Question DWM.exe crashes causing black screen

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Jun 29, 2020
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Hi, I recently ran into this issue about 2 months ago where my PC randomly crashed while playing World of Warcraft, the display went blank with no signal present, USB ports disconnected/reconnected but the sound continued playing and the PC was running normally as far as I could tell I just couldn't see the display. I looked into the issue A TON, and honestly haven't found one person with a straight answer for a fix, some people say it's software, some hardware, some say it could be a combo of both.

What I've tried:

Using DDU and following all steps to completely remove and reinstall my graphics drivers.

Bought a brand new 750w PSU just incase it was the PSU - turned PC on yesterday and after about 2 hours of it just sitting on youtube and loading music videos it crashed again.

I've also heard it can be caused by Windows User Profile corruption so I made a brand new Windows account and deleted the old one.

My Specs:

Windows 10 Home OS
Seaforce 750w Platinum PSU
Geforce GTX 960 SSC
Intel i7-6700k CPU
Asus Z170-P Mobo
Running on a 250gb m2. SSD (main boot drive) and a 1tb regular HDD (everything else)

My issue is, I could have fixed the problem while typing this but the error is so sporadic and I haven't found anything I can do to recreate it, even putting the entire system under heavy stress using FurMark and other programs cause no issues for the system.

Here's my Event Viewer/Problem Logs, and I can clearly see it says Hardware Error from Windows but I don't understand what could be the issue if putting the entire system under heavy stress via benchmarks doesn't show any problems yet sometimes just idling on a browser will cause the issue to show.

I get about 10-15 of these DWM.exe errors before the black screen occurs and then the hardware error comes up.

Description
Faulting Application Path: C:\Windows\System32\dwm.exe

Problem signature
Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
Application Name: dwm.exe
Application Version: 10.0.19041.1
Application Timestamp: 9a82ecd2
Fault Module Name: KERNELBASE.dll
Fault Module Version: 10.0.19041.388
Fault Module Timestamp: 3cc24707
Exception Code: e0464645
Exception Offset: 000000000010b37c
OS Version: 10.0.19041.2.0.0.768.101
Locale ID: 4105
Additional Information 1: 0503
Additional Information 2: 05038a8d0f1df7d435a57df411af2cff
Additional Information 3: 5903
Additional Information 4: 590399bc0bdcb27b9cf6cd452e0dc8c5

Extra information about the problem
Bucket ID: 932aa15ed5c67c15f9eb7d98c775b4e5 (1867724565610083557)

EDIT: This is another one I get less frequently too.

Description
A problem with your hardware caused Windows to stop working correctly.

Problem signature
Problem Event Name: LiveKernelEvent
Code: 1b8
Parameter 1: 1
Parameter 2: 0
Parameter 3: 0
Parameter 4: 0
OS version: 10_0_19041
Service Pack: 0_0
Product: 768_1
OS Version: 10.0.19041.2.0.0.768.101
Locale ID: 4105

Description
A problem with your hardware caused Windows to stop working correctly.

Problem signature
Problem Event Name: LiveKernelEvent
Code: 117
Parameter 1: ffffbf81e5d65010
Parameter 2: fffff8047d227650
Parameter 3: 0
Parameter 4: 48c
OS version: 10_0_19041
Service Pack: 0_0
Product: 768_1
OS Version: 10.0.19041.2.0.0.768.101
Locale ID: 4105

Note: The DWM.exe errors ALWAYS come before the hardware error.

You think it could be hardware? and if so what would you potentially look at? The only thing I can honestly think it would be is my GTX 960 SSC but once again under heavy stress it still hasn't shown any issues so I don't understand why that would be.
 
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Jul 22, 2020
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Hello im having the same problem ....i started seeing this issue afte the last cumulative update for windows 10. So i dont think is something bad in my hardware....or at least i hope... but it is strange that it started just after the cumulative update. They are making a mess with windows 10 version 2004, i hope microsoft will fix all the bugs soon.
 
Jun 29, 2020
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Hello im having the same problem ....i started seeing this issue afte the last cumulative update for windows 10. So i dont think is something bad in my hardware....or at least i hope... but it is strange that it started just after the cumulative update. They are making a mess with windows 10 version 2004, i hope microsoft will fix all the bugs soon.
Hey, I've currently got another guy on the NVIDIA forums helping me out with running stress tests and logging my computers performance and where it could be encountering issues, once he gets back to me with a response I'll let you know, but trust me you're not alone, I've had at least half a dozen other people respond saying they're having the exact same issues and they started the same time mine did - 2 months ago, a lot of people are wondering if it's something to do with the Windows 10, 2004 Version update they did.
 
