PSA: Solution to HDD and NVidia causing Win10 System Halt with Black Screen


This is not something specific to VR but I’ve spent quite some time looking for solutions and it is so stable it is time to sharing. It turns out the reason is quite simple and easy to fix, although it makes me wondering about the whole thing.

What is happening:

From time to time, my Win10 system would just halt with a black screen with no other recourse than powering off. It is very frustrating and you never know what damage to your files will result out of this.

The reasons:

Win10 is implementing a new feature known as “Timeout Detection and Recovery” (TDR). It is basically a watch dog which will reset the video card when it can’t respond in time. By default it is set to 2 sec.

When you’re using a HDD and you enable sleep mode, it can take more than 2 sec. to wake up and during that time, at least on my test system, the mouse is frozen and I suspect a few other services and/or background applications are frozen too. I believe it is just the transactions taking place on the SATA bus holding it and therefore halting PCie bus traffic to some extent, or it is just Win10 kernel drivers holding on the SATA bus driver request preventing the other drivers from servicing their interrupts.

Nevertheless whatever it is in the end, it is halting the system long enough to triggering the TDR and putting the system to halt with an unrecoverable black screen. Not even rebooting the GPU via the shortcut is working.

The solution:

Just change the TDR timeout and you’re done with this issue!

Manually add the following reg key with a value of 5 or 10 (the HDD takes about 3 secs to spinup):

KeyPath : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers
KeyValue : TdrDelay
ValueType : REG_DWORD
ValueData : Number of seconds to delay. 2 seconds is the default value.

More info:
Testing and debugging TDR - Microsoft Hardware Developer


New feature? Are you sure? :wink:

I wasn’t aware of this prior Win10 but it is not new as “they just released it in the latest Win10 update”. Thank you for the additional information!

However what is new to me is that this the reason my test system used to black out, with no other option than powering off because the GPU reset shortcut isn’t working either. And this is unexpected a HDD waking up from sleep is causing the system to locking up this way.

PS: I’ve added HDD in the title so that it is less confusing.

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For 32 bit windows select DWORD (Reg_dword)
For 64 bit windows select QWORD (REG_QWORD)

I’d suggest using what is in the official doc instead: REG_DWORD

what if instead i’m getting a 1 minute freeze and then return to complete normal (SSD & 2080Ti)? this after running a longer flight. then temporary freezes are more frequent. not sure where to start?

My post has nothing to do with FS2020 in particular. It is just about HDD and Nvidia. However could it be your 1m freeze is related to a SATA transaction to the SDD freezing? I doubt it is (1min is too long for this).

you never know. since the computer keeps running fine it’s confusing. i suppose the 2080ti could be the cause perhaps some kind of over-heat but i think i would get an alert in task manager or i mean an indication or something. it’s the dmn’est thing

@LinenOrc9251924 I don’t know if you’ve managed to sort it out with your hardware, but in another discussion, someone is describing something similar to your problem and I’ve commented on it.

Maybe It is the same root cause: Solution for Stutters & Pauses

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