Random GPU Black Screen After Upgrade

Upgrading the GPU can help enhance the system’s power and performance but may also lead to issues like random black screens. This article discusses the possible steps to resolve the problem of GPU Black Screen after Windows Upgrade.

Fix: Random GPU Black Screen After Upgrade

Hardware problems or driver issues are known to cause this error. Hence, checking the GPU drivers and the related hardware devices can help us in resolving the error as pointed out below:

  1. Upgrade the HDMI or DP Cable
  2. Uninstall and reinstall GPU drivers
  3. Disable Freesync
  4. Reseat GPU and Underclocking

1] Upgrade the HDMI or DP Cable

DP or Display Port cables are generally used to connect a computer or other devices to a display device, like a monitor. They are specifically designed to transport audio and video signals. These cables are generally used in systems that can support video resolutions of up to 8K, HDR content, and higher refresh rates, and have a unique connector consisting of 20 or more pins. Older versions of HDMI or DP cables may not support higher refresh rates or resolutions supplied by the GPU as its output, leading to frequent blackouts on the display device.

While facing random black screens after upgrading the GPU, migrating to DP 1.1 from 1.2 can help resolve the problem. The advanced features and higher bandwidth of DP 1,2 may cause compatibility issues with the monitor or the video cables, causing the error. Also, a higher data rate of 1.2 can affect signal integrity. Hence, switching over to the older version might help avoid the problem.

2] Reinstall GPU driver

Improper configurations in the GPU drivers or possible software conflicts can also cause random black screens after upgrading the GPU. Hence, uninstalling the driver and reinstalling it can help resolve such conflicts. Uninstalling the drivers through the Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) tool can help remove the drivers thoroughly and any associated files or registry entries. To do so:

  • Download the latest Display Driver Uninstaller application version and extract the compressed files.
  • Reboot the Windows in Safe Mode and navigate to the folder where the above files have been extracted.
  • Double-click on the uninstaller file to open the DDU interface and click on Close in the options window.
  • Select the device and the device type, and then click on Clean and Restart or Clean and Shutdown.
  • Allow the application to complete the uninstallation process and restart Windows normally.
  • Once the uninstallation is complete, visit the GPU manufacturer’s website and download the relevant GPU driver before installing it.

ddu uninstall

3] Disable Freesync

Refresh rate for a monitor refers to the number of times the image on the screen updates or refreshes every second. For example, a 90 Hz refresh rate would mean that the screen refreshes 90 times per second. Frame rate, on the other hand, refers to the number of images or frames the GPU can produce per second. Measured in frames per second (fps), an fps of 30 would mean that 30 images or frames can be generated every second.

Freesync, developed by AMD, is a technology that helps synchronize the GPU’s frame rate with the display device’s refresh rate. It automatically adjusts the monitor’s refresh rate to match the GPU’s frame rate to ensure that each frame is displayed on the screen as soon as it is generated.

However, compatibility issues between new GPUs and older monitors may arise, leading to the loss of the above-mentioned synchronization, which can lead to the problem. In such cases, the below-mentioned steps can be followed to disable Freesync:

  • Open the GPU application and click on the Display Tab
  • Toggle the button beside Freesync under Display Options to disable it.

Random GPU Black Screen After Upgrade

Note: The option and its location may vary based on the make and model of the application.

4] Re-seat GPU and Underclock

Reseating the GPU can help ensure a proper connection between the device and the motherboard if it is loosely fitted. It also helps firmly re-establish the contact points, avoiding any minor electrical issue responsible for the above-mentioned error. To re-seat the device:

  • Remove the GPU from its slot in the motherboard and remove any dust that might have accumulated on the GPU or its slot.
  • Once done, place the GPU back again in the same slot.

Lowering the clock speed of the GPU can help reduce the power consumption and heat generation, which might be responsible for its instability or extra stress on the GPU, leading to the concerned error. To underlock the GPU:

  • Download and install reliable third-party underclocking software.
  • Open the application after installation and the Core Clock ( or similar) option.
  • Reduce the value from the one that is currently set to underclock.

Random GPU Black Screen After Upgrade

Identifying the actual cause and executing the above-mentioned steps can help resolve the issue effectively. However, caution should be exercised while changing the device settings to avoid undesired problems.

Sandip Basu
Sandip has worked as an IT solutions consultant for the last 15 years and specializes in troubleshooting software and hardware.


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