Black screen freeze up

By Torkin
May 2, 2009
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  1. Hello, I'm having an issue with my PC I've put together and am not sure what is causing it. When I am playing games Like Team Fortress 2 and Command and conquer my PC locks up with a black screen and sound loop. There is no particular time when it happens, sometimes it takes an hour or two and then happens every ten to fifteen minutes. and sometimes it happens after twenty minutes and sometimes it doesn't happen at all. I can leave my computer on for hours and no problems, only when I play games. Anyone have any Ideas?

    PC Components:
    Lanparty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G Motherboard
    Pentium D Extreme 840 @ 3.2Ghz
    2 x 2Gig Buffalo pc6400 single channel RAM
    ATI Radeon 4830 video card
    WD 320 Gig SATA harddrive
    hec Orion HP585D power supply 585 Watts
    Alpine DVD drive
  2. davisjaron

    davisjaron TechSpot Member Posts: 79

    If it only happens when you are playing games, and at different times during the games, it's probably a graphics card issue. You may want to install and graphics card fan to keep the temp down, or possibly consider upgrading your graphics card.

    I would first suggest running a quick diagnostic on it, search for the burn in diagnostic tool from the downloads section of the site and let it run, it will test your graphics card.
  3. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    There could be a few issues here. I had this problem a long time ago. If this has only been an issue as of lately, I would suggest cleaning out the computer. Dust, as we all know, gets into the computer, you wouldn't think it effects the computer but enough of it can make the computer over heat, and your fan can't keep up.

    What I suggest is cleaning out the dust, buy a can of compressed air and blow out all the dust off the fan (try not to use it on the motherboard or other hardware inside the computer unless you have use'd it before and know how, as it can cause issues(Stop spraying if you see a white/misty cloud coming from the can, make sure it is kept upright and don't shake)

    If you clean it out and yet it still does this, do what davisjaron said, re-install your video drivers, if you recently did and you think that's the issue, do a roll-back and it will set it back to previous drivers.

    Usually when the computer overheats it shuts down but potentially it could hit a point where it makes your computer freeze, then it cools down, rather then shutting down. Clean it out anyways and try that.
  4. Torkin

    Torkin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    It's not over heating. It's a new build so there is no dust and today it froze up when I was surfing the net and the computer was only on for twenty minutes. I have installed all the latest drivers so I think it might be a power problem. Can a PC freeze up like that with black screen from a cheap PSU? If not could it be a bad video card?
  5. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    It could be possible. A person I know just built his PC custom forgot to take the plastic off the Proccessor fan and it was overheating.. Try to do a RAM test, download Memtest +85 or something, test it, or just test with 1 stick(if u have multiple sticks)
  6. robin_bga

    robin_bga Newcomer, in training Posts: 258

    Hi, u got it wrong, over heating is not only caused by dust, but even just an overload to the mobo, can cause overheating, i personally first of all suggest that first reduce the resolution of you game to say 1024x768 or use low details, i the game plays all the way through then that mean that the PSU is weak, i would recommend search a PSU on that ATI Radeon 4830 video card of yours, what is its capacity. I also would want to know what OS u r using, plus trying going to the eventvwr.msc then check system and application see whether the applications really hang.
    Plus make sure that you directx is update that includes you drivers, i possible uninstall them and reinstall them again after restarting.
    I cant think of anything else but please updates up and make sure that u check the temperature either in bios or in windows. u can using softwares like 'Lavalys Everest' to know all u need that is under sensor.
    Hope that helps
  7. Torkin

    Torkin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    OK, I've reinstalled my video drivers but have not had a chance to play any games but have had the computer on for a few hours and no problem. I have run Memtest 86+ and prime95 and there was no problems. My CPU runs at 47 C. idle and got up to 67 C. when I ran Prime and my video card was at around 47 C. I'm going to try gaming for a while to see if the driver reinstall works if not I will try playing with a lower resolution. I'm using Vista Ultimate 32 bit.

    OK, I was playing some Command and conquer and my PC froze again. I went into the event viewer and it said "The previous system shut down at 4:20:09 PM on 5/10/2009 was unexpected." There were no other errors on the list within 15 minutes. I think it must be my crappy PSU.
  8. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    It could very well be your PSU. I searched up your graphics card, and it says it recommends 550 watts, which you have. (will post the link in a quickpost after this, says I need 5 posts, and this will be my fifth, how lame.. lol.)

    If you have any extra Power pluggins on the video card make sure they are connected. That could be it, the video card is not getting enough power over time to keep it running, what it is getting through the board is not enough.. There should be a spot or 2 on the card to plug into, cords should have come with the card.

    Sadly I do not remember what those are called and I have searched for a little bit to better explain myself. If all else fails, read the manual for the card and make sure it is all hooked up correctly. Good luck.

    http://ati.amd.com/products/radeonhd4800/requirements.html < that is the link to requirements to your card and others. Hope this helped

    One other tip.. Play a lower end game, is the command and conquer lower end? Or a new version.

    Either way, try a lower end game such as.. Age of Empires 2, or something that does not require a lot of video processing. If the machine still restarts, then take out the video card, and run another test. If it does not restart we can confidently say it is probably the video card that is causing problems. If it still happends, I would say a RAM issue, even if the test passed, possible hardware issue of other sorts (Auido if you have an additional audio card).
  9. soulslayer

    soulslayer Newcomer, in training Posts: 52

    Make sure that the onboard graphics are disabled in the BIOS if available. I doubt that would be an issue though. Sounds like a problem with the graphics card itself. If you have onboard graphics, you can also try disabling the graphics card and using the onboard graphics and see what happens. I know the games would look horrible but see if it would still run without freezing.
  10. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    My thoughts exactly. Except the onboard is automatically disabled when a PCI card is added. If you tried to plug in a monitor to your on-board port, it wont display(therefore being disabled..Right?) But I agree with testing on the onboard or a lower end card if you/a friend has a spare to test with.

