I’ve run into some issues that lead me to believe my GPU might have failed and would love some assistance with the troubleshooting.
Model: Sager NP9150 laptop
OS: Windows 10 64-bit
CPU: Intel i7-3840QM 2.80 GHz
RAM: 12 GB
GPU: Radeon HD 7970m / Intel onboard
System is 3 years old, travels and games extensively.
I was playing Borderlands 2 last night when my computer froze, no visual or audio artifacts, just a complete lock up. I was unable to access task manager or the desktop, so had to restart the computer with a manual shut down via the power button. When I rebooted, I received a BSOD right after the Windows logo with spinning dots, before the lock screen, which displayed an error code 0xc000021a. This behavior was repeated on a few boot attempts. After researching the issue, it seemed this may be an error with the winlogon.exe or csrss.exe files, and may be associated with recent updates or driver issues. I had installed new AMD drivers for my GPU a couple of days ago, so thought that might be the culprit since the crash happened during gaming.
I was able to boot the system in Safe Mode and performed a system restore to a point before I had installed the AMD drivers. Afterwards, booting the computer resulted in a black screen with no cursor, after the Windows logo but before the lock screen. I tried to mess around with projection to see if it was trying to send a video signal to a different monitor with no success. Researching this issue indicated that perhaps a GPU driver issue was to blame.
Following troubleshooting recommendations I restarted into Safe Mode and disabled the Radeon GPU, then rebooted. This allowed me to get to the Lock screen, however shortly after logging in the system would lock up again. No cursor movement, no audio/visual artifacts, no hard drive activity, just a full freeze. I restarted into Safe Mode again and discovered the Radeon had been re-enabled. I figured perhaps the AMD software that loads on startup had re-enabled the GPU, so attempted to uninstall the software. This resulted in a “Detection driver failed. Please contact AMD” message.
I then re-booted into Safe Mode and successfully removed the AMD drivers and software using the AMD Cleanup Utility, and was able to boot up to the desktop normally. I then tried to reinstall the latest AMD driver, selecting only the GPU driver and not any other software. At 19%, the computer froze. The Radeon had been re-enabled and required another Safe Mode boot and uninstallation of AMD software and drivers to restore desktop function. I then tried to install the drivers in Safe Mode, and received the “Detection driver failed. Please contact AMD” message on initializing the install.
Finally, I decided to try a previous driver version. I booted in a regular desktop, disabled anti-virus, and attempted to install a previous video driver for the Radeon. At 50% the system froze, same symptoms as before, fixed by the same procedure. Currently I am able to run the computer with Radeon disabled, though Windows Update occasionally attempts to install drivers for it, causing it to enable and freeze.
I’m not sure how to proceed from here, but I am beginning to suspect that perhaps my GPU has failed and needs to be replaced. Does anyone have any potential solutions or troubleshooting I should attempt? Is there a way to determine if my GPU has failed, without installing drivers for it?
Thanks very much for any assistance, I am hoping someone out there can help!