Reactions: webseven
Jul 22, 2020
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Hey, I've currently got another guy on the NVIDIA forums helping me out with running stress tests and logging my computers performance and where it could be encountering issues, once he gets back to me with a response I'll let you know, but trust me you're not alone, I've had at least half a dozen other people respond saying they're having the exact same issues and they started the same time mine did - 2 months ago, a lot of people are wondering if it's something to do with the Windows 10, 2004 Version update they did.
thank you, let me know. Yes 2004 is a disastre!! maybe i could go back to 1909 while waiting microsoft to make a new version.
 
Jun 29, 2020
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Now, call it coincidental but I can't keep seeing these threads pop up on every hardware forum since 2 months ago and not say that it's a more widespread problem than just me and a couple other players.

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/screen-randomly-goes-off-with-gtx-660-ti.3630618/

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/black-screen-crashing.3629222/

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/black-screen-while-gaming.3629699/

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/graphics-card-stops-working-at-random-times.3630343/

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/my-display-keeps-freezing-black-screen.3627786/

These are only the handful I have found on this site since I posted this thread on Tuesday, there is the same amount popping up on the NVIDIA forums too.
 
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Jul 22, 2020
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yes , im sure is not a hardware problem but probably is related to the latest windows version. Another strange thing is that when i play games it doesnt happen. All the times i had this black screen problem i was browsing internet with chrome.
 
Jul 25, 2020
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Yeah, the same issue persists with me too. I have searched for the solution on this issue and also look upon several suggestion but I don't know why the issue is still there, does anyone has relevant solution on this? Kindly share your experiences here. Thanks in advance!
 
Jul 22, 2020
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Yeah, the same issue persists with me too. I have searched for the solution on this issue and also look upon several suggestion but I don't know why the issue is still there, does anyone has relevant solution on this? Kindly share your experiences here. Thanks in advance!
im sure 100% that the random black screen problem is caused by the new windows 2004 update, and you know why? i have 2 desktop pc and one laptop all 3 havethe same issue after upgrading to windows 2004. Could it be 3 hardware problem on 3 different machines at the same time? NO!
 
Jun 29, 2020
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Had two more crashes last night on my GTX 960 so blew the dust off of the old GT 640 and stuck that back in, has been working for two days just fine since, hate to say it but my GTX 960 may be due for the garbage.

What strikes me as odd is that I did a FireStrike test and even while it was putting my card under probably the most intense thing it's ever been put through it passes with flying colors, no issues, no power drops or anything that showed any indication of an issue, yet the black screen on the GTX 960 still persists to this day, I honestly am lost for what the cause is but I've been playing the same games that black screen on my GTX 960 with my GT 640 for the past two days and zero issues, frustrating but at least I'm getting somewhere.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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Had two more crashes last night on my GTX 960 so blew the dust off of the old GT 640 and stuck that back in, has been working for two days just fine since, hate to say it but my GTX 960 may be due for the garbage.

What strikes me as odd is that I did a FireStrike test and even while it was putting my card under probably the most intense thing it's ever been put through it passes with flying colors, no issues, no power drops or anything that showed any indication of an issue, yet the black screen on the GTX 960 still persists to this day, I honestly am lost for what the cause is but I've been playing the same games that black screen on my GTX 960 with my GT 640 for the past two days and zero issues, frustrating but at least I'm getting somewhere.
if it is like you say ....might look like an hardware problem but im sure it is not. How can all 3 pc i own have the same problem now?
 
Jun 29, 2020
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if it is like you say ....might look like an hardware problem but im sure it is not. How can all 3 pc i own have the same problem now?
Another reason I believe it's my GPU is because with my GTX 960 in my PC, it will "false boot" sometimes, by that I mean it powers on, turns itself off after 2-3 seconds, then powers back on normally and boots, with the GT 640 in it boots first time every time, not sure what exactly the issue is but it's showing other symptoms that it's the GTX 960.
 
Jul 25, 2020
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im sure 100% that the random black screen problem is caused by the new windows 2004 update, and you know why? i have 2 desktop pc and academyfeedback one laptop all 3 have the same issue after upgrading to windows 2004. Could it be 3 hardware problem on 3 different machines at the same time? NO!
Thanks for the help! I will revert if the problem is still there.
 
Jun 29, 2020
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I have purchased and installed a GTX 1660 TI and the PC has been running for 2 days with no issues so far, it had been running for a month straight with an old GT 640 in it with zero issues also.

100% in this case the culprit was my GTX 960 GPU, even on a Firestrike benchmark it threw no errors leading me to believe it was an issue somewhere along the board itself possibly due to old age (it was a 6 year old GPU)
 
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