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Black Screen Crash

This is a discussion on Black Screen Crash within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. For a while now I have had random black screen crashes. I cannot quite remember but I believe they started


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Old 02-14-2009, 08:53 PM   #1
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For a while now I have had random black screen crashes. I cannot quite remember but I believe they started after I changed a bunch of drivers around for some reason. It was crashing quite often, mostly in source games like Left 4 Dead. I decided I would reformat. After the reformat I installed all my stuff again with the laters drivers and software I threw on an external hard-drive. It hadn't crashed in a non-source game for two weeks, but It would crash every time I tried to play Left for Dead normally after and hour and a half or so. I thought it might be the local content, since i transferred it from the first windows into the external hardrive and onto the new windows installation to save bandwidth.

I deleted the local content incase it was corrupt or something. I redownloaded it and just played a 2 hour game without crashing, but I just crashed while playing oblivion within an hour. This is of course unnerving, I thought I had narrowed it down to an issue with the source engine, and for the first time in a few weeks it crashed on a normal game. I am running a 9600 GT XXX with 4 gigs of ram and an Athlon 64 X2 at 2.8ghz. My PSU is 750W with all extra connectors plugged into the video card (6pin one). It is not a temperature issue, I have logged a maximum of 65degrees playing these games (CPU max 40). If it helps, when it crashes there is a greenish line for half a second and then it is gone. The monitor goes into standby and the sound loops. I am using onboard Realtek HD Audio, Which led me to believe it was the culprit, but I have never had any problems with it before and when I reformatted I used the drivers off the disc for it.

It has never crashed in an application or idle, only in games, and even non-intensive games (Which do however have sound)

Thanks in advance for reading the lengthy post, if you have any suggestions they are of course welcome and if can do anything on my part (Like a Dxdiag file or a Hijackthis log) I would be more than happy to provide.

Thanks Again.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:11 PM   #2
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Check Device Manager. Click "show hidden devices" and report any flagged devices.

Check Event Viewer. Look for chronic, significant and/or errors that occur at the same time of the crash.

Post full system specs on motherboard, video card, PSU and memory.

Burn a bootable CD with memtest and verify the memory is good.

Are you running overclocked ? If so, back down to factory specs and see if the problem continues.

Have you run chkdsk recently ?
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:44 PM   #3
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Wow, On event viewer there are tons of warning posts, periodically this occurs

An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation.

There is a massive block of them as well, as least 60 strong. This also appears as an error:

The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk0\D.

Weird because Device D is my disk drive (DVD). I was trying to install some games that were quite scratched and hit a few CRC errors, So Ill post the rest you requested in case.

Motherboard : Biostar T-Series TA780G M2+
Video Card : Nivdia Geforce 9600GT 512MB DDR3 PCIe 2.0
Memory : 2 sticks of OCZ 2048 at 400 mhz

Not sure on the specifics of the PSU at the moment, the sticker must be on the other side but I am sure that it is 750 watts and has enough juice on the 12v rails for the video card. I have run this setup for 6 months flawlessly, and I checked everything out when I built it that had to do with the PSU.

I did run ChkDsk after reformatting the PC, but for the record during a previous reformatt it found errors while formatting and aborted. I had to do a quick format and then use chkdsk after winbdows was installed. It found errors And I assume it either recoivered or avoided those zones, as it worked fine for a long time. After this reformatt I used quick format again, but checking for errors did not turn up any this time.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:00 PM   #4
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Disconnect the optical device and run the game, and see if the thing crashes. If it doesn't, you've found your problem.

If it does:

It's a very bad idea to run an install on a HD with errors. The fact that they were fixed AFTER the install, doesn't help the fact that XP is installed on a drive with errors. It may run constantly buggy as a result.

Worse, the HD may be getting ready to fail, and these errors are the tip of the iceberg.

Run chkdsk once more, and if it finds errors yet again, I would start data recovery operations immediately.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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Also, if the Optical Drive is bad, and you installed XP with it, it's possible that XP could be constantly & chronically buggy for this reason also.

This happened to me once; a brand-new, right-out-of-the-box, high-end optical drive was bad, only it took me a solid week of 8 hours a day troubleshooting until (for whatever reason) I reinstalled using the old, crappy CD-ROM it replaced. Which was just fine after that.

Did you have errors during the install ? If so, that's also very bad. After the experience above, I never allow an install to have errors during; it means there will always be problems with it.

The PSU could be the ultimate source of all of this, and problems with the power can do all of these things, and more. That is why make & model of the PSU is important, so as to get a sense of it's quality.

The fact that it is "750 watts" means little unless you also know WHO says it's a 750 watt power supply. Because there are no-name, el-cheapo companies that will say anything on the label, but their voltage is irregular, you don't actually get the rated power level on a sustained basis, you don't get it on all the rails, etc....

