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Windows 7: MSI Z170a Gaming 3 or GTX 960 GAMING 100ME Issue?

30 Jul 2016   #1
Microbell

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1+Updates
 
 
MSI Z170a Gaming 3 or GTX 960 GAMING 100ME Issue?

Greetings All,

I posted this over at both the MSI and TomsHardware forums as I think it's a hardware issue but I want to make sure it's not a Windows 7 issue so I'm going to post it here in case anyone has some thoughts or ran into a similar issue in the past.

Gents,

I've run into an issue on a new build that I can't nail down and need your advice on my next steps so I'll try to give you all the information I have and what I tried. This is a NEW build that was built about 3 weeks ago. Everything ran fine until today when it all went wrong after a game lockup.

Everything worked fine today when I booted up so I decided to play Witcher 3 which I've been playing with no issues (with the exception of a freeze for a second or two in big cities when the CPU hit's 100%) but those are few. Anyway at the main menu screen (not playing yet) today it locked up for the first time. Had to use reset button as CNT-ALT-DLT didn't work and on reboot the problem appeared.

Problem:
No matter what I do I can't get GTX 960 out of 800X600 resolution safe mode or resolve it's conflict.

Description of how it Boots Events:

1. Starting the PC (powering on) this is what happens between devices.
2. The GPU lights up and monitor is Blue (active)
3. Four seconds later GPU lights OFF, VGA on motherboard turns RED and Monitor goes AMBER (no signal)
4. Six seconds later GPU lights ON, RED VGA light goes OFF and Monitor goes Blue (active)

At this point it loads the bios screen at 800X600 resolution and same if I enter windows. With or Without the Nividia drivers installed I can not change the desktop resolution and device manager reports the device is disabled and conflicts. All functions on "Change Display Settings" beyond 800X600 is "greyed out" and under "Properties" it's all blank. Checking "resources" it's conflicting with the Intel CPU resources. Also on boot-up a small graphic glitch appears on the screen for a few seconds (3 wide lines) then goes away.

Steps I've taken and it's result:

1. Removed and Reinstalled Drivers. NONE
2. Removed and re-seat GPU NONE
3. Double Check voltages from PSU for stability (fine 12.34v on 4 rails) NONE
4. Remove all drivers and the card, reboot and let Windows 7 install it's own. NONE
5. Installed and Reinstall drivers through device manager. NONE
6. Ran SFC to check for corruption. NONE
7. Swapped out 960 for a known good 450 ***SEE BELOW***

Now. Here's where my trouble shooting skills are at a loss. Thinking it's now a GPU issue I removed all drivers and installed my old GTS 450 to test.

GTS 450 Boot events:

1. Power PC.... Motherboard VGA (RED) and Monitor Blue (active)
2. Three seconds later VGA RED goes OFF and enters BIOS and Windows at high resolution.
3. Installed Nivida drives rebooted and checked settings in device manager and desktop and it's all fine at 1920X1200

At this point thinking the GTX 960 is the issue (which it still may be) I installed it (without nvidia drivers) in another PC running Windows 7 to test and it worked fine in that PC at a higher resolution (NOT 1920X1200 as that monitor didn't support it) with default Windows drivers. So the card works in the other PC but not my new build at the moment (worked fine for 3 weeks) and my older GTX 450 card works in the new build (which I'm using now) which suggests the motherboard is not the issue (or is it). As the bios screen is effected by the issue before Windows loads this suggests a hardware issue not software.

I have 1 close restore point from 3 days ago but I'm not a novice PC builder so my gut is telling me it's a hardware issue so it's worthless to restore since it won't address the issue and the GTX 450 I'm running right now works fine at those settings.

Thoughts? Advice? Next Steps?

PC Specs:

MSI Z170a Gaming 3 (bios ver A.4)
G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2133
Intel Core i3-6100 3M 3.7 GHz LGA 1151
MSI GeForce GTX 960 DirectX 12 GTX 960 GAMING 100ME
Rosewill DU850 850watt PSU
Windows 7 Pro 64bit (SP1+Updates)
Hanns.G HG281 @1920X1200 60hz Connected via DVI to HDMI cable.
Nvidia Driver (Version 368.81)

*Side Note*
As someone mentioned this before.

