Question GPU usage spikes to 100% and crashes PC when idle

Kidneybot

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Sep 28, 2014
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10,520
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Hi all,

I'm dealing with an issue that is minor, but persistent and annoying. When I leave my PC alone for a few minutes, the whole computer locks up and becomes unusable. When this happens, I can however pull up Task Manager quickly and see GPU usage is at 100%. But I can't do anything and the computer freezes, basically forcing a hard reset via power button.
This never occurs while gaming or heavy load use -- only happens when I'm literally doing nothing on my computer. If I leave it alone for a few minutes, the GPU usage jumps up and it crashes like this. This most often happens when I go AFK and leave my computer alone for a few minutes, even if it's like 3 minutes to go use the bathroom. I took a picture of Task Manager when this happened once, and saw my GPU temp was 43 C when my PC crashed. Is this normal?

This issue has persisted between Windows 10 reinstalls, and even happened before when I had a different motherboard/CPU in (but same GPU). I've tried multiple times to fix the problem using DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller), but no dice. Note, I'm not using MSI Afterburner and it has never been installed. I'm using GeForce Experience, but reinstalling it or even just removing it didn't seem to do anything.

Kind of sucks because I've found lots of threads about this on all kinds of sites, but can' find anyone saying they solved this issue or how. Any help would be appreciated.

My system:
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Motherboard: Asus x570 TUF GAMING Plus Wi-Fi
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • RAM: Trident.Z RGB 16GB DDR4 3600 + HyperX Fusion RGB 3200 (DOCP is enabled, 3200)
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
 
Reactions: VeriCrispy
Task manager is not to be taken seriously about GPU usage. You will need to have HWinfo or MSI afterburner and see the usage from there. I suggest HWInfo64 as it has more details in the sensors only option.

What is the EXACT make and model of your PSU? Not just wattage and efficiency please.
 

Kidneybot

Honorable
Sep 28, 2014
23
1
10,520
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Task manager is not to be taken seriously about GPU usage. You will need to have HWinfo or MSI afterburner and see the usage from there. I suggest HWInfo64 as it has more details in the sensors only option.

What is the EXACT make and model of your PSU? Not just wattage and efficiency please.
Thanks for the response! I actually hadn't thought about power draw -- that's a great point. Can't say for sure, but I did put in a new PSU recently and I think this freezing may have started after I did the switch. The exact make and model of my PSU is Seasonic FOCUS GX-650, 650W 80+ Gold.

I'll download HWInfo64 and try it out. My concern though is that I may not be able to pull this up when my PC freezes since I can't click or launch any programs, and can only hit CTRL+ALT+DEL as I have been to pull up the task manager. Does this tool generate a log file I could read after each freezing incident, or could I possibly try to run it via WinKey+R when the freezing occurs?

Thanks again.
 
Last edited:
Jun 20, 2021
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Hello

I am experiencing this same issue at the moment and was wondering if you were able to find a solution to the issue and what is causing it. It's happened too many times and exactly as you describe, everything completly freezes except for task manager and it shows gpu usage at 100%, only hard reset works. I have no idea why is causing this. Nothing from my system was changed, that is the difference though..
 

Kidneybot

Honorable
Sep 28, 2014
23
1
10,520
1
Hello

I am experiencing this same issue at the moment and was wondering if you were able to find a solution to the issue and what is causing it. It's happened too many times and exactly as you describe, everything completly freezes except for task manager and it shows gpu usage at 100%, only hard reset works. I have no idea why is causing this. Nothing from my system was changed, that is the difference though..
Sorry to hear you're having the same problem, but I'm glad to know I'm not alone. Unfortunately though I haven't found a solution and I'm still dealing with it. The problem has become less frequent though, now I only experience the freezing once every 3 or 4 days instead of constantly. I've been back and forth with NVIDIA support for like 3 months now but they're just stringing me along telling me to do silly things I already told them I tried (reinstall drivers... run malwarebytes... reinstall Windows...). Honestly, because I see other people with the same issue online but no solution, I have a hunch that this means something is seriously wrong with our GPU's and they need to be replaced. Either that or it's a freak driver incompatibility, but idk. Hard to say. If I find out anything I'll update this thread, but unfortunately no dice so far.

run an antivirus scan malwarebytes
Lol.
 
Sorry to hear you're having the same problem, but I'm glad to know I'm not alone. Unfortunately though I haven't found a solution and I'm still dealing with it. The problem has become less frequent though, now I only experience the freezing once every 3 or 4 days instead of constantly. I've been back and forth with NVIDIA support for like 3 months now but they're just stringing me along telling me to do silly things I already told them I tried (reinstall drivers... run malwarebytes... reinstall Windows...). Honestly, because I see other people with the same issue online but no solution, I have a hunch that this means something is seriously wrong with our GPU's and they need to be replaced. Either that or it's a freak driver incompatibility, but idk. Hard to say. If I find out anything I'll update this thread, but unfortunately no dice so far.



Lol.
well you may have inadvertently installed a coin miner, and it appears many things have already been tried, usage soikes while not in use when driver re-installs have been tried point directly in that direction.
 
Last edited:

Kidneybot

Honorable
Sep 28, 2014
23
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Are you sure you don't have a stealth mining app running in the background?
It's been on my mind for sure, but I don't think so? I've run MalwareBytes several times and it never picks up any viruses, same for Windows Defender. Are there any other ways to figure out if you have a coin miner virus?

It should be noted that this problem persisted between several fresh Windows installs (per my original post), though, so that makes me also think it may not be a coin miner. But I dunno.
 

Kidneybot

Honorable
Sep 28, 2014
23
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10,520
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Bumping this thread to say that I just swapped out graphics cards to see if it would solve my problem, but it didn't. Kind of bummed because I was about ready to try and RMA my 2060 Super. Honestly, I have no idea what could be causing this. This problem has persisted between Windows installs, different motherboards, different RAM sticks, and now even different graphics cards. Is it a power draw issue, or something? Could I be doing something odd with my power supply?
 
Aug 1, 2021
1
0
10
0
Hi all,

I'm dealing with an issue that is minor, but persistent and annoying. When I leave my PC alone for a few minutes, the whole computer locks up and becomes unusable. When this happens, I can however pull up Task Manager quickly and see GPU usage is at 100%. But I can't do anything and the computer freezes, basically forcing a hard reset via power button.
This never occurs while gaming or heavy load use -- only happens when I'm literally doing nothing on my computer. If I leave it alone for a few minutes, the GPU usage jumps up and it crashes like this. This most often happens when I go AFK and leave my computer alone for a few minutes, even if it's like 3 minutes to go use the bathroom. I took a picture of Task Manager when this happened once, and saw my GPU temp was 43 C when my PC crashed. Is this normal?

This issue has persisted between Windows 10 reinstalls, and even happened before when I had a different motherboard/CPU in (but same GPU). I've tried multiple times to fix the problem using DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller), but no dice. Note, I'm not using MSI Afterburner and it has never been installed. I'm using GeForce Experience, but reinstalling it or even just removing it didn't seem to do anything.

Kind of sucks because I've found lots of threads about this on all kinds of sites, but can' find anyone saying they solved this issue or how. Any help would be appreciated.

My system:
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Motherboard: Asus x570 TUF GAMING Plus Wi-Fi
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • RAM: Trident.Z RGB 16GB DDR4 3600 + HyperX Fusion RGB 3200 (DOCP is enabled, 3200)
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
I have the same problem
 

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