Question Black screen when installing driver : is my graphic card dead ?


Nov 10, 2012
Yesterday, when playing a game, my screen turned black and I never got it back. Iafter several minutes, I ended up brutally rebooting my computer. And I never reach the Windows 10 login screen : I got a black screen before that.

My graphic card is Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6850. The motherboard is ASRock N68-VS3 FX.
PSU: Corsair CX430

In the advanced startup options, looking at the restore points, I noticed a Windows update had occured the day before the crash.
I tried uninstalling this update, but failed.

Today, I finally reinstalled Windows 10 completely. And I got my screen back, but with a weird resolution. Very poor quality.
The graphic card device mentionned "Microsoft base video card". I guessed Windows did not find the right driver...

So I visited AMD website, got 2 drivers versions : Catalyst and Crimson Edition.
First, I tried to install the Crimson Edition : black screen during the installation process. I waited about 10 minutes, just in case. Then decided it was time for another brutal reboot... And I got another black screen before reaching Windows login screen.
I rebooted in safe mode, uninstalled the driver.

Then I tried the same process with the Catalyst driver and got the exact same result : black screen every time.

I tried to use DDU, in safe mode, to remove completely the former drivers. Then reinstalled the Catalyst version => black screen.
I also tried to update only the display driver through the "update driver" option in Windows device manager => black screen.

So I wonder : is my graphic card dead ?

I opened the computer case while it was up, and noticed the GPU fan turns normally. I can't really tell if the GPU works though.
The last thing I didn't try (yet) is changing the thermal paste of the GPU. I'll try that tomorrow...

How can I check if the card is dead or if the problem comes from the software (the driver maybe... or Windows) ?

And, in the case my graphic card is dead, which one can I buy to replace it ?
The specs of my motherboard doesn't tell much about graphic card compatibility. Only that the board has a PCI Express x16 slot. Not even the version (1, 2 or 3. I doubt it could be 4).
How can I identify a suitable replacement graphic card ? Ideally, a bit better than the Radeon HD 6850, but not too expensive.
Last edited:


Nov 10, 2012
I tried changing the thermal paste of the GPU : no improvment.
As soon as I try to install the driver for my graphic card (other than the default "Microsoft base video card"), I get a black screen.

I'm out of options.
Feb 5, 2021
In the same boat, started having this problem out of nowhere. 650W PSU, only get a black screen when switching from Microsoft Basic dispaly from MOBO. Tried 2 different GPU's Dont understand how it can be a PSU problem.
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