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7870 Crossfire

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May 20, 2012 8:09:44 PM

I recently bought a new Alienware Desktop and it had been running fine for about 2 weeks. Yesterday, I went into Catalyst control center, and disabled Crossfire for a game, that did not support CF. As soon as I did, screen went black, and computer restarted. It continually froze anytime I would try to open a game. If I went back into Catalyst control center and attempted to turn CF off, it would restart with CF on, and freeze when I tried to open D3/any other game. So, I called Tech Support, they had me reinstall Windows 7 from the Alienware disc. I finished the installation, installed drivers, and same problem. I called Tech Support back, and they used a remote viewing program to help me, and done a couple tests and eventually said it was my harddrive. They are now sending me a new one. After I got off the phone with them, I downloaded the program they tested the computer's hard drive with and my other computers say the hard driver's health level is "Warning".

I believe it may be a problem with my video cards, because if I try to: 1) Open a game 2) Run dxdiag 3) Run Windows Experience Index, my PC freezes.

System Specs:
Intel Core i7-3820 @ 3.60GHz
8GB Memory
2x 7870 Radeon HD
1 TB Hard drive

More about : 7870 crossfire

May 20, 2012 8:22:05 PM

reinstall the driver..
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May 20, 2012 8:26:56 PM

I have multiple times, as well as tech support did, we even used Driver Sweeper.
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May 20, 2012 8:31:05 PM

remove one card and test your system with single card.
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May 20, 2012 8:39:39 PM

call alienware is what you should do.
Do not take parts out of your warrantied machine or you will lose the warranty....
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May 20, 2012 8:45:10 PM

spentshells said:
call alienware is what you should do.
Do not take parts out of your warrantied machine or you will lose the warranty....

As I stated in my post, I have called them twice, they believe it is a hard drive issue. I just think that's highly unlikely.
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May 20, 2012 8:47:25 PM

i'm telling you check your pc with single card. nothing will be happen to lose your warranty
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May 20, 2012 8:48:32 PM

montagical said:
As I stated in my post, I have called them twice, they believe it is a hard drive issue. I just think that's highly unlikely.



if you open the case your warranty is gone. it is anew machine having issues clearly a month/week after your puchase you could be looking at more problems and if you open the case they can literaly wipe thier hands of it and its all your fault and problem, That is how it works bro no lie.
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May 20, 2012 8:49:17 PM

xtreme5 said:
i'm telling you check your pc with single card. nothing will be happen to lose your warranty



there are seals on the case and when they are broken you lose your warranty


edit - or at least it was that way at 3 different places I built machines for.
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May 20, 2012 8:53:52 PM

spentshells said:
there are seals on the case and when they are broken you lose your warranty


edit - or at least it was that way at 3 different places I built machines for.


Well I don't think that is the way Alienware's warranty is setup, because at the moment they're sending me a new hard drive to install myself.

My concern with taking one card out, is that I will have to buy another crossfire bridge, because from what I was told once it's removed, you can't reuse it. Is that the case?
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May 20, 2012 8:58:37 PM

when the HDD arrive even when it is still doesn't solve the issue, then i'm pretty sure the problem is with GPU's.
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May 20, 2012 9:06:21 PM

xtreme5 said:
when the HDD arrive even when it is still doesn't solve the issue, then i'm pretty sure the problem is with GPU's.



That's what I am thinking as well, I just don't see how the HDD could be causing the problems I am having. It ONLY locks up when it is doing something that would use the video cards. Although I can watch youtube videos/browse/etc. fine.
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May 20, 2012 9:09:31 PM

montagical said:
That's what I am thinking as well, I just don't see how the HDD could be causing the problems I am having. It ONLY locks up when it is doing something that would use the video cards. Although I can watch youtube videos/browse/etc. fine.

same mind...
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May 20, 2012 10:01:47 PM

As an Alienware owner I can only speak of my personal experience with a similar issue. For me, it was an engineering flaw in the cable management of the system.

The cables will sometimes stop the fan in the Radeon cards when in CF. The airflow vent is the same hole the card cables run out of. By spreading them out, I was able to prevent the cables from touching the fan and thus prevent it from stopping.

If not that, definitely have Dell send you a new system.
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May 20, 2012 10:32:31 PM

lenlawler said:
As an Alienware owner I can only speak of my personal experience with a similar issue. For me, it was an engineering flaw in the cable management of the system.

The cables will sometimes stop the fan in the Radeon cards when in CF. The airflow vent is the same hole the card cables run out of. By spreading them out, I was able to prevent the cables from touching the fan and thus prevent it from stopping.

If not that, definitely have Dell send you a new system.



Any tips on how to go about doing this? I'm not for sure I completely understand what you mean. Also opening Furmark instantly freezes my PC. No errors, just everything freezes, mouse doesn't move, nothing.
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May 20, 2012 10:56:16 PM

montagical said:
Any tips on how to go about doing this? I'm not for sure I completely understand what you mean. Also opening Furmark instantly freezes my PC. No errors, just everything freezes, mouse doesn't move, nothing.



