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.
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.
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):
ValueType : REG_DWORD
ValueData : Number of seconds to delay. 2 seconds is the default value.