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Problem setting up SLi for 7800GTX

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 24, 2006 3:50:12 PM

Well, I finally got the PSU I needed to set up my SLi configuration, and am disappointed that I cannot get it to work.

Before installing the 2nd card, I updated to the latest nVidia graphics drivers [81.98], then installed the card. 1st boot was fine, and I managed to activate in nVidia control panel (there seem to be no settings for SLi in BIOS), and played a few rounds of BF2. Everything seemed to be working fine up to this point.

I then decided that I would like to monitor the fps. So I downloaded FRAPS and installed. During installation, I received an error (something to do with a .dll file - didn't make a note), and rebooted.

Since then, I have been unable to load windows successfully with the SLi (BSOD). The error I get is non-descript (IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL - no driver mentioned).

I managed to boot into safe mode, and uninstal FRAPS - no change

I then proceeded to try a different driver (81.95) - same problem

As I am unsure whether I should have the drivers loaded before installing the card or after, I have tried both methods. When installing after setting up the 2 cards in SLi mode, I lost video output (although that may be because I have the video connected to the 1st card and not the 2nd).

I am currently trawling through the internet for any posts on how to correctly install SLi to see if I have overlooked anything. In the meantime, I thought I would post here in case anyone else has had similar problems and could help me to locate the source of the problem.

My system specs are as follows:

ASUS A8N32-SLi Deluxe
AMD FX55 - stock cooling, no OC
2 x 1Gb Corsair TwinX 3500LL Pro
2 x XFX 7800GTX Extreme XXX (490MHz)
4 x WD740 'Raptor' (no raid)
Tagan 580W 'Easycon'
SB X-Fi ExtremeMusic
Plextor DVD-RW 716A
Linksys Wireless G PCI adapter

All components are mounted in a CoolerMaster Stacker case with lots of ventilation. Case is currently open to keep temps down whilst setting up and testing Sli configuration.

Thx in advance

Edit:
oops - forgot to mention that I am running on WinXP SP2, and that all drivers and hotfixes are fully updated as far as I know. Also, the mobo is on the latest BIOS (1009)
February 25, 2006 7:51:59 AM

Hi Flakes

I did find the article regarding logitech, but as this STOP error references a specific driver (and was a 0x000000D1 error), I discounted it.

I should maybe have mentioned that the STOP error I get is 0x0000000a.

I also checked the CPU temp. However, whilst it is running a bit hot (57C under full load), it's within tolerance, and as this temp is the same with either 1 or 2 graphics cards, I again discounted this as possible cause.

I found a number of articles regarding this problem, but none of them were very specific, and suggested there could be a multitude of possible causes if there is no reference to a specific driver in the error message.

I did find a nice site that gave some explanation as to how to read these STOP error codes at http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000365.htm. The specific error codes I was receiving were:

STOP: 0x0000000a (0xB1658140, 0x0000001a, 0x000001, 0x80527140)
STOP: 0x0000000a (0xB05c9140, 0x0000001a, 0x000001, 0x80527140)

I received both of the above errors whilst windows was booting.

So, it seems that the address that was referenced improperly changes, but the IRQL that was required to access memory, type of access, and address of instruction that attempted to access the improperly referenced address were constant. This does not help me to identify the root cause of the problem with my current level of knowledge, though.

I did check the seating of the graphics cards, and the connector between the 2, and they all seemed fine. I have also tested both graphics cards individually, and they have both worked without problems over extended periods.

As I go through my previous actions, I have the following 2 ideas as to the possible root cause of the problem.

1. It booted correctly the 1st time I installed the card, and I was able to play BF2 with both cards in SLi mode. At this time, the PC booted without SLi being activated in the nVidia control panel. Windows installed the drivers for the 2nd card, and then allowed SLi to be activated. The next time I rebooted, I got the errror. This could suggest that there is a problem loading the drivers for the 2nd card when in SLi mode.

2. Before booting the 2nd time, I installed FRAPS and received an error related to a .dll file. It's possible that this .dll has been removed/corrupted by the installation of FRAPS, and that this is causing the problem.

