Black screen & hang when playing video

The PC in question:
Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H mobo
Intel Pentium G870 CPU
ATI Radeon HD7770 (MSI Computer Corp. R7770-2PMD1GD5/OC)
Kingston 4GB 1333Mhz DDR3 RAM (single stick)
Windows 7 64 bit

I built this PC a few months ago as a gaming/media machine connected to our HDTV via HDMI. It plays 3D games and runs general apps just fine.

When playing video (.mkv, x264 .mp4, xvid .avi, or .flv) the machine will randomly hang on a black screen with buzzing audio. The computer is unresponsive and requires a reset. This happens with VLC player and BS player. There's no pattern that I can tell: sometimes we'll get through a movie or episode, but rarely. Sometimes it crashes 30 seconds into a video, other times 30 minutes. It doesn't seem tied to a particular part of a video: it'll hang at one place, then we'll try again and it'll play through that part fine but hang somewhere else.

I've uninstalled all drivers, run DriverSweeper, and reinstalled fresh drivers. I've turned off any kind of extra video processing I can find in VLC's options and in Catalyst Control Center. I've tried playing video from a USB stick as well as the internal hard drive.

I've checked my temps for both my CPU and GPU card and I'm never anywhere near high temps or high load when playing video. The computer works much harder playing games, and it does that fine. I've run a Prime95 stress test and Memtest and everything checks out.

I've gone to Gigabyte's site and downloaded all the latest drivers. The one set I can't install are the VGA drivers, it says "Your hardware doesn't meet the minimum requirements for this software." Which is odd. Maybe it's expecting a i5 or i7 instead of the Pentium? Could that be the problem? The Pentium is on the compatibility list for this mobo.

Any ideas for things I could try, or suggestions on how to pinpoint the problem, would be GREATLY appreciated. I'm hoping I'm missing something obvious. This is my third build and my other two run great with no problems. Heck, this one runs great except for playing video! Argh.
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  1. Best answer
    make sure the mb has all the bios updates. run cpu-z make sure the ram is read right..speed and timing. also make sure the ram that was installed is the right model..also check to see if the date code or firmware of the ram or cpu stepping is difrent from this unit then the others. use gpu-z read the video card and pci pus info make sure the gpu read right and the speed is 16x by pci 2.0 mode. check that the video card bios and device id the same and the other pcs. about the video drivers if the board was used check the bios make sure the gpu is set as the first video device. also check that onboard video is on. most new efi mb bios the ipgpu will be on with another gpu unless you turn it off in the bios. for the cpu video to work make sure you install the newest intel chipset driver. also make sure mvp software not installed the software that bnds the gpu and onboard video chipset together. make sure you have the newest audio chipset driver..and if your using as movie system on a tv make sure hdmi audio is the same on all the units. some times the onboard adio will be main audio chipset for hdmi audio and sometime the ati video card will be.
  2. Best answer selected by Phrygian.
  3. smorizio, thanks for all the suggestions! Something seems to have worked; we've successfully watched about 10 hours of video with no hanging now, so I think it's fixed.

    I'm not sure exactly what worked but here's what I did, for people searching this in the future:

    Updated my mobo BIOS to the latest version.
    Updated my video card driver (a new version came out just after I posted this question).
    Turned the "Performance Enhance" setting in the memory section of my BIOS from "Turbo" to "Normal."

    I also did a bunch of tests, checked things with cpu-z and gpu-z as you recommended and it all checked out.

    Thanks again!
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