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How to Fix a GPU that Keeps Crashing (STEPS)

Why does my GPU keep crashing?

The main reason a  GPU may keep crashing is due to increased temperature. The overheating is a  result from overclocking of the GPU or a slow video RAM clock. A GPU can also crash because of old drivers or a faulty power supply.

  • Overclocked GPU
  • Slowed down video RAM clock
  • Outdated display drivers
  • Faulty power supply


What causes a GPU to crash?

The GPU crashes because of the following reasons.

Overclocked GPU and slowed down video RAM clock

The GPU may get overclocked and/or the video RAM clock may slow down because of an overloaded power supply. This leads to overheating of the GPU and ultimately crashing of the GPU. You can underclock the GPU using software like CoolBits and RivaTuner.


Old display drivers

The display drivers installed in your computer must be of the latest versions to gain maximum performance of the GPU and prevent it from crashing. You can uninstall the old drivers and install their latest versions to prevent your GPU from crashing.


Less power supply

When your GPU receives the amount of power that is less than the required value, the GPU would keep crashing especially when you start a game. The voltage levels fall and the GPU crashes.

The best way to eliminate this cause of the crash is to have a better power supply based on the specifications of the GPU.


What to do if your GPU keeps crashing?

If your GPU keeps crashing, you can install the latest device drivers, disable the background applications, check the overheating of the GPU and troubleshoot the graphics card issues by blowing air into the graphics cards port.

You can also run physical checks to spot any issues in the circuit board of the graphics card.


How long does a GPU last?

On average, a GPU lasts two to five years if you use it at its full load capacity. However, if you use the GPU very lightly, it may last up to seven years.

In addition to the amount of usage, the manufacturing company of the GPU also determines the lifetime of the GPU. For example, an Asus GPU lasts for a long time, usually up to five years.


How often should you replace your GPU?

The average GPU will need to be replaced every 4 to 6 years.

You must replace your GPU only when you are unable to play games on your computer or experience stuttered graphics on the screen. It is usually four to six years after which you will need to replace the GPU. However, it completely depends upon the usage and the changes in the hardware.


Computer GPU keeps crashing


How do I know if my GPU is failing?

You should know that your GPU is failing when your computer crashes and doesn’t reboot. This usually happens when there are glitches in the graphics on your computer especially when you are playing games and there is a strange noise coming out of the fan of your GPU.

The failure of the GPU may occur because of several reasons like faulty manufacturing, installation of an incompatible graphics card.

Moisture buildup on the graphics card can also lead to damaged components such as joints and pins, incompatible drivers.

Overheating due to broken fans and overheating due to dirt deposited on the cooling components of the graphics card.


Can you fix a dead GPU?

Yes, you can fix a dead GPU. However, fixing a GPU may be a tedious process and requires a bit of extra care. You can fix a dead GPU by following the steps given below.

  1. Shut down your computer and remove the power supply. Take out the graphics card carefully from your computer. With the help of a small head screwdriver, disassemble the graphics card by removing all the screws holding the different components in place. Make sure to keep all the screws in one place so that you don’t lose any of them while assembling the card again.
  2. Once you have disassembled the card, clean the GPU to remove any dirt and old thermal paste using a microfiber cloth soaked with alcohol. Make sure to wipe off all the paste so that it doesn’t melt when you do the baking treatment mentioned further on.
  3. Remove any manufacturing labels or specification stickers so that they don’t burn in the heat.
  4. Before moving towards heating the graphics card in the oven, roll four balls of aluminum foil having the size of four spots located at the corners of the card. At these locations, there are no electrical traces and it’s only the PCB. Place the balls on the cookie sheet and position the graphics card on these aluminum balls, ensuring that the bare PCB is covered by these balls.
  5. Preheat your oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit and place the cookie sheet along with the graphics card in it. Set the timer to 8 minutes and start baking.
  6. Once the timer goes off, take the cookie sheet and graphics card outside the oven and let them cool down to room temperature. Don’t place it inside the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
  7. When the card completely cools off, apply new thermal grease to evenly coat the entire surface of the GPU.
  8. Attach the cooling components to the GPU so that its heatsink engages with the thermal grease. Fasten all the screws and components to assemble the graphics card. Don’t tighten the screws too much as it can make it difficult to remove them later if needed.
  9. Insert the graphics card back into your computer. Connect the PCI-E power connector and turn the power supply ON. Turn ON your computer and see the boot-up information displayed on the screen.


How to stop GPU from crashing?

You can stop your GPU from crashing by disabling the overclocks, closing the background applications, updating your device drivers, preventing overheating of the GPU and so on.

  • Uninstall device drivers
  • Change the clock rate
  • Check for overheating using software like HWMonitor
  • Close all background applications using task manager

You can try these solutions to prevent your GPU from crashing:

  1. Uninstall all your device drivers with the help of a Device Driver Uninstaller. This ensures that all the older versions of the drivers are removed from your computer. After the uninstallation, reinstall the updated versions of the drivers from the official websites of your graphics card provider.
  2. Change the clock rate of all the overclocking components of your GPU to their original clock rate. It’s important to do so because overclocking results in overheating of the GPU. This can make the GPU unresponsive and sometimes even cause it to crash.
  3. Check for overheating of the components of your GPU by checking their temperature via software like CPUID’s HWMonitor. Your GPU is overheating if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees Celsius. To prevent the overheating of the GPU, clean the dust from the surface of the GPU. You can also consider playing games on your computer in a cool place and close all the background applications.
  4. If the “Worker Thread” value of your computer exceeds “6”, lower it down to “6”. A higher count of worker threads in your computer causes stability issues and sometimes, crashing of the GPU.
  5. Close all the background applications using the Task Manager of your computer. To do this, type “msconfig” in the search bar. In the System Configuration window, click the “General” tab. Go to the “Selective Startup” option and uncheck the “Load Startup Items” checkbox.
  6. Close the window and reboot your computer. This will prevent your GPU from crashing and will provide better GPU performance.


