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  [SOLVED] XFX GTX 260 Black Edition freezing to random color and looping sound 
 Date Written 
olvrdh Aug 07, 2011, 06:56pm EDT Report Abuse

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Rhort Aug 08, 2011, 04:57am EDT Report Abuse
>> .

~ The manual said "Requires Windows '95 or better" I installed Linux!
olvrdh Aug 08, 2011, 08:26am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: PC freezing ingame - one color and looping sound

thanks a lot for your input!

~I copied Crysis 2 and its savegame files exactly as you said: unfortunately no change.
~I didn't remove/replace the RAM as you suggested, however I ran 3 passes of MemTest86+ (v.4.20) with no errors whatsoever.

However, I can add some more info that might help:
~Changing the graphics quality in Crysis 2 to "High" (the lowest setting in C2) makes the problem disappear. I can then play on "ultra" settings again until a similar event (an alien ship crashing into a walkway you are in).

Something I forgot to mention in the original post:
~Reseting will get rid of the looping sound, the random color however remains on-screen, forcing me to completely cut off power and restart the system.
~I have tried killing every non-essential background process before playing the game: no change.

Even though I stated originally, that it can't be my GPU, since it has done me good service over the past years with not one similar incident in my old system, I realized that on my old system, I was not able to play on such high settings. Is it possible that some complex calculation needed for these high settings is causing my GPU to give up? (Then again, I probably wouldn't be able to run FurMark without a hitch...)

olvrdh Aug 08, 2011, 02:13pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: PC freezing ingame - one color and looping sound
Alright, after doing some googling, I have found some other forums where people describe similar problems (funny enough, it seems to be a problem isolated to the gtx 260's, and even funnier, the terms "XFX" and "Black Edition" seem to pop up quite a lot.

Here are the threads:

I have also found a site which claims to have a possible solution: decreasing the voltage in the GPU BIOS:

It seems easy enough, I have already taken all the necessary steps, I just haven't flashed the BIOS back to the card yet as I am a little afraid I might break something. What do you guys think? Is this something I should try out? Or is updating a GPU BIOS a dangerous thing, not to be compared to updating other FW/ MB BIOS?
Are there any steps I should take before flashing, (Safe mode, etc...)?


olvrdh Aug 09, 2011, 02:54pm EDT Report Abuse
>> XFX GTX260 Black Edition freezes and crashes FIXED
And the mystery is solved!

The problem was, as stated in one of the above posted links, that the voltages are set too high by the manufacturer. I still can't quite comprehend that XFX would ship out unstable graphic cards when it is this easy to fix, but it seems to be quite common among the GTX 260 Black Edition cards.

So to solve this, following programs were needed:

I saved the GPU's BIOS using GPU-Z and then modified the voltages (from 1.12 to 1.06) and saved the BIOS (as an alternate, keeping the original as a backup)
Then I flashed the BIOS back to the card using nvFlash. Done. Restarted the system, read out the voltages with GPU-Z to make sure everything went as planned and started testing.

The card now runs a little cooler and in 4 hours gaming, I have not experienced ONE freeze/computer crash. (Keep in mind, before I wasn't able to play longer than 5 minutes before having to hard-reset the system.)

So there you go. You actually have to mess with the BIOS, thus loosing warranty (which I don't have anymore anyways) to actually get your GPU to run stable. Unbelievable.

john albrich Aug 09, 2011, 03:07pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: [SOLVED] XFX GTX 260 Black Edition freezing to random color and looping sound

Thanks olvrdh!

I've been looking at XFX and EVGA "overclocked" cards lately so this was good info to have. I hadn't run across that kind of manufacturing "glitch" during my research of overclocked video cards.

