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Windows 7 fails to start when swapping 5970

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 30, 2012 2:12:52 AM

Hey everyone,

I have tried searching this issue extensively, but given the number and scope of problems that people have with 5970s I am having trouble finding an answer or potential solution to my problem, which is...

My problem:
I have two 5970s. I used to enjoy them as a QuadFire setup in my old rig. They used to have water blocks on them, which I have removed and placed back the stock shrouds back on. Now, one of the two cards does not work:
-When I use card A(working card) I can boot up windows no problem.
-When I swap out (same slot - #1) or add in card B windows will stall at the "Starting Windows" screen. It appears to happen right before loading the login screen.
-I am able to load into Safe Mode with card B, however, I can never get it to start when Windows loads drivers.

I have tried multiple driver versions (windows standard - 4/2012 and catalyst versions 11.X to newest 12.8) with no change in outcome.

My theory:
I do not think this is related to the heatsink/fan shroud on the card because I have actually swapped the two out (same PCB version) and both will work fine on card A. I think in some way I may have damaged/corrupted the bios of card B, and that is why Windows cannot load (other than Safe/VGA Mode).

Should I try loading up in safe mode and flashing card B's bios? Is their anything else I can do to sort out what may be wrong with the card?

Setup:
Core i7-3930k (stock speed)
Gigabyte X79-UD3
8GB Corsair Vengeance (stock speed, voltage)
Windows 7 64-bit
August 30, 2012 2:18:55 AM

First thing to try is load up into safe mode and either uninstall the drivers if you can, and/or remove the card from the device manager. That should let you into Windows 7, then you can do a fresh install of drivers.
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August 30, 2012 2:44:56 AM

Unfortunately, no success.

I know these things are pretty picky when it comes to driver versions and clean driver sets, but I don't think that's the issue.

I welcome all suggestions though. Don't want to have to RMA this and pay for service/replacement if I can help it.

I may try to flash its BIOS, but not sure if I can do that in safe mode.
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August 30, 2012 2:51:18 AM

dhruvmp said:
Unfortunately, no success.

I know these things are pretty picky when it comes to driver versions and clean driver sets, but I don't think that's the issue.

I welcome all suggestions though. Don't want to have to RMA this and pay for service/replacement if I can help it.

I may try to flash its BIOS, but not sure if I can do that in safe mode.


Had you done a bios flash on this card before? If not, I doubt that could be the issue.
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August 30, 2012 2:59:07 AM

You may be right. I have not tried a BIOS flash before, and to be honest I would like to avoid it. I know it's a good way to make this problem a lot worse.

The card actually ran fine before I put the water block on and when running with the block. But since placing/removing the water-block and replacing the stock HSF shroud, I have come up with this issue.

Could be I physically dinged some pathway or something, but I would have expected random errors or BSOD, not a refusal to load with Windows??

Strange that I only have the error when it loads the drivers. It's fine when in safe mode or no video card (other than standard VGA adapter) drivers are installed.
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August 30, 2012 3:06:57 AM

At boot up and in safe mode, only the very basic parts of the card is used, once loaded into windows 7, it uses more. I've had bad flashed card load up into safe mode just fine, but fail to load into Windows 7.
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