How to Stop Graphics card crashing when playing games?

You can stop the graphics card from crashing while playing games by disabling ATKFUSService, disabling the iGPU, disabling vertical sync and checking your computer hardware for issues. Here is a detailed procedure to do that.

  1. To disable the ATKFUSService, press the “windows” and “R” keys simultaneously and type “services.msc”. Click the “OK” button. Select the ATKFUSService option from the pop-up window. Click the “Startup” type option. From the drop-down menu, select the “disabled” option and apply the changes.
  2. To disable iGPU, go to the BIOS setup by booting your computer. Press the “F2” or “Del” key to enter setup. From the setup, choose the iGPU option and disable it from the menu. Apply the change by clicking the “Save Changes” button and restarting your computer.
  3. To disable the vertical sync, access the control panel and choose NVIDIA Control Panel from the given options. Select the “Manage 3D Settings” option and go to the “Power Management” tab. Turn the performance to “maximum”. Then click on the “vertical sync” option and disable it.
  4. Check the computer hardware for overheating due to loose or broken components, dust on the GPU or a dead graphics card.


Graphics card keeps crashing Windows 10

The graphics card on Windows 10 may keep crashing because of incompatible device drivers, deposition of dust on the GPU, overclocking of the graphics card and so on.

To fix this issue, follow the steps below:

  • Update or install all the latest drivers associated with the GPU on your computer.
  • Disable your sound system while playing games as the sound generated in games is through very complex calculations and operations in the sound hardware.
  • Slow down the working of AGP ports. They are responsible for transferring data to and from the GPU at a very high speed.
  • Remove the dust from the graphics card and GPU using a cold blow dryer and an alcohol-soaked soft cloth.
  • Underclock your GPU components to prevent them from getting overheated. Underclocking can be done using software like RivaTuner.


Graphics card freezes computer randomly

Your graphics card may freeze your computer randomly because of a faulty power supply unit. This usually happens when there are spaces in the GPU sockets.

You can fix this by running a hardware check to see if there is any fault in the power supply to the GPU:

  • Ensure that the AC power input cord is fitted inside the wall socket and the power supply socket of the computer.
  • Check the motherboard and disk driver connectors for any loose connections or interrupted contacts.
  • Using a multimeter, ensure that the output power supply is according to the specifications of the computer.


GPU crash on startup

Your GPU may crash on startup because of unsupported drivers and files. You can remove these files in the two ways given below.

  • Open the “Device Manager” window and delete all the unsupported malfunctioning drivers and files.
  • Click on the Start button and type “Disk Cleanup” in the search bar. Press the Enter key and choose the disk that you wish to clean. Click the OK button and remove all the bad files and caches from that drive.


GPU crashing not overheating

The GPU crashing not overheating issue may arise when you have outdated BIOS, driver conflicts or a bad GPU. You can fix this issue by trying the steps given below.

  1. To update the BIOS on your computer, you will first need to download the updated file from your provider. Copy this file to a spare USB flash drive. Restart your computer and press the “F2” key or “Del” key to enter the BIOS setup. From the setup, go to the “BOOT” tab and enable “flash” or “backup” option. Click on the “Start Flash” option in the “Advanced” tab. This will start updating the BIOS of your computer.
  2. Resolve all the driver conflicts by uninstalling the drivers and installing their latest versions back on your computer. If the latest version of a driver doesn’t work well with your computer, try installing its older version.
  3. Over time, GPU performance can slow down because the GPU life is nearly over and/or due to overheating of the GPU. You can diagnose overheating issues by checking the GPU temperature to see if it exceeds 85 degrees Celsius.


Why does my NVIDIA GPU keep crashing?

Your NVIDIA GPU may keep crashing because of incompatible or corrupt drivers installed in your computer.

You can fix this issue simply by updating your device drivers, disabling the automatic updates, and updating your DirectX. Here’s how you can do these fixes.

  1. Outdated drivers are the most common reason for crashing GPUs. You can update the device drivers by going to the “Device Manager” window and clicking on the “Display Adapter” option. Right-click on the driver that needs updating.
  2. Select the “Update Driver” option from the context menu and choose the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option. This will download the latest updates of that driver on your computer.
  3. Sometimes, the latest drivers are unable to work well on the computer. So, if you have the latest drivers installed on your computer, uninstall them and reinstall their older versions. Before installing the old version, make sure to disable the automatic updates option. You can do this by going to the “Control Panel” on your computer and clicking on the “System” option.
  4. Go to the “Advanced system settings” option in the left-hand menu. Click the “Hardware” tab and then click the “Device Installation Settings” option. In the pop-up window, click on the “No” option and then click on “Save Changes”.
  5. DirectX is responsible for rendering the graphics and processing the tasks on your computer. If your computer has an old version of DirectX, there will be GPU crashing issues. You can resolve this by pressing the “Windows” key and typing “dxdig” in the search bar.
  6. Press the Enter key and click the “System” tab in the pop-up window. You can find the DirectX version that is installed on your computer and install a newer version if needed.

Ernie Lo

Ernie Lo is a qualified web designer and web developer. He works as an IT support technician and website manager at Benleigh Vending, and he also fixes vending machines.

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