Question Monitor going black, audio looping

MrWeatherby

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I'm not sure if this is the right section for this, or if the system section is more applicable.

A few months ago my PC started running into an issue where the monitor would occasionally cut to black and audio would loop, or continue to play as normal. This would require a forced restart. Eventually this issue resulted in my primary hard drive going bad. I turned the computer on after it went black one day and it just said no bootable device was found. I wound up building basically a whole new PC. The parts I carried over were a GTX 980 FTW Edition, my 16GB or Ripjaw RAM, and my monitor, an old ASUS that had developed a bit of burn in. I also took with me two mechanical backup hard drives.

After setting up the new PC, this issue happened a couple times, so I figured maybe the monitor was going and went ahead and replaced it with a new Westinghouse monitor. Nothing fancy, just what I could afford at a decent resolution. I stopped having the issue until last night, after reinstalling Oculus software for the first time on the new PC. I also installed Voicemod and Morphvox because I wanted to screw around in VRChat. Morphvox just looked kinda fishy to me when launching it, even though it's apparently legit and safe software. I uninstalled it and went with Voicemod. About ten minutes into a session of VRChat, the screen went black along with my VR headset, and the last few seconds of audio in the game looped. I restarted and tried again and was able to stay in just fine for a couple hours.

I uninstalled Voicemod and Oculus afterward, thinking maybe something was screwy. After using my PC today and speaking to a friend over Steam, my monitor began to periodically black out, just for a couple seconds before returning to normal. It did this twice in the span of an hour. I checked the event viewer and didn't see anything failing. I did see a lot of security logs for audits and logons, but I don't know if that's normal or not. Those were the only things to really occur around that time. I've since restored my PC to the day before I messed with all this Oculus stuff, and so far so good, but I'm wondering what the issue might be? My anxiety is through the roof after having blown over a grand putting a new PC together and I really don't want this one falling victim to the same issue, whatever it is...

I'm running a home edition of Windows 10, i'm not sure what other information is pertinent for this but I can provide anything else if asked.

edit: I've also tried unplugging the monitor from the GPU and running an HMDI cable to the port on the motherboard, an MSI MAG z490 Tomahawk, but when I do this while the computer is on, it doesn't regain a signal through the mobo. It will get a signal back if I reconnect it to the GPU. Not sure if that's normal.

Components are:

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-10600K CPU @ 4.10GHz 4.10 GHz
Mobo: MSI MAG z490 Tomahawk
SSD: Samsung 870 EVO 1TB
RAM: Gskill Ripjaw 16gb
GPU: EVGA GTX980 FTW Edition
Case: Pure Base 500DX Mid tower ATX
 
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Chacko586

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I've also tried unplugging the monitor from the GPU and running an HMDI cable to the port on the motherboard, an MSI MAG z490 Tomahawk, but when I do this while the computer is on, it doesn't regain a signal through the mobo. It will get a signal back if I reconnect it to the GPU. Not sure if that's normal.
I believe the motherboard HDMI port only works with the integrated GPU enabled. I'm not too sure but I really think that it could be a driver issue and so maybe you should try using an older driver for that NVIDIA card and see if that helps after using DDU to uninstall the old one. I am definitely not an expert, so please do be careful!
 
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MrWeatherby

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I believe that only works with the integrated GPU enabled. I'm not too sure but I really think that it could be a driver issue and so maybe you should try using an older driver for that NVIDIA card and see if that helps after using DDU to uninstall the old one. I am definitely not an expert, so please do be careful!
I'm currently on Nvidia's 456.71 driver, which is dated for Oct 7th 2020. I haven't really had any issues with it outside some initial black screens which occurred on ASUS monitor and one that happened on this one shortly after getting it, but I realized I was using an HDMI cable that was kinda on the fritz and switched back to a VGA-to-HDMI.

I assume enabling integrated is done via BIOS? I'm pretty sure I got an i5 with graphics processing since all the others on Amazon specified they lacked it in the description, and customer reviews do mention good graphics processing right off the chip. I mostly brought that up because, as a failsafe, it's nice to have. I don't really game anymore, I just do some workload stuff with basic video editing and photoshop, so I think I'd manage fine without a GPU, I just liked the option for whenever I did was to play what games I already have.
 

Chacko586

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I assume enabling integrated is done via BIOS?
That is correct.

The latest driver is 471.41 dated July 19, 2021. Maybe NVIDIA might have fixed an issue for another game which could solve a problem with VRChat. Try doing a clean uninstall of the previous driver and see if the new driver gives you issues.

Also, have you adjusted anything to do with virtual memory? This is not relevant, but I would like to ask you this regardless.

I would also like to ask if any overclocking has been performed on it.
 

MrWeatherby

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That is correct.

The latest driver is 471.41 dated July 19, 2021. Maybe NVIDIA might have fixed an issue for another game which could solve a problem with VRChat. Try doing a clean uninstall of the previous driver and see if the new driver gives you issues.

Also, have you adjusted anything to do with virtual memory? This is not relevant, but I would like to ask you this regardless.

