Question PC Keeps flickering black or force restarting?

WIPGamer

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So, my PC has been having this issue for a while now. Whenever an application is fullscreen (it can be a full on game or anything simple, like a youtube video being fullscreen or a zoom class) the screen either sorta flickers black until it eventually stabilizes again, or it just completely force restarts the PC.

I've assumed my GPU conked out but I'm really annoyed about it since I can't play any competitive games without risking a full crash mid round, and even watching youtube vids is basically impossible.
So, now that ive finally identified WHEN its happening... how do I fix it???
I can't find anything that works online, changing full screen optimization, making games windowed fullscreen, updating drivers, clean installing drivers, ETC.

My PC has 16 gigs of ram, a 5700xt and a ryzen 3600. IDK the other specs off the top of my head but I'm sure I could find them if anyone needs it.


Edit:
Ryzen 5 3600
Asrock X570 Pro4 ATX AM4
G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16
Intel 660p 1.02 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
Gigabyte GAMING OC Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB Video Card
Cooler Master MasterBox MB511 RGB ATX Mid Tower Case
EVGA 600 GD 600 W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply
Acer VG271 Pbmiipx 27.0" 1920 x 1080 144 Hz Monitor
Windows 10
I bought all the parts at the same time, so the PSU is like 3 years old? Can't quite remember TBH


Please give me any ideas to fix my PC, I really don't want to have to waste money on a GPU or smth when mine should be good enough to play what i want to play.
 
Last edited:

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
When posting a thread of troubleshooting nature, it's customary to include your full system's specs. Please list them like so:
CPU:
Motherboard:
Ram:
SSD/HDD:
GPU:
PSU:
Chassis:
OS:
Monitor:
include the age of the PSU apart from it's make and model.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
PSU: is that the original PSU in the build? History of heavy gaming use - correct?

Disk drive(s): make, model, capacity, how full?

There is a lot that you can do.

First
: look in Reliability History and Event Viewer for error codes, warnings, or even informational events just before or at the time of any observed problems.

If you see increasing numbers of errors and varying errors in Reliability History and Event Viewer that, to me, is an indication of a faltering PSU.

Second: use Task Manager, Resource Monitor, and Process Explorer (Microsoft, free) to observe system performance. The objective being to determine what system resources are being used, to what extent (%), and what is using any given resource. Use all three tools but only one tool at a time. Observe before gaming and then again while gaming.

FYI - Process Explorer:

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

Third:

Run the built in Windows troubleshooters. The troubleshooters may find and fix something.

Also run "sfc /scannow" and "dism"

References:

https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-use-sfc-scannow-to-repair-windows-system-files-2626161

How to use DISM command tool to repair Windows 10 image | Windows Central

Fourth:

Power down, unplug, open the case.

Clean out dust and debris.

Verify by sight and feel that all cards, connectors, RAM, jumpers, and case connections are fully and firmly in place.

Use a bright flashlight to inspect for signs of damage; bare conductor showing, melting, browned or blackened areas, swollen components, missing or loose screws, pinched or kinked wires, cracked/chipped fan blades, etc.. (No harm in installing a fresh CMOS battery at the same time.)

Overall, the PSU is a likely suspect. May be nearing or at its' designed in EOL (End of Life) and starting to falter and fail at times of peak demand.
 

WIPGamer

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PSU: is that the original PSU in the build? History of heavy gaming use - correct?

Disk drive(s): make, model, capacity, how full?

There is a lot that you can do.

First
: look in Reliability History and Event Viewer for error codes, warnings, or even informational events just before or at the time of any observed problems.

If you see increasing numbers of errors and varying errors in Reliability History and Event Viewer that, to me, is an indication of a faltering PSU.

Second: use Task Manager, Resource Monitor, and Process Explorer (Microsoft, free) to observe system performance. The objective being to determine what system resources are being used, to what extent (%), and what is using any given resource. Use all three tools but only one tool at a time. Observe before gaming and then again while gaming.

FYI - Process Explorer:

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

Third:

Run the built in Windows troubleshooters. The troubleshooters may find and fix something.

