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Most baffling video card issue I've ever troubleshoot.

Saga

Banned
Feb 18, 2005
2,718
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Card in question: eVGA 8800GTX

Control systems used:

System 1: eVGA x58 Classified, i7 950, 12GB 2000mhz G.skill Perfect Storm, OCZ Vertex LE 100GBx2 Raid0, 300GB Velociraptor, 1TB Barracuda, Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W. (Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows XP 32-bit)

System 2: eVGA 790i Ultra SLI, E8600, 4GB 2000mhz G.skill, 300GB Raptor, OCZ Silencer 750W Quad (Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit)

System 3: eVGA 680i SLI, E8500, 4GB 1066mhz OCZ Platinum, 150GB Raptorx2, Antec Earthwatts 750W (Win 7 Professional 64-bit, Windows XP 32-bit)

System 4: ASUS P5N-T Deluxe, 4GB 1066 Crucial Ballistix, 75GB Raptor, Antec Earthwatts 650W (Windows XP 32-bit)

Monitors used for control:
3 Different Samsung 25.5" LCD's
2 different Samsung 22" LCD's
2 different Samsung 19" LCD's
1 HP 17" LCD
.. you get the picture, they all work fine.


Alright. My basement floor is an absolute mess of various computer components. I'm about to throw this 8800GTX against the wall. Essentially, I shut the computer it usually resides in down (System 3) one night, and started it up the next morning to the following symptoms.

1) Post screen shows.
2) Windows (all variants listed above) shows the Windows loading screen.
3) Once past the windows loading screen, ALL monitors used go blank and begin toggling between digital/analog (note: NOT "check signal cable")
4) Symtoms exist on machines with fresh OS installs (blank image post windows setup) with NO non-OS disc included drivers.
5) Have applied ALL available drivers from nVidia.com back to the 81 pre ION releases (scrubbing completely via a 10 minute re-image after every attempt) Blank screen persists post Windows loading screen.
6) Using VGA via a DVI-VGA converter cable WORKS flawlessly. Analog signal is detected and displays proper resolutions and 3D output.
7) When using DVI-VGA, once OS is fully loaded and you plug in a DVI cable to the second DVI port, second monitor is detected and promptly displays digitally. Removing DVI-VGA allows for the second port to take over. Booting with just the second port plugged in is the same blank screen post Windows load as plugged into the first port.

So.. I have an 8800GTX that only works if I load Windows with a DVI-VGA cable in analog and then attach a DVI connector and swap once detected. Works using multiple monitors, or even using the SAME monitor. Doing this process works flawlessly, but has to be repeated on EVERY boot on this card, on EVERY system in question, on EVERY OS, with EVERY driver on nVidia's archived drivers page dating back to '08.

Oh.. and one last thing, I installed TeamViewer (a remote desktop control application that is more single-user instance remote friendly) and let the machine load with just DVI. Once the screen goes blank, the computer continues to load and I can remote into it and it's working fine, though the device manager shows Error Code: 10 (which subsequently does NOT show when I do the load with DVI-VGA then swap to DVI..).

So yeah. Card works amazingly well if I jury rig it to turn on, but otherwise faults out. I'm out of ideas, I just wasted the past three days testing this card, and the wife and girlfriend are pissed as sin that I dismantled one of their Linux boxes to keep from going crazy. Any suggestions?
 
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Saga

Banned
Feb 18, 2005
2,718
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It's worked 100% like a champ since the day I got it when the 8800GTX was a few days old. As a matter of fact, it was SLI'd in the machine in question and this entire thing started when the blank screen first showed, I tugged the cards and put them in individually guessing one had gone bad. That started the entire troubleshooting process outlined above when I was sitting there scratching my head at the fact that I could remote into the machine in question and access it with teamviewer and it showed the card as fully functional (at first, until later after various swaps in started spitting out the Code 10) so I assumed it was some bizarre driver issue.. and well, the rest is self explanatory.

I hate shit I can't explain, especially when the hardware APPEARS to be working and it only seems logical it's some stupid Windows driver problem. I got a little excited in my testing perhaps but I have a lot of nostalgia for these particular cards.
 

faxon

Platinum Member
May 23, 2008
2,109
1
81
you have a wife and a girlfriend? :D

as far as your card goes, sounds like it might just be going bad if it only started happening now. idk how to explain it any other way since it's obviously the cards fault
 

Saga

Banned
Feb 18, 2005
2,718
1
0
you have a wife and a girlfriend? :D

as far as your card goes, sounds like it might just be going bad if it only started happening now. idk how to explain it any other way since it's obviously the cards fault
I've covered question #1 before enough times that search is your friend.

