little walk-around.
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April 5, 2012 12:05:29 AM

are you running the PhysX on this? If so, try turning that off. Since you have AMD cards, that would push the calculations on the physX to the cpu and cause a high load on your processor.
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April 5, 2012 12:10:22 AM

I don't think Deus Ex has PhysX? It only shows options for DX11, I can't find that option if it's there.
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April 5, 2012 12:15:20 AM

I can't seem to find the article where i thought i read that. i thought it was a tom's benchmark though.... i'll keep looking.
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April 5, 2012 12:17:40 AM

Yeah, I'm looking in the In-game options and the setup from steam, but I've got nothing.
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April 5, 2012 12:22:43 AM

yeah my bad on that one too. random confusion on my part.
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April 5, 2012 12:24:03 AM

no luck with running single graphics cards?
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