Firstly, I apologize if this is in the wrong section. I couldn't find a general "technical issues" forum and so I'm going to ask for help in here.
I've had my current setup for about a year now and it's been running without issue. Recently I started to get really terrible display driver crashes that would distort the colours of pixels on my screen and sometimes take a minute or so to recover from. After this happened a couple of times while playing games, using firefox or just windows explorer, I decided to upgrade my drivers to a more stable version.
This solved the display driver crashes but shortly after my PC started to freeze after an hour or two of use. The freezes do not effect the cursor or my audio, in fact I can even use my headset to communicate. After a while a BSOD will very briefly flash on the screen and the computer will crash. The PC then boots to a black screen with a flashing white underscore. I know from experience that this can sometimes be caused by boot priorities or USB connections, but changing these does nothing. What does work though, is unplugging all my hard drives and booting up. This gives me the "reboot and select boot device" message. I then shutdown, reconnect my hard drives and boot up again and windows will run perfectly until the next freeze.
I'm unsure whether or not the display drivers are directly related to this, but i've tried uninstalling/reinstalling different driver version (all clean installs). Running through the on board graphics seems to prevent the freezes, but rebooting results in the same situation. The hard drives don't seem to be corrupted as when windows finally boots I can access and edit the data without problem. I've even spent the day cleaning each part individually in case something was overheating due to dust build-up, but this hasn't solved anything.
My specs are:
OS: windows 7 x64 with SP1 installed
GPU: MSI GTX 560 ti
The display drivers I had originally (before the crashes): 285.62 x64 whql
The display drivers I updated to (I've since changed back to my original drivers): 301.42 x64 whql
CPU: i5 2500k OC'd to 4.2ghz (i'm using the OC genie feature to overclock)
RAM: 8GB Kingston Hyper X DDR3
Mobo: MSI Gigabyte P67A-GD65
Hard drives: Seagate ST31000528AS ATA Barracuda (used for games storage)
Seagate ST33000651AS ATA Barracuda XT (used for general storage)
SSD: M4-CT064M4SSD2 (used for OS)
*EDIT* I've searched around and tried disabling my Nvidia HD audio drivers, but this hasnt helped. I've also tried unplugging my CD/DVD drives and each HDD/SDD, but no luck yet.
I did some checking and it turns out that my SSD (crucial M4) required a firmware update. This fixed the issue, but now my PC's performance isn't desirable. It constantly has mini freezes that last about 5 seconds. This happens at random intervals and i'm not sure whats causing it.
My PSU is a thermaltake toughpower Qfan 650W, I've had it for maybe a year and a half.
Check in bios and see if your video settings are correct. I have to disable my onboard video so my added gpu will work properly. Also, before doing that i would hook up the onboard video and remove the added video card and see if you still have a problem...if you are then your problem will probably be a OS issue either in driver or system files trying repairing your installation and as a last resort back up your hdd and restore windows.