Remove the bottom card (really easy and it won't void anything). Once the card is out (don't unplug it because you're putting it right back in) spread the cables running from the air vent to the card out. It's a very tight fit when the Aurora is running dual Radeons. The cables almost always make contact with the fans in the Radeons. This caused (for me) random shut downs and freezes. As obtuse as it sounds, *mash* them down.

I thought it was odd too but, the Dell Alienware forums have MANY reports and resolutions using this method. Seriously, it works.

After 3 hours on the phone with tech support, the fix was actually VERY easy...and common.
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May 20, 2012 11:05:43 PM

lenlawler said:
Remove the bottom card (really easy and it won't void anything). Once the card is out (don't unplug it because you're putting it right back in) spread the cables running from the air vent to the card out. It's a very tight fit when the Aurora is running dual Radeons. The cables almost always make contact with the fans in the Radeons. This caused (for me) random shut downs and freezes. As obtuse as it sounds, *mash* them down.

I thought it was odd too but, the Dell Alienware forums have MANY reports and resolutions using this method. Seriously, it works.

After 3 hours on the phone with tech support, the fix was actually VERY easy...and common.



Do I need to leave the bridge attached? Also, do I simply just pull the card out? Any latches/etc.?
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May 20, 2012 11:08:20 PM

You'll have to remove the bridge. Once that's done, from what I recall (not currently at my Aurora), you simply pull it out.
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May 20, 2012 11:09:34 PM

lenlawler said:
You'll have to remove the bridge. Once that's done, from what I recall (not currently at my Aurora), you simply pull it out.


Will I have to buy a replacement bridge? I was informed(may have been misinformed) that once a crossfire bridge was removed, it wouldn't work anymore.
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May 20, 2012 11:22:01 PM

Crossfire bridge is a cable and 2 connectors - connectors do have a finite plug/unplug life cycle - usually way more than one.
-Bruce
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May 20, 2012 11:24:26 PM

So I should be okay with removing it once?

Also, should my monitor work on either video card? It only seems to give me a display when I plug it into the bottom one.
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May 20, 2012 11:31:34 PM

montagical said:
So I should be okay with removing it once?

Also, should my monitor work on either video card? It only seems to give me a display when I plug it into the bottom one.



Removing it once won't harm it. When tech support made a follow-up call, I told them about the problem and the fix. They said they were aware of it (though they never told me to fix it via this method-I suspect because they don't want to tell people they have to *mash* cables after buying a system from them).

Yes, getting video from only one card is common depending on your setup.
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May 21, 2012 12:49:39 AM

I've got the bridge off, screws off, but I am pulling pretty hard on the card and it won't come out. I can only really reach one side as there is no room on the other side though. Any tips/advice?
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May 21, 2012 1:18:45 AM

Try pulling on one side to see if it even comes loose. If it does, slowly loosen it by pulling on both ends. If this doesn't work, contact tech support to walk you through it. Tell them what you're trying to do (adjust cables in front of fan on gpu).

They should be willing and able to talk you through it better than I can (not in front of PC).

If you don't have to call tech support, I would definitely read the post about your issue from the Dell forums. I don't believe re-running the cable is necessary; just adjusting it should do.
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May 21, 2012 1:30:03 AM

Got both cards out, there was a latch on both slots, and I had to remove the first one to access the second latch.

Adjusted the cables, and put JUST the bottom one back in, turned it on, worked fine. Ran Furmark for a bit, then powered it back off.

I put the 2nd card back in, attached the bridge and powered on. Opened the CCC went into Crossfire and it was disabled, upon enabling CF, I get a black screen, not the normal lockup I was getting. My monitor still detects a source, but nothing appears.

I've tried putting the HDMI cable into the top card, but then my monitor doesn't even detect a source and powers off.

Do I have one bad card, or what?

Also, when I have to restart after enabling CF, upon restart CF is back disabled.
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May 21, 2012 1:40:49 AM

You possibly have a bad card though I would call tech support with what you just attempted. I think we know for sure though, it isn't your hard drive.
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May 22, 2012 12:08:17 AM

lenlawler said:
You possibly have a bad card though I would call tech support with what you just attempted. I think we know for sure though, it isn't your hard drive.


Thanks for all your help, I ended up testing for a bit more, and narrowed it down to it being one bad card. Called them, told them to stop the shipment of the HDD and, they gladly are sending me a new video card.

Once again, thank you for all your help!
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May 22, 2012 7:57:47 AM

montagical said:
Thanks for all your help, I ended up testing for a bit more, and narrowed it down to it being one bad card. Called them, told them to stop the shipment of the HDD and, they gladly are sending me a new video card.

Once again, thank you for all your help!

see i told you before the problem is with GPU's??? :sarcastic: 
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