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Graphics Cards

Journeyman III

Is my GPU dead or is it a driver/compatibility issue with Windows 10?

I built my system about 5 years ago. It was only a mid-range build even back then, but it still worked fine for every game I wanted to play until this past Thursday. When I booted it up, it went to a black screen instead of the Windows login screen.

After days of troubleshooting I've finally identified that the issue has something to do with my graphics card. When I boot in safe mode, disable the card, and reboot, Windows loads normally and I can use the computer. However, every attempt I've made to get the GPU up and running again, from completely uninstalling and reinstalling the device and drivers to trying multiple older versions of the drivers (in case the newest ones had a compatibility issue with the latest Windows updates) has resulted in the black screen of death every time the card is enabled.

This obviously sucks because I can't play any games with the basic Windows display driver. I was hoping someone here may have some insight into the problem or similar ones. The card is an MSI Radeon R7 370 4G. I tracked down several forum posts online regarding this issue, but they're all at least a year old and none managed to come up with a working fix.

All I can think is that the card itself is shot, or that since it's an old card, the latest round of updates cause "planned obselescence" to force people into upgrading. I'm rather pissed about it, since it worked just fine for every game I want to play and I have no need for anything more powerful. I definitely don't have the money to build a whole new system, and I'm now worried that even if I replace the GPU, it'll have the same problem even fresh from the box (if I can even get one that's compatible).

I would try to install the card in another machine, but I don't have another machine. Is there a way to see if my card is dead that doesn't involve installing it in a different PC?

Any words of wisdom or experience on this matter will be greatly appreciated!

3 Replies

I doubt that your problem is or was planned obsolescence. I have a Powercolor R9 380 that is at least five years old and the latest batch of drivers having it working fine. That particular PC has been relegated to a simple role of being a Kodi media PC. I plan to get a few more years out of it. The point is, I doubt the driver has caused this.

Let's go over a few simple things to check. First, try reseating the GPU. It is possible that there is some grime in the PCI slot. Also, if that GPU has a dedicated power cable then try reseating both ends of it. Second, if you have a spare display, try connecting the PC to the spare. Even a TV will work. It is possible your display has gone bad and once it hits high resolution the display will just go black.

Thinking further, download DDU  (Display Driver Uninstall), bring the PC up in safe mode, and completely uninstall. Then restart and install a recent driver. DDU removes all traces of old drivers. A five year old system is likely to have some "stuff" remaining from older drivers. And while the PC is fresh from DDU and before you install the driver, check in Settings -> Display and see if you can do anything with the screen resolution.

You really just need to figure out what is failing. Try your video card in another computer if you can. Likely a friend, co-worker, neighbor or family member has a computer and will be glad to help. If not you and you have a retail computer store with a return policy you can return the card you buy if need be, any new card will be compatible assuming it meets the power requirements your system can deliver. Any entry level card today will be more powerful than what you have. Your card requires a 500 watt power supply so if you don't know what size supply you have look for a replacement that will work on 500 watt power supply. Likely since you built your system you can open it and see what your PSU is, if you don't know. Just know that depending on what CPU you have you can become CPU bottle necked pretty quickly. But likely a new low end card would do nicely for you. Unfortunately you didn't give any specs for your system as needed to even ask a question and someone to be able to offer much help. The next suspect would be if that card works in another machine or you buy another card to test with and it doesn't work, you now have a bad power supply. 

If you none of this helps, reply back with all your system specs and we can try and help more:

When posting a new question, please provide as much detail as possible describing your issue making sure to include the relevant hardware and software configuration. 
For example:

  • Issue Description: [Describe your issue in detail here]
  • Hardware: [Describe the make and model of your: Graphics Card, CPU, Motherboard, RAM, PSU, Display(s), etc.]
  • Software: [Describe version or release date of your: Operating System, Game/Application, Drivers, etc.]

Here is AMD latest driver for your R7 370 GPU Card: 

Here is AMD Previous drivers for the same GPU Card: 

The best method to see if your GPU card is defective is by installing it on another compatible computer and see if the same issue occurs. But since you don't have that option try the following:

Install the latest Driver from AMD and  see if it starts working. If the same problem than install an older previous version of the AMD driver and see if it works. If no AMD drivers works than it is a good indication your GPU card went bad or you have a bad Video Output on the GPU card or bad Video cable or something is not configured on your Monitor settings.

Try installing the latest AMD Driver for your APU using DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) in Safe Mode with the Internet disconnected. Once DDU finishes and reboots to the desktop, keep the internet disconnected and install the latest AMD Driver. Before installing the latest AMD Driver delete C:\AMD in the Root Directory of Windows. After installing the latest AMD Driver and everything is working to your satisfactions, again delete C:\AMD folder from your Root Directory in Windows to clear up Hard Drive space.