Also run "sfc /scannow" and "dism"

References:

https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-use-sfc-scannow-to-repair-windows-system-files-2626161

How to use DISM command tool to repair Windows 10 image | Windows Central

Fourth:

Power down, unplug, open the case.

Clean out dust and debris.

Verify by sight and feel that all cards, connectors, RAM, jumpers, and case connections are fully and firmly in place.

Use a bright flashlight to inspect for signs of damage; bare conductor showing, melting, browned or blackened areas, swollen components, missing or loose screws, pinched or kinked wires, cracked/chipped fan blades, etc.. (No harm in installing a fresh CMOS battery at the same time.)

Overall, the PSU is a likely suspect. May be nearing or at its' designed in EOL (End of Life) and starting to falter and fail at times of peak demand.
It is the original PSU, and yes it does have pretty heavy use over time.
For disk drive do you mean the SSD? I posted the model earlier and it is nearly full atm but I was planning on uninstalling things soon. (Though I don't remember it helping anything in my system last time around)

For the reliability history I'm just gonna send an image of what I see View: https://imgur.com/a/3TE8tcc


Quick question on monitoring my PC... when I alt tab out of the game the monitor (usually task manager) shows all the statistics or whatever going down... Idk if I'm being dumb here but is there a way to track the system during the actual gaming and look at the results after, even if the force restarts?

This isn't the first time I've run SFC scan, and it seems to have fixed issues with the PC again, tho it didn't do anything last time to fix my blackscreens and crashes. I'm not sure what to do with DISM if I'm honest, it just gives me a list of options in CMD (the link doesn't work, the one you put as a reference)

Windows troubleshooters have not fixed anything (well they said they did, but to unrelated areas of the PC, and the PC keeps crashing anyway)

I've already cleaned out my PC recently and It hasn't changed anything, but I could probably do it again and really take a look at all the parts to see if anything is damaged. I'll try that option whenever I have time.

After all of these slight changes nothing seems to have changed, but I'll update this if there are any reductions in the crashes or anything else.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Drive being that 1.02 TB M.2 - Correct? How full is the drive? 70-80% full is the limit I use.

I would uninstall apps and delete old files and data sooner rather than later. Just be very sure that all important data is backed up at least 2 x to locations away from/off of the current problem PC. Verify that backups are recoverable and readable.

Are the improper shutdowns the result of you needing power down in order to restart the build? Improper shutdowns do not allow Windows time to properly "houseclean" itself in preparation for the next boot. Reliability History is showing more errors during the last 3-4 days of the timeline. Take a look at those errors.

DISM:

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-use-dism-command-line-utility-repair-windows-10-image
 

WIPGamer

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Drive being that 1.02 TB M.2 - Correct? How full is the drive? 70-80% full is the limit I use.

I would uninstall apps and delete old files and data sooner rather than later. Just be very sure that all important data is backed up at least 2 x to locations away from/off of the current problem PC. Verify that backups are recoverable and readable.

Are the improper shutdowns the result of you needing power down in order to restart the build? Improper shutdowns do not allow Windows time to properly "houseclean" itself in preparation for the next boot. Reliability History is showing more errors during the last 3-4 days of the timeline. Take a look at those errors.

DISM:

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-use-dism-command-line-utility-repair-windows-10-image
It was over 80%, now its sitting at around 68%.

When I look at the errors it just tells me "The previous system shutdown at 1:02:34 AM on ‎12/‎4/‎2022 was unexpected."

The shutdowns just happen automatically. I will make an application fullscreen, usually a game, and then it'll force restart the pc in an instant before I can do anything about it. I don't know if shutting down the PC manually and turning it on helps with the housecleaning, but I do do that occasionally when the crashes start. It never helps.

DISM commands just tell me the PC does not have any corruption found, Not sure if I'm doing them wrong.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
This:

"I will make an application fullscreen, usually a game, and then it'll force restart the pc in an instant "

What specific games or apps? Are there any games or apps that do not cause restarts?

