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View Full Version : Why does my laptop "blackout" when playing most games?



TheJimmyRustler
05-04-2014, 06:47 AM
Title says it all. I've got a Novatech nSpire 2760. Specs and schit

Windows 7
Intel i7 2760 Mobile Processor
8GB DDR3 Memory
500GB Hybrid SSD Hard Driv
NVIDIA GT 555M Graphics
(not an inherent spec but) runs with a cooler master, meaning it's on a raised platform which allows the vents to "breathe" rather than overheat on a flat surface and also has fans blowing cool air into the laptop


Had it for 3 years, and games it was running even a year ago it now just can't handle and completely tanks out on them. Games that once worked fine but no longer do include

- Call of Duty 2
- Empire Total War
- Ruse
- Rome Total War 2 (but that's schit so I don't want to play it anyway)
- Red Orchestra 2

There are times where I've bought a game on Steam only to try and play it and the screen "blacks outs." That's literally all that happens, the screen will just go, and stay black. Sometimes I can hear the "Nvidia" advert or whatever playing in the background, intro movies and sometimes even the main menu sounds, but regardless the screen just goes black.

I've run AVG tuneup and it says there's nothing wrong or that needs fixing, I've got the latest Nvidia driver but still no luck. My brother recommends formatting it altogether and seeing if that will work but I'm just wondering if you guys have any idea what this is about and whether it's something that can be fixed or not. Thanks.

PS - I'm aware that laptops are schit for gaming but I bought it mainly for uni and wanted it to play games too. It used to work pretty well, but these days it just keeps pulling this schit.

tdnick
05-04-2014, 06:50 AM
Probably have dust inside which is causing it to overheat

TheJimmyRustler
05-04-2014, 06:53 AM
Probably have dust inside which is causing it to overheat

Forgot to mention that I've got a cooler master - laptop is on a raised "platform" with holes in it and fans underneath which blow cold air up into it. Wouldn't that negate the overheating issue?

tdnick
05-04-2014, 07:10 AM
Forgot to mention that I've got a cooler master - laptop is on a raised "platform" with holes in it and fans underneath which blow cold air up into it. Wouldn't that negate the overheating issue?

Not if there's a chit ton of dust

TheJimmyRustler
05-04-2014, 07:43 AM
Not if there's a chit ton of dust

Fair enough. After 3 years it's probably like a museum in there, and it sounds like a plane engine when trying to play even basic stuff so it probably needs a clean-out. Thanks for the shout.

EDIT: turns out there really wasn't much dust, and whilst it sounds quieter when running still the exact same problem. I guess I'll just take my brother's advice and see what formatting does for it.

seanb1979
05-04-2014, 11:37 AM
You might need to take off the cooling assembly and re-apply thermal compound.. i really like the noctua paste that you can get on newegg and amazon... ive done a side by side with traditional arctic silver and it was lower by around 5c.

http://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NT-H1-Thermal-Compound-Retail/dp/B002CQU14A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399228552&sr=8-1&keywords=noctua+thermal+paste

your fan also might be running at lower efficiency than it did before... id recommend trying a benchmark software like sisoft sandra or pcmark and see how hot you get... open hardware monitor or GPUz both monitor temps well

TheJimmyRustler
05-04-2014, 12:11 PM
You might need to take off the cooling assembly and re-apply thermal compound.. i really like the noctua paste that you can get on newegg and amazon... ive done a side by side with traditional arctic silver and it was lower by around 5c.

http://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NT-H1-Thermal-Compound-Retail/dp/B002CQU14A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399228552&sr=8-1&keywords=noctua+thermal+paste

your fan also might be running at lower efficiency than it did before... id recommend trying a benchmark software like sisoft sandra or pcmark and see how hot you get... open hardware monitor or GPUz both monitor temps well

Thanks, man. I'll try sisoft and see how it goes.

Part of me feels that it may just be worth leaving my gaming to PCs instead of this laptop though. I'm thinking of reformatting it but then I've done that at least 2 or 3 times over the years and I remember that my most recent reformat had a lot of problems that meant my laptop was out of commission for a few days while I got my bro to help me work around it.

In short I really feel that this thing's gaming days are mostly over. Tried playing another old game and it just blacked out again...useless POS right here.

vvvaaa
05-04-2014, 12:35 PM
Forgot to mention that I've got a cooler master - laptop is on a raised "platform" with holes in it and fans underneath which blow cold air up into it. Wouldn't that negate the overheating issue?No. Inside your laptop are a few radiators with very thin, very close together blades. Dust gets sutck in there and your laptop can't get rid of the heat anymore. Open it, clean the dust, replace the thermal paste on processor and whatever else and then close it again. I did it last week and my laptop went from being slow and making a lot of noise to not making any noise at all.

jinda628
05-04-2014, 01:26 PM
OP have you checked your CPU and GPU temps while playing?
The desk fan doesnt mean anything if your temps are unknown.

