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Random black screens and direct x errors when playing games

Hi, first time using this but I need help.

My computer is a couple years old now and I am saving to build a new one but that will take some time, the machine I am running at the moment has problems running games, most of the time the screen goes either straight to black and crashes the game but nothing else or goes grey for a moment before doing the same.

I was wondering if it might be a hardware issue and believe it might be related to smoking in the same room as the machine.

any advice people can give will be extremely appreciated and I will try to answer any questions I can.


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What is the make and model number of the PC or the make and model number of the motherboard and the GPU card if a custom build?

How much memory is installed?

Does the computer hardware meet the specifications for the games that you are trying to play? Check online for the games' "minimum system requirements" and see if the PC can handle them.

Have you checked that the GPU drivers are the latest version?


installed memory is 16gb, intel core i7-4790k 4.00GHz is CPU, the GPU is a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, if what I am reading is right the mother board is a "MAXIMUS VII IMPACT", I believe the whole computer is a custom build but I had no part in the building of it, that was another family member that I have no contact with any more.

I will say I am absolutely out of my depth when it comes to computer stuff


@Lucy Alexander

Hi Lucy,

Here's the link to the User Manual:

to help give you some more depth.


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Hi Lucy,

Check that the video drivers are up to date.

Press the Win key + x key (both together) and then click on Device Manager in the menu options box that opens.

When in Device Manager scroll down and click on the > symbol to the left of the Display Adapter entry to expand the list.

Right click on the Nvidia entry and select Update drivers and follow the prompts.

You need to be online for this to work.

Also check if you have the latest version of DirectX installed in the PC, just in case.

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Just wanted to do a full test before responding, Already been told before that missed driver updates can cause this so I made sure to check my drivers were fully up to date, also checked that link for DirectX and if I am right thats up to date aswell, so its not a driver issue or DX issue

The DirectX is at DirectX 12

The drivers are at "GeForce Game Ready Driver Version:466.11" released 14th of april


@Lucy Alexander

Try running the Windows memory test just to ensure that all the RAM is OK


Just finished running it and got a notification stating that there was no memory errors detected, so sadly it ain't that either


@Lucy Alexander

Looking at the specs for the CPU and motherboard you have the choice of using 2 GPUs.

One is integrated with the CPU (Intel) and the other the the Nvidia GPU

Here's a procedure using the Nvidia control panel to select which GPU you wish to use.

Open the Nvidia Control Panel. You can do this by right-clicking on the desktop or you can find the option within the notification area of the Taskbar.

Select Manage 3D Settings under 3D Settings.

Click on the Program Settings tab and select the program you want to choose a graphics card for from the drop down list.

Select the 'preferred graphics processor' in the drop down list (you can see what the automatic option is listed as global setting).

You want to select the CPU and not the Nvidia GPU

Select OK and then restart the PC in the normal manner and try playing a game that you know has failed before.

This is to prove whether the problem is linked to the GPU or not.



I am on the Nvidia control panel, and I selected the program I want to choose a graphics card for but there is no option to set a preferred graphics processor.

Or have I miss understood something? as I cannot find an option for the cpu on it.

is there possibly a link with images to make this easier?


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@Lucy Alexander

Hi Lucy,

Just to add another possible solution on the software/settings/driver side. Systems with both discrete and Integrated video cards will need both uninstalled.

I have had very some tricky video problems with slightly corrupted drivers or settings. Just reinstalling the drivers did not correct the corruption or settings. The only way I was able to fix it was by using DDU (Display Driver Unistaller) to completely remove all traces:

After doing that I also run programs like Ccleaner anhd Adavanced System Care to mop up any other bits and pieces. A full anti-malware scan wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

When you reboot you will or should get the default, generic Windows driver install. Update with the latest Nvidia one

Hope this helps.

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Lucy Alexander sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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