PC stable only in Safe Mode; black screen of death in normal

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Mira Tigerheart

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Nov 29, 2019
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Hello, my PC has been very stable for years... but suddenly developed a chronic case of black-screen-of-death this Thanksgiving, and I have been unable to correct the problem at all. I am seeking help from anyone more computer-savvy than me (which is probably everyone here).

OS:
Windows 7 Professional, Service Pack 1, build 7601, 64-bit edition​
up-to-date with all available Microsoft updates​

Hardware:
ASUS Z87-Pro motherboard​
Intel Core i7-4770k CPU (8 cores @ 3.50 GHz each) with attached Cooler Master fan & heatsink​
(2) 8 GB G.Skill DDR3 RAM cards (16 GB total)​
Radeon R9 390X graphics card​
(2) Toshiba 1.0 TB SATA hard drives​
OS, utility software, personal files, and a few Steam games installed on drive C: (292 GB free)​
most other Steam games installed on drive E: (90 GB free)​
(2) Samsung S24E650 monitors (matching dual monitor setup), standard DVI connectors​
Altec-Lansing 2.1 speaker system​
Logitech G15 gaming keyboard (wired, USB)​
Logitech G203 Prodigy gaming mouse (wired, USB)​
Symptoms:
The first few times, the screens would randomly turn black after approximately 5 to 60 minutes of runtime. If the system successfully boots in normal mode (now a very rare occurrence), this is still the inevitable fate.​
As trouble progressed, black screen would begin to occur immediately following the login screen, with no progress past that point. Monitors would eventually go to sleep, indicating they are not receiving any data. This eventually became the persistent default behavior.... about 9 of 10 times.​
Rarely, the keyboard fails to activate during Post, making it impossible to select Safe Mode instead of the default Normal boot.​
PC will boot successfully into any Safe Mode if told to, and has not yet suffered any similar errors or failures while in this mode.​
Under the System Devices list, the only driver error indicated is for something called the "AMDA00 Interface", made by ASUSTek Computer Inc. Windows says it cannot load the drivers for this component (code 31). Windows says the driver is up-to-date, and cannot resolve this issue. It may or may not be related.​


My only known fix is to press the reset button on the case, and boot into Safe Mode, if it gives me that option. It's hit-or-miss if it offers that option; pressing F8 during Post usually only brings up a prompt to choose a drive to boot from, rather than the Safe Mode page.

Troubleshooting attempted so far:
Inspected all hardware (looks good: cables snug, no indications of any hardware failure or overheating, minimal dust contamination)​
Rollback to only available System Restore point (no effect)​
CheckDisk both hard drives (no errors found)​
Defragment hard drives (PC merely ignores clicking that button, and does nothing)​
Update AMD graphics card drivers & software (unable: forbidden due to Driver Signing issue, code 99)​
when ordered to disable driver signing during boot, system then always tries to load normal mode, and suffers black-screen after login page​
 

gus

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The PC working OK in safe mode indicates it a driver issue.

AMDA00 interface is not necessarily anything to do with an amd graphics card, can you post a picture of the device manager showing the exclamation triangle.

A quick google indicates a known faulty Asus motherboard driver???

You really also should consider moving on from Windows 7
 

gus

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Was only suggesting you update to a modern operating system, 7 will be no longer supported very soon. Your opinion about 7 being superior, and your call.
 

Mira Tigerheart

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Nov 29, 2019
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Thank you, but I am aware support is ending. I have decided to stick with Windows 7 for at least a few more years.

Now how about investigating why my current PC is misbehaving, rather than pushing for me to merely replace my OS (which would not fix this problem anyway if it is a hardware issue)?
 

gus

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My only suggestion apart from previous is to make sure all your Asus drivers are up to date and remove any unnecessary Asus utilities that may be installed. If this issue has started only recently can you try going to a restore point ealier than the issue started? Perhaps others may suggest more?
 
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Mira Tigerheart

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As I detailed in my opening post, I have already attempted reverting to the only available restore point, to no avail. It was about 1 week before the issue started.
 
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