Are there any problems if the game/app is not full screen?

The correct way to shutdown is to use the Windows Power icon. Doing so allows Windows to do a number of administrative chores necessary for the next start up. If that process is interrupted by a physical loss of power then problems can and do result. File corruption for the most part....

Sometimes when BSODs and other problems occur there is no choice other than to physically "pull the plug". Continually doing so will make things worse.

Take a look in Task Manager and Task Scheduler.

In Task Manager look for any unknown or unexpected apps, tools, utilities etc. being launched at start up.

In Task Scheduler look for any processes that may be triggered when any given game or app (especially problem games or apps) are opened.

All in all going full screen is likely causing some immediate peak in power demand and the system, and the PSU in particular, is unable to keep up.

Use some of the power calculators in the following link to determine the power requirements for your build. Do your own manual tally as well. If any given device has a range of wattage values use the high end value.

Best Power Supplies of 2022 - Top PSUs for Gaming PCs | Tom's Hardware (tomshardware.com)

The current PSU may seem capable but due to age and heavy use may be starting to falter and fail at times of peak power demands. PSUs, like many other products, have a build in EOL (End of Life). The PSU may be nearing or at that threshold.
 

WIPGamer

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Mar 25, 2015
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This:

"I will make an application fullscreen, usually a game, and then it'll force restart the pc in an instant "

What specific games or apps? Are there any games or apps that do not cause restarts?

Are there any problems if the game/app is not full screen?

The correct way to shutdown is to use the Windows Power icon. Doing so allows Windows to do a number of administrative chores necessary for the next start up. If that process is interrupted by a physical loss of power then problems can and do result. File corruption for the most part....

Sometimes when BSODs and other problems occur there is no choice other than to physically "pull the plug". Continually doing so will make things worse.

Take a look in Task Manager and Task Scheduler.

In Task Manager look for any unknown or unexpected apps, tools, utilities etc. being launched at start up.

In Task Scheduler look for any processes that may be triggered when any given game or app (especially problem games or apps) are opened.

All in all going full screen is likely causing some immediate peak in power demand and the system, and the PSU in particular, is unable to keep up.

Use some of the power calculators in the following link to determine the power requirements for your build. Do your own manual tally as well. If any given device has a range of wattage values use the high end value.

Best Power Supplies of 2022 - Top PSUs for Gaming PCs | Tom's Hardware (tomshardware.com)

The current PSU may seem capable but due to age and heavy use may be starting to falter and fail at times of peak power demands. PSUs, like many other products, have a build in EOL (End of Life). The PSU may be nearing or at that threshold.
So, different applications will have one of two problems. Certain games such as Valorant, Apex, Little Misfortunes, FNAF: Security Breach, FNAF 4 will force hard restarts. However, some fullscreen applications like Zoom in fullscreen, YouTube in browser, The binding of Isaac, CS:GO, Slime Rancher, Photoshop, Enter the Gungeon, will just cause the screen to flicker black for a bit.
Generally, Windowed applications do not have this issue. Any of these games run in windowed do not seem to have the same issue, but I haven't tested them all thoroughly.

I get what you mean by the whole shutting off problem, Ill try to make sure to shut it off manually often, but the random shut downs aren't something I can control unless I just don't play games on it. Which sucks but I guess If the problem persists like it has I might have to take a break until I try out new solutions.

I turned off some random applications on startup, since they were either not being used or seemed a bit suspicious. Still trying to use task scheduler.

Thanks for all the help so far, so if I were to get a new PSU and it doesn't help my problem will I be able to return it or is it wasted money at that point?
(The link says there's a typo in it BTW)
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Try this link:

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-psus,4229.html

Compare the required specs for games that force hard restarts to the required specs for those games that cause flickering.

Games with sudden high power demands may be more than the PSU can handle. Flickering may be the games that are less demanding.

However, that all could vary with the specific game play that is taking place.

If anything try to borrow a PSU from a family member or friend. Remember (if and as applicable) - do not use any modular cables from other PSUs.

Use only the cables that come with the PSU.
 

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