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Windows 7: Mysterious Win 7 Pro 64 Slowdown - Maybe Underclocking Itself?

02 Apr 2017   #21
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Based on this thread plus your symptoms I think its fair to say the slow mode switch is faulty.

MSI Gaming 7 Z97 Slow Mode Issue

The question is, is the switch a master override to all bios settings, or is it dependent on thermal management. To find out, try disabling intel adaptive thermal monitor in bios. If this fixes the issue you can stick with that as a solution, knowing that if your cpu fan fails, your cpu will fry. The good news is the fan is unlikely to fail. Desktop cpus have been around for almost 40 years and thermal management protection has been with us for maybe 10, so while thermal management is good its not the end of the world to run without it.

It can't hurt to reach out to MSI, just say you lost your receipt, maybe they'll give you an RMA anyway because they know this is a pretty lame failure on their part. But IF they say no to an rma AND disabling TMP as above does not fix it AND you are out of options, I'd find a way to disable the switch. Play with it in different positions. Unscrew the motherboard and take apart the switch. It depends on your appetite for risk, your level of desperation, and your electronic aptitude.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Apr 2017   #22
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

John, TDK,
I don't think there is something wrong with the MoBo.
I think that is the MB that is putting the multiplier a low value when idle. It's normal and should be that way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2017   #23
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Hi Folks. Hereís an update before I have to head out.

Got the side panel off the box. Surprisingly clean on the inside; no clogged cooling fins and barely any dust. I worked the Slow switch back-n-forth a handful of times: it feels mechanically sound like a new switch. I left it in the Ďotherí direction (toward the front of the case). Booted to BIOS and no speed change: 0.8 GHz. Tried the center position but booted to Windows instead of BIOS. It started at 4.2 GHz. I think thatís a turbo mode or the like as shouldnít it be at 4 GHz?

A little weirdness here. I lost all my front panel lights. My on/off switch lights up with a blue LED, but now no light, for example. When I turned it on, I didnít know it turned on except for the mouse lit up as did my USB volume control. I would assume if the light(s) didnít work, then the on/off switch wouldnít work, if I unplugged something. The front panel header is pretty much behind the power supply, so Iíll have to figure out how to get to it without taking it apartÖ

It ran at 4.2 GHz for a couple of hours, mostly. It was fluctuating a lot, however, as it would drop to 800 MHz then bounce back to 4.2 GHz. I paid close attention to my wifeís computer and itís power down/energy saving function. At idle it drops to around 1500 MHz but goes to 3300 instantly when in use. My test was running a MalewareBytes scan. After opening the program it dropped to idle, but jumped to full bore when I hit the scan button. On my computer it stayed at 800 MHz during the scan.

I learned a lot in that I discovered in Power Options, thereís a section on the percentage of slow down you can allow the system to run at. I also Googled and learned what EIST in BIOS is. I turned it off, as suggested, in my box and the Processor Power Management option to control this is gone. I turned it back on and set this option to 25%, but the system was still running at 800 MHz. At 25% it shouldnít drop any more than to 1050 MHz if my thinking is correct.

So last night and this morning so far, it is bouncing from 800 to 4200 MHz quite frequently instead of staying one way or the other for extended periods like before.

This may be good news: HWiNFO64 is now showing Core Clock Maximum speed as 4203.1 MHz instead of 800 MHz!

Oh, and disabling Intel adaptive thermal monitor made no difference.

Got to run...
.
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03 Apr 2017   #24
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

If your system power light has suddenly become disabled, that points to a circuitry issue on the motherboard. Most gaming boards allow you to control the LED lights in bios just for fun, but you would have to check if that extends to your power light, so check your manual on that. Sounds like a problem to me. And inasmuch as both your led power pins and your slow mode switch are on the same edge of the board, I wonder if there is something metal that is touching the underside of your board. You may have to remove the board to find out. It could be causing both issues, slow mode and power lights.

Your board has a physical switch called Hot_Key1. If you switch it to ON it enables some hotkeys, one of which is PrtSc-F8 which toggles your slow mode state while you are in windows. Try switching it to ON with the machine off, and then hitting PrtSc-F8 anytime your machine slows down while in windows. Not a real good permanent fix, but it would be cool if this worked.

Another way to do the same thing is to run the MSI Command Center tool. Check it out, as it allows you to set cpu speed while in windows.

Support For Z170A GAMING M7 | Motherboard - The world leader in motherboard design | MSI USA

btw 4.2ghz is normal because of intel turboboost. All good there.

