Question PC freezes after screens turn off

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Jan 3, 2022
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Dear Community

I often use my computer to run long-lasting tasks over night. Because of that, power saving mode is disabled on my system, but it is configured to turn off the screens after being idle for 20 minutes.
About one year ago, I noticed a strange issue where my PC failed to operate correctly after comming back from screen-off-mode to screen-on-mode. Here is the issue:
WhenI come back to my PC, I move the mouse or press some keys to tell Windows to turn on the screens again. This always works, i.e. I can see my Desktop and open programms, but Windows is frozen and no longer responds to anything. I cannot move the cursor nor can I use any keyboard inputs to do anything. Only a hard-reset will do the job.

Back then, this issue happened randomly and only in some rare cases, i.e. most of the time the computer comes back to work normally. Over time, the frequency of this problem increased more and more. As of today, being frozen after the screens turned off is the rule rather than the exception. Since it became very annoying, I tried to dig into the problem, but was unable to find a solution yet.

First of all, here is the Hardware I use:
  • CPU: Intel i5-9600K
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070
  • Mainboard: MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon
  • Monitors: 2x AOC 2590G4 (connected via Display Port)
Now here is a list of things I tried to resolve the problem.

1. GPU Drivers
I update my display drivers on a regular basis. Since I first encountered the issue, I have installed several different display drivers. This never seemed to have an impact.

2. Windows 10 reinstallation
I thought that the problem might be caused by Windows itsel. So I first tried to repair the system by searching for damaged files and then also tried a complete reinstallation of the Windows Operating System. The problem continued to exist after reinstalling Windows, so this was also not the cause.

3. Turn off screen saver
Also did not solve the problem. The PC randomly freezes no matter if the screen saver is turned on or off.

4. Turn off fast boot
Probably unrelated to the problem, but I disabled it anyway since it is known to cause many troubles.

5. Testing under which conditions the PC freezes
I thouth that the freezes might be caused by heavy computations or only when a specific software is running. However, I could not link the problem to any specific task. For example, I could observe the freezing while the PC was running heavy computations, while being completely idle, or while doing downloads in the background. Any attempt to deterministically force the freezing problem has failed so far.

6. Monitoring system temperature
Maybe overheating is the problem? I monitor and control my cooling system using a software called aquasuite, which also allows me to log temperature values. When the freezes happen, I cannot see any cooling issues (temperatures mostly stay below 40°C).

Other things worth mentionning
  • As far as I can tell, the computer runs very stable with no issue. The PC runs for many hours each day doing heavy computations all day long without ever causing problems. The freezes only happen when I try to wake up the computer after it turned off the screens.
  • Yes I know that disabling screen power saving is a valid option to solve the problem. But I really do not want my screens to be turned on all day and night when the PC is doing computations in the background.
  • Since I have a dual-monitor setupt, I use a third party software called Display Fusion Pro (ver 9.9) to manage my screens. The problem could be related to this software.
So that's anything I know about the problem. I do not know the cause of it (except that it only ever happens after the screens were turned off) so I just posted it here in this Windows 10 sub-forum.
Thanks to anyone who has an idea how to address this problem.
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Can you download and run Driverview - http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/driverview.html

All it does is looks at drivers installed; it won't install any (this is intentional as 3rd party driver updaters often get it wrong)

When you run it, go into view tab and set it to hide all Microsoft drivers, will make list shorter.

Now its up to you, you can look through the drivers and try to find old drivers, or you can take a screenshot from (and including)Driver name to (and including)Creation date.

upload it to an image sharing website and show link here

All I would do is look at driver versions (or dates if you lucky to have any) to see what might have newer versions.

What make/model ssd/hdd/nvme do you have?
 
Jan 3, 2022
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Thank you for your response.

Now its up to you, you can look through the drivers and try to find old drivers, or you can take a screenshot from (and including)Driver name to (and including)Creation date.
Here is a screenshot of DriverView, sorted by "Modified Date":

To be honest, I do not know what to look for specifically.