The power supply I'm using (Rosewill DU850 850watt PSU) is old but at the time was recommended from Johnnyguru and I've had no issues and did check the voltage before the build and again when this problem surfaced. The GTS 450 draws less then the 960 (13 watts more) so if it was a issue It would have appeared when the 960 was installed and still has no bearing on a screen resolution issue that I know of.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
01 Aug 2016   #2
Microbell

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1+Updates
 
 
7-31-2016 Update

7-31-2016 Update

Well no one replied yet to my post but I did some more testing and the result is as follows.

I did some more troubleshooting and cleared the CMOS, swapped monitors, tried another HDMI cable and reinstalled the 960 into the new build for testing but it still did not solve the issue. Still locked at 800X600 with error code 43 (Windows disable the device because of problems) in device manager and I'm concerned about how the card itself boots and lights the RED VGA led on the MSI board. I retested it in that PC that has the 600watt PSU and an Asrock board and while it did work at a higher resolution the card behaves suspiciously during powerup as.

1. Power on All Fans and MSI logo light up.... Monitor is Blue (active)
2. 5 seconds later MSI logo goes off... fans still spinning.....Monitor is Amber (No Signal)
3. 15 seconds later MSI logo comes on......Monitor goes Blue (active)
4. Once Windows loads fans stop spinning. (Normal)

**Note** This is similar to the way it boots in the problem system (no RED led on Asrock board)

So 20 seconds total to initiate a stable signal to me is problematic and this is on the test PC not the one I built BUT I still can't rule out a problem with this MSI motherboard as that RED VGA led still comes on for a few seconds when the GTS 450 is in there (even though it works fine) and I can't find an answer to if that's normal. Sent a "support" request to MSI and their reply was "Try the card in another system and try another card in your problem system" lol. They must not read carefully as this was already covered....hahaha.

So... I need some suggestions besides those I tried and if anyone has a MSI Z170a Gaming 3 board can you please post your startup sequence and let me know if it lights the RED VGA led light on startup?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2016   #3
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
So if I read correctly you've only been using a couple hdmi cables and haven't tried a dvi or vga cable ?
Interesting choice in cpu's I did not know skylake had a dual core
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

01 Aug 2016   #4
Microbell

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1+Updates
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ThrashZone View Post
Hi,
So if I read correctly you've only been using a couple hdmi cables and haven't tried a dvi or vga cable ?
Interesting choice in cpu's I did not know skylake had a dual core
No.

The PC and Monitor was connected via a DVI to HDMI cable. I have tried DVI-DVI, HDMI-HDMI, VGA-VGA. It's not a cable or monitor issue..otherwise the GTS 450 I'm on now would not display 1920X1600
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2016   #5
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
Yea I wasn't sure the way you had written your question
Sounds like a defect to me
It should operate on any matched port
I'm not keen on adapters but as long as the monitor shows the active port is the one you're connected too then dang it should work
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2016   #6
Microbell

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1+Updates
 
 

I RMA'ed it today so we'll see in a week or so. I've just never run across a card that was locked into 800X600 before as it seamed like a driver issue until it appeared in the bios screen. Then I thought ok... motherboard but my old card GTS 450 installed fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2016   #7
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
Yep who did you buy from by the way ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2016   #8
Microbell

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1+Updates
 
 

Quote:
Yep who did you buy from by the way ?
Newegg.

They take returns/replacement for defective VGA cards up to 30 days. This new card died on day 37 and they would not work with me so I had to take the manufacture warranty route. So the savings I had buying that card is gone as it cost me $22 to send it to MSI and on top of that I get a used refurbished card back.

That's like taking your Cadillac in for an oil change and they give you a Ford Pinto back when you pick it up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2016   #9
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
Well if the Pinto works it's a good swap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 MSI Z170a Gaming 3 or GTX 960 GAMING 100ME Issue?




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