Also you said you sometimes hear the ingame sound but there's only black screen? When was the last time you update your GPU driver? Try if you havent.

KRANE
05-04-2014, 01:35 PM
OP have you checked your CPU and GPU temps while playing?This should be the first thing you do. Your computer maintains a diagnostic as well as programs created to do this. You need to go in and check your system and find out if your temperatures are above normal and/or you've approached thermal shutdown.

dzj
05-04-2014, 02:44 PM
Before a full reformat try using this program to remove the current drive and apply the latest

*****://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/550192/geforce-drivers/display-driver-uninstaller-ddu-v12-7-1-released-04-26-14-/

GloboRick
05-04-2014, 03:43 PM
Try updating your graphics driver, I don't know why people are suggesting cooling fans, etc... BUT if that is your issue then download some temp recording software to monitor your comps temps.
I will edit this with the proper procedure in a sec...
Try adjusting your gpu and clocking down settings.

TheJimmyRustler
05-05-2014, 10:55 AM
I opened my laptop and cleaned some dust out yesterday, there wasn't much at all but then it could all be relative to the size of a laptop. Anyways that didn't make a difference to the blackout problem, although it is running a tiny bit quieter. I might have another shot at opening it up again and see if there are any removable parts I missed that could be harboring dust, basically do a more thorough job.

Graphics driver's up to date too. As for temp, I've got "Open Hardware Monitor" and the numbers all look pretty high - the max for the CPU cores is 71 degrees C for 3 of them and 72 D.C for another. Max for GPU core is 63 D.C, although I don't know how/if these numbers change with a game playing in the background, I'll try that out in a while. (I'm guessing the max numbers relate to max overtime, ie when games have been played, but the CPU cores were at 69 D.C. with just chrome open so I'm not too sure about that)

jinda628
05-05-2014, 11:59 AM
I opened my laptop and cleaned some dust out yesterday, there wasn't much at all but then it could all be relative to the size of a laptop. Anyways that didn't make a difference to the blackout problem, although it is running a tiny bit quieter. I might have another shot at opening it up again and see if there are any removable parts I missed that could be harboring dust, basically do a more thorough job.

Graphics driver's up to date too. As for temp, I've got "Open Hardware Monitor" and the numbers all look pretty high - the max for the CPU cores is 71 degrees C for 3 of them and 72 D.C for another. Max for GPU core is 63 D.C, although I don't know how/if these numbers change with a game playing in the background, I'll try that out in a while. (I'm guessing the max numbers relate to max overtime, ie when games have been played, but the CPU cores were at 69 D.C. with just chrome open so I'm not too sure about that)

If that is the max recorded temp while playing then its not too high for a laptop. Sometimes, even the updated driver doesn't solve the problem if it wasn't installed clean. Try to delete your GPU driver and run any driver cleaner like CCleaner, etc. Once everything is cleaned, install the latest driver again.

Also have you tried connecting an external monitor? I asked because I had the same problem on an old laptop before. I can hear the background music but screen is all black. I tried an external monitor and game loaded.

TheJimmyRustler
05-05-2014, 12:18 PM
If that is the max recorded temp while playing then its not too high for a laptop. Sometimes, even the updated driver doesn't solve the problem if it wasn't installed clean. Try to delete your GPU driver and run any driver cleaner like CCleaner, etc. Once everything is cleaned, install the latest driver again.

Also have you tried connecting an external monitor? I asked because I had the same problem on an old laptop before. I can hear the background music but screen is all black. I tried an external monitor and game loaded.

I just loaded up the most modern game that I know works (Civ 5) and it loaded horrendously slow, but when I checked the CPU temperature whilst it was running it was actually a little lower than it was earlier (fan wasn't plugged in or anything)

I'll follow yours and dzj's advice by uninstalling and then reinstalling the graphic driver, see how that goes.

As for an external monitor, I suppose I could try connecting my laptop to my TV through an HDMI cable and load up one of the blackout games then (I'm guessing that it's fine to do it on the TV rather than a PC monitor? I plug it into the TV all the time to watch shows on a big screen so it's just more convenient, and I'm assuming the whole thing to test is whether the problem is with the laptop monitor rather than a PC monitor "curing it" or something).

jinda628
05-05-2014, 12:32 PM
and I'm assuming the whole thing to test is whether the problem is with the laptop monitor rather than a PC monitor "curing it" or something).

