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Two GeForce 8800GT Cards, Three Monitors, One Card Won't Start

Tags:
  • Nvidia
  • Graphics Cards
  • Monitors
  • Geforce
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 11, 2008 6:02:27 PM

I have an ASUS P5E WS Professional motherboard. This board supports two PCI-E video cards. I have two Gigabyte GeForce 8800GT video cards. I have an Apple ACD 23" connected via an ATEN KVM and a Dell 3008WFP both connected to one card and a Wacom 21ux connected to the second card. I am running WinXP Pro. Only the two monitors on the first card display. When I look at properties->settings only those two monitors are displayed. When I go to the Device Manager, it shows the second video card with the exclamation point. The properties device status says, "Device cannot start (Code 10)." Troubleshooting suggests deinstalling/reinstalling the driver, but Windows will not allow me to uninstall as the device is required for boot. I have installed the NVidia GeForce 8800GT driver 6.14.11.7824 downloaded directly from NVidia. When I attempt to update the driver (since I can't uninstall it) Windows says there is not better driver than the one currently installed.

Should this configuration work? If so, what's next to try. If not, any suggestions on hardware (video card(s)) that will support it?

For completeness, other hardware: Intel E8600 CoreDuo, 4GB RAM, 250GB RAID1 system disks using the onboard controller, LSI SATA 800X PCI-X controller with 3x320GB RAID0 and 3X750GB RAID5 storage.

More about : geforce 8800gt cards monitors card start

November 11, 2008 8:53:43 PM

Stranger and stranger. I booted in the process of doing something else and viola all three monitors became active. I installed the Wacom Tablet Driver software and booted. Back to two monitors. Thinking it might be an "every other boot" issue I booted again. Now I am down to one monitor! In the device manager both video cards are code 10 although the ACD seems to be working fine. This is simply odd and I have no clue what to do next!
a b Î Nvidia
a c 107 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
November 11, 2008 9:34:17 PM

Well you have an X38 board which is primarily meant for running two ATI video cards in crossfire while nVidia boards are primarily the ones that run multiple nVidia cards. That said I don't think there's been a lot of testing on a configuration like yours so it's probably a driver bug. It would be hard to say what the offending driver is though. While it is likely the GPU driver, it could also be a problem with a motherboard driver.

For now try this. Boot your computer into safe mode, go into your control panel, go into system, click on the hardware tab, and click on device manager. Click on display adapters and then right on the 8800GT video card and select uninstal. Repeat this process with the second card. Reboot into windows normally. Do not allow your computer to install the drivers automatically. Install the official nVidia drivers. Hope that helps.
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November 11, 2008 10:21:48 PM

I want to blame the wacom.
November 12, 2008 2:20:21 AM

Mega, I will give it a go when I get my next open time slot ... I need to use the machine for the next few days. I also didn't mention that I added the second card after the first had been running for a few days, although it, too, had some issues and required reinstalls. What is odd is that sometimes the Dell doesn't come up (and when it doesn't the Device Manager says Code 10 even though the ACD is running fine. And, of course, the once that the Wacom came up, too and I was able to configure them all.

bobb, the Wacom is just a monitor and ran fine on the same card when it was the only card in another machine for weeks without ever an issue. That's one of the reasons I moved the card and popped an old Radeon X1300 in the machine on which it had been running ... because I knew the card would drive all three. The pen-tablet support is a separate USB device that doesn't know anything about monitors.
November 13, 2008 11:01:31 PM

Well, I have been doing a lot of booting since my last reply due to a failed disk in my RAID 1 system array and didn't get around to reinstalling the drivers (yet!) The array is controlled by the motherboard Intel Matrix ICH9R chipset and I didn't know about the Matrix Monitor provided by Intel. I have since installed it and am rebuilding. However, during one of the boots, the Wacom started "starting" and has now come up properly about four times in a row. I can't see how the failing disk in the RAID array could have had any effect so I have no clue how this "healing" came about. If it starts failing again I will do the Safe Mode deinstall/reinstall as suggested.
November 15, 2008 3:11:37 AM

what, x38 doesnt support sli dude, thats ur dam prob!!!!
November 15, 2008 2:18:59 PM

Um, I don't think I'm using SLI. Do you know what SLI is? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Link_Interface for an explanation. And then note that I am trying to run three (3) separate monitors, not one. Not being a gamer and having no interest in SLI or CrossFire I just used cards that I happened to have.

OTOH, I suppose there may be some sort of incompatibility. So where does one look to see which video cards are most compatible with a motherboard/chipset/whatever?
November 16, 2008 3:43:50 AM

ya like u said a compatability issue is most likely the prob, and btw i have owned several sli rigs, i might be 15 but im not a dam idiot

im saying if ur putting 2 8800gt's is an x38 mobo ull prob have problems
November 16, 2008 2:36:32 PM

Well, it seems to have just magically started working for my configuration so I'll stick with it for now. What's your recommendation for a not the most expensive video card that will drvie two 2650x1900 monitors for x38 or x45 chipset?
November 24, 2008 9:58:53 PM

for intel chipsets, one or two 4870's with 1gb of ram, tat way u can run crossfire
November 24, 2008 10:28:28 PM

Thanks ... what are 4870's? BTW, I don't want to run a single fast monitor for gaming, I want to run three (or four) separate monitors doing different things.
January 11, 2009 11:05:00 PM

Well, I finally reinstalled the drivers in Safe Mode and they started working fine. Then I installed LightRoom 2.2 and occasionally the system hangs in it and won't shut down to clear it out and I have to power off/on and when I come back the video drivers are clobbered again and must be reinstalled.

I have also now run into problems with faulty logic in an Aten CS1782 KVM switch that doesn't give the keyboard to one of two boxes any more. The Aten seems VERY fragile and probably isn't ready for prime time.
February 17, 2009 9:54:36 PM

Back again to report that I have pulled one video card. Every couple of days something would happen to hang the system and I would be unable to shutdown. After the power cycle to get the system back up, one or both video cards would not start. The only way to correct the problem was to reinstall the drivers and even this would sometime require three complete deinstall/reinstall cycles. I spent three to four hours doing this a number of times. It is simply not worth it. I have put one of the GT8800's on the shelf as a spare and am running two monitors.

I expect to build a new machine targeted at 64 bit Windows 7 this summer and will look into a single card supporting three or more monitors if there are such beasts. I don't think two graphics cards, not configured as CrossFire or some other such coupling, trying to run three or four monitors is viable.

Again, I thank you all for your comments and suggestions.
February 18, 2009 2:53:34 AM

So, is there a reason you suspect that two of these 4870's will work correctly to drive three or four monitors when the Nvidias kept failing? I'd spend the money to replace the Gigabyte's if there was some good reason to believe they'd work. As it is I suspect that there is some sort of interrupt or software stack problem with two video cards which could be hardware or software dependent. But if you know someone who is running such a configuration I'd be very interested. Oh, and thanks for getting back to me.

Dwight
February 18, 2009 4:06:53 AM

dwightmccann said:
Not being a gamer and having no interest in SLI or CrossFire


With that said, I'm not sure why dual 4870s for crossfire is being suggested. I can see the reasoning behind 2 ATI cards being more compatible with an intel chipset, but there's no need for a card as powerful as a 4870. A pair of 4650s or so would be enough power.

I've never used mutli-monitor setups, let alone with your particular combination of motherboard/graphics cards, so I (unfortunately) cannot give you much advice. I just don't want to see you go out and purchase $450 worth of video cards when about $120 would give you the same results.
February 18, 2009 1:09:06 PM

efeat said:
With that said, I'm not sure why dual 4870s for crossfire is being suggested. I can see the reasoning behind 2 ATI cards being more compatible with an intel chipset, but there's no need for a card as powerful as a 4870. A pair of 4650s or so would be enough power.

I've never used mutli-monitor setups, let alone with your particular combination of motherboard/graphics cards, so I (unfortunately) cannot give you much advice. I just don't want to see you go out and purchase $450 worth of video cards when about $120 would give you the same results.


I appreciate your reply. I don't expect that I will be buying any new cards since this three monitor arrangement clearly doesn't work. I am going to again try to contact Gigabyte about this setup but I expect that either they will not reply or there will be a flurry of smoke and mirrors without really addressing my problem. Should there be a resolution I will update this thread.

It is interesting that in all my searches I did not run into any thread/post anywhere in which someone successfully ran three or four monitors using two video cards. Lots of combinations running TVs and such but not three large DVI-D monitors.

Again, thanks.

Dwight
February 18, 2009 4:12:57 PM

Well I know that ati and nvidia with crossfire and sli only let u use 1 monitor but i think recently they have been opening there drivers, also i recomended 4870 cause the op has 8800GT and a pair of 4650 is considerably slower
February 23, 2009 6:11:52 PM

I have just concluded a very unsuccessful exchange with Gigabyte! They require you to jump through hoops to provide information about your system and cards in order to submit a ticket, including card serial numbers and retail vendor, but then never peek at the information. But it really doesn't matter since, after explaining in meticulous detail what the problem is and what I've done to deal with it, the guy just asks if I have tried the very things I spent time putting in my ticket. Once those exchanges were complete, his response was that it must be a motherboard problem. No mention of known issues with my motherboard (which I had to provide information about to submit the ticket) or other issues. Nothing about possible driver problems or install options or maybe other hardware options, etc. So, Gigabyte is on my Do Not Buy list simply because their technical support isn't. I've spent hundreds of dollars on their products and they don't have a clue! Not that I'm happy with ASUS but everybody just wants to point the finger at someone else. I hope Gigabyte doesn't survive the recession.
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