Black screen on Dell Studio

By bingkewl
Sep 28, 2010
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  1. I purchased a new pc for the express purpose to play SC2 and Civilization 5. I got the a Dell Studio with windows 7, intel core i7, 8gig ram, and the evga geforce gt 240. When playing both games the screen will randomly (some times i can get through 30mins, some times only 5mines) go black and freeze. Nothing works but a cold reboot. At first a minimizing would work, but now not even that. I've made sure my drivers were\are up to date but that's not helped. Any ideas?
  2. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,073   +75

    Are all of your windows updates installed?
  3. bingkewl

    bingkewl Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    although i was hesitant about doing so, yes i installed all the updates.
  4. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,073   +75

    Which version of Nvidia's driver is installed? It seems the "Black Screen Of Death" has claimed you as a victim, but don't worry, it's usually an easy fix.
  5. bingkewl

    bingkewl Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yes it has claimed me and put an abrupt stop to my gaming. I installed the driver 258.96 WHQL from NVIDIA's site
  6. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,073   +75

    Try running Memtest86+, and see if you have any memory errors before we delve further into a possible driver issue.
  7. bingkewl

    bingkewl Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    good idea. Unfortunatly i just moved and don't have a cd or even a usb drive to run the program, but i'll pick some up tomorrow (btw, i thought if it was an ISO i could just mount it on daemon tools.)
    lastly, i thought i'd add that the screen randomly seems to flicker... :-/
  8. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,073   +75

    I've also had experience with memtest not being daemon tools friendly.

    You may have already done this, but I have to ask. Have you checked your display cable connections? Have you tried unplugging them completely from both ends, and plugging them back in?

    My guesses of possible causes to your issue, would be inconsistent voltages on the power supply rails, possible memory error, bad/defective cable, or bad driver install. We'll test the easiest stuff first.

    Let us know how the memtest comes out tomorrow:)
  9. bingkewl

    bingkewl Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    well i got home today and forgot about getting the cds so i ran what tests i could. I did check the cables and unplugged them all and replugged them in and that didn't fix it. I also was worried about the power being intermittent so i plugged the monitor into something i new was secure. I doubled checked to make sure i had the latest driver for the video output, still didn't fix the problem. :/

    thanks a ton for working on this one with me Wendig
  10. bingkewl

    bingkewl Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Alright, ran the memtest and it came out clean (btw, it take a long time to run that test on 8gig of ram)
    also, i'm pretty sure we can track this down easily because i was playing the other night and i had my mic on and the screen froze (like it always does) but i was still able to hear my team and they could hear me. However i couldn't get the screen to come back, the computer froze and i had to reboot.
    here are my system specs.

    Studio XPS 9000
    Intel Core i7-920 processor (8MB L3 Cache 2.66GHz)
    8GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz
    It came with the, NVIDIA GeForce G310 512MB DDR3 and i switched it out to the
    EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GT240 1GB DDR5 (And i thought maybe going from DDR3 to DDR5 maybe a problem...? idk)
  11. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,073   +75

    Going from GDDR3 to GDDR5 wouldn't be the problem. It appears that the problem lies with the driver of your graphics card. Occasionally, Nvidia puts out a driver that just doesn't work correctly, though it is an easy problem to fix.

    You can either roll the driver back to a previous version, or try their new beta driver (which I normally don't recommend, but I am using it right now without so much as a hiccup).

    For older drivers I would download 197.13. Or get the beta driver here 260.63.

    Both are for Windows 7 64.

    You will first have to uninstall the Nvidia driver, and let windows default to the generic driver. Restart the computer, then select the driver you just downloaded and install it. It should take care of your problem. If it does not, let me know.
     
  12. Umpalumpa

    Umpalumpa Newcomer, in training

    I remember having the same problem and I it was the NVidian chip on motherboard. Eventually got a new computer.
    Look on ebay: there are some companies they advertise repair service for $90-100 for this issue. It is a very common issue.

    Good luck
  13. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,073   +75

    Usually it is a simple problem that can be fixed without spending any money. My $ is on those companies charging for the same thing that can be solved here.
  14. bingkewl

    bingkewl Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Alright Wendig, I downloaded the beta version and booted up SC2. 15mins into it, it blacked out like usual. I than installed the older version (197.13) and i got on and played for about an hr + with my friends and i was like "Heck yes! this fixed it"... than the blue screen of death came up. It left too fast for me to see what it was saying but i was like, "hey, it's not the black out i'm use to, so maybe it's unrelated." However, it keeps happening, so i think it is related. here's the info i gathered on it.

    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
    OS Version: 6.1.7600.2.0.0.768.3
    Locale ID: 1033

    Additional information about the problem:
    BCCode: 1000007e
    BCP1: FFFFFFFFC0000005
    BCP2: FFFFF8800423758B
    BCP3: FFFFF8800673A3F8
    BCP4: FFFFF88006739C60
    OS Version: 6_1_7600
    Service Pack: 0_0
    Product: 768_1

    Files that help describe the problem:
    C:\Windows\Minidump\100210-16161-01.dmp
    C:\Users\CartersPC\AppData\Local\Temp\WER-66518-0.sysdata.xml
  15. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,073   +75

    Hmmm. Well the 1000007e code means:

    "A system thread generated an exception which the error handler did not catch. There are numerous individual causes for this problem, including hardware incompatibility, a faulty device driver or system service, or some software issues. Check Event Viewer (EventVwr.msc) for additional information."

    Have you been able to record the temperature of your graphics card? If not, download MSI Afterburner, and it will tell you the max, as well as the average temps your gpu is reaching.

    That code is very vague, and leaves alot to guess work. You've already tried 3 drivers, so I would rule that out as the cause.

    Since your problems generally occur whenever you start a game, that leads me to believe there is something physically wrong with your card.

    You bought the GT 240 recently right? It should still be under warranty. I would request an RMA to EVGA (they're one of the best in the industry for customer support), and try to get a new card.
  16. bingkewl

    bingkewl Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Good thought about the temp, i'll monitor that. I've got a program for monitoring your PC's temp, but i've not been using it.
    Yeah, the cards very new, so i'm on board with you for getting a RMA. Lets cross our fingers.
    once again, thanks for working on this with me.
    Carter
    btw, i just had a thought. I should switch out cards (cause i got the NVIDIA GeForce G310 512MB DDR with me) and see if that has problems. *slaps forehead* prob shoulda done that first.
  17. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,073   +75

    I would try switching cards as well. Good luck man, keep me informed.
  18. bingkewl

    bingkewl Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Well i've send the other card back and while i'm waiting i've replaced the old car. Guess what? That's right, no black screens thus far!
    Thanks a ton man.


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