I did this before out of curiosity only and found out it loads well on the external. Usually its driver related if that happens. I have the same problem right now on my laptop, I can play all games except GW2. I can see the cursor and hear the music but screen is black when I load it. But this one is related to SLI/Nvidia driver having problem with GW2 after they patched it last year. Never bothered to solve the problem though as I dont really play it anymore.

Just remember to try to clean your drivers before re-installing the new one. Also, if you can find a way to disable your onboard GPU, try it. I have a feeling that your system is switching to the iGPU mid-game or upon loading rather than running the game on dedicated one. Thus, low framerate.

TheJimmyRustler
05-05-2014, 01:14 PM
I did this before out of curiosity only and found out it loads well on the external. Usually its driver related if that happens. I have the same problem right now on my laptop, I can play all games except GW2. I can see the cursor and hear the music but screen is black when I load it. But this one is related to SLI/Nvidia driver having problem with GW2 after they patched it last year. Never bothered to solve the problem though as I dont really play it anymore.

Just remember to try to clean your drivers before re-installing the new one. Also, if you can find a way to disable your onboard GPU, try it. I have a feeling that your system is switching to the iGPU mid-game or upon loading rather than running the game on dedicated one. Thus, low framerate.

RE the onboard GPU I don't think I think I may have disabled it by going into the control panel/hardware etc and disabling it there, and I've also got the NVidia control panel set so that everything runs through my Nvidia card and not the integrated Intel one, so I'm pretty sure that that's sorted.

But as for the driver issue, is there any particular method of removing/cleaning/reinstalling that you'd suggest, or is there no way to screw things up and get it wrong?

jinda628
05-05-2014, 01:24 PM
RE the onboard GPU I don't think I think I may have disabled it by going into the control panel/hardware etc and disabling it there, and I've also got the NVidia control panel set so that everything runs through my Nvidia card and not the integrated Intel one, so I'm pretty sure that that's sorted.

But as for the driver issue, is there any particular method of removing/cleaning/reinstalling that you'd suggest, or is there no way to screw things up and get it wrong?

There are some instance that the system overrides that especially when there is power supply issue even if its assigned in the Nvidia CP. I can disable my iGPU from bios but I'm not sure if its always like that on other laptops by default.

Just uninstall from the control panel then run CCleaner. Just follow the prompts until its clean.

Kalmah6661
05-05-2014, 01:33 PM
Sounds like you just need to update your display drivers. Not sure why people are telling you to reapply thermal paste lol.

TheJimmyRustler
05-06-2014, 06:05 AM
Uninstalling driver, CC cleaning and then reinstalling the drivers achieved nada. Connecting the laptop via HDMI to a tv and playing a blackout screen had nothing come up and, to top it off, there's now a slight rattling sound coming from inside it sometimes if I flip it over or move it about (as I did when taking it through to another room and just now opening it up to try and see if anything was obviously out of place)

Gonna just format it and see how that changes things. If that doesn't solve things then I think that after 3 years this laptop has just run its course and is nearly at the pearly (electronic?) gates. Thanks for the responses!

jinda628
05-06-2014, 07:51 AM
Uninstalling driver, CC cleaning and then reinstalling the drivers achieved nada. Connecting the laptop via HDMI to a tv and playing a blackout screen had nothing come up and, to top it off, there's now a slight rattling sound coming from inside it sometimes if I flip it over or move it about (as I did when taking it through to another room and just now opening it up to try and see if anything was obviously out of place)

Gonna just format it and see how that changes things. If that doesn't solve things then I think that after 3 years this laptop has just run its course and is nearly at the pearly (electronic?) gates. Thanks for the responses!

Well we tried by eliminating the possible causes hoping to prevent you from reformatting but I guess thats the last thing you can try. Hopefully you get it sorted out.

KRANE
05-06-2014, 01:56 PM
Uninstalling driver, CC cleaning and then reinstalling the drivers achieved nada. Connecting the laptop via HDMI to a tv and playing a blackout screen had nothing come up and, to top it off, there's now a slight rattling sound coming from inside it sometimes if I flip it over or move it about (as I did when taking it through to another room and just now opening it up to try and see if anything was obviously out of place)

Gonna just format it and see how that changes things. If that doesn't solve things then I think that after 3 years this laptop has just run its course and is nearly at the pearly (electronic?) gates. Thanks for the responses!A lose or worn connection is not out of the question. If you could open it up and check it for yourself. Has it been dropped recently?

TheJimmyRustler
05-08-2014, 09:50 AM
A lose or worn connection is not out of the question. If you could open it up and check it for yourself. Has it been dropped recently?

It was dropped a while ago (laptop bag strap broke, hit the floor) but I think I may have been having the blackout issue beforehand. It happened quite a while ago, though, I honestly can't remember whether it pre-dated my problems or not.