Question (SOLVED) Black screen crash when playing games, possibly to do with hard drive

OswaldTheGreat

Reputable
Nov 22, 2016
5
0
4,510
0
Specs:
AMD Ryzen 5 2600
Sapphire Nitro RX 570 8GB (used)
EVGA 500W BR power supply
ASUS Prime B450M-A motherboard
Adata 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM
2TB Seagate Barracuda 3.5" HDD
Sabrent 256GB M.2 SSD

I finished building my first PC two days ago (all new parts except the graphics card) and most things work fine - it booted properly first time and I haven't had any other issues with it when normally browsing the internet, file browsing, downloading, staying on overnight etc etc. However, whenever I am gaming, usually after about 5-10 minutes (though it is fairly random) the screen goes black and the sound that was playing loops in a buzzing noise for a second or two before stopping. After this, I am unable to get any response out of the PC without manually restarting it with the power button, although the fans and lights in the case remain on with no interruptions.

This has happened multiple times over the past two days, and it seems to be always when I am playing games that are on the 2TB hard drive - I don't have many games on the SSD due to its size but the ones that I do have have never black screened like this while in the middle of playing. Indeed, I even transferred a game that was black screening after 5 minutes on the HDD to the SSD, and was able to play for 3+ hours with no crashes (and could have played for longer). I initially thought that perhaps the graphics card was faulty due to it being used, but the fact that I could play for 3+ hours with no graphical issues or black screens made me think it is to do with something else, namely the hard drive.

However, I've tried using the Seagate SeaTools diagnostic tool to detect any faults in the hard drive but it has come up with no issues on the 4 attempts I have tried it. The SSD is the boot drive of the operating system and holds programs and a few smaller games, whereas the 2TB hard drive is for mass storage of larger games and files.

What I've tried:
  1. Disabling AMD audio driver in Device Manager (based off info from a thread I found elsewhere)
  2. Uninstalling and reinstalling RX 570 drivers
  3. Changing fan profile to 'Turbo'
  4. Lifting the PC off the carpet to allow more airflow
  5. Reconnecting SATA and power cable to hard drive (while turned off)
  6. Monitoring CPU and GPU temperature for erroneous temperatures - both CPU and GPU average around 50-60 degrees while under gaming load, well within normal operating temperatures from what I have found on the internet.
Can hard drives cause this issue? Are there any other ways to determine if the HDD is faulty? What else could this be due to? Any other help regarding this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
 

OswaldTheGreat

Reputable
Nov 22, 2016
5
0
4,510
0
is it every game? try playing older game, see if the problem still occurs
I just played about half an hour on 2005 Battlefront 2 and about the same on Kerbal Space Program and had no crashes, so far it's crashed in the same way as described above on:
The Witcher 3 (on hard drive)
Ghost Recon Wildlands (crashes on hard drive but was able to play for 3+ hours on SSD)
Assassin's Creed Origins (on hard drive)

It hasn't crashed on Kerbal Space Program or 2005 Battlefront 2, even when on hard drive after about 30 minutes of play.
 

OswaldTheGreat

Reputable
Nov 22, 2016
5
0
4,510
0
After more investigation and testing, I've found that it also crashes when I plug in a second monitor - it boots to the ASUS splash screen and shows the Windows login page for a brief split second before black screen crashing as before. As well as this, if I unplug and re-plug in my monitor while the computer is on, the screen stays black.

These issues would seem to suggest that the issue is in fact with my graphics card (the only used component in my build) or possibly my power supply, although the fact that the rest of the PC stays on makes me unsure about it being the PSU.

I am planning to test swapping out the graphics card for my brother's GTX 1060 3GB to see if the symptons remain, although in the meantime I am unsure how the graphics card causing a black screen would cause sound playing at the moment of the crash to stop? I would have thought that the display would just go black but sound and input would continue, although I don't know if this is correct.

If anyone could help me understand this last point or has any other ideas, I would be very grateful.
 

OswaldTheGreat

Reputable
Nov 22, 2016
5
0
4,510
0
If anyone is interested, I believe the problem was that both my monitors were using VGA to HDMI adapters, which for reason caused the black screens when the PC was in high stress situations. The solution was just to use a native HDMI output monitor, and I haven't had any crashes since then.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY