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Running Memtest86+ with card installed causes errors.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 11, 2011 4:09:15 AM

Hello Tom's Hardware Fourm Goers. I had a quick question regarding cards.

A while ago, I made the mistake of trying to use my motherboard's (P7P55D Pro) auto overclock from BIOS feature, without knowing what I was doing. After, my Radeon HD 5770 Sapphire card stared not working. I started getting plenty of BSOD's. I uninstalled the ATI drivers, both manually and using Driver Sweeper, hoping to reinstall them. However, I could no longer get to windows (Safe mode or otherwise) with my ATI card installed.

1. I ran memtest86+ with a spare card I had installed. Result: Made one pass. (Still waiting on more results)
2. I ran memtest86+ with my ATI card installed. Result: Threw errors as soon as it started.

I tried booting in safe mode with my ATI card, and it would crash.
I had no problems using my spare card.

Edit: Before it got this serious, I was having difficulty with my card's drivers. It would throw errors relating to ATI files, and when i turned on driver diagnosis with windows, it would catch driver problems.

Is my ATI card dead? Or is this a driver problem? If it is a driver problem, what's the best thing I can do to fix it?
March 11, 2011 2:21:10 PM

memtest tests only the system ram, so it would be very odd if the mere presense of a graphics card would mess it up. I guess it could be happening if the card is defective in a way that could cause voltage drops in the whole system. Could also point to a cooked PSU though... What is the spare card exactly, is the power draw similar to the 5770 or much lower?
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March 11, 2011 2:38:34 PM

Hi Kari. I couldn't find the model of the spare card, but it uses less power. It doesn't require anything extra than a PCI-E slot. No fans are on the card, no cables attached.

The PSU can support the load. It's an 850w Black Widow PSU (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

I suppose I could have damaged it when I used the OC utility, but I doubt it. Are there any settings I should check?

I'm considering rolling back to when I hadn't used Driver Sweeper to remove the drivers, or just reinstall them using the disk the card came with.

In case this helps, before I removed the drivers, the card would display fine, until I tried to do anything 3d. It could run for a little, but would die after about a min. It would really distort the screen, then throw a BSOD. When I had the most recent software installed, and had turned off ATI Overdrive from the Catalyst Control Center, I got a "Driver has stopped working and recovered" error, which lead me to try and remove the driver, hoping to Reinstall.

I used BlueScreenView to view error messages, some contained atikmpag.sys and others contained ntoskrnl.exe
If you need any more info, please let me know.
Thanks for your quick response!
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March 11, 2011 4:15:50 PM

re-installing the drivers might be difficult if you cant get into windows...

Make sure the ram is set up correctly in the bios, voltage and timings. The auto-oc might have changed them. Anyways it could still be just bad ram. Loading up a game will use more ram than just sitting in desktop obviously. And one pass isn't enough to completely rule it out. Test the modules one by one for at least 5 passes, 10 if you have the time. btw have you tested the games with the spare card? If it runs them 'fine' it could rule out the ram as well.
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March 11, 2011 4:36:06 PM

Using my spare card, the computer works just fine.
I ran memtest overnight and had 14 passes, zero errors.
I checked the RAM settings in the BIOS. They are set correctly. (1.65v, 9-9-9-24)
I played a bit of Portal in 800x600 windowed (The spare card isn't very good). I experienced no crashes.
Is there any way to uninstall the drivers of my better card? I believe there was a way involving the registry, but I'm not super confident in me not messing stuff up.

Again, thanks for your quick replies, and your time.
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March 11, 2011 4:56:00 PM

I just realized I should have tested one stick and then the other. I'll do that right away, just in case.
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March 11, 2011 5:21:19 PM

well i suppose that means the ram isnt the cause...
Are you able to test the card in some other pc? friends', perhaps?

I don't know how you could use brute force to install the driver without having the card plugged in in the system, the normal installer wont do it if it doesn't detect the card, and if it really crashes at boot up when the card is plugged in...
Though it shouldn't need the drivers for basic operations at all, windows should use the generic drivers instead. Or did you remove those as well by accident with driver sweeper?? if so, you could try a repair install of windows to fix it up. (rollback might not work)
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March 11, 2011 5:24:48 PM

Alright. I'm still testing 1 stick at a time, just in case. I'll try the windows repair, and the system restore just in case. I'll also use a different PCI-E slot, just in case. Again, thanks for your help.
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March 11, 2011 6:39:50 PM

I was able to get BlueScreenView installed just in case. The errors I've had during this problem are all related to ntoskrnl.exe. I'll make sure to update all of the current drivers before inserting the video card again.
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March 11, 2011 8:06:57 PM

And it's fixed! Hooray!
I ended up doing several things. After I had uninstalled the old drivers, I turned off the computer, and moved the card into a different PCI-E slot. Luckily, I also had to move my wireless card.

When Windows started normally, it automatically started installing drivers. Since it didn't have any internet connection, it did NOT load up Catalyst Control Center. I launched two of the games I had trouble with, and they worked good as new.

Anyone else who has this problem, try doing this.
1. Uninstall the drivers, and Catalyst Control Center.
2. Swap which PCI-E slot the card is in
3. Disable any internet
4. Use the windows supplied drivers to run the card.

I'm not going to update from the January drivers, they are stable enough.

Good luck to anyone else with issues!, Also major thanks to Kari, you were very helpful.
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March 11, 2011 8:21:26 PM

well it's nice to hear you got it working.
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March 11, 2011 11:34:28 PM

Drat, looks like I spoke too soon.
Another bluescreen with atikdmg.sys appeared.

Sigh... i'll get this figured out eventually.
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March 12, 2011 12:33:02 AM

Here's a screenshot of GPU-Z while playing portal windowed. Any of this look abnormally high?
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March 12, 2011 8:23:37 AM

that looks ok, temps are low
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March 14, 2011 1:45:06 AM

It works fine in a different computer. Wipe-Reinstall it is!

Again, thanks for all your help.
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March 20, 2011 5:52:33 PM

Looks like it was a bad PSU all along. Always check it!
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!