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A very unique and mysterious problem I'm facing.

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
September 30, 2012 9:21:23 AM

Dear fellow PC enthusiasts

I come to you today, and even made an account for it after al long time of lurking, with a problem I cannot seem to solve. And after spending another 120 euros on a new motherboard and still encountering the same problems, I'm just really lost.

It all started when I just built my new pc. It contains Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti, an Intel i5 3570 CPU, 2 sticks of 4gb Corsair XMS3 and an XFX pro 550w.

The first evening I put it together, the system worked like a charm. I was able to play BF3 and GW2 on ultra settings so I was very pleased.
However, when I wanted to add my old HD to copy all my music, movies and pictures on to my new Samsung Spinpoint F3, it all took a turn for the worst.

I plugged my old HD in an extra SATA opening and connected it to the PSU and from the moment I fired the machine up again, the motherboard loading screen and my bios screen were too big for my screen, in other words, a very low resolution, and what's more, the windows loading screen was also in low resolution and when it normally should go to the login screen, my screen loses the signal from my GTX 660 and the screen goes black.
Those are the two main problems I'm having:
- The motherboard loading screen an the bios screen are in low resolution.
- The windows loadig screen is in low resolution and my screen loses signal with the videocard when the login screen should appear.

Now, my first thought was static electricity since I very lightly touched the iron cooler segment of my GPU. So I test the internal onboard graphics device and there, everything still works like a charm.
So I plug the cable back into my GTX 660 Ti, put the bios back on PCIE as the primary display device and format the pc.
It all goes well and even boots into windows right after the installation but the motherboard loading screen and the bios are still messed up and from the moment I install the latest nVidia drivers and it should load windows in a higher resolution, the screen loses the signal again.

At this moment I was positive it was the videocard so I mailed it back to the distributor saying it was defect. I was under the belief that it could only be the GPU and that I would soon get another one.
However, a couple of days later, the same card was back in the mail and I got a phonecall and a mail saying that they found no problems with the card after a couple days of testing it in idle and full performance situations.

So it fell back to me to find an answer. I plugged the card back in and a small miracle occured, everything was just fine! I could boot into windows in high resolution and even the motherboard loading screen and the bios screen were the right res.
However, I proceeded with installing the other drivers and when I came to the USB 3.0 drivers, I got a blue screen and when I reset the system I have the same problems as before.
I did, at that moment, swap the GPU for my old GTX 275 and with this card in the pc, it booted up fine and gave my high res windows I was hoping for.
I, then, tried my GTX 660 Ti in my old system and it also worked like a charm. So that's the mysterious and the weird part.

So the next day I asked my cousin to come over for a second opinion and he changes the cables, tries another screen, another PSU but all to no avail.
So he goes on saying that it's probably somewhere in the combination of my motherboard and my GPU and that it'll probably be solved if I got a new motherboard.

So I scrape together all my money together and buy an ASUS P8Z77-M under the firm belief that everything would be solved but when I come home and install it, it gives exactly the same problem as with my other motherboard, which is a MSI H77MA.

At this moment I'm really, really lost. I'm currently at work and my pc is running memtest86 but after 75%, which is where I left, when I left the house, there are still no errors. So is there anything else that I can do? I don't want to go to a specialist quite yet since I don't have that much money to spare.
Is there anything else that I can do? Anything that I could have missed? Or is there anybody who had the same problem? I'm open to all suggestions since I'm really really desperate by now.

Thanks in advance!
Ryan

More about : unique mysterious problem facing

a c 1647 U Graphics card
September 30, 2012 3:22:32 PM

You do a clean OS install with the new motherboard?
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September 30, 2012 3:38:54 PM

Yep, at first I didn't because it booted into windows in low res but when it asked for a restart, I saw the same problem popped up.
So I formatted the pc. Still nothing. I'm gonna try to format it on the internal graphics device, install the drivers, and then turn it to the PCIE. But I'm not very hopeful.
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a c 151 U Graphics card
September 30, 2012 4:04:23 PM

Unfortunately, if you have problems at the bios, that rules windows out as the bios is pre windows.

I would have guessed a bad card just as you did, but the card works on other systems making it even worse.

When you test it in another system have you tested it for a few days, maybe its not a problem that shows up right away.

Does you board have the latest bios? Maybe this was an issue that has been fixed by the board maker. The worst part here is that you have tried 2 boards, this does look an awful lot like a video card issue to me.

Have you tried to run the card from a different connection(HDMI/VGA?).
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a c 128 U Graphics card
September 30, 2012 4:10:50 PM

after you plugged in the other HD........ problems occured. still have that drive plugged in now ? or is everything running fine without it installed ? raid isn't enabled is it/was it ?
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September 30, 2012 4:29:04 PM

Everything was ok until you plug-in the old HDD. So the normal thing to do was to undo the last change made and unplug the old HDD to see if things revert back to normal. Have you tried this, removing the old HDD?
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a c 514 U Graphics card
September 30, 2012 4:29:36 PM

When you attached your old hard drive, is it possible that you booted from it, and were trying to use the old windows?

Every discrete graphics card has a default low res capability. That is needed for the bios to work and for windows to work until you can get a driver installed to support your video adapter.

I suggest you try working things out using your integrated display adapter. You will need to install the chipset drivers to get that to work properly too.

Once you get that working, along with an attached old hard drive, then work on getting the discrete GTX660 installed.

Another possibility to check is the motherboard bios level. If there is an update that looks to adress your problem, then, and only then install it. A bad bios flash can brick your motherboard.
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September 30, 2012 5:40:04 PM

For all the information I delivered, I forgot to tell you that I disconnected the old HD the moment I noticed something wrong. So it hasn't been plugged in, in my new motherboard yet.

I'm gonna try and format/install everything off the internal graphics device and afterwards switch to the PCIE.

Thanks for the replies btw, I know it's a lot to read but I wanted to give as much information as possible.
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September 30, 2012 5:49:20 PM

There is a bios update for my ASUS motherboard that is said to improve system stability and compatibility with PCI devices. Is this worth a bios flash?
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a c 128 U Graphics card
September 30, 2012 5:56:12 PM

if it ain't broke don't fix it.
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September 30, 2012 6:37:47 PM

Okey, it seems a new problem has arisen. My GPU is not detected anymore when I try to install drivers and the cooler fans are not running anymore. Is this because I'm working on my integrated graphics device?
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September 30, 2012 6:49:20 PM

Since I cannot edit messages:

The cooler fans are running but nowhere, not even in the BIOS, is the card recognized. It's like it's totally dead.
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a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2012 6:57:58 PM

In the past on my systems, when I have random stuff like this happen it's been a PSU issue. I'm not sayin' 550 isn't enough wattage. But if you could rule that out, it's one more piece you can be sure of. I'd try the system with a different PSU. Might be why your card works fine on the other system, and not this one.
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a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2012 7:01:48 PM

did you try running off one stick of RAM? Also could it be the PSU is not delivering enough power? I don't know anything about XFX PSUs. and even if it was a quality PSU, you might have a a defective one. did you try swapping it out?

also, try disconnecting everything but the 660Ti, the mobo, CPU/HSF, and RAM, and PSU and then start adding things one at a time.
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September 30, 2012 7:14:42 PM

I did try another PSu and to no avail.
I just plugged the GTX 660 Ti in my old PC and even there it does'nt do anything anymore. It seems it's totally broken now.

I don't know if the guys from Alternate were lying when they said they tested it for a couple of days or that it was just not as broken then as it is now but I think I can say for sure now that it is in fact the GPu that's the problem.

I'm gonna call them tomorrow and send it back once more.

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