[SOLVED] Graphics driver crashing even after clean install with DDU

Apr 8, 2021
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A few weeks ago I noticed that my graphics driver would randomly and irrecoverably crash while gaming, and more rarely when watching Youtube. When this happened, switching the HDMI cable to a different video out port didn't help. This is happening both on my dedicated card (GeForce GTX 970) and on the integrated graphics:
  • Dedicated card: Screen completely black, switching HDMI cable to the integrated graphics slot does nothing - the screen is not receiving video output and the only option is to restart.
  • Integrated graphics: The current game or video freezes, hardware acceleration features (such as transparencies in browser tab tooltip, or Photoshop hardware acceleration) stop working. Switching the HDMI cable to the dedicated card gives a black screen, but switching back restores the video out (but not the driver). The only way to fix it is to restart.
Things I have tried that have not helped:
  • uninstalling and reinstalling both graphics (including through Guru3D DDU for a clean uninstall)
  • trying a different cable
  • trying a different monitor
Is there a software solution to this? Is there a way to tell if hardware is the problem without doing a full system reinstall?
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
So, right off the bat you have one of the most problematic PSU models we've seen over the last seven or eight years, of any well known brand's offerings. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of threads from people who've had problems that resulted in trying to use a CX600 with a gaming system, or even in mainstream systems. There are also a verifiable handful of incidents where that exact PSU model has destroyed hardware despite supposedly having the protections to ward against it.

Overall, a terrible PSU in general and I'd highly recommend that you start by replacing it.

The fact that you made it this long WITH it, does not mean it was a decent unit, it only means that you were moderately more fortunate (lucky) than a lot of other users.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Compared to what you have now, the Focus series is like going from a bicycle to a Camaro. I like the Prime series better, because it is a higher quality offering and comes with a much longer warranty, but truthfully the Focus and Focus Plus units are good enough for just about anybody. If possible I would at least try to go with a Focus Plus unit rather than just a Focus unit, because there were a few situations where some graphics cards didn't want to work well with the original Focus lineup, but that's entirely up to you.

What country are you in, and I will look to see if there is anything else available at a similar or potentially lower price that would still be a good choice, for your region.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Exact power supply model (And the rest of the hardware specs would be helpful too) and how long it has been in service?

There is only one "card", which is the GTX 970. The integrated graphics isn't considered to be a "graphics card" but just an "integrated adapter", so to avoid confusion it would probably be best to not refer to the integrated graphics as a card or somebody may misinterpret the situation thinking two cards are actually installed.

When was the last time a clean install of Windows was done, from scratch, not an upgrade or refresh?
 
Apr 8, 2021
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Exact power supply model (And the rest of the hardware specs would be helpful too) and how long it has been in service?
  • PSU: CORSAIR CX-M series CX600M 600W 80 PLUS BRONZE Active PFC ATX12V & EPS12V Modular Power Supply
  • Graphics card: MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G GeForce GTX 970 4GB 256-Bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K Devil's Canyon Quad-Core 3.5GHz
  • Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3 (rev. 2.0) LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
  • RAM: Team Elite Plus 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TPD38G1600HC1101
I put this machine together in November 2014 and haven't made any changes to the hardware on this list.

When was the last time a clean install of Windows was done, from scratch, not an upgrade or refresh?
Around January 2015 (the original hard drive died and I had to replace it).
 
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Apr 8, 2021
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Overall, a terrible PSU in general and I'd highly recommend that you start by replacing it.
Yikes! I'll need a new one if I was to build a new system anyway so I guess I might as well. I took a look at your PSU guide, but I would like to keep the PSU below $100 - would the Seasonic FOCUS GM-650 be a good choice or do you recommend splurging for the Prime series?
 
Apr 8, 2021
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Awesome, just put that order in. Seems like with a more stable PSU I'll also be able to start overclocking a bit and get some more mileage out of this ageing machine.
 

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