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Help me fix my 7970 - UPDATE: The Soldering is real

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi, i've bough an used 7970 listed as "not working". Of course, i would like to fix this card but i need some help.
First, the card itself it's an XFX 7970 DD, code FX-797A-TDFC and when i put that in my spare rig i had video signal, great.
When i installed driver tho, it died, i mean, artifacts and then dead screen. Restart, uninstalled driver in safe mode and good to go again. So, the GPU itself it's ok.
Then i looked at GPU-Z and it shows this card as a gigabyte instead XFX. I've flashed one bios and i wasn't lucky. Reflash another one and signal! I've installed video driver and nothing again, so i've uninstalled it again.

Now, i have 4 more bios to try but i have another HUUUGE problem, this card should come with a dual bios switch, mine doesn't biggrin.gif
The old owner was a GPU serial killer i think, because that switch is not there, like ripped off. Is there something i can do to "put another switch there"?
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post #2 of 33
That is a hell of a question tbh. 1. it sounds like the gpu itself is dead or dying, artifacting is the sign of a dying gpu die normally. 2. GPUz might be reading the card wrong, gpuz isnt a perfect program. 3. Flashing your gpu bios is a kinda dangerous thing to do that quite frankly no one i know has done, there isnt a reason or need too 99% of the time. 4. if you are sure that model did infact have a bios switch that got torn off it could be affecting it but not really, it would just lock it to whatever bios version it was on before it got taken off, as for putting one on it. yeaaa. thats some insanely precise soldering that would be damn near impossible to pull off. this sounds more like a experiment card though you got for cheap so if you feel like you have the skills you can try it haha.
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post #3 of 33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InverseTundra View Post

That is a hell of a question tbh. 1. it sounds like the gpu itself is dead or dying, artifacting is the sign of a dying gpu die normally.
Yep, but usually if the GPU is dead or dying you should have artifacts everywhere and i'm fine in bios, safe mode and in Windows without driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by InverseTundra View Post

2. GPUz might be reading the card wrong, gpuz isnt a perfect program.
I know, but with all imperfection, Gigabyte and XFX are different brand and i've checked the card via S/N and the exact model is: FX-797A-TDFC so definitely an XFX card with an XFX pcb and not a Gigabyte one
Quote:
Originally Posted by InverseTundra View Post

3. Flashing your gpu bios is a kinda dangerous thing to do that quite frankly no one i know has done, there isnt a reason or need too 99% of the time.
Because i wasn't able to find any solution, i've tried 3 or 4 bios, and the last one i tried seems to work. Infact now, i don't have any artifacts. Before, when i install driver, well, when i tried since the screen went black and i had to restart my PC, i had some artifact in windows loading screen, now i' free but it won't boot and go straight to safe mode and i had to install my old 7770 in order to install Crimson because the OS crashed every time, BSOD with SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED and atikmdag.sys i thing. I tried several version and my last hope was the other GPU that worked fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by InverseTundra View Post

4. if you are sure that model did infact have a bios switch that got torn off it could be affecting it but not really, it would just lock it to whatever bios version it was on before it got taken off, as for putting one on it. yeaaa. thats some insanely precise soldering that would be damn near impossible to pull off. this sounds more like a experiment card though you got for cheap so if you feel like you have the skills you can try it haha.

That's the funny part my friend, the old owner wasn't smart, but i would like to use some different word to describe him. I called him and he told me "i've removed that switch because i thaught that was useless"....
Now, since i've flashed the bios correctly, i'm sure i'm in UEFI mode, that's the flashable bios, so, the other one is the right one, the one who could recover this card and the one that will 99% works because is legacy and as i said, my test rig is a legacy one (good old MSI P35 smile.gif).

Right now i'm thinking about buying a new switch, but it will arrive in 3 days, so tomorrow, well, today since here it's 1.31am, i'll probably bridge those 2 pin on the pcb in order to simulate the switch.

This should be enough right?
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post #4 of 33
Have you tried putting a load on it without the driver to see if it will artifact? that is odd if it only does it with the driver, maybe the switch really did screw it up. it should just be the 2 connections for a switch, i cant see it being a more complex switch by any means. It honestly sounds like the switch crossed when he broke it off screwing both bios's over.
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post #5 of 33
Find a stock bios and flash. It's probably a failed flash from a different vendor. I flashed a 7950 using atiwinflash and vbe7 http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/vbe7-vbios-editor-for-radeon-hd-7000-series-cards.189089/
My 7950 does 1100/1500 1.2v 24/7

You can put a good card in slot 1 and the bad in slot 2 and flash. Just make sure you pick correct card
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by InverseTundra View Post

Have you tried putting a load on it without the driver to see if it will artifact? that is odd if it only does it with the driver, maybe the switch really did screw it up. it should just be the 2 connections for a switch, i cant see it being a more complex switch by any means. It honestly sounds like the switch crossed when he broke it off screwing both bios's over.
I cant' put load without drivers. Also, the bios is good, i've flash it with no problem and i'm sure im in the flashable one, since i've already flash the good one. Now i need to bridge those 2 pins and try the other bios
Quote:
Originally Posted by InverseTundra View Post

Have you tried putting a load on it without the driver to see if it will artifact? that is odd if it only does it with the driver, maybe the switch really did screw it up. it should just be the 2 connections for a switch, i cant see it being a more complex switch by any means. It honestly sounds like the switch crossed when he broke it off screwing both bios's over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CravinR1 View Post

Find a stock bios and flash. It's probably a failed flash from a different vendor. I flashed a 7950 using atiwinflash and vbe7 http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/vbe7-vbios-editor-for-radeon-hd-7000-series-cards.189089/
My 7950 does 1100/1500 1.2v 24/7

You can put a good card in slot 1 and the bad in slot 2 and flash. Just make sure you pick correct card
That's the problem. I've found a tons of bios but my card has that "V5.0" at the end. Now this bios seems to works better thsn the other, but i need to boot in legacy to be sure so i need that switch
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post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Ok, i think i now have the correct bios. I also soldered 3 wires to emulate the bios switch and...

-all bios are the same, weird. I think that guy screwed this card really well.

-I'm always in legacy mode, I've tried my old 280x in both uefi and legacy, no problem whatsoever and drivers install just fine.

-i've tried tried this 7970 after installing video driver with my 280x and it doesn't work as well and that's strange. I've never reinstalled driver when I change gpu because 7700 and 7900 and 200 series shares the same video driver, moreover a 280x and a 7970 are the same card.

-the card boots just fine, when I install driver, crash. Yesterday was system thread exception not handled atikmdag.sys, today is tdr something.

Now I'm thinking about flashing a modded bios, based on the good one that I have but with some changes in clock speed. Core is ok, I would like to lower memory clock to 1200 and fixing it at every power state of the card, like you would have with 2 monitors. Is a good idea? Any other advice?
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post #8 of 33
Could be failed memory or core. Bump vcore and keep card at stock speeds
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CravinR1 View Post

Could be failed memory or core. Bump vcore and keep card at stock speeds
Is there any way I can do that without installing driver? Because of course afterburner do not recognize the card without them.
As I said I was wondering about modding the bios but I can't mess with all parameters. Moreover, the memory module I have is hynix that ends in AFA and I cannot find them online. It's a bga work and I could try to do that but I would have to scavenge some parts and the card who has the same memory is 660ti and here where I live and used one is 120€ so it's a nono. The strange thing is that the card do not have any artifacts in basic windows without drivers
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post #10 of 33
Put it as secondary card with a working card
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