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GTX Titan Z - can't install Nvidia drivers

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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 06-09-2018, 03:14 AM - Thread Starter
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GTX Titan Z - can't install Nvidia drivers

Hello everyone.
Quite recently I bought my second-hand Titan Z. It was sold as "untested". Full of excitement, once I had it in my hands, I plugged it into my freshly built rig (see my specs for details).
It worked! ...sort of.

I had issues with installing Windows 10, but I finally did it. However, I was unable to install any Nvidia drivers (the newest ones, old ones, 340, 370, 390, you name it - the result was still the same: endless bootloop). It's worth to mention that my friend was trying to run the Titan as well (on Win10 and Win7), but with no success with installing the newest drivers.

I decided to seek aid from the Linux realm. Antergos failed to even start installing. Fortunately, Ubuntu 18.04 was there for me - the installation went smooth as silk. And that resolution, mmm... Nouveau drivers know how to please your eyes just from the start. I've tried to run some games to put some load on the GPU - "maybe I won't need those picky, sordid Nvidia drivers at all?", I thought. A bit of Witcher 1 (yes, the first one ) and Civilization 5 (this one scored ~40-75 FPS, depending on how much of the map I wanted to see with max graphics) shown me, that my Titan Z isn't broken, at least not completely. But does it really work?
I tried to install Ansys Discovery Live (free version of it till July, folks) and I failed. I guess I would need Nvidia drivers anyway so I gave it a shot - and I faced the problem with starting Ubuntu. I've purged and installed different versions of Nvidia drivers from various sources countless times, with no effect.

Then I turned my gaze upon Windows 7 64-bit. In order to install it I had to find my old PS/2 keyboard, but ok, I could handle that. Installation went without issues and soon after I was able to see the same problem - system won't start with any Nvidia drivers. I've even found some alternative ones (Xtreme G or something like that), but they were no different. Before the installation system has detected VGA controller, after installing Nvidia (clean, with or without GFE, no difference), the OS has seen one GTX TITAN Z working properly and one GTX TITAN Z with error 43(?), i.e. "pls reboot so I can work, I will, I promise", after the restart I couldn't see anything except darkness, BSOD, VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE (nvlddmkm.sys), random purple dots, etc. Ah, GPU-Z could see one core specs (but with no CUDA, PsyX and others), but the other was blank if I remember correctly. There's no sticker on my GPU, so I'm basing on the subvendor name provided by GPU-Z: it's ASUS. Memory was detected as Hynix's.

So I tried to flash the VBIOS of my Titan Z. I've downloaded the newest nvflash (5.449), and yes, I was smart enough to know that there are three places to put the .rom on, and the first one is for the PLX. The flashing went fine (according to the program that I used in Safe mode), I could even see the difference in for example the vendor name (changed from ASUS to NVIDIA). I have also tested the VBIOS found in the TechPowerUp VGA BIOS Collection. But I still wasn't able to install Nvidia drivers. So I flashed my card (GPU1 and GPU2 with DIFFERENT .rom files) using the older version of nvflash (as described here). The changes got bigger - now Win7 and GPU-Z don't see the GPU at all, the older nvflash after using --list shows the PLX and two D15U-60 units (but simultaneously recognizes that there are GK110b normal cards), the newer nvflash --list shows two Titan Zs like nothing happened, BUT I'm not able anymore to alter the VBIOS with this version - it gets stuck at the beginning of the process: nvflash64 -i1 -6 bios1.rom (the indicator (I mean this in cmd window -> _ ) blinks). Funny thing is Nouveau drivers work untroubledly despite the mess I've done (could've done?) with the GPU.

Yesterday I've flashed my card using nvflash 5.163 for DOS, but haven't tried to install Nvidia drivers yet. The nvflash --compare option used upon my original vBIOS results in having "Error: Mismatch at offset 0x0002A088", and with a @dasregal 's one (Nvidia's, I believe) - 0x00000004.

In conclusion, I have three questions:
- What does the nvflash mismatch error actually mean?
- Does anyone of you guys have VBIOS for a Titan Z (preferably ASUS', or maybe even from the post I've linked above) and is willing to share it with me?
- What should I do with this case? Further flashing is my last idea, and I feel I'm loosing this battle.


PS: The dmesg file from Ubuntu startup on Nouveau drivers can be found here (for some reason I can't attach it here).
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