PC blackout while gaming

By Shamastation
May 29, 2010
  1. Hello! I've been experiencing that my PC blacks out, while I'm playing games, for some years now. So after countlessly lots of troubleshooting, I'll ask for help:

    I'm using Windows XP Professional, vision 2002 with service pack 3.
    My computer contains:
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5600+
    Radeon (Sapphire) X1950 Pro Graphic Card
    MSI K9A Platinum Mainboard
    2.81 GHz
    2GB RAM

    My problem looks like this:
    Whenever I play a game, that requires me to play in full-screen mode, there's a chance that my computer suddenly blacks out. Unlike Blue Screen of Death, I'm not informed about what caused it, nor what I should do.
    Usually the sound either continues, or begins to lag like an old CD-player, and my screen says "No signal input. Check video cable", but there's nothing wrong with the cables.
    I've noticed that old games(Diablo II, Warcraft III and the like) doesn't cause my personally Black Screen of Death, while newer games(Counter-Strike, Heroes of Might and Magic V, Prototype and the like) usually causes it. Oddly enough, Demigod haven't caused it yet, while games powered by Steam had a bad habit of causing it, which doesn't occur as often anymore.
    Prototype seem very fond of causing Black Screen of Death, for some reason. I've tried to update my graphic driver, but that didn't effect it at all.

    I'm aware that some of my drivers are out of date, but I've been unable to update them. Every time I attempt to update drivers, I'm nearly E-bombed with those crap-programs that scan your computer for out-of-date drivers, and then want you to pay for the program to update them.

    But driver or not: Any help?
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    It sounds like you are not going to the manufacturer's websites for the drivers but rather third party sites or in the case of the graphics driver the ATI website.

    Your graphics card might be failing or your PSU is weak or starting to fail but start by updating your drivers.
  3. Shamastation

    Shamastation TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm trying to find the manufacturer's websites, but I'm currently failing to do so. Mainly because I don't know what drivers to update. It's getting a hassle.
    I've managed to dig up a driver named ATI IDE Controller, which I believe needs an update. But I seemingly can't find the goddamn driver-update :/
  4. Shamastation

    Shamastation TS Rookie Topic Starter

    And by now I've tinkered with some updates, which caused my computer to spam me with Blue Screen of Death upon the start of Windows. I've fixed that now however.
    My current state is: I'm somewhat aware of what I need to update, but I fail at doing it correctly. Perhaps a full formatting of my hard drive could be solution?
  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    You could reinstall Windows as a last resort. "Formatting" the hard drive as you put it is just part of the process and does not necessarily include the installation of the operating system.

    You need to go to the MSI website (K9A Platinum) and download ALL of the drivers listed for your motherboard and your version of Windows. Then go to the AMD/ATI website for the graphics driver. Uninstall whatever drivers you find in Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel, restart the PC and then install all of the drivers you downloaded.
  6. ElShotte

    ElShotte TS Enthusiast Posts: 162

    I'm with your original suggestion mailpup. Seen it happen enough and had it happen to me. My money is on the PSU, when the Video Card starts sucking up the juice the PSU can't provide enough power. It will lower your framerates significantly and at some point if it drops below a certain threshold, your card will simply turn off, hence the "Check cable" message on monitor. Try getting Riva Tuner or some other app of that type to monitor your voltages in the OSD while you play to see how they react, wouldn't hurt to also have it show the video card usage percentage.
  7. Shamastation

    Shamastation TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've downloaded the Riva Tuner, but me being rather.. I guess noobish would be the word, I'll need some guidance on how to make it work :p Oh, and I don't suppose anyone got the software to AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor? I had someone else to costume-make my computer, and he never gave me the software, and now when I need to reinstall it... Well yes, you get the idea.
  8. ElShotte

    ElShotte TS Enthusiast Posts: 162

    What software are you referring to exactly? Do you mean the drivers for your Motherboard/CPU? You can download your motherboard drivers on the MSI website, and you can get your CPU drivers on the AMD website. RivaTuner comes with an OSD App which shows your GPU info, but you can also get a plugin for it to show your CPU info (temps, usage, etc.) Also, there's a nifty desktop gadget called GPU Monitor that will work with the OSD App to show you everything right on the desktop.

    Edit: Never mind with the gadget, I don't think those are supported on XP but Im not really sure.
  9. Shamastation

    Shamastation TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm referring to the driver software, which usually comes along when you buy the CPU(or processor, as I call it). But I'll have a look around on the AMD website.
    Eventually, I believe you're right about the PSU. So I'm going to get a new one this week. Oddly enough, I managed to make Prototype work properly, by adjusting the graphics from medium to low(while I'm unable to see the graphical differences), and using a fan.
  10. playwownow

    playwownow TS Rookie

    My 1st thought was deffinately PSU. Sounds very typical of an overload. My suggestion would be a complete format and install. Update all drivers from their homepage, windows updates, etc. Then if you are still experiencing problems then it's deffinately power related. But please don't just start downloading and installing drivers on top of old ones, this is prone to cause more problems than you already have.. Good Luck :)
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