I would also like to ask if any overclocking has been performed on it.
I'll give that a shot, but it was going black for brief seconds today just idling, which is more concerning to me than VRChat. If I can't run that game then that's fine, whatever. I'm worried about another SSD corruption by having it cut out while idle.

Nothing with virtual memory. I did just expand the space for restore points since I see it's only making about three, and I'd like more options. That's as close as it gets. No overclocking is being done on the card or any other components.
 

Chacko586

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I'll give that a shot, but it was going black for brief seconds today just idling, which is more concerning to me than VRChat. If I can't run that game then that's fine, whatever. I'm worried about another SSD corruption by having it cut out while idle.

Nothing with virtual memory. I did just expand the space for restore points since I see it's only making about three, and I'd like more options. That's as close as it gets. No overclocking is being done on the card or any other components.
If none of that works, there could be a chance that there is port damage. To test that hypothesis, you will have to use the mobo HDMI port and see if there are any issues after enabling the integrated GPU and also if the installation of the new driver does not fix the periodic blacking out issue.
 

MrWeatherby

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If none of that works, there could be a chance that there is port damage. To test that hypothesis, you will have to use the mobo HDMI port and see if there are any issues after enabling the integrated GPU and also if the installation of the new driver does not fix the periodic blacking out issue.
For now everything seems stable so I'm hesitant to do the driver update, at least until it does it again. And by port I assume you mean VGA or HMDI ports on the GPU itself? I think the actual PCIe should be fine since the mobo is still new, and I haven't taken the card out since putting it all together.

Am I able to turn on integrated graphics and swap between it and the GPU, or can they not both be enabled at the same time? Or, if I can, would this just make the PC more prone to driver conflicts?
 

Chacko586

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And by port I assume you mean VGA or HMDI ports on the GPU itself
Yes that's what I mean, not the internal ports.

Am I able to turn on integrated graphics and swap between it and the GPU, or can they not both be enabled at the same time? Or, if I can, would this just make the PC more prone to driver conflicts?
No it won't cause any conflicts, I have done that with my setup in the past, although I would recommend connecting to the monitor to only one of the GPUs at a time. They can both be enabled at the same time.

Also check if the BIOS version is the latest as well, as it could may as well be that too.
 

MrWeatherby

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Yes that's what I mean, not the internal ports.



No it won't cause any conflicts, I have done that with my setup in the past, although I would recommend connecting to the monitor to only one of the GPUs at a time. They can both be enabled at the same time.

Also check if the BIOS version is the latest as well, as it could may as well be that too.
I enabled IGD Multi-Monitor from the integrated graphics menu of my BIOS, and it now picks up the mobo HDMI when I swap them, so that's good.

Layman question, but a system restore to the day before I screwed around with Voicemod and Oculus should undo both installation and any driver/system changes right? Assuming one of those is the offender, I'm hoping that jumping back will just resolve it.
 

Chacko586

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I enabled IGD Multi-Monitor from the integrated graphics menu of my BIOS, and it now picks up the mobo HDMI when I swap them, so that's good.

Layman question, but a system restore to the day before I screwed around with Voicemod and Oculus should undo both installation and any driver/system changes right? Assuming one of those is the offender, I'm hoping that jumping back will just resolve it.
Yeah I believe that might work, and sorry for my late reply!
 

MrWeatherby

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Yeah I believe that might work, and sorry for my late reply!
No worries. So far so good... I haven't had it black out since using the restore point. When I looked at the other two, which were made on the same day and near the same time of the first crash, it has a Visual C++ Redistributable in the description, whereas the one I used for the day prior was an automatic restore point. I'm not very computer savvy, so my read of that is a C++ Redistributable was probably installed as part of Oculus or the voice software and possibly caused some kind of driver conflict that I couldn't fully undo through uninstalling software. I know both voicetools make system level changes, but are legit pieces of software.

ANYWAY, I'm hoping all is well and the restore just undid something weird caused by installing new software.
 

Chacko586

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No worries. So far so good... I haven't had it black out since using the restore point. When I looked at the other two, which were made on the same day and near the same time of the first crash, it has a Visual C++ Redistributable in the description, whereas the one I used for the day prior was an automatic restore point. I'm not very computer savvy, so my read of that is a C++ Redistributable was probably installed as part of Oculus or the voice software and possibly caused some kind of driver conflict that I couldn't fully undo through uninstalling software. I know both voicetools make system level changes, but are legit pieces of software.

ANYWAY, I'm hoping all is well and the restore just undid something weird caused by installing new software.
If you're happy with how the system is behaving now, well, I guess you could say that if it ain't broke, don't fix it! I'm glad you are not facing any issues(yet).
 

MrWeatherby

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If you're happy with how the system is behaving now, well, I guess you could say that if it ain't broke, don't fix it! I'm glad you are not facing any issues(yet).
Sorry to hit you up a million times here, but could a memory error also cause the sorts of issues I've described? I didn't think to bring this up until now (mostly because I totally forgot about it until it happened earlier), but sometimes when I shut my PC down I'll get some sort of error box that pops up. It only appears for a split second before the PC shuts down so I've been unable to read it, but I think it's a memory error of some sort. The SSD with Windows on it is new, as is the CPU and motherboard. The RAM is fairly old at this point, probably pushing 10 years, and the mechanical hard drives (which are just used for data storage) were put in from the old PC.