What make/model ssd/hdd/nvme do you have?
There are three drives in my system:
  • Gigabyte Aorus AIC (512GB, GP-ASACNE2512GTTDR) - Main SSD where the OS and all important programs are installed
  • Corsair Force MP510 (480GB, CSSD-F480GBMP510) - Secondary SSD where all the not-so-important software is located.
  • WD Black (2 TB, WD2003FZEX ) - Normal HDD for user data, workspaces, etc.
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Wonder if that frozen thing happens in safe mode, maybe tell me if it is a driver I am looking for or not. If its happening after a reinstall its likely not a driver unless you really unlucky

  1. go to settings/update & security/recovery
  2. under advanced startup, click restart now button
  3. this restarts PC in a blue menu
  4. choose troubleshoot
  5. choose advanced
  6. choose startup options
  7. click the restart button
  8. choose a safe mode (it doesn't matter which) by using number associated with it.
  9. Pc will restart and load safe mode
  • CPU: Intel i5-9600K
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070
  • Mainboard: MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon
  • Gigabyte Aorus AIC (512GB, GP-ASACNE2512GTTDR) - Main SSD where the OS and all important programs are installed
  • Corsair Force MP510 (480GB, CSSD-F480GBMP510) - Secondary SSD where all the not-so-important software is located.
  • WD Black (2 TB, WD2003FZEX ) - Normal HDD for user data, workspaces, etc.
what are other parts? PSU? anything else?

what is Nomachine USB hub?
I normally just look for older drivers.
Do you have a Blue Yeti microphone? (not suggesting its problem, I just see a driver i recognised)

I wish I had as many creation dates on my driver listing as you do. That is what makes working out driver age easier.
 
Jan 3, 2022
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Hello again

Thank you for your assistance.

Wonder if that frozen thing happens in safe mode
I will need some time to test that. I will report the results once they are available.

what are other parts? PSU? anything else?
Other components in my computer include:
  • Soundcard: ASUS Xonar Essence STX (not to be confused with ASUS Xonar Essence STX II)
  • RAM: 4x Corsair Vengeance LPX (8GB, DDR4-3000)
  • PSU: Corsair RM750x
  • Anything related to the cooling system (fans, radiators, sensors, ...)
what is Nomachine USB hub?
NoMachine is a software to remote control computers (similar to e.g. Team Viewer) that I use to log into my workplace computer. This software supports sharing of hardware (you know, USB flash drives, keyboards, etc.). So I suppose I comes with its own set of standard drivers?

Do you have a Blue Yeti microphone?
No I don't. But I had a microphone from the brand Blue in the past. More precisely, it was a Blue Snowball microphone, a plug&play USB microphone (did not require third party drivers).
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
nomachine - yes, i saw its drivers.
Blue snowball - thats the microphone I meant. windows loads drivers for it.

someone else makes Xonar cards now as well, its confusing
I doubt its AIO, you would notice.

safe mode results might tell us more. if it freezes there, its not drivers. if it doesn't freeze, it can either be drivers or just the fact safe mode doesn't stress PC as much as normal can.
 
Jan 4, 2022
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Looking into Display Fusion Pro it appears a user had the same issue which ended up being related to when the display changes. The developer recommended these steps.

However, could you try disabling the "Use transitions when changing" option in the DisplayFusion Desktop Wallpaper > Wallpaper Settings window to see if that makes any difference? If you still get the hangs occurring, could you try disabling the wallpaper altogether again, just to confirm that that is indeed related?
Try this and see if it occurs again.
 
Jan 3, 2022
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Looking into Display Fusion Pro it appears a user had the same issue which ended up being related to when the display changes. The developer recommended these steps.
Worth a try I guess. Could you cite the source of this informatio?
 
Jan 3, 2022
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Update

After 3 days of testing, I can confirm that freezes happen even after turning off the Use transitions when changing option.

About save mode:
So far I couldn't reproduce the freezing problem in save mode. I tried to reproduce my daily schedule where possible but so far "waking up" from screen-off-mode was never a problem.
However, I only could do a few tries since I cannot use my PC properly in save mode.
 
Mar 14, 2022
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I've been having this same issue for a couple of weeks now. I've bought a new TV and it's connected to my PC. It's usually switched off. When I switch off my two main screens in the evening and then turn them on again my display freezes and I have to push the reset button. For a time I needed to turn on my TV and then all displays would activate but now even that doesn't help.
I also use DisplayFusion so I think there might indeed be a bug with it.
 
Apr 24, 2022
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I can also report about this issue. I first experienced this around a year back with a Fujitsu Workstation, in which I put my GTX 1080. Reinstalling the machine made no difference, but it was not so important to me, because I used it rarely.
Last year I build a completely new PC:
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
NZXT N7 B550
32GB (2x 16GB) G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3600
850 Watt NZXT C Series C850
2x 1TB Samsung 980 Pro
EVGA RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming LHR
2x LG 27GL850-B
I first used Windows 10 on the new machine, but switched to Windows 11 in October.
I experience exactly the same behavior: Monitors turn off after 15 minutes. I reactivate the system by moving the mouse or pressing any key and the monitors turn on. Then the system is completely frozen and I have to hard reset it.
The only konstant between my old Fujitsu Workstation and my new Windows 11 machine is my Microsoft Account.
I've tried many things already, but nothing helped. Has anyone still some ideas?
 
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