Random Black Screen of death/freeze

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by chewbakaats58, Jun 18, 2013.

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  1. chewbakaats58

    chewbakaats58 Notebook Evangelist

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    Hey guys...I've been having an issue for a couple months now where I will be playing a game and the screen will just go black and lock up (sometimes instead of black it goes white and some other colors). I have to do a force restart at that point. I don't get any failed driver messages and WhoCrashed doesn't see anything in the dumped messages either, nor does Windows event logs. Temps are all fine as they never exceed around 75C. I'm running the latest driver, 320.18, and this problem has occurred on previous drivers as well. It does seem that when the screen goes black my fans kick up slightly. Coincidentally, I have been having the same problem on my desktop machine (running a gtx 680), screen goes black and the fans kick up to max. Could be a psu issue there (have 1000watt), but that problem is for another day.

    Btw, I'm not running any overclocks (though I used to using Fox's startup batch files) and this problem has occurred across multiple games, just not one in particular.

    Anyways, any suggestions? Does this seem more like a hardware or driver issue? Do you recommend a clean sweep of all display drivers and reinstall latest? Thanks for any help guys!
     
  2. Indep102

    Indep102 Notebook Consultant

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    I think everyone would tell you to try a clean sweep first.

    Then maybe system restore if that doesnt fix it.

    If THAT doesnt do the trick it is more than likely hardware related but you could go the extra mile and flash the bios and set it to default just in case.

    After all that is exhausted you will have to tear it down and try 1 card at a time to see if its hardware. Run some benchmarks etc etc.

    I just had this issue with 680m SLI, sounds exactly the same except mine would even go black on desktop. Same deal though had to force restart with no errors. Happened in every game and at all temps finally found out it was a bad card.

    Good luck
     
  3. chewbakaats58

    chewbakaats58 Notebook Evangelist

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    Well I just tried running a game in single card mode and not sli and so far, so good. Might be due to the fact that some games are not optimized for sli.....I will keep testing and see what I find
     
  4. chewbakaats58

    chewbakaats58 Notebook Evangelist

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    Well maybe I spoke too soon..worked great for an hour and then it black screened on me again.
     
  5. Rafix

    Rafix Cave Canem

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    Are you using hwinfo, fan profiles, or any temps /usage monitoring OSD?
     
  6. chewbakaats58

    chewbakaats58 Notebook Evangelist

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    I have HWInfo installed, but don't run it while gaming...primarily just use it if I ever need to force the fans to high. I'm using EVGA precision X/RivatunerstatisticsServer to monitor my temps...I just use their custom fan profile...I don't have one set.
     
  7. chewbakaats58

    chewbakaats58 Notebook Evangelist

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    Hmmm..well testing another theory. Since I turned off my custom Alienware command center lighting (would change colors continually) and switched it to a basic all one color scheme I have not had it crashed since yesterday late afternoon. I have no idea if that is the solution or not...I have also turned back on my overclocks on my 580m's. I did (before I messed around with the lighting) remove all nvidia drivers and reinstall latest, but I still had it crash after that...so i'm ruling out possible driver issue.

    I really don't think any of the cards are bad as it never goes to black/white screen when i'm using basic functions (browsing web, email, etc)...just in games.
     
  8. Indep102

    Indep102 Notebook Consultant

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    You cant assume its not a card because its not crashing on desktop, they may be crashing under load only meaning you need to run benchmark tests to rule that out. If the command center lighting fixed the problem perhaps try uninstalling it and re installing it.

    I would highly suggest running several benchmarks though to rule out a faulty card.
     
  9. chewbakaats58

    chewbakaats58 Notebook Evangelist

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    Ran all 3 benchmark test under 3dMark (Ice Storm, Cloud Gate, and Fire Strike)...no crashes throughout the whole test and temperatures stayed in check. And I just ran the 3dmark11 performance benchmarks...no problems. Lol, if this problem really had to do with the command center lighting I am going to be surprised...only time will tell as I do some more gaming on it.
     
  10. Indep102

    Indep102 Notebook Consultant

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    Try uninstalling/reinstalling it too. Sounds like your cards are probably fine but also keep in mind, i had a bad card that did fine on benchmarks to and crashed when it chose to, Cards can be fickle but if this were vegas i would bet your cards are fine if the benchmarks are coming back fine.
     
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