Be nice to know if it's an Antec with Active PFC, or some no-name with trash parts inside it.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:51 AM   #6
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Sorry about that, I believe the PSU is an Ultra X-Finity with 600 watts not 750, but I have a feeling the one I have is 750 watts with 20 amps on the 12v rail but I can't seem to find one that does, so I guess I am wrong. ANyway here is a page with the one mine is

https://www.ultraproducts.com/product...&productID=389

I am running things now with the optical drive disconnected and I also uninstalled a driver for my mouse that I didn't need.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:11 AM   #7
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I've PM'd dai, the Hardware Forum Manager for an opinion on your PSU, but my opinion (whatever it is worth) is pretty solid.

You have a turd PSU. Shiny pictures, nice graphics, all the illusions of a high-end PSU, but it's not. It's a turd.

Note that it is only "70%" efficient. Completely unacceptable. And I'm no expert, but when I read the chart, it looks to me that they are geting cute with the language (meaning maybe LYING) about their "Max Combined Wattage" being 600 Watts.

I'll defer to dai, but it looks like what you really have is a low-end 420 Watt PSU that is only 70% efficient. But it's shiny and looks real cool.

Anyays (/rant), that might not be the cause of your problems, but I think that it is good for you to know that your PSU may be quite marginal, if not inadequate for your system.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:54 PM   #8
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Could you recommend a decent one to buy that isn't a whole lot of money? My knowledge of PSU's is obivously not suffecient enough to cut through the jargon. I ran CHkdsk again and it found no errors. Maybe it was a fluke that one time.

I remembered when the crashes started at work today. I was trying to play a game that seemed fine but then all of the sudden crashed to a black screen. That was the first time I'd ever just crashed right to a black screen before. I looked at the forums and it said it happens alot and the solution is to update the realtek audio drivers. After I did that all the games started to crash with black screens. I tried rolling back but to no avail. I then reformmated and it seems to only happen with steam games (source engine) and once with oblivion but I am using the stock audio drivers from my mobo cd that have never given me trouble before.

And about the PSU I've been using it for almost a year with no problem. If it is a dud I would like to get a better one but for troubleshooting purposes I dont think its the culprit unless its crapping out.

Edit : I also only bought it because it was the cheapest one that "said" it met my requirements, not because it was shiny
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:58 PM   #9
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And another thing, I got a 1 Terrabyte external hardrive and a optical mouse that are both USB (My old mouse was cordless) Would this put anymore strain on the PSU that would cause it to fail?
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samik View Post
And another thing, I got a 1 Terrabyte external hardrive and a optical mouse that are both USB (My old mouse was cordless) Would this put anymore strain on the PSU that would cause it to fail?
Well, yes. If the PSU is marginal, and you put additional power drain on it, it's going to cause the the already marginal system to degrade. That's a big "if". I wouldn't go out & buy a new PSU just yet, but I think it would be a good idea to do a few things.

First, for trouble-shooting purposes, removal all unnecessary hardware from the system, to include the external USB drive. (You don't have any software actually installed on the USB drive, do you? If so, that's bad and could be the cause of all of this.)

Second, download & install "SpeedFan" (link in my sig) and post a screen-shot of your temps and voltages under load. (run a game, then hit ctrl+alt+del to get to desktop & take a screenshot.)

But I don't want to get side-tracked. We've got substantive errors regarding 2 drives on your system in Event Viewer, and that's where I think we should focus.

I'd like to know if the system still crashes with the optical drive removed, and I'd also like to know the results of extensive chkdsk scans. Does it find and fix any errors ? If so, how many successive times does it find errors. Any more than twice in a row would cause me to start doing data back-up, as frequently HD errors (found by chkdks) are an early indicator that the HD is about to fail.

The event log mentioned problems with two drives, "0" and "1". I'd like to know which each of these is, and see where those errors lead us.
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:28 PM   #11
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I've run chkdsk once so far with no errors. I am running now with the optical drive disconnected. I actually got another warning in my event log.

An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation.

About the Harddisk1 and 0 thing, Its odd because I only have one connected. I do have another one but its not even hooked up its just sitting in the chasis. I assume these warnings are about my hardrive connected.

Its a Western Digital Caviar connected via Sata (I know WD isn't the greatest)

Im pressed for time but i will be back later. Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:55 PM   #12
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Alright, as soon as you have time, navigate to Start>Settings>Control Panel>Adminstrative Tools>Computer Management>Disk Management and try to find out how many devices are being reported to XP, and what their drive-letter names are.

I want to know which drives are being reported as having problems in Event Viewer, and what their names are, etc...

