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I've been experiencing this strange problem lately, basically i leave my desktop PC running all the night and when i come back in the morning i have a black screen and i can't bring windows on. Today i did some investigation using the windows reliability monitor and i've discovered that windows never hanged, it was me that always shut it down trying to get things back working (i always keep the power button pressed to shut down the PC because i have a black screen but the PC is running). This is the log from this morning

The previous system shutdown at 09:34:59 on ‎25/‎06/‎2012 was unexpected.

So this might relate to my video card, i have recently bought a AMD Radeon 7950 card from Sapphire, and i connect it to a 24 inch samsung monitor with a HDMI to DVI cable. When i used the standard VGA cable and didn't have the new card i'd never had this kind of problems.

Of course i have the latest drivers :)

Any ideas?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is a common issue both with Windows and Linux. As you have surmised, it is generally related to the graphics hardware. As you have also worked out, Windows is working fine, you just can't see anything.

Did the computer try to go into standby? It is very common for graphics cards to fail to reinitialise themselves correctly when returning from standby or hibernation. My wife's previous laptop regularly did this when returning from suspend and no software updates ever fixed it. You had to do things in a certain order if you wanted any hope of getting back successfully from a suspended state.

I would check on the AMD support forums to see if anyone else has the same problem. You could also try taking the card back and exchanging it for a different one if it is still under warranty. Alternatively, use a utility to reboot the PC some short time before you want to use it in the morning or better still, shut it down after it completes whatever tasks you want it to overnight (backing up hopefully!).

For example, you could use the Windows scheduler to run a batch file containing the "shutdown" command. There are also utilities that will shutdown after an application exits.

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It seems i'm not the only one :) – Nicola Peluchetti Jun 25 '12 at 11:09
An this does seem to be an issue with the drivers… – Nicola Peluchetti Jun 25 '12 at 11:22
  1. Go to Panel control > Energy options
  2. Choose (check) high performance
  3. Click on "change plan settings"
  4. Click on "change advanced plan settings"
  5. On Suspend > Suspend after, change all to "Never"
  6. On Hibernate > Hibernate after, change all to "Never"

After that, your computer would stay on all the time.

(Sorry if I misspelled something because my SO isn't in English)

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I already did that, the only thing that prevents this is installing beta drivers or turning off the display stand-by :) – Nicola Peluchetti Jun 26 '12 at 14:17

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