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Screen goes black:





Craeft
Ok. I am at a loss here.

The following ONLY happens when I am in World of Warcraft. I can be doing high end graphics rendering while watching a movie while having my radio station running all at the same time with no issues. But if I am just playing World of Warcraft or playing WoW with the radio station going, from time to time, the screen will go black. The radio station is still playing, everything else works fine.

I have to actually ALT-TAB out of the game, turn off my monitor, turn it back on. And then if I go back to the game, the screen goes black again and I have to do it all over again, restart the computer, THEN restart the game.

To give you an idea of what it's like... it's as if the game is resetting its internal screen resolution. However, I can not find any solid indication of that. That is just what it's acting like. Then when I alt-tab out and turn the monitor back off and back on, it's as if it resets the resolution to the desktop settings.

This has been happening for a couple weeks now and I have been unable to pin it down. Any ideas?
ocalhoun
For one thing, try video card driver updates. That might end up being a quick and easy solution.

I'm not familiar with the game, but do try changing the graphics options on the game.

Also, try to see if there is some way to determine if the game is frozen when it goes black (sound perhaps). Does the game application continue to run, but with no picture, or does the game program completely stop working? (If the latter, try changing all kinds of settings on the game to make it freeze less.)
Craeft
ocalhoun wrote:
For one thing, try video card driver updates. That might end up being a quick and easy solution.

I'm not familiar with the game, but do try changing the graphics options on the game.

Also, try to see if there is some way to determine if the game is frozen when it goes black (sound perhaps). Does the game application continue to run, but with no picture, or does the game program completely stop working? (If the latter, try changing all kinds of settings on the game to make it freeze less.)


I will try turning some of the graphics down. That shouldn't be an issue considering the card I have, but it's one more thing to check off the list.

The game isn't frozen. I still have sounds. So yeah. Game app continues to run with no pic. Process list verifies this with "running".
Craeft
Well.. the graphics setting idea is out. Dropped everything to low and it still happened. Sad
Craeft
*sigh*

Well, I updated the video drivers and it was doin well. I thought, "Hey! Maybe that did it." Nope. About 30 minutes into the game, it black screened again. This is getting really frustrating. Sad

I know I need a new power supply (the one I got was falsely advertised and the company won't respond to emails). But it seems to me that if it were the PSU, it would happen anytime I put a heavy load on the GPU. Not just when I have WoW open. And now I seem to have had a Video Driver crash. Well.. this is full of suck. Sad

Be back with further updates as they come to me.
ocalhoun
^Well, since it didn't fix the problem, and it seems to be causing problems, revert back to the old video driver.

Since you tell me about PSU issues: If you can get your hands on the test equipment for it, check the power supply voltages, both unloaded and with a load applied... Especially look a the motherboard connector, the voltages other than 12 and 5, and (if there is one) the power cable going directly to the video card. An oscilloscope would be awesome to have for that, but you'll probably just have to use a multimeter. Check to make sure that the voltages are correct, and that they hold steady, with no sudden spikes or drops. Tiny PSU fluctuations can and often do cause odd problems like this.

If you have spare video cards and monitors available, try switching them and see if that solves the problem. Even if you have to switch them back again

Next time it goes black, try turning the monitor off and on again.

If you can, find a game that is more graphics-intensive than this one, or a test program designed to stress out the video card. Perhaps it is overheating with the strain...
Craeft
ocalhoun wrote:
^Well, since it didn't fix the problem, and it seems to be causing problems, revert back to the old video driver.

Already done. Wink
Quote:

Since you tell me about PSU issues: If you can get your hands on the test equipment for it, check the power supply voltages, both unloaded and with a load applied... Especially look a the motherboard connector, the voltages other than 12 and 5, and (if there is one) the power cable going directly to the video card. An oscilloscope would be awesome to have for that, but you'll probably just have to use a multimeter. Check to make sure that the voltages are correct, and that they hold steady, with no sudden spikes or drops. Tiny PSU fluctuations can and often do cause odd problems like this.

Oh my! I wish I had an O-Scope. But alas... just probe meters. Anyway... I've already metered it. Did that soon after it came out of the box. That was when I tried to contact the company or at least get an RMA going and had no luck. But the 5v and 12v rails are undervolting. The 1 and 3v rails are fine. I do have the power cables going to the vid card. I already know I need a PSU, there's no way around that one. I mean... hell... to give an example, the 12v rail will often dip to 10.8v. I've seen it drop as low as 10.7. Way way way way WAY out of spec. Actually, my next deposit in the bank, I am picking me up a new one. But I am scratchign my head over to go with the Rosewill RX750-S-B (modular) -or- Sigma Monster SP750C (nonmodular). I like the modular of the Roswill, but the Sigma has a nice voltage rating and some nifty little features. Both are SLI and Crossfire ready.

Anyway... sorry... that was a tangent. heh

Quote:

If you have spare video cards and monitors available, try switching them and see if that solves the problem. Even if you have to switch them back again

Well, unfortunately I don't. This is my new computer that's doing this. it is PCI-E and SATA so nothing from my old stuff will fit anything for the new stuff. Sad
Quote:

Next time it goes black, try turning the monitor off and on again.

If you can, find a game that is more graphics-intensive than this one, or a test program designed to stress out the video card. Perhaps it is overheating with the strain...


yep. I've done that. I ran 3DMark and had it bench GPU at max. THe GPU laughed at me and said, "That it?"

Today, I pulled out the cathodes and the lighted SATA cables I had in there, and replaced the SATA cables with regular ones to see if that helps. I haven't logged into WoW yet, but I will give an update. It's possible, I guess, that those are pulling just enough juice to pull from the video card's needs when it gets under pressure, but that doesn't really explain the benchmark soaring through.

Thanks for your attention to this, by the way. I really appreciate it. This has been driving me nuts for some time.
Craeft
Ok. Interesting update:

After swapping out the SATA cables to a standard SATA (nonlit), and removing the cathodes from the computer, I played for 2 hours without issue. I will do a little more tonight, but this tells me that either there was a short somewhere... or there was too much power drain and it was sucking it from the vid card. Hopefully, a new PSU will resolve this... but for now, that's where it lies.

Ocal: Thanks for the input and the assistance. If anything changes, I'll be sure to post here.
ocalhoun
^Or, if your case is big enough, you could do what I did and add in a second power supply just for the extras... That was a fun mod.
Craeft
ocalhoun wrote:
^Or, if your case is big enough, you could do what I did and add in a second power supply just for the extras... That was a fun mod.


LOL... Well... my case isn't big enough for that... but I could make it big enough. I don't think I'll have to though, as long as the specs advertised on the PSU that I'll be getting are correct, I should be able to put all my nifty lights and fun stuff back in there. Plus I have about 100 deep blue LEDs and 100 UV (blacklight) LEDs that I would like to add to the case. If I ever get off my ass and circuit it.

ANyway... I played for hours last night (probably too long) and had no issues. I am now about 99% certain that the problem was in one or all of those cables.
Craeft
ALrighty. Well... one or all of those cables was definitely the issue with my computer overall. Since removing them, I have had no black screening, and the BSOD issue I was having (referenced in another thread) has seem to have stopped. Therefore, today, I went ahead and ordered a new PSU (viewable at:)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817226008

I'll probably tear the old one apart and use it to power some radios on a 12v battery back up or something. heh.. *shrugs*.
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