The error during the paging operation could also be caused by memory (or bad PSU). You can verify the memory as good by burning a bootable disk from a memtest .iso file. (link in my sig)

Boot the memtest disk and let it run for a couple of hours. Errors are pretty obvious, so if you are wondering if it's good or bad, it's good. Report results.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:15 PM   #13
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Disk 0 is my Main Hardrive, The Western Digital Caviar, and disk 1 is the external HardDrive, A maxtor onetouch 4 plus at 1 TB. I am not running anything installed on that disk, but I do watch content stored on it. On it are movies music and games, no files that are regularly run from my computer. I will run memtest tommorow, my floppy drive is in the computer downstairs. Heres a more clear rundown of the disks

Western Digital Caviar, Letter C Number 0, Events Attributed :
A massive 50+ strong list of this warning occured February 12th

An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk0\D during a paging operation.

Along with this Error

The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk0\D.

Maxtor Onetouch 4 plus, Letter E Number 1, Events:
At seemingly random times this error occurs:

An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation.

Note : I have never experienced issues or a crash while viewing or copying content from this drive, it has performed flawlessly.

The dvd drive was registered as just CD-Rom Drive, I never figured out why it didnt say dvd but dvds worked on it.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:13 AM   #14
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Hmm. YOu have errors & issues with ALL your drives, and they are all different drives which makes me wonder if the common denominator of your HD controller might be the problem.

Have you checked Device Manager ?

You might try uninstalling and reinstalling some of the drivers, like the HD controller driver. Maybe some others.

Any other errors besides those related to drives ?

What are the results of chkdsk on the WD HD.

(Also, all HD's are generally considered to be equivalent in quality. All have failures at some point or another. All have the same warranty period now, too, since Seagate changed theirs from 5 years to 3 years.)

USB drives are buggy though, and I'd pull it off the system for troubleshooting purposes. Might be a good idea to pull the optical drive off too, and monitor event viewer and see if the errors continue for the WD HD.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:13 AM   #15
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try a new data cable on the drive



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Old 02-16-2009, 07:54 AM   #16
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Trying new sata cable, optical and external drives are disconnected. Will try reinstalling HD controller. I ran 3 passes of memtest without errors. ChkDsk on the WD returns no errors as well. I havent crashed since disconnecting the optical though.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samik View Post
I havent crashed since disconnecting the optical though.
That's a good "symptom". Let's cross our fingers and hope that's the problem.

Keep a good monitor on Event Viewer; look for errors in "System" and "Applications".

Still waiting for a screen-shot from Speedfan showing voltages and temperatures.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:48 PM   #18
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I just played the game that crashed every time intensively for a few hours. It never crashed and here is a screenshot from SpeedFan

Note: I have attached the diode that belongs to the case onto the gpu heatsink as a long time ago my gpu temps were not reporting correctly, so one of those temperatures you see will be as high as the Gpu temp.

So far so good, I've had the computer on all day today and been playing games off an on without crashing once. Knock on wood.
Attached Images
File Type: bmp SpeedFan Screen.bmp (581.8 KB, 9 views)
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:15 PM   #19
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Okay well first your GPU is 62 C, which seems a tad high to me. I know they run hot, but I think it would be a good idea to check this temp against the specs of the video card and see if it is well within tolerances.

Second, I notice that one of your cores is shown as being at 62 C, the other at 39 C. Obviously one is wrong, but which one ? Or both, I dunno. I also notice that the 62 C of the "core" is the same number as the 62 C of the GPU. It may be that SpeedFan isn't reporting your temperatures correctly. In this case, I'd go to the motherboard manufacturer's web-site and see if they have a temp-reporting software that is more "guaranteed" to work with your m/b.

Third, notice your -12 VDC rail is - 7.09 Volts. I've seen this before, and while not certain think that this is sometimes considered "normal" on the negative 12 V rail. But really, I don't know. A Hardware Tech would be handy to have around on this one...

Also, for clairity, post the condition of the system when you were able to play the game for an extended period of time without crashing.

1. New HD cable ?
2. Optical Drive removed ?
3. USB Drive removed ?

And any other test condition.

Once you have established (to your satisfaction) that the system is "good", the next step is to start adding hardware, one piece at a time until things go bad again. I.e., don't put it all back together at once; you won't know which piece caused the problem.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:06 PM   #20
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Damn, I crashed after a long while of not crashing there. There is a new HD cable, the optical is removed and the USB drive is removed. Is there a way to force the computer to dump a file or give me a blue screen instead of this impossible black one?

I was monitoring temps during that crash as well, and the log only went to 60 degrees on the GPU. This is withing normal temps for the card while under a load.
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