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After a seemingly random amount of time at seemingly random points, GTA V cuts to a black screen and I am unable to get out of it, through Alt+Tab, Ctrl-Alt-Del, or any other means than rebooting the computer through the power button.

This is a new problem that has popped up in the last 48 hours. It seems like something that should be common and yet I can find zero documentation of this issue.

Any ideas?

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    Are you using Windows 10? I have a similar problem, but it's unrelated to games. The PC just randomly freezes, even without playing any games.
    – Nolonar
    Jun 7, 2017 at 10:42
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    Is your computer overclocked or anything? Do you have proper cooling?
    – Timmy Jim
    Jun 7, 2017 at 10:53
  • I'm on Windows 8.1 with an FX-8320. Never installed a third party cooler so never tried to overclock it. Stock cooler, despite its reputation, stopped having any issues and worked great after I replaced the stock thermal paste 17 months ago.
    – kelario
    Jun 7, 2017 at 16:51

3 Answers 3

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The first thing to realize is that there's no such thing as "Random" when it comes to a computer. Even random number generators aren't actually truly random. This means that any problem you're having, it has a root cause that is very likely a single problem repeating itself. If it takes time to happen, it's probably heat or memory related. Things that you might think are extremely intensive in an application may not be, but a memory leak could ruin your day quickly.

First, make sure you're not just overheating. Guilty components would be the HDD, RAM, CPU, or Video Card. The CPU is unlikely, as the computer should restart itself if this occurs as a safety measure. If it were the HDD, you'd probably get a nasty BSOD and then the computer wouldn't come back online. Tools like CPU-Z and RivaTuner can monitor your temperature sensors for you.

No matter your results here, also check out the Event Viewer and choose Applications. This may take a moment to load, but should give you a list of errors thrown by applications in recent history, even if the computer rebooted. This won't catch errors that are consumed and hidden by the application (as is the case in many games).

If you're still having trouble and have ruled out the above causes, reinstall the application. If that doesn't help, it may be time to just wipe the computer completely and start fresh. Before you do that, though, you may want to try a stress test using Prime95. This software can really put your machine through it's paces and intensively tests your RAM and CPU. There's a how-to link if you scroll down the page. Prime95 has caught every stick of bad RAM I've ever had the misfortune to pull, so if that's your problem, Prime95 should expose it.

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  • I haven't managed to overheat in the previous 60 hours I've logged in the game, so I would be surprised this is the problem. I will look into Prime95 later today - the problem persisted after I reseated both RAM sticks.
    – kelario
    Jun 7, 2017 at 17:01
  • Event Viewer gives me certain errors from rebooting after the game crashed, including that the system did not shut down cleanly, but none appear to be directly game related.
    – kelario
    Jun 8, 2017 at 4:37
  • Prime95 stress testing gave no problems.
    – kelario
    Jun 8, 2017 at 6:13
  • You said you re-seated both RAM sticks, but did you try running them individually? Also, it doesn't need to be directly game-related. If you have bad registry entries, malware, or an HDD issue, then other errors may be relevant. I'd try CHKDSK or similar on your storage media next.
    – CDove
    Jun 9, 2017 at 12:42
  • I reseated the RAM sticks because I was already only running one.
    – kelario
    Jun 9, 2017 at 22:11
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I've had this issue before, albeit slightly different. First make sure that GTA is the issue firstly, it might just be an issue with your PC. Does it happen with any other games or in general when using your PC? Try general troubleshooting like re-installing or validating the game cache of GTA. If you're still having issues it might be your PC that is the issue.

Is it overclocked? Or perhaps check the disk/ram usage of your PC while playing. It might even be worth making sure things such as your hard drive are properly connected to your Mother board (my issue was that my Hard Drive wasn't connected properly, and just properly connecting the cable fixed it right up). If you're still having issues after that it might be best to take your PC to a local specialist or a shop to see if they can locate any hardware issues on your PC.

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  • Doesn't seem to happen with any other games. Validated the game files through Steam. I expect my hard drive is properly connected because my SATA cables are the fancy ones with the latches, but if all else fails I will blow some cash for an SSD and see if that changes anything.
    – kelario
    Jun 7, 2017 at 17:08
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I finally found some results which indicated that it was an AMD graphics problem. This made sense as I had recently updated the driver. I reinstalled my graphics driver and so far this appears to have fixed it.

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