How to fix MSI Afterburner "Failed to start scanning" error in Windows?

Issue: I have an issue with MSI Afterburner. After building my new PC (everything seems to work fine), I cannot run OC in MSI Afterburner. Every time I try, it comes up with the “Failed to start scanning” message. Any tips here, please?

Solved Answer

MSI Afterburner is a widely recognized software utility designed for graphics card overclocking. Overclocking is the practice of pushing hardware components, such as a CPU or GPU, beyond their default clock rates to achieve superior performance. Enthusiasts and gamers alike often use overclocking as a means to squeeze out additional power from their systems, thereby enhancing the gaming experience, rendering speeds, or the capability to handle more resource-intensive tasks. In simple terms, it's like tuning a car's engine to run faster than it was initially designed for.

However, no software solution is without its challenges. One of the issues some users have reported when attempting to run the Overclocking (OC) scan in MSI Afterburner is an error message stating “Failed to start scanning.” This impediment can be frustrating, especially when the objective is to optimize system performance.

Several factors might contribute to this error:

  • Driver Compatibility: A common reason for the “Failed to start scanning” error is driver incompatibility. The graphics card drivers might be outdated or not be fully compatible with the version of MSI Afterburner being used.
  • Software Conflicts: There could be conflicts with other software running on the system, especially if other monitoring or tuning utilities are active simultaneously.
  • Insufficient Permissions: Sometimes, the software may not have the necessary permissions to access certain system resources, which can prevent the scanning process.
  • Hardware Limitations: On rare occasions, the error might be a result of the graphics card's inability to support certain overclocking features presented by the software.

How to fix MSI Afterburner "Failed to start scanning" error in Windows?

While these are some of the prevalent reasons, it's crucial to remember that individual system configurations can have their unique issues. Detailed solutions and a step-by-step guide to troubleshooting will be provided below the article for those seeking resolutions.

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Fix 1. Close all active programs

Active applications might interfere with MSI Afterburner, especially those that access or modify the GPU settings.

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
  • Locate any software that might use the GPU. Right-click on each of them and select End Task.
  • Ensure background applications are minimized or closed.
  • Try restarting the MSI Afterburner.

Shut down processes

Fix 2. Update your GPU driver

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Outdated or incompatible drivers can cause conflicts with MSI Afterburner's scanning process. You can update them in several ways: using automatic updater DriverFix, downloading the drivers manually for the official Nvidia or AMD websites, or employing the Windows update feature as follows:

  • Right-click on Start and pick Device Manager.
  • Expand Display adapters.
  • Right-click on it and choose Update driver.
  • Select Search automatically for drivers.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions and then restart your system.

Update GPU drivers

Fix 3. Try Clean Boot

Performing a clean boot ensures no third-party software interferes with MSI Afterburner.

  • Press Win + R, type msconfig, and hit Enter.
  • Go to the Services tab and tick the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox.
  • Select Disable all.
  • Go to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
  • Here, right-click on each of the non-Windows entries and select Disable.
  • Close down the Task Manager.
  • Go to the Boot tab and tick the Safe boot option.
  • Restart your device.
  • Attempt to run the OC scan.

Clean Boot

Fix 4. Modify settings in NVIDIA Control Panel

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Changing specific settings in the NVIDIA Control Panel can resolve conflicts between the GPU and MSI Afterburner.

  • Right-click on your desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel.
  • Select Manage 3D settings on the left.
  • On the right side, under Global Settings, ensure that CUDA – GPUs is set to All.

Enable Cuda

  • At the top, select Desktop > Enable Developer settings.
  • Go to the new Developer section.
  • Click on Allow access to the GPU performance counters to all users.
  • Click Apply and OK.
  • Restart the MSI Afterburner and try the OC scan.

Enable Developer mode

Fix 5. Enable voltage control in MSI Afterburner

Voltage control can provide the software with more access to GPU settings, resolving potential conflicts.

  • Open MSI Afterburner.
  • Go to Settings.
  • Under the General tab, look for Unlock voltage control and Unlock voltage monitoring.
  • Check these options.
  • Click Apply and then OK.
  • Restart the application and try the OC scan.

Fix 6. Reinstall MSI Afterburner

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Corrupted files or a bad installation might be the cause of the error, so reinstalling the app might resolve any issues:

  • Type Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter.
  • Go to Programs > Uninstall a program.
  • Scroll down to find MSI Afterburner, right-click, and select Uninstall.
  • Follow the prompts to remove the app and restart your system.
  • Visit MSI's official website to download the latest version.
  • Install the software.
  • Restart your computer and try the OC scan.

Reinstall the app

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Jake Doe
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Jake Doe is the news editor at UGetFix. Since he met Ugnius Kiguolis in 2003, they both launched several projects that spread awareness about cybercrimes, malware, and other computer-related problems.

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