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Just Crossfired, Frozen at Starting Windows Screen

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 5, 2012 2:24:53 PM

Hi everybody,

I recently added a new graphics card to my current set up to take advantage of crossfire x. I uninstalled the drivers for my current card, shut down the system. Installed the new card as instructed for crossfire setups, making sure the crossfire bridge was securely fastened to both graphics cards. I was able to boot up and install the current drivers. It then asked me to reboot to complete the set up and since then I cannot get my machine to load past the windows loading screen. So my question is what am I doing wrong?

System Specs:

CPU: i7-860 @ 3.96ghz
MOBO: Asus P7P55d-E Pro
GPU's: 2 X HD5970's 2GB @ Factory Clock (Asus, Diamond)
RAM: G Skill RipJaws 8GB
HDD: 80GB Intel x-25m
HDD2: 500 gb samsung f3
PSU: Corsair 850TX

My hunch is either the new graphics card is bad or my PSU is completely maxed...If any more info is need let me know. Thanks
January 5, 2012 2:50:17 PM

I doubt its a hardware failure issue... I think I read that having the same BIOS versions will help with compatibility... Your issue occurs when trying to load windows, which points to software/driver issues, not hardware...

Can you run fine using one card at a time? If so, then I doubt it's hardware related...

Should have nothing to do with your Power Supply either, 850 should be big enough.

Try re-installing your driver... can you swap the cards, making the other one the primary card and see if that changes anything..?
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a c 124 U Graphics card
January 5, 2012 3:11:49 PM

crossfire 5970s are known to be a pain in the ass, unfortunately. Quadfire in general, really.

Anyway I'd have to think it could be PSU but probably just a software *** up.

Have you tried getting in using SafeMode? If you can, remove the drivers then reinstall again.

If you can't, try taking out a card and see if it boots with just 1 card.
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January 5, 2012 3:27:54 PM

Well with just the one Hd5970 I have had great luck... Yesterday was the first time I have attempted to try and crossfire any setup. I can boot into safe mode, however since the drivers are disabled by the OS while in safe mode, ati ccc uninstaller does not detect the graphics cards. I have been able to boot while only using one card, but I have not tried booting with the single new card. I will try that when I get back to my house.. I am unfamiliar with updating bios on GPU's, is it pretty simple? Or is it like updating the bios on a mobo where you have to download the iso, burn that to a disc, reboot and open up your bios and run the updater utility? Can you think of any other troubleshooting that may help me? I just want as much info as possible. Thanks guys.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
January 5, 2012 4:24:56 PM

You can use ATIWinFlash for the GPU BIOS if you want. It shouldn't matter though.

I'd suggest as a first step, uninstalling your drivers again (using the single card) and also running Driver Sweeper this time before shutting down. Then install the 2nd card and see what happens.

I actually had a wierd issue where my PC would go blank screen after the windows loading screen and the only fix for me was to reinstall windows. It was able to boot into safe mode, and I could run driver sweeper. Then I could boot normally and install the drivers, but it would just blank screen again on the next boot.

So, yeah, you might need to do a Windows install. Hopefully not, or at least just a "repair" install to make it a lot faster to get back up and running.
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January 5, 2012 4:41:06 PM

Yeah I had backed up all my stuff and did a reinstall of windows before I installed the second GPU. So in a timeline it went something like this:

1. Reinstall Windows
2. load all drivers, (win7 automatically installed a makeshift driver for my gpu)
3. Downloaded and installed sp1 (its apparently needed for the newer drivers from ati)
4. Downloaded ati 11.12 (not installed)
4.5: Uninstalled makeshift win7 graphics driver
5. Shut down computer.
6. Install new gpu into crossfire
7. Boot up computer
8. Installed saved ati 11.12 drivers
9. Reboot
10. FREEZING lol

As far as flashing the gpu goes. I think that is my next option. I'm just going to update them one at a time I suppose. Is ATIWinFlash an application from their website? Also you said it shouldn't matter..Were you implying that flashing the bios usually isn't what affects these problems or something else? Thanks for all of your answers thus far.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
January 5, 2012 5:05:49 PM

I mean the BIOS version shouldn't matter, but that isn't to say it is not the issue. It very well might be.

ATI Win Flash is from Techpowerup.com. FYI if you do it, in my experience you need to have CF disabled and also do the flash right after a fresh boot. For some reason on my PC it doesn't like to work properly if I have already been using my PC for a little while.

It'll also be good if you can try the new card on it's own, make sure it works.
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January 5, 2012 6:00:43 PM

Ok, when I get home I will try these steps... Thanks so much for your help! I will let you know what I find out.
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January 5, 2012 11:39:52 PM

Ok, So i just tried booting up only using the new card. Initially it booted up fine. I uninstalled the previous drivers. Then rebooted. Then used driver sweeper, and rebooted. Then I reinstalled the drivers using the new card. After it reboots my machine freezes at the starting windows splash screen. So I switched back to my original card and it booted up no problem. I'm thinking this might be hardware related,, What do you all think?
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a c 124 U Graphics card
January 6, 2012 3:38:08 AM

Yeah I guess so. If it's easy, RMA/return the card for a new one. Otherwise, you might want to try the BIOS flash.
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January 6, 2012 1:37:49 PM

Definitely sounds hardware related now... RMA/return the new card is your best option. If you try and flash it and it bricks your card, you may not be able to return it.
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January 6, 2012 2:04:10 PM

I contacted the seller and he is going to return the card. I didn't want to have to deal with RMA. I will just take my money and use it elsewhere. I was thinking maybe an HD5870. They've got a freaking sweet deal on some brand new ones from ebay.

What do you all think about going trifire as opposed to quadfire? Since the Hd5870 only has 1gb of memory does that mean I will only have 1gb of memory combined for the two gpu's on the HD5970?
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a c 124 U Graphics card
January 6, 2012 2:17:12 PM

5970s only have 1gb per GPU as well, so yeah. 5870+5970 is a very good setup.

Curious why you think you need the performance, though? A 5970 should max anything at 1080p. My CF 5850s are up to the task. Maybe just overclock it?
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January 6, 2012 2:32:55 PM

Well I know they have 1GB per GPU but when its crossfired won't it downgrade the memory to equal the hd5870? So 2 gpu's only share 1 gb? Totalling 2 GB of memory for the trifire set up? Or am I wrong and its actually 3 gb total memory? I know when resarching the quadfire setup everyone was saying that even though I have 2gb of memory per card its still only 2gb memory for the crossfire setup.

The reason I'm looking for performance is I have a 1920x1200 display, and there are some games that I want ALL the eycandy. There are a couple of games like battlefield 3, crysis 2, metro 2033, that look utterly amazing but there are points where I see fps drops. I don't like that at all. So yeah thats kind of why I want such a large setup.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
January 6, 2012 5:46:34 PM

The 5870 gpu has 1gb, the 5970 has 2 gpus and 2gb of VRAM, so it is also 1gb per gpu.

In crossfire, the memory does not add up. So your VRAM is 1gb even on a single 5970.

Basically, with the trifire, you will have 3gb of VRAM but it is divided 3 ways - all memory is duplicated between each GPU kind of like RAID 1 hard drives.
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