Solved PC crashes related to display drivers

August 19, 2011 at 09:36:13
Specs: Windows XP, Intel 1.8 dual core

So my PC has been crashing lately, both on XP and Win 7.

ASUS A8V-SE w/ Opteron 180 (socket 939)
2G DDR Ram
Primary HD 80G Serial
Secondary 200G SATA
Win XP > Win 7 > Win XP
Sapphire 1956x > Nvidia 550 Ti
Creative Soundblaster 5.1

Here's the story.

Had an ATI 1950x, upgraded from XP to Win 7 and started to get video freezes and display driver crashes.

Decided to upgrade video card to Nvidia 550 Ti. Needed a new power supply so got one as well with the required Wattage.

New set up had the same problem. Upgraded all drivers. Same problem. Got message "The XXX display driver has failed but has restarted"

Eventually this degraded to full PC crashing (screen goes black, computer turns off completely). It is usually triggered by Facebook games /YouTube or less frequently when watching movies

I reverted to Windows XP but I still get the crashes both of the driver and the PC itself, though the PC crashes are more frequent so something seems to be deteriorating...

My thoughts are either A) Motherboard is dying or B) Primary Hard Drive dying.

Any others suggestions or thought?

Thanks in advance!

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August 19, 2011 at 16:20:29
✔ Best Answer
Possibly hard drive but more likely your memory is bad and getting worse. Run Memtest86 to verify this (download ISO image and burn bootable CD, insert and restart - you may need to reset boot order though). Memtest only runs off the CD and a little bit in the memory so hard drive issues will not effect the results. If you get any errors then repeat with one stick of memory at a time to find bad stick. NO errors are not acceptable. If you get a freeze or crash then repeat with each stick separately. A freeze or crash probably means a really bad stick, but could be other issues unless you can get one of your sticks to work in either of the slots. If memory is completely clean through all tests then suspect your hard drive. Use hard drive mfg's utility to test hard drive.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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