Major issues with a friends computer.. I'm completely baffled.

Syribo

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We have tried troubleshooting for 3 days, and for the first time ever, I'm stumped. His build is:
MSI Gaming 5 Z97 Motherboard
4690K + Arctic Liquid Freezer 120
MSI 970 in SLI
16GB of Crucial RAM
EVGA SuperNOVA G2 850W PSU
Crucial 250GB SSD
Windows 10

(No overclocks, this is at stock)
His problem starts like this. Out of nowhere, he got sudden frame drops in games. 60FPS to 45FPS. Stuttering. He updated his Nvidia driver, still the same. Next day it got even worse. He disabled SLI, the screen started flickering, with black boxes appearing all over. Then he ended up getting nothing but lockups. His computer also wouldn't even start with the two cards plugged into the PSU and SLI enabled. From here, I'm confident one of the GPU's is bad...

He takes out both cards, tries the onboard video, games work, but slowly. He tries to put in just one card, it boots up, but then the system locks up in games. BSODs with DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION sometimes. We try one of his 970's at a time, in different PCI-E slots, and the system won't freeze on startup, but it was sluggish, and 99% of the time would lockup immediately in a game...

So we think maybe it's the PSU. He buys a new PSU, puts it in, same exact issues.. no difference. We decide to try Memtest. One stick of RAM immediately shows about 500 errors. The other stick doesn't. We think we found the problem... try to run the computer with the stick that passed hours and hours and hours of Memtest.... and nope, same issues in any game starts up once again.

At this point I'm completely lost. The two GPU's don't seem to be the issue.. We tried reverting to older drivers, we tried uninstally all of the Nvidia audio drivers after hearing other people have issues with them. We tried a clean install of the newest drivers again. Still no change at all.

Also, with one card in, it would freeze as soon as he tried to login to Final Fantasy XIV using directx 11. He switched to dx9, and it would freeze but not as often. Every pci-e slot had the same issue. NO freezing when using onboard graphics.

He found his old 650ti.. put it in, ran FFXIV in dx11, and the game is actually running...


At this point... I just don't know. I can't imagine BOTH 970's just died. Can that even be possible?? Could it be the motherboard?? When we did Memtest, we tried each stick of RAM in multiple slots too, to see if it was a bad DIMM slot. I am wondering if the next step would be to do a new install of Windows 10... or reset the BIOS? I really don't know anymore, I've never troubleshooted something this much and not found the problem. Unless it really is BOTH GPU's which I mean, he should go buy a lottery ticket right now, because the odds of that seem insane!

Edit: CPU temps are fine, in the 30s. So it's not overheating. The GPU's were in the 40's.
 
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Spartacus

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It does sound like multiple issues going on.

Before anything else, you have to get the memory errors resolved.
It may very well be a mobo problem.

Does the mobo have current BIOS?

Do you have another system to test the RAM and GPUs?

.
 

pendragon1

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bump the voltage on the ram, add .1v and make sure the bios is up to date.
oh and test the battery. a dying cmos battery can cause all sorts of odd issues.
 

Syribo

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So this is strange, I had him just look at his BIOS version and it's 1.0... which is the oldest one. Somehow, mine is 1.4 (I've never updated the BIOS myself), even though I built my PC a year before him. So we'll try a newer version and see what happens with that, but so weird that it only just started with these issues a few days ago.

Now that I look at it... version 1.4 is incredibly old too, from 2014. Maybe I need to update mine too? Though I haven't really had any issues myself hmm.

Honestly, flashing the BIOS scares the hell out of me, I haven't had to do it since my MSI P7N Diamond nightmare days... I will probably leave mine as is since I'm not having issues haha.

But for him, is this basically the best way to go about doing it?
 
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pendragon1

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1.D is the current version and 1.1, 1.4, 1.5 and 1.C all specifically state "improve vga compatibility"
so if the system seems most stable with one stick of ram do that, up the voltage a bit(almost all crucial/corsair need more juice) and update to the newest bios. then try again. hopefully this helps!
 

Syribo

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1.D is the current version and 1.1, 1.4, 1.5 and 1.C all specifically state "improve vga compatibility"
so if the system seems most stable with one stick of ram do that, up the voltage a bit(almost all crucial/corsair need more juice) and update to the newest bios. then try again. hopefully this helps!
Hm, you know, I can't remember if I changed the voltage on my own RAM. We both have identical systems (Aside from me having the 750w PSU, and a 980ti). Same RAM. I hope if he follows that video I linked above, that he'll be safe from bricking the mobo or something haha. That has seriously always scared me... And I'm on the fence about updating mine from 1.4, though I have zero issues.
 

