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Thread: DRIVERing me CRAZY!

  1. #1

    DRIVERing me CRAZY!

    I am writing wioth hopes of discovering where I am going wrong. If I get a good result here I believe it would come from several suggestions from posters detailing how they insure accurate DRIVER updates for their MOBO's, GPU's and other sensitive components. I know many users have had problems in this area and is seems many are doing fine with updating drivers. I must be doing something wrong.

    Every time I try to update my drivers for MOBO or GPU I end up with severe overheating issues. This scares me so much I end up wipeing the OS and doing a fresh re-install and starting over. This is a real pain since it entails having to re-load every game and software I use (not very many) and gets worse as things are added. This is the only way I have to test functionality.

    I have a few questions and hope you can comment on them as well as provide a step by step guide on how you would update drivers so as not to have fragements left in files, the registry or unknown changes to the bios or other firmware. I suspect it is those areas which are causing the temps to climb.

    My system (i'll keep it simple) consists of 4GB Patriot 10666, 790i EVGA MOBO, Two NVIDIA 9800 GX2 GPU's (from DELL) in quad SLI, Intel QX 9650 CPU, 1000 Watt PS, Ageia series 100 Phys-X card. All of this is running at std. clock speeds in an Alienware Area-51 case which is air cooled and is not the best in the world for moving air. I am running Windows 7 32bit.

    1. After removing drivers and asking Windows to delete the old driver I have been using DRIVER SWEEPER to get rid of residuals prior to loading new drivers. Is this the best program to use? Is Driver Cleaner better? Which program would be best to use for this, one of the two mentioned or a different one?

    2. I have used PNPUTIL in CMD mode to identify and remove driver INF files from the driver store prior to installing new drivers. Does this get rid of all the potential drivers inside of windows (it looks like there may be other locations upon viewing files) which would interfere with a clean driver update and install? Suggestions?

    3. I reboot after each step ie, driver removal, driver sweeper (in safe mode), and driver update.

    4. I try to use drivers from the Mfg of the component, EVGA for the MOBO, NVIDIA for the GPU (this came from dell I hope I am correct on this), NVIDIA for PHYS-X, etc.

    5. I am also having trouble seperating the more recent Phys-X driver from the one packaged with the most recent drivers from NVIDIA for the GPU. According to NVIDIA I should runn a less recent driver for PHYS-X since it is handled on the AGEIA card and not thru the GPU. AParrently I am not even close to getting thi done correctly. Everytime I try to update the phys-X driver the installer says it cvompleted successfully but when I look in system device manager I see an older driver installed (maybe from microsoft but I am not sure).

    6. Do you know of a link detailing how to correctly update drivers in windows 7?

    7. Am I missing something that is causing the temps to rise into danger areas during this process that you can think of?

    I feel I need some tools to assist me in overclocking the PC. I know I need to be able to monitor temps, voltages, and other settings. I am not sure if trying to dynamically configure settings is a good or bad idea. What software would you suggest using to overclock the CPU, BUSS, MEMORY, and GPU's?

    PLEASE KEEP IN MIND HERE MY PRIMARY ISSUE IS GETTING DRIVERS UPDATE AND STABLE WITHOUT WATCHING TEMPS SOAR THRU THE ROOF. MY OBJECTIVE WITH THIS POST IS TO STABILIZE THE LATEST DRIVERS BEFORE PROCEEDING TO WATER COOLING AND OVERCLOCKING THE PC.

    Monty - Tampa, Florida

  2. #2
    The Main Man Dewayne's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
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    DRIVERing me CRAZY!

    Monty,

    What a crazy issue you are having! I have never had this issue with just a driver update.


    When you state that the temps go crazy are you talking about the CPU or both the CPU and GPU?

    Are you using Official NVIDIA Drivers?

    First I would make sure that you have the correct BIOS. Update it to the newest one from EVGA.

    What are you using now to monitor the temps? EVGA software. third party?

  3. #3

    DRIVERing me CRAZY!

    Wow that's a lot of stuff to cover but let's start at the most obvious place.

    You said that you're having an overheating issue, then you follow up by saying it's an Alienware Area 51 and not the best case for moving air. If that's something you recognize right off the bat I would normally ask "then why did you choose it"? but since we're beyond that part already let's look at what CAN be done.
    Most likely your first thing to do is find out what type of fans you have and how much air they're moving. Are they quality fans or cheap knock-offs? See if you can find specs on them as far as voltage, airflow, etc. Then look at the overall configuration inside the case and see if there is anywhere or anything you can do within reason to make the airflow better through the entire case (path). Are there wires all over the inside blocking the airflow? Can more or better quality fans be installed to push air through the system more rapidly and efficiently?

    I would also suggest that since it's an EVGA mobo, you go to their website in the support area and see if they have a forum like Asus does. There you can post about what issues you're having with people who are using the same mobo and possibly a similar setup. The Nvidia drivers are another issue.
    "Two NVIDIA 9800 GX2 GPU's (from DELL) in quad SLI", you mean dual SLI?
    Nvidia drivers can be a royal PITA and the best thing to do is find a driver that works and stick with it. Some of their supposed upgrade drivers aren't the best researched ones and can create more problems than they're meant to fix. The latest, isn't always the greatest.

    "Every time I try to update my drivers for MOBO or GPU I end up with severe overheating issues. This scares me so much I end up wipeing the OS and doing a fresh re-install and starting over."
    Overheating according to what? I would use Everest software to find out the specifics of all your components and then start actually looking at the temps to see if in fact they are overheating. Again though, this is a multiple step process. Look at the inside of your case first to see why there isn't good airflow. If the case is poorly designed then you're going to have to make some adjustments or decisions.

    You're also adding more work to what you're doing by using driver removers. Windows 7 is very good at updating most drivers and resolving conflicts, there's little to no need to go in and remove each individual driver that is no longer used. The updated driver will superceed the old drivers and they will be discarded or stored in the system in the event you may have to rollback to the older driver for compatibility reasons. If you're looking to have a pristine system in Windows or any other OS good luck, it rarely ever works that way.

    Direct link of how to update Windows 7 drivers? It does that itself by having updates turned on. You can adjust the setting to automatically load and install drivers, not auto install and load drivers, or never install updates or install them.

    Start first with the info on your fans and using Everest (free) www.lavalys.com to get some accurate numbers.

    That's my suggestion fwiw.

  4. #4
    Clear Coat
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    878

    DRIVERing me CRAZY!

    Sharkbytw -- the 9800GX2 is a dual chip gfx card so two of them is 4way sli.

    Monty -- whats the temperature in your room when you're doing this?

    I'm guessing from the components that you have in your setup that this computer is at least a couple years old.... Have you opened it up and blown out all the dust and stuff?

    With a pair of GX2s, your graphics cards need every piece of air they can get!

  5. #5

    DRIVERing me CRAZY!

    Gotcha fus!

  6. #6

    DRIVERing me CRAZY!

    You might also want to do a little reading Monty:

    https://www.evga.com/forums/fb.ashx?m=342074

  7. #7

    DRIVERing me CRAZY!

    Monty,
    What a crazy issue you are having! I have never had this issue with just a driver update.
    When you state that the temps go crazy