Although I deinstalled FRAPS (and also used RegClean to remove the remaining registry entries related to FRAPS), it is possible that this has not been fully deinstalled. The same goes for the graphics drivers I guess. Even though I deinstall the previous graphics drivers (using Add/Remove Programs) before installing new ones, it is possible that I have not fully removed all files.

I also have McAfee running, which is listed as another possible problem (although more related to Windows NT than XP). This could also have affected the installation of drivers.

I am reluctantly heading towards yet another clean install of WinXP to see if that will resolve my problems.

I have a couple more things to try first, and will report if I have any success.

Thx for the help so far

Edit: I also noticed there's a new BIOS been released for my mobo, so gonna give that a go too :) 
Related resources
February 25, 2006 9:13:33 AM

ok, well heres an article on how to troubleshoot the 0x0000000a error.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=314063

happens on bootup? can you acctually get on the pc? if you can get onto the pc you can use "system information" in "start/programs/accessories/system tools" to check for IRQ conflicts, too see what is causing the problem.

by the sounds of it that error is most commonly found when a driver file is corrupt. try running this program in safe mode Driver Cleaner Pro then reinstall the nvidia drivers.
February 25, 2006 9:41:34 AM

Just a quick update on where I am currently:

Updated BIOS to 1011
Deinstalled nvTweak (I wonder if this is where the problem lies)
Reinstalled both cards
Currently on 81.98 drivers

I am now back into windows and all is ok so far.

I am just about to activate the SLi in the nVidia control panel and reboot - wish me luck :p 

Edit:
Well, so far so good. I no longer get that annoying error.

However, I am now getting some video corruption during gameplay. I'm guessing this is down to drivers (maybe). I'll do a search to see if I can find a resolution to this problem. I'll also play around with the nVidia drivers to see if I can find one that works better (got the 82.12 beta to try also).

One thing I have noticed is that the temps on the GPU's seem to be significantly different during gameplay. The main card temp rises into the mid-to-high 60's (C), whilst the 2nd card seems to stay at around 53C, almost as if it's not being used. This could be incorrect reporting in the nVidia control panel though.

I think we're getting closer to a solution, and will post if/when I have any more info or a solution.
February 25, 2006 2:41:01 PM

Well, I've tried various drivers, and still get the video corruption. I'm fairly sure it's a temperature-related problem too, as it seems ok for the first few minutes. I've tried a couple of different games, and they both have the same problem. BF2 even crashed after around 20 mins playing (problem with the nv4_disp driver with beta 82.12 driver).

I then tried to stress test the cards using rthdribl, and got the same results in SLi mode.

Then decided to test them individually. 1 card shows very slight video corruption when it gets hot. The other seems fine. It's possible that the 1st card is not doing what it should be, and when in SLi mode, these problems are more evident.

I did seriously considering trying to 'underclock' the GPU's (they are running at 490MHz - Extreme XXX version from XFX), but then decided to just stick with the single card solution. Seems much simpler, and from everything I've been reading on the forums, the performance gain from Sli is not that significant (some games can even show a performance drop).

At the end of the day, I decided I'd rather have a stable system (bit defeatist I know).

Anyway, just wanted to thank you for your input earlier. It's been yet another learning experience :D 
February 25, 2006 6:58:38 PM

Quote:
One thing I have noticed is that the temps on the GPU's seem to be significantly different during gameplay. The main card temp rises into the mid-to-high 60's (C), whilst the 2nd card seems to stay at around 53C, almost as if it's not being used. This could be incorrect reporting in the nVidia control panel though.


that is normal for sli one card running hotter than the other.

i would RMA the card thats giving you artifacts or get your money back, and then use that money to buy a better card down the line when you decide to upgrade.

happy you solved the problem(sort of).
July 23, 2006 2:29:06 PM

Hey!
I know this post is Old, but, As I build my own SLI recently, and get the same error, if you dont resolve it already, Try putting the SLI bridge the other way around, I was finishing everything, and when I installed for the second time my Second 7800GTX, I put my SLY Bridge backwards, and get that error, I shutdown the pc, put the Bridge, like the first time, and is working great since.-

If you did resolve it, sorry for the waste of time :) 
Max.-
!