Blech. The 8800GTX is probably my favorite video card series. =( I'm just slightly confused as to why it runs flawlessly once I go through the roundabout steps of getting the second DVI to initiate..
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,678
6,739
126
If you aren't using multi-monitor, and your monitor has both DVI and VGA inputs, why not connect both cables?
 

Saga

Banned
Feb 18, 2005
2,718
1
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If you aren't using multi-monitor, and your monitor has both DVI and VGA inputs, why not connect both cables?
Connecting both cables does nothing until I've followed the steps outlined above.
 
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JAG87

Diamond Member
Jan 3, 2006
3,921
3
76
It's simple. The TMDS transmitter is malfunctioning. You know the small screwy NVIO chip near the DVI ports: that. It happens once windows loads because the resolution and bit depth go up and the chip fails the TMDS encoding.

Time to RMA.
 

dflynchimp

Senior member
Apr 11, 2007
468
0
71
have you tried starting the computer in safe mode?

I actually had the same thing happen to me just yesterday with my 4870X2. The comp would post, show that windows was loading, then the screen would go blank with no response.

However, when starting the comp in safemode window does load and displays. so I uninstalled the graphics card/drivers from the computer->system properties->device manager. then I restarted the computer in normal mode and voila, everything was good to go, with the caveat that I had to reinstall my graphics drivers.

I'm pretty sure the whole thing was a case of corrupted drivers, and I hope the same solution works for you.

Edit: I noticed you've tried reinstalling the graphic drivers already. Did you uninstall the card itself before just installing over the old drivers?
 
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Saga

Banned
Feb 18, 2005
2,718
1
0
It's simple. The TMDS transmitter is malfunctioning. You know the small screwy NVIO chip near the DVI ports: that. It happens once windows loads because the resolution and bit depth go up and the chip fails the TMDS encoding.

Time to RMA.
Sadly this is looking to be the case.

Kind of silly eVGA requires you to register every card for a valid warranty. This particular card is still within the warranty period, I simply didn't remember to register it within 30 days. =/
 

Athadeus

Senior member
Feb 29, 2004
587
0
71
Were both 8800GTXs the same model? It should have been easy to troubleshoot if that is the case. You might as well just use DVI-.VGA instead of buying another card or going back to single.

Would the card be within a 3 year warranty of another company anyways? I had a made by ATI Radeon 9800 pro with 3 year warranty, which I sold to a friend with about 10 weeks left on it. The fan broke off the motor about 2 weeks later, and I was able to RMA it and it's still in use now :)
 

Sylvanas

Diamond Member
Jan 20, 2004
3,752
0
0
It's simple. The TMDS transmitter is malfunctioning. You know the small screwy NVIO chip near the DVI ports: that. It happens once windows loads because the resolution and bit depth go up and the chip fails the TMDS encoding.

Time to RMA.
This makes sense. From what you've written above I would make the conclusion that it is a hardware problem. The fact this has only started happening when it was running fine and considering it's a relatively'old' card I'd say it's time for RMA.
 

SlowSpyder

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
17,305
998
126
Sadly this is looking to be the case.

Kind of silly eVGA requires you to register every card for a valid warranty. This particular card is still within the warranty period, I simply didn't remember to register it within 30 days. =/
You might be able to test this theory out a bit, it sounds plausible. Maybe within Windows set your resolution to 640x480 16 color. Reboot and see what happens. If Windows works fine at that low resolution and color depth than you're probably on to something. If not, I'd probably contact EVGA and still try and RMA if you can. :)
 

Saga

Banned
Feb 18, 2005
2,718
1
0
Were both 8800GTXs the same model? It should have been easy to troubleshoot if that is the case. You might as well just use DVI-.VGA instead of buying another card or going back to single.

Would the card be within a 3 year warranty of another company anyways? I had a made by ATI Radeon 9800 pro with 3 year warranty, which I sold to a friend with about 10 weeks left on it. The fan broke off the motor about 2 weeks later, and I was able to RMA it and it's still in use now :)
To have a valid eVGA warranty you are required to register the card on their website. This was purchased back in the day when I was far more lazy about said steps. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try, but something tells me they won't honor the warranty because I didn't follow their required steps.
 

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