Since your cpu max was 4.2ghz your machine must have been in non-slow-mode state at some point. When operating normally your machine will be at 800mhz a lot because of intel thermal management. You were smart to run malwarebytes on both machines and noted that your machine stayed at 800mhz but the other machine did not. An even more certain way to check if your machine is locked into slow mode or not is to briefly run a program like hyper-pi. Running it should make all your cpu cores leap immediately to 4.2ghz. If so, you are in good shape, if not, you are stuck in friggin slow mode and should hit PrtSc-F8 then try hyper-pi again. Running at 800mhz is not in itself a problem though, as you know.

Virgilio Borges

There was a guy in that thread I linked earlier whose machine ran at 0.8ghz at all times, unless he put the slow mode switch in the middle which fixed it sometimes. Obviously a board malfunction that sure looks like yours.
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04 Apr 2017   #25
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Intel thermal management is to protect your CPU from overheating. It lows the clock when CPU is at VERY high temperatures (130ļC).
As your temperatures are / were low, it wasn't it that was setting your clock at 800 MHz.
This is for protection and should be enabled.
On BIOS, the CPU fan and temperature alarm should also be set.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2017   #26
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Hi Folks. Thanks for the catch on the Temp Alarm being off. Donít know how I missed that; itís on now. And itís good to know 4.2 GHz is OK.

Before I get into an update, I discovered another bit of weirdness. VLC has been pixelating when viewing some of my Ďhome movies,í but just for the first few seconds. I never thought much about it. However, when viewing one on my wifeís computer during this slowdown problem, VLC worked fine. Now that this box is running at a max of 4.2 GHz, thatís gone away!?! Maybe VLC was somehow choking when this was running at 4.5 GHz? Makes me wonder what else was a little wonky at 4.5Ö

Yesterday it was still running at 4.2 GHz every time I used it. I wanted to wait until today to give an update as at night I shut it off instead of putting it to sleep. This morning on a full boot, it fired up at 4.2 GHz and has been there all day (I did put it to sleep for a while).

A clarification: Iím good with this thing slowing down at idle. I only mentioned how it never did that before to help diagnose the problem. Hopefully I didnít sound I wanted it running full bore all the time. So, now knowing what EIST is, I turned it back on in BIOS, hoping it did mess anything up.

So far so good as the CPU has been fluctuating up and down on demand, but never staying slow. Screenshot below. I still have it at 25% in the Power Options for testing (I wanted to make sure a legitimate slowdown didnít hit 800 GHz and throw us off).

On my wifeís machine itís set at 5%. Any recommendations on a good level? (I donít know if it comes back to life faster with a higher setting or notÖ)

I got back into the case and did not find anything unplugged. I was able to make sure all the headers are fully seating by using a flat-tipped screwdriver.

I have to admit Iím Ďscaredí to experiment with the switch anymore, or much else for that matter. I was halfway thinking of moving it back and see if the Ďoní light comes back or not. I just need this box to run fast at this time to risk getting stuck in slow mode again. Maybe the different circuitry used in the 3 positions could cause itÖ?

Before I take this box out to the storage shed and pull the motherboard, Iím thinking maybe I should try MSI, as suggested above, for a replacement board as all indications seem to point that way. Not to sound like a whiner, itís a lot of work for me to set up a work area out there, and my Better Half wonít let me do it inside the house (no room).

Iím going to give it another day or two to make sure things keep running Ďfast.í
.


Attached Thumbnails
Mysterious Win 7 Pro 64 Slowdown - Maybe Underclocking Itself?-hwe-info-64-2017-04-04_11-35-11.jpg  
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04 Apr 2017   #27
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

It takes microseconds for the cpu to speed up from 800mhz to 4200mhz.

You are probably correct that the vlc issue was related to the cpu speed issue.

I do not see a reason to use a setting other than 5% as the minimum processor state.

When a physical switch becomes faulty yet as you said "feels solid", it usually means one of the two metal contacts within the switch has become loose and is just sort of dangling. When the two pieces of metal touch, the switch is on, and when they're not touching, the switch is off. So any further movement of the switch or even moving the computer puts you at risk of having them come back into contact with each other, putting you back into slow mode. So you are right to be afraid.

It appears that when your slow mode gets activated several random bios settings get adjusted too. For instance for your power light, it turns out your board does indeed allow you to turn it off. "On board LED Control [On]" is the bios setting you want. I recommend just resetting bios to default values anytime something is amiss. Bios defaults are fine for 99% of us. That will reset the power light, cpu thermal management, everything, back to defaults. Since your power light is indeed bios adjustable I no longer suspect that you have something touching the underside of your motherboard.

If your machine falls back into slow mode, I'm curious if the PRtSC-F8 hotkey idea in my previous post fixes it.
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04 Apr 2017   #28
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
It takes microseconds for the cpu to speed up from 800mhz to 4200mhz.