One of those two drives was accidentally set as the primary drive of the old PC by me. Kind of a long story. I was able to go in through command prompt and reset the primary drive but I think it kinda screwed some stuff up with that mechanical drive. It still holds data fine but has some Windows folders that can't be removed, and it was also previous used to store restore points. Really I think I should probably chuck that one but since it's still hanging on I just figure, well, it's nice to have a backup for a backup.

I digress, I just don't know if anything I described sounds like it could contribute.
 

Chacko586

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Sorry to hit you up a million times here, but could a memory error also cause the sorts of issues I've described? I didn't think to bring this up until now (mostly because I totally forgot about it until it happened earlier), but sometimes when I shut my PC down I'll get some sort of error box that pops up. It only appears for a split second before the PC shuts down so I've been unable to read it, but I think it's a memory error of some sort. The SSD with Windows on it is new, as is the CPU and motherboard. The RAM is fairly old at this point, probably pushing 10 years, and the mechanical hard drives (which are just used for data storage) were put in from the old PC.

One of those two drives was accidentally set as the primary drive of the old PC by me. Kind of a long story. I was able to go in through command prompt and reset the primary drive but I think it kinda screwed some stuff up with that mechanical drive. It still holds data fine but has some Windows folders that can't be removed, and it was also previous used to store restore points. Really I think I should probably chuck that one but since it's still hanging on I just figure, well, it's nice to have a backup for a backup.

I digress, I just don't know if anything I described sounds like it could contribute.
Does your BIOS have a POST message log? If so, check that and see if you can find the message to be sure that it is a memory problem.

If there is none, then you could try a few things. First, check if the RAM is seated properly. Second, run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool and see if that throws up any errors. If the BIOS has a hardware testing utility, use that too.

It still holds data fine but has some Windows folders that can't be removed
This is because you don't have the necessary user permissions since the account on your new PC does not match the one on your old one.
 
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MrWeatherby

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Does your BIOS have a POST message log? If so, check that and see if you can find the message to be sure that it is a memory problem.

If there is none, then you could try a few things. First, check if the RAM is seated properly. Second, run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool and see if that throws up any errors. If the BIOS has a hardware testing utility, use that too.



This is because you don't have the necessary user permissions since the account on your new PC does not match the one on your old one.
Yeah I figured permissions was an issue so that drive just has some weird junk on it, but could that cause issues with Windows on a different drive or is it fine?

I tried to run Memtest86 but it just sat on a black screen, which is a bit weird to me because i'm pretty sure UEFI is enabled. I'll try to see if there's a place to check POST messages. I did run the windows memory test and it came back just fine. I actually totally misremembered but the RAM in this build is not as old as I thought. I took the old DDR3 sticks out about 4 years ago and put them into a spare build and put in new DDR4 sticks which are the same ones I'm using now. They physically look almost the same so I guess I just... forgot.

Edit: Doesn't appear that I have post message logs in the BIOS. When i go through event viewer I don't see anything around the time where it last popped up. I do have, however, a tremendous amount of errors related to Oculus for the day it was installed and the system crashed to black. Otherwise, the event errors I see all check out as being benign and there really isn't much there. Maybe I'm just digging too deeply here.
 

Chacko586

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Yeah I figured permissions was an issue so that drive just has some weird junk on it, but could that cause issues with Windows on a different drive or is it fine?

I tried to run Memtest86 but it just sat on a black screen, which is a bit weird to me because i'm pretty sure UEFI is enabled. I'll try to see if there's a place to check POST messages. I did run the windows memory test and it came back just fine. I actually totally misremembered but the RAM in this build is not as old as I thought. I took the old DDR3 sticks out about 4 years ago and put them into a spare build and put in new DDR4 sticks which are the same ones I'm using now. They physically look almost the same so I guess I just... forgot.

Edit: Doesn't appear that I have post message logs in the BIOS. When i go through event viewer I don't see anything around the time where it last popped up. I do have, however, a tremendous amount of errors related to Oculus for the day it was installed and the system crashed to black. Otherwise, the event errors I see all check out as being benign and there really isn't much there. Maybe I'm just digging too deeply here.
Well, unfortunately, my help has reached a limit at this point, since I have never run memtest86 myself, other than reading about how you need to boot the utility from an external drive. I don't think those junk files can cause issues with your current system.
 

MrWeatherby

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Well, unfortunately, my help has reached a limit at this point, since I have never run memtest86 myself, other than reading about how you need to boot the utility from an external drive. I don't think those junk files can cause issues with your current system.
I appreciate the help. Really I wouldn't obsess over it so much if it weren't for how this killed my previous build. For now though I'll just keep my fingers crossed that all is well and it was just some Oculus/Voicemod related driver issue.
 

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