View Full Version : 8800GT + 6200 PCI + Windows 7 x64 = unstable

10-15-09, 01:44 PM
I have an 8800GT running two screens and a PCI 6200 running a third screen. Whenever the second card is enabled/in use, I have a very unstable experience. Often the third screen will go black, show artifacts, and frequently crash the entire system. When I say crash, I mean my desktop on all three displays will usually go blank and all I will have is a live mouse cursor. Sometimes I can CTRL+ALT+DEL back to the Windows login screen and then switch back to my session and things will be OK. Most times, though, I can't do anything. After a little bit of clicking around the blank/frozen desktop, the mouse cursor itself will freeze and I'll have to do a hard reboot.

I have been dealing with this problem since the Windows 7 betas. At first I suspected a Windows 7 issue but now that RTM has come out I am thinking it is more of a nVidia driver issue.

I've gone through every revision of nVidia drivers (including the default Windows ones) with no luck. I have reinstalled Windows a few times and the issue has always been the same.

This configuration (2 display adapters, 3 screens) was 100% stable in Vista 32.

I have also tried disabling the 6200 card entirely and using a USB video adapter as a stand-in, but I get the same behavior. This suggests to me that it isn't a problem with the 6200. When I use the 8800GT solo (with no secondary adapter), everything is stable as well. This makes me think the 8800GT is healthy.

I think there is something between the nVidia drivers and the 8800GT that is not cooperating with any second video adapter. For the record I am currently using 191.07.

The issue isn't related to heat or usage, as I can play WoW all day long with just the 8800GT on and everything is fine. It seems the problem comes when I am dragging windows from one screen to another, or some Aero fade effect is going on.

There is never any event recorded in the system or app logs. I also rarely get a "driver has stopped responding" error (though sometimes it does happen when things start to fall apart).

The strangest part is that when the desktops stop responding, I can almost always CTRL+ALT+DEL back to the Windows security screen and that works 100% OK.

I realize this is a very unique case (Win7 x64, 2 adapters, 3 screens), but I am really stumped! I was thinking of buying a newer PCI-E 1x nVidia card just to see if a newer GPU would be more accommodating. Does anybody else have any suggestions?

10-16-09, 12:24 PM
I don't have exactly the same setup but something similar happens to me...

2 8800GTs in SLI Windows 7 64 bit RTM. Just running in normal windows I've had all kinds of stability issues. I've tried every video card driver to see if I could get it more stable.

It was only until I upgraded to the latest MB drivers from Nvidia that now it's been 5 days without a hitch.

They just released some new MB drivers only a few days ago. I would give it a go and see what happens.

10-17-09, 11:10 AM
Glad to hear you got yours working better. I have a Gigabyte board w/ an Intel chipset, so the only nVidia stuff I have is the video cards.

I completely removed the 6200 from my system and am using an eVGA UV12+ USB video adapter for the third screen now. I haven't seen any hiccups yet, except now the nVidia driver ****s the bed any time the screens wake up from standby.

I guess nVidia might be the problem here. I have had such poor experiences with AMD/ATI in the distant past but I'm starting to think my next system will be sans-nVidia.

11-26-09, 11:15 PM
I'm somewhat happy that I've finally found somebody with the same problem (not wildly happy that you don't have a solution). I have a gtx275 + pci 6200 running on windows 7 64bit. I have the same freezing/hanging problem you have; still have mouse control but everything else is frozen (though I still have sound). Sometimes it comes back after a few seconds, but usually I have to do a hard reset. Ctrl+alt+del always works but doesn't really help.

Did you try reformatting with 32bit windows 7? I ran an 8800gt + 6200 on 32bit vista ultimate for almost two years without seeing this problem once. I also had a similar problem on vista 64bit. My problem has been that I have been unable to figure out where the problem was; I put a new cpu, gpu, 2 hard drives, and changed to a 64bit os at the same time...

I'd rather not buy any new hardware, and I'd like to continue to use my 3rd monitor. It's odd, sometimes the setup works well for hours or days at a time; other times it locks up after 10 minutes.

11-30-09, 09:20 AM
Did you try reformatting with 32bit windows 7? I ran an 8800gt + 6200 on 32bit vista ultimate for almost two years without seeing this problem once. I also had a similar problem on vista 64bit.I used my hardware configuration on Vista 32-bit for about a year with no issues. I haven't tried using Windows 7 32-bit and probably won't. I'd rather find a way to make my preferred setup work instead of compromise there.

At this time I have been using an EVGA UV+12 USB video adapter for my third screen and it has been 99% stable. I am thinking of getting an nVidia 8400 or 9400 PCI card just to see if it is the generation gap between my primary 8800GT and the 6200 that caused the instability. I'm thinking if I had an 8800 and an 8400, they might play better together.

01-29-10, 08:27 PM
Wow! Glad to find out I'm not alone on this one. I also have an 8800GT with an 6200LE on a P35-DS3R and get hard lockups on Windows 7 x64 using aero.

I've loaded up GPUz and the lockups seem to occur when "memory used" gets close to 100mb on the 6200LE (using Forceware 196.21). Memory used starts out around 70-80mb but slowly increases with system use.

Any ideas as to why there's a limit at 100mb memory used? Is it just a driver issue?

01-29-10, 10:41 PM
Hi Anto,

I purchased an 8400GS PCI for my secondary video. I've had it for about 6 weeks with ZERO issues.

I chalk it up to lack of support for older devices. It sucks that nVidia can't do any better, but the solution is clear.

01-30-10, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the update azl. I'm going to RMA my 6200LE and get an 8400GS!

02-04-10, 01:22 PM
so I got an 8400GS and Windows 7 runs with aero enabled! I was wondering if you noticed lag (i.e. when scrolling or moving windows around) on monitor connected to 8400GS? If so, any way to increase the speed (maybe overclock 2D) or is this a PCI bus speed issue?