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Windows 7: 7 and ATI 4870x2 - Hard Locks

09 Feb 2009   #1

Windows 7 (x64)
7 and ATI 4870x2 - Hard Locks

I originally did a clean install to a new HDD using 7, Microsoft's default drivers and ATI's 7 Beta graphics drivers, and the system randomly hard locks while gaming. Different games (WoW, The Witcher, Bioshock, etc) net the same result. Works very well for some random period of time. Then the entire system locks, necessitating use of the reset button. GPU temps are in the high 30's to low 40s (idle) to the mid 80's (under load) and Processor temps in the 30s (idle) to 40s under load, as provided by Everest Ultimate. 900 Watt OCZ Power Supply fed from a UPS, mild~ish overclock (3.2GHz - 8 multi/1600 FSB - on a Q6600). This system has been rock solid under Vista 64 for the last year+

Under normal usage, it runs well. Of course, the issue with a hard lock is no error code or .dmp is generated, so I wasn't entirely sure it wasn't an issue with the standard chipset drivers or something else. The Action Center is/was no help in solving this.

So last weekend (31st~1st) I did a thorough reformat of the hard drive containing 7 and cloned my very stable Vista 64 install to it using Acronis. Then I used the Upgrade option to take the whole thing to 7. The reasoning is/was doing that would eliminate both MSFT's standard chipset and ATI's 7 Beta drivers as a potential cause because at that point there can be no trace of them anywhere on the system. So now we have an upgraded Vista 64 install, using the factory drivers designed for my DFI LP P35 mobo, and ATI's newest 9.1 VGA drivers.

But No Joy. The system is stable under all conditions using Vista 64, yet still hard locks while gaming in 7.

The two installations are physically identical. The only difference being which Seagate 7200.11 HDD gets the nod while booting. No RAID. So in my mind it's definitely a driver problem between ATI's stuff and 7.

If it were a cheaper graphics card, I would consider dropping it for one that works. But that's not an acceptable solution.

Has anyone had a similar issue? And yes, I understand the answer may well be "Sorry Scott, you have to wait for ATI to fix their drivers for 7"

My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Feb 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Yeah, I don't know, mine does this sometimes when I have my second monitor plugged in the dedicated HDMI port on the card and to my TV. I don't have two cards but I use the ATI 7 beta drivers. I have to plug out the HDMI cable and then it responds again. Mybe not your case but something else to consider.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2009   #3

Windows 7 (x64)

Interesting... I am running a dual monitor setup, though I'm using the DVI ports and not HDMI. When I get home, I'll try it with only the one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Feb 2009   #4

Windows 7 (x64)

Status check - Disabling the second monitor appears to have made a difference. Need to play with it more before I say yea or nay, but it's looking better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Sounds good, let us know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2009   #6

Windows 7 (x64)

OK - Gamed for 4 hours last night on my 7 install. (Strictly in the interest of thorougly testing a proposed solution, you understand)

Turning off the second monitor definitely appears to have solved the hard lock issue. I had none last night, whereas before I'd be lucky to get a half hour.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I understand. I'm glad you got to game, doesn't solve the problem but at least you have a clue as to what was causing it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2009   #8

Vista 64 Home Premium
Possible solution

I feel a bit of a fraud posting here as I havent tried Windows 7 yet - however from what I understand it is built heavily on Vist64 and as I found your crash problem whilst doing some research on my 4870x2 I thought I'd let you know the fix I found for the problem I was having.

World of warcraft runs for ten minutes then goes to a white solid screen. The process cannot be killed by Task Manager. !-2 Minutes later PC locks up requiring a switch off.

Solution (and I use dual monitors) switch off Aero mode. Simply restoring display settings to basic Vista resolved the issue completely for me.

I dont know if Windows 7 has Aero or something similar but I`m betting is does and this will resolve your issue.

Incidentally I`ve done a lot of reading up on tech forums because of this and I can tell you that a lot of the older games are problematic using the 4870x2 because they either dont like crossfire or dual GPUs. This can be largely resolved by switching off catalyst control centre or temporarily setting your 4870x2 to single GPU mode.

This is 99pct an ATI driver issue and apparently their Tech hamsters are working on fixes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2009   #9

Windows 7 (x64)

Thanks for digging this one up - This was an issue I had with the original Beta build (7000). As of the RC, the issue is completely solved/nonexistant. I can/do run multiple monitors with no problems at all. And yes, it's nice to play on one monitor and watch Jorge Lorenzo (MotoGP - real race, not the game) take a *VERY* amazing wet/dry win at LeMans on the other.

Regarding the ATI issue you are referring to: My Main install is Vista 64, and has also been running well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 7 and ATI 4870x2 - Hard Locks

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