    Like most things, just process of elimination till you find a cause. Was hoping your event viewer would give some input as to what is causing the problem, but it doesn't get logged, the computer just turns off, so that kind of tells me that its a problem with hardware shutting down or not being able to run the way it needs to.
  11. Torkin

    Torkin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I was just reading my motherboard manual and there is an additional power connector beside the video card. It's a FDD type +5V/+12V. They recommend using it when using more than one video card to provide more stability to the entire system. I only have one card but I've plugged some power into it anyway and hope that that helps. I'll let you guys know. Thanks for all the help.

    Well I ran a video card stress test for two hours and no problems. CPU ran at 55 C and video card ran at 53 C. Started TF2 right after and within 3 minutes my PC locked up. Ran ITE Smart while playing TF2 right after and it ran at about 64C until it locked up after fifteen minutes.
     
  12. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    Hey man I play TF2 also ahah.. Playin now! anyways. Hm. I don't see why your computer would be restarting. Ok, try running on Onboard video?
  13. Torkin

    Torkin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    My PC is not restarting it's locking up and I have to power it off manually. I'll try the onboard video.
  14. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    Well when its locking up I think RAM issue, try running on 1 stick of ram, if it still freezes, try the other stick
  15. Torkin

    Torkin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Tried using both sticks of ram by themselves and it still locks up. I have no onboard video so I'm going to have to borrow a video card from my neighbor. I think I'll try a different power supply first to rule that out. If it still crashes then I'll try the video card.

    I reduced the resolution from 1680x1050 to 1280x720 on TF2 and have played three times for about an hour each time and no lockups. Does this mean it's the PSU?
  16. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    It could mean your video card doesn't like that resolution type, not a high enough refresh rate for it? If you have tried the other video card and it still does, could be your computer itself not liking that resolution. I'd say just keep playing at that resolution, shouldn't take a whole lot of extra power just to use 1680x1050 over 1280x720, and if it were the PSU I'd say it would do a complete restart or shut off rather then it freezing. But try setting it back to 1680x1050, and increasing your screens refresh rate to say 75(if its lower then that) or try 80 - 85. If it still freezes just continue with 1280x720. it works.
  17. soulslayer

    soulslayer Newcomer, in training Posts: 52

    I agree with you somewhat, but usually, when it is a graphics card problem, in terms of refresh rate or resolution, the entire system doesn't just freeze but the monitor only would go off into sleep mode and the rest of the system continues to work as normal. With an ATI Radeon 4830, I highly doubt that your problem has anything to do with resolution. These cards work extremely well with a variety of settings. The card may be damaged or faulty if anything, but I don't think a proper-functioning Radeon 4830 would have resolution issues.

    I do agree that if it were the PSU, the entire system might just shut off or restart, but you never can tell. It sounds a lot like overheating of a component. How long have you been using this system for gaming like this before this began to happen? Is it a new system you just built?
  18. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    That's what I thought too at first, overheating. Doesn't even have to be the computer itself but the video card overheats and just stops working. Turn on the computer with the case side off make sure the fan on the video card is running, if theres a way to check your video card heat, try that.
  19. Torkin

    Torkin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I have had the side off for the last three weeks and the video card fan works. Catalyst has a monitor for the card and the temps are fine. 31C idle and 52C under load.I was in my device manager and noticed that I did not have RAID drivers installed so I installed them. Could that be what is causing my problems?
  20. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    Lol no, Raid drivers are for the harddrive, a Raid is when you have multiple drives, 1 drive is your Main drive the rest are like a Mirror or Copy of that drive. depending on what it is it could be 1 drive with 2 other drives, each holding half, 1 main, 4 extra, 1/4th each. Or 1 and 1, just mirroring your drive incase your main blow's up. Raid doesn't effect your video. Not saying that WONT fix your problem but I highly doubt it.
  21. Torkin

    Torkin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I new what Raid was but thought that with drivers missing it might screw something up and lock the system up. On the other hand I played almost two hours of TF2 last night with no lock ups. I still have resolution lower but it seems to work. I'm going to try another game thats a little more demanding like Crysis and see how that works out.
  22. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    That's good to know, and the only reason I don't think that is because I've never heard of a missing driver affect something else to run and freeze, unless u needed audio or video and you didn't have them, if it was the RAID drivers I'm sure you would have frozen on anything.

    Hopefully the lower resolution fixes your problem, weird problem though, the card should have no problem handling it.
  23. Torkin

    Torkin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I'm back. I'm using windows 7 now and things were going well until today. My computer locked up twice. I checked the event log and found this audit failure message that happened one second before it locked up. Same message both times.

    Code integrity determined that the image hash of a file is not valid. The file could be corrupt due to unauthorized modification or the invalid hash could indicate a potential disk device error.

    File Name: \Device\HarddiskVolume1\Windows\System32\drivers\avgntflt.sys
  24. Torkin

    Torkin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Apparently it's my anti virus Avira. I'll have to try turning it off before I play next time and see if that helps.
  25. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 530

    audits being wrong are usually meaning its not registered or cant be accessed or isn't being accessed properly (passwords, security) its AVG(just read ur reply, Avira) uninstall and reinstall it, may not work properly with Windows 7. If it doesn't seem to work right try making it run under XP or Vista compatability.. If not.. Wait till they release it to work for 7
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