Screen Freezes Then Goes Black

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puppypaws

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I am running XP Pro, IE8 with SP3. This is a new install into a custom built computer. I was having a blue screen problem, and this disappeared, now after I've been using the computer for maybe 1 hr. or 5 hrs., no real pattern, it will freeze and within seconds, the screen goes black. The fans continue to run and I can push the small thin button on top of the handle (not the main power button) and it will reboot and run perfectly. I know this problem has been seen many times, and can be caused by a number of items, one being heat. I've run a heat test, and it appears everything is fine. Anyone who has seen this problem, and can possibly help me, I would greatly appreciate it.
 
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It may give us some clues by seeing the minidumps from the BSOD's that you had as these are probably associated with the black screen. Please follow this guide to find and attach the minidumps to your next post.

First locate your minidump files, they are usually found by clicking on your C: drive, in Windows Explorer, then click on Windows to view the contents. If your operating system is installed under a different drive letter then look there. They should be stored under a file called minidump.The files will have a .dmp extension.
Zip up at least 6 of the most recent files into one zip folder and save on your desktop (if there are less then just zip up what you have).
NOTE To zip up a file in Windows (all versions). Right-click the file or folder, click on Send To, and then click Compressed (zipped) Folder and save it to your desktop.
Open Windows Explorer, click on Desktop in the left column so you can see the zip file. In the left column click on C: > Windows > Minidump and then drag & drop any additional .dmp files into the zip folder.


• Below the Message Box click on Go Advanced. Then scroll down until you see a button, Manage Attachments. Click on that and a new window opens.
• Click on the Browse button, find the zip folder you made earlier and doubleclick on it.
• Now click on the Upload button. When done, click on the Close this window button at the bottom of the page.
• Enter your message-text in the message box, then click on Submit Message/Reply.
 

puppypaws

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Joined
Jul 19, 2007
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144
I could not locate the dump files you spoke of so I took two screen shots of what was showing.



 
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No sign of the minidump folder in those screen shots so your system is not set to save them.

Follow this guide to try and find any critical errors that coincide with the freezes. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308427

Follow this to set up your system to save minidumps, if you then get any more BSOD's it will save them for analysis.

Click on Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced tab > Settings button for Startup and Recovery. In the System Failure box make these settings.
Check > Write an event to the system log.
Check > Automatically restart.
Select > 'Small Memory Dump' in the Write debugging information box.
Small Dump Directory should read %SystemRoot%\Minidump.
Check at the bottom of the box that "Overwrite any existing file" is not checked. If it is you will have to go back to the "Write debugging indformation" box, change "Small memory dump" to "Complete memory dump" then you can uncheck the "Overwrite any existing file" box. Then go back and reset "complete memory dump" back to "Small memory dump". Heaven knows why microsoft designed it that way.
Hit OK, OK again and close the System box.
 

puppypaws

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144
Thank you for giving me your time and concern. I've done what you asked, so now we will wait for the culprit to show up once again, then possibly isolate the problem. It did it to me twice this morning back to back, and has not done it all day since. I'm sure it will show up again, I will then see if maybe you can figure out what is taking place.
 
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There are a couple of other things you can try.

Run a test on the RAM as follows:
Preliminary checks
You should first check the model of RAM stick that you have on the manufacturers site for the recommended voltage setting and then make sure it is set correctly in the PC's Bios. An incorrect voltage setting may be the reason for your problems so test the PC's performance again if the voltage was incorrect.
Errors can also be caused by dirty contacts, mismatched sticks or using them in the wrong slots. Check all sticks are the same make and specification, check the motherboard manual for the correct slots to use. Remove all the sticks and clean the contacts with a soft pencil eraser and blow out the slots with a can of compressed air.
Download Memtest86+ from here
When the download is complete right click the file and select Extract Here and burn the image to a CD.
In windows 7 right click the extracted file, select Open With, then select Windows Disc Image Burning Tool then follow the prompts. For all other versions of windows (if you do not have an ISO burner) download this free software. ImgBurn
Install the program and start the application. Select the top left hand option to burn image file to disk and then on the next window click on the small yellow folder icon and browse to the ISO file you have downloaded. Then click on the two grey discs with the arrow in between (bottom left) and leave it to complete the operation.
Testing
Boot the PC into the Bios setup and set the CD/DVD drive to 1st in the boot sequence. Insert the disk in the drive then reboot and the disc will load into dos. Leave the test to run through at least 8 cycles or until it is showing some errors. If errors show in the test, remove all but one of your RAM sticks and repeat the test on each stick until you find the one that is faulty. This is a long slow test and should ideally be run overnight.
The memtest will not be 100% accurate but should easily detect any major faults.
IMPORTANT
Always disconnect your PC from the mains supply when removing Ram sticks and earth your hands to discharge any static electricity to avoid damage to sensitive components. If performing this test on a laptop PC you should also remove the battery before removing or replacing the RAM sticks.
Also try this:
• Download the latest graphics driver for your card and version of windows and save it to the desktop.
• Go into Control Panel and select Add/Remove programs (XP) or Programs & Features, look for any software related to the graphics card and uninstall it.
• Go into Device Manager and locate the graphics card under Display Adapters, right click on it and select Uninstall.
• Run through this routine and locate any/all graphics drivers and delete them. Do not reboot, just close all the boxes to get back to the desktop.
• Double click on the driver that you saved to your desktop to install it.
• Now reboot and wait to see if the problem has gone.
 

puppypaws

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Joined
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Messages
144
I did this last night, uploaded the latest graphics driver. I am going to wait until the problem reoccurs to see if we can isolate the problem.
 
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