I came THIS close to buying an EVGA GTX460SE superclocked for $100 last night (the model I was looking at supposedly ranks right up there somewhere between GTX460 and 5830). One reason I would buy an manufacturer's "overclocked" card is because I don't want to hassle with OCing the card myself...possibly voiding warranty, etc. It would be very annoying to find out I STILL had to hassle with it just to make it work.

edit to add:
Something else I learned while researching, is that when buying video cards, watch out for suffixes on the model numbers. For example, on the EVGA card I almost bought, the "-TR" suffix means it had a "limited TWO year warranty", whereas an "-AR" suffix on the model number means it has a "limited lifetime warranty". I had thought that all new EVGA cards came with the "limited lifetime warranty" and so stopped looking at the warranty details while shopping...which I now know would be a mistake.

Reason Aug 09, 2011, 03:12pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: [SOLVED] XFX GTX 260 Black Edition freezing to random color and looping sound
Thanks for taking the time to post the solution. It doesn't affect me personally, but it's good to see you helping others.

Ultima Ratio Regum
olvrdh Aug 09, 2011, 03:40pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: [SOLVED] XFX GTX 260 Black Edition freezing to random color and looping sound
@john - yeah, you'd think you're safe buying a GPU that's been OC'd by the manufacturer. Guess again. But to be fair, I've had this card for over two years now (I think?) without ANY problems whatsoever up until I got my new system. Funny enough, what used to be my most powerful component (the GPU) has now turned into the bottleneck - and all of a sudden it's crashing and freezing my system.
I'm still wondering why I could run Furmark without a hitch though - If anybody's got a theory on that, please do enlighten me.

@Reason - yeah, I hate it when I find a thread where someone has the exact same problem as I do only to find a closing post that reads something like:
"oh, nvmnd, fixed it."

Meats_Of_Evil Aug 09, 2011, 06:10pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: [SOLVED] XFX GTX 260 Black Edition freezing to random color and looping sound
Wow I never would have thought of adjusting the voltage. Thank God for Google huh? lol

You should inform XFX of the problem when you have time, maybe they'll send you something nice in return hey? I doubt it but one can always dream :_)

Everything I write is Sarcasm.
jirka dusek Apr 20, 2013, 02:41am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: [SOLVED] XFX GTX 260 Black Edition freezing to random color and looping sound
Hi, I have same problem you did, Im glad someone found a fix. I downloaded what you said still I could really use some precise instructions how to do that. besides you dont tell what did you use NiBiTor for. I also tryed to look on the link you have provided: But it only directs me to forums main page. I dont know why if the link does not exist or iv nvidia exluded that topic I dont know. Im desperate as only you can imagine and im not really with money to buy new GFX. Please help me.

Stuart Travers Jun 08, 2015, 10:27pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: [SOLVED] XFX GTX 260 Black Edition freezing to random color and looping sound
I realise this is an old post, however this issue raised its head in Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls with no response from Blizzard, and I'm pleased to report that this solution fixed the problem.

Issue: A specific effect that occurs when fighting a certain boss (Malthael) in Diablo 3 caused the screen to turn a solid colour (varies) and sound to loop, locks the entire system and requires hard boot to reset. 100% consistent and repeatable.

Fix: Use GPU-Z to make a copy of the GPU ROM, use NiBiTor to edit voltage from 1.12 to 1.06, use NVFlash to copy the new ROM back to the graphics card. No more crash.

Thanks olvrdh for this.

jens andersson Apr 26, 2016, 03:39pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: [SOLVED] XFX GTX 260 Black Edition freezing to random color and looping sound
This graphics card is pretty dead but I'm still using it for my extra computer and I've had problem with freezes in games since about i bought it.
It has gone worse since the card is being heavily utilized in the newer games.

I tried changing the voltage from 1.12 to 1.06 but it didn't help. It just made the problem worse.

What i had to do was to let the voltage be and just lower the performance to the standard specs for GTX 260.
You can get the standard specs here:

Hope this helps someone that's still using this card.

rubenoe gibson Jun 24, 2016, 01:06am EDT Report Abuse

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