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Vista 64 won't boot with SLI enabled

Last response: in Windows Vista
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September 5, 2008 12:34:09 PM

Hi,
I recently upgraded from one 7800GTX to 2 7800GTX in SLI. I have a A8n sli deluxe mobo. I have a dual boot system and after some work I got it working smoothly in XP 32 bit. When I try to boot in Vista 64 now it will do a constant reboot cycle. I can hit F8 for the menu and I tried to boot into safe mode but the same thing happens. I tried doing a repair with the Vista 64 CD but I get a blue screen error after it loads drivers from the CD. I think it must be something simple. I know I got ample PSU power and functining cards. Is there a way to make Vista 64 boot regardless of what errors it gets? I did see the option on one of the menues to have Vista boot without automatic restarting on errors but would that hurt the installation? When I set the mobo bios to single video card Vista 64 boots fine, but I am forcing single card which is only working at 8X speed on pci-e. Any insights would be helpful. After 5 months this is my first issue with Vista 64 and I am rather shocked.

More about : vista boot sli enabled

September 5, 2008 12:46:19 PM

Have you installed the SLI drivers in Vista?

Are they Vista drivers, and not the XP ones?


You can boot Vista in Safe mode: When you turn on the computer, gently/repeatedly tap F8 until you get the "Advanced Boot Options" screen. Select 'Safe Mode' of "Safe Mode with Networking" as you may need. Then press enter to continue with the start/restart. In safe mode, all extraneous drivers and features are disabled. You should be able to repair the issue from there.


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September 5, 2008 1:50:27 PM

I have the latest Nvidia drives 174 I think it is. When I do choose safe mode or safe mode with networking the whole computer restarts/reboots.
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September 5, 2008 2:21:31 PM

I Googled it and came back with not much, only your post here. There is a MS hotfix for SLI and Vidsta but it supposedly only fixes a problem where one of the two cards will show up in device manager but will not get used - you may want to take a look at it anyway http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=1680

You might have better luck with this issue at a dedicated site like this http://forums.slizone.com/

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September 5, 2008 3:31:17 PM

ackonowldged
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September 5, 2008 7:35:33 PM

Is your motherboard flashed to the last available BIOS flash?

Are the 2 7800GTX identical cards, with the default core clock and memory settings exactly the same on both of the cards?

If they're different you may have to BIOS flash the 2 7800GTX to the same clocks, I had to do the same with my 2 7800GTX but I had OCd them and BIOS flashed them both to the same settings, if your GTXs are from different vendors they may be clocked differently, which may, or may not make any difference in XP, but probably will in Vista 64.

You can use nibitor [Nvidia Bios Editor] to read both cards bios and see if the settings are the same, you can get nibitor at http://www.mvktech.net/ , and also the program NvFlash, if you need to flash the cards, all instructions are at the website also.

If you have the latest M/B bios, and your graphics cards are identical, then disregard my post.

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September 5, 2008 8:19:06 PM

Thanks for those link 4Ryan6,

the cards have the same bios, My mobo has BIOS 1016 which is the one that is recommended. 1018 is only to be used of you have a 7950gx2 card. SLI IS working on the XP32 side no problems. I am thinking maybe to just unintsall all Nvidia drivers in Vista 64 OS. Maybe that might do it. My fear is maybe that the MOBO has to have the SLI turned on when installing Vista 64, it can't be turned on after it is installed. That would suck.
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September 6, 2008 12:27:25 AM

maximiza said:
Thanks for those link 4Ryan6,

the cards have the same bios, My mobo has BIOS 1016 which is the one that is recommended. 1018 is only to be used of you have a 7950gx2 card. SLI IS working on the XP32 side no problems. I am thinking maybe to just unintsall all Nvidia drivers in Vista 64 OS. Maybe that might do it. My fear is maybe that the MOBO has to have the SLI turned on when installing Vista 64, it can't be turned on after it is installed. That would suck.



Can you leave the second card in the slot, remove the SLI bridge, and boot into Vista like that?

Have you tried swapping the cards around?

You mentioned you had adequate power, what power supply are you using?


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September 6, 2008 11:51:41 AM

640 watt silverstone is PSU, I did try swapping each card in sli with same result. the cards alone work fine.
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September 7, 2008 11:32:09 PM

I figured it out. I am going to post what happened for records of toms hardware.

It appears unlike XP 32 bit, Vista 64 needs to have 2 megs of ram removed before enabling a SLI motherboard. With just 2 sticks or 2 megs of ram plugged in. In the motherboard bios Hardware memory mapping over 4G has to be disabled, where mine was enabled, and the software memory mapping over 4G has to be enabled, which mine was allready. Once Vista 64 boots and detects the SLI , its as easy has shutting down and re installing the other 2 sticks of ram. Vista 64 works fine now in SLI with 4 Gigs of ram. It only took many hours on a Sunday to figure it out. I have entered lamehood!! lol
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September 8, 2008 1:57:26 AM

Well congratulations! I feels good to solve something like that doesn't it.
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September 8, 2008 2:38:32 AM

yeah it does feel good
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September 8, 2008 2:54:38 AM

Good work! Noted for future reference.
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November 16, 2008 6:16:49 AM

THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!

I just experienced the EXACT same problem -- after running through initial Vista64 install, my machine will continuously reboot when starting up Vista for the first time.

I have two GF-8800-GTX in SLI mode and everything would work perfectly with Vista32. I just got 4GB of ram and decided to install 64-bit to use all the available memory. I have Vista64 on another computer and everything worked fine when installing on that machine. With this SLI machine, it would run the initial install without any problems, but ALWAYS BSOD and restart right away on the initial boot. I had a really hard time figuring out what the problem was until I saw your thread!

I just removed 2 sticks of ram (so there's only 2gb on the mobo) and restarted -- BOOM! Vista64 starts up without any issues. I'll be wrapping up the install soon and will finish installing all SLI drivers before adding the additional ram back in.

Thanks again for this post!
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November 20, 2008 12:55:57 AM

cool!!!!!!
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November 20, 2008 3:25:46 AM

just so it's here for future reference, here's what I found out:

This problem only shows up with Vista 64, NOT Vista64 SP1. So if you are installing Vista SP1 directly from CD, you shouldn't worry about anything.

If you don't have Vista SP1, here are the steps:

1. remove 2 sticks of RAM
2. install Vista64
3. install all video drivers and enable SLI
4. install Vista64 SP1
5. shut everything down and re-install your two sticks of RAM.
6. start-up again and everything should be working fine now.

Again, this thread has been a tremendous help.
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!