Black flashing screen when playing a video game, please help!

Feb 28, 2010
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Hello everyone!

My name is Blackwatch89 and I'm new here, this is going to be my first topic/post.
I have been browsing this forum for some time to learn some more about Win7 and to get some of the problems I encountered with Win7 solved. But for some time now I have been having a problem with Win7 which I did not encounter on the forums till date, so I decided to make an account and come clean!
I feel like I have to thank you, for using a color blind friendly CAPTCHA code, I've had my problems on other forums (Steam) where I could not even perform a simple search, let alone make an account.

On to my issue;

Some video games I play I don't know them all by heart tend to start up fine, the main menu looks fine, loading is good but then it happens the moment I should see 'game' I get a black flashing screen that flashes on and on from desktop to black screen, desktop to black screen, desktop to black screen! For instance when I'm done loading CoD4 I see my weapon and then my game starts flashing from black screen to desktop, black screen to desktop and then it stops, I walk a bit and there it goes again, black screen to desktop, black screen to desktop it drives me insane! I had this issue in WoW as well (I hate the game, sorry) it kept on flashing, black > desktop, black > desktop. I started the game in 'Windowed Mode' and it happened but this time I saw no black screen but when there should be a black screen my game just froze a bit (while pressing W) so one moment I was here and the next I was THERE! I have this issue with all the CoH games, but this does not happen the moment I'm done loading, it happens a bit later in the game, I get huge FPS drops and the screen flashes (you know by now what it does) but eventually after 5 or 6 times I can play normal and have a stable/reasonable FPS. Today I decided to buy AvP through Steam and had the same issue with this game as well. I start the Predator Campaign, I get to the loading screen, it fades away and the flashing starts while I still hear the 'Main/ESC menu sound' and this one keeps on flashing until I decide to press ALT + F4 I get a glimpse of the menu and the game closes. But when I load the Alien Campaign all is good, I was like, WHAT? Unless I move my mouse quickly to the left, the game flashes back and forth between desktop and black screen but eventually get back in the game with the ESC menu on? As if I pressed ESC at all!? Sometimes I have the feeling I'm clicking right through the game.

I know this sounds like the craziest problem ever and playing video games is probably not that fun for a fully color blind person.. But still, I payed for it and I would like it to work properly! Maybe if someone shares the same faith or tells me the name of a program where I can record this and show you guys a 'clearer' picture of the problem I am having.

My specifications of the system I am having the issues on. (Yes I know it only have 2gb, but what can I say? My 'newer' system broke down on me the day I bought Win7, I guess only one lucky thing a day)

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ 2.2 Ghz
Ram: 2 GB
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 3850
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
All the drives, from Graphics till Sound and back to RAID Controllers are all up to date.
Although its hardly that accurate, I get a 4.9 (because of HDD bottleneck) from the Windows Experience Index

I guess that's it, I hardly believe my problem will get solved with the information I provided. But still, I felt like getting it of my chest, I sometimes get quite frustrated from it!

Thanks for reading (and helping)!



Oct 17, 2008
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Hi Blackwatch89, welcome to the forums :)

Do you have any other applications open in the background which may be interfering? Even ones in the system tray? You've updated your graphics drivers already which would have been my first suggestion.

You may be able to use to record your screen to show us the problem. :)



OCing one chip at a time
VIP Member
May 11, 2009
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If you go to your Event Viewer, select the Custom Views -> Administrative Events do you see any "Warnings" about a display driver?

Also are there any issues listed in your Device Manager screen?

I've experienced the issue where a game will continue flashing to desktop then back into game as there have been some glitches were the OS gets stuck looping between them, but if your install of Windows 7 is fully patched then it should not be doing this. (this was a HUGE Vista problem, interestingly). Make sure you're running all the important and recommended OS updates. Also if you hit alt-tab you can break the cycle, then manually alt-tab back into the game. That may or may not help you.

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