You are probably correct that the vlc issue was related to the cpu speed issue.

I do not see a reason to use a setting other than 5% as the minimum processor state.
Hi johnhoh. Sounds good, Iíll give 5% a try. Thanks.

Quote:
When a physical switch becomes faulty yet as you said "feels solid", it usually means one of the two metal contacts within the switch has become loose and is just sort of dangling. When the two pieces of metal touch, the switch is on, and when they're not touching, the switch is off. So any further movement of the switch or even moving the computer puts you at risk of having them come back into contact with each other, putting you back into slow mode. So you are right to be afraid.
Yeah, Iíll leave it alone

Quote:
It appears that when your slow mode gets activated several random bios settings get adjusted too. For instance for your power light, it turns out your board does indeed allow you to turn it off. "On board LED Control [On]" is the bios setting you want. I recommend just resetting bios to default values anytime something is amiss. Bios defaults are fine for 99% of us. That will reset the power light, cpu thermal management, everything, back to defaults. Since your power light is indeed bios adjustable I no longer suspect that you have something touching the underside of your motherboard.

If your machine falls back into slow mode, I'm curious if the PRtSC-F8 hotkey idea in my previous post fixes it.
I did notice the LED Control option, and I *thought* I tuned it on. Iíll have to double check as Iíve been known to miss such things.

Hopefully I wonít have to, but if I ever need to give the Prtscn+F8 key trick a try, Iíll let you know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2017   #29
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Hi Folks. Things have been working just fine, and I was going to post that this morningÖ However, and I donít know if this is a coincidence or not, but this morning I when into BIOS first, to check my network settings (more on that below) and it booted at 800 MHz. This is the first time it booted slow since my last post.

OK, a good time to try the Prtscn+F8 trick. I located the switch on the motherboard and it was already set to on. But the Prtscn key fires up my screen capture program, SnagIt, so I disabled that, and still nothing. Then I realized I missed Step 1 and didnít have my keyboard plugged into the correct USB port (itís a wireless keybrd so I had it in the front panel port). Dooh!

ď1. Connect your keyboard directly to the HOTKEY port on the rear I/O panelĒ
Now done (after my ops mistake).

ď2. Turn HOT_KEY1 to On positionĒ
Already on (default).

ď3. Press Ctrl + ←Backspace to activate HOTKEY function, the HOTKEY LED turns on.Ē
I get no response. I find no additional LEDs on; I figured maybe the switch would light up, but it doesnít. I searched the PDF manual and didnít find a reference to it.

I tried a couple of other Hot Keys, and no response to anything. So Iím wondering if itís because itís a wireless keybrd. Iím sure I have a wired USB keybrd out in the storage shed somewhere, so Iíll try and dig one up and try again.

Is something supposed to popup on screen saying it's in Hotkey function?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I did see something new. (Or maybe Iím just watching more closelyÖ) Two nights in a row, with the system Off, I saw the orange/yellow LAN blink once. I watched for a moment but it didnít come back on.

Then yesterday, with the system in Sleep mode, the light was flashing a lot for a while, as if I was accessing something online. I double checked and the mouse and monitor were still off so I can only assume it was still in Sleep mode. (I couldnít check the On LED, which blinks when itís asleep, as itís not working.)

And thatís why I went into BIOS first thing this morning. I couldnít find anything unusual, but do have a question.

I have Onboard LAN controller turned ON.

I have LAN Option ROM turned OFF, as my guess is this allowed a Wake On LAN function, which I don't want.

My question is on the Network Stack, currently turned OFF. Itís description is:

ďSets UEFI network stack for optimizing IPv4 / IPv6 functionĒ

Seems like I should have this turned ON??

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And finally, for giggles, I went to MSIís Web site yesterday to see what it took to contact them. Boy-howdy is their contact form long! I could open a line of credit easier than filling out that thing, LOL. They want an awful lot of info that I would have to dig up.

So Iím thinking Iíll try their Forum first.

Good idea??
.
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06 Apr 2017   #30
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I have read through this thread several times. A lot of trial and error.

I would suggest doing some basic again.

1. Plug your mouse and keyboard into the motherboard usb 2.0 on the back of the computer.
2. Don't use sleep or hibernation until all other problems are solved.
3. Set your bios to 'Default' and leave it that way until all other problems are solved.
4. Verify that the needed proper USB 3.0 drivers are installed.

Note.
All needed drivers and chip-set are included on your motherboard DVD.
They will not need updated to work properly.
If needed for what ever reason you can do that later.

If one doesn't start off with the proper basics all the tinkering in the world will not help a lot.

Jack
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 Mysterious Win 7 Pro 64 Slowdown - Maybe Underclocking Itself?




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