Screen Dies and Audio Stops

Hi everyone,

I've been having problems with my computer. The monitor screen will randomly go black (a small grey window appears in the top-right corner as it tries switching between Analog mode and Digital mode, but the rest of the screen is completely black) and the sound from my speakers will completely cut out.

When it happens, the computer won't respond to any keyboard or mouse commands, so I have no choice but to manually hold down the power button to shut it off, wait a few minutes, and restart it.

It seems to happen randomly, regardless of what I'm doing. Sometimes it happens after an hour, while I'm in the middle of playing a game or browsing the internet, sometimes it happens within 5 minutes of turning on the PC, while the system is idle. It started a month ago, and the attacks have occurred more frequently as time goes on. Now, it seems to happen within twenty minutes of start up, whereas before I could go an entire day without it happening.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

My specifications are as follows:
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 (3.4 GHz)
Motherboard: ASUS M4A88T-M
Graphics Card: ASUS AMD Radeon HD 6850 (EAH6850 DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Green 3 TB (WD30EZRX)
RAM: Kingston 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (KHX1600C9D3P1K2/8G)
Power Supply: Antec 520W Neo Eco 520C

I also have a wireless network card, and a CD/DVD drive, but I don't know their details. If it's important and anyone requests, I can find out.

All the components were bought new in February 2011, except for the hard drive and the RAM. Those are brand new, bought two days ago. (I purchased them to stop some Blue Screens of Death that also started occurring a month ago, caused by "faulty memory/hardware failure". The BSODs have stopped since I replaced the hard drive and the RAM, but the random video/audio loss hasn't stopped.)


Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
My guess is your PSU is either struggling to keep up, or may be faulty. It happens, even with the better brands, like Antec. Note according to the specs for your graphics card, it recommends a minimum of 500W. So that 520W is cutting it pretty close. So I would swap in a known good PSU - perhaps one with a little more head room (~650W) and see if it holds.

If not the PSU, then you may be looking at the motherboard. Your's appears to have a 3 year warranty so that is good - though swapping out the motherboard is a bit of a chore. I would ensure, if you can, you have a good backup of any data you do not want to lose. :(

Note these symptoms are often seen with heat issues. Usually heat problems don't surface in the first few minutes of powering on - unless the interior (or CPU cooler) is covered in a blanket of heat trapping dust. So you need to ensure the interior is clean, and all the fans are spinning properly.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.