Krenum

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Probably the SSD. Had the same problem with a Crucial SSD on my dads computer, random lockups/slow performance/BSOD's.

Try a different drive.
 

pendragon1

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if yours is running fine I wouldn't bother. but his needs to be stable before attempting the bios update. I would guess that bios 1.4 added support for the 900 series gpus...
and yup the ssd could be an issue too. old firmware was apparently causing the dpc_watchdog errors with win8...
 

Syribo

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if yours is running fine I wouldn't bother. but his needs to be stable before attempting the bios update. I would guess that bios 1.4 added support for the 900 series gpus...
and yup the ssd could be an issue too. old firmware was apparently causing the dpc_watchdog errors with win8...
Well right now, even with both sticks of RAM, and using the old 650ti GPU, his system is stable. Should he try the BIOS update this way? Man, we both even have the same exact SSD and I have no issues with mine haha. I'm on 8.1 still, he's on 10. This is so weird.
 

Krenum

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Are you using the new Nvidia Drivers? If so, knock them down to 376.00, the new ones are garbage imo, they totally messed up my system & disabled some of my video card features. Also, try installing them without the Ge-Force experience.
 
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Syribo

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Are you using the new Nvidia Drivers? If so, knock them down to 376.00, the new ones are garbage imo, they totally messed up my system & disabled some of my video card features. Also, try installing them without the Ge-Force experience.
He's using one of the newest ones now, I believe. I'm having him do a clean install with 376.33 and see what happens. I have 378.49 and was about to install 378.66 because For Honor is out today, but didn't yet. Probably just gonna stick with 378.49 then haha.
 

pendragon1

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yeah leave the 650 in but bump the ram voltage just a bit to be safe maybe .05v. that why I added the "almost every" :) its not gonna hurt it. then update.
your ssd may have a newer firmware. sounds like you got new stock, he got old stock, even though purchased in the same time frame...
I bought my two ocz 60gb SSDs at the same time but didn't think to check the firmware and sure as shit they were mismatched and I didn't notice till way too late. but they have been running fine in raid0 pretty much 24/7 for 4yrs...
and I say use the newest nv drivers then go to older IF you have to.
 

Syribo

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yeah leave the 650 in but bump the ram voltage just a bit to be safe maybe .05v. that why I added the "almost every" :) its not gonna hurt it. then update.
your ssd may have a newer firmware. sounds like you got new stock, he got old stock, even though purchased in the same time frame...
I bought my two ocz 60gb SSDs at the same time but didn't think to check the firmware and sure as shit they were mismatched and I didn't notice till way too late. but they have been running fine in raid0 pretty much 24/7 for 4yrs...
and I say use the newest nv drivers then go to older IF you have to.
He actually purchased all his parts a year after I purchased mine haha, that's why this is so strange lol. We'll try these recommendations and hope for the best. I can usually figure out most issues, but this one has me completely baffled!
 

horrorshow

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Yeah, update BIOS and SSD firmware.

Hopefully that will remedy the issue.

Otherwise, get ready for "the great component swap" game :(

59958121.jpg
 

Syribo

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Jesus Christ this is starting to give ME a headache. So while trying to install an older Nvidia driver, it won't install. Tried doing a completely clean install, and the install stops at like 25% and the error "NvContainerSetup: error. Could not create folder "C:\temp\NVIDIA\NvDisplayContainerInstallerTemp". Access is denied. Tried as Admin, still the same thing.
 

pendragon1

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He actually purchased all his parts a year after I purchased mine haha, that's why this is so strange lol. We'll try these recommendations and hope for the best. I can usually figure out most issues, but this one has me completely baffled!
that is funny. where ever he bought them, they had been sitting on them a while!
that error sounds like a corrupted download. re-d/l and try it again.
oh and the ssd firmware update may wipe the drive. ocz warned me aboot it that's why mine are still mismatched. but get those updated and see how far he gets.
 

fightingfi

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black dots , spots flickering is Def a Video card issue(s) since its in SLI, you never mentioned the BRAND and Watt of the PSU or the fact if its in a battery backup aka UPS which could be failing and causing the random shut downs. Id be looking into the cards and psu\ battery backup if there is one. I see you did mention the PSU *** my mistake what brand was it changed out for? same brand model etc...?
 

RazorWind

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Given that the problem apparently only occurs with the 970s installed, I'd be inclined to suspect one or both of those is the cause of the problem. Test them in a totally different machine, one at a time, and together in SLI.

Especially given the fact that the primary symptom seems to be visual artifacts in the output - there's pretty much nothing else that can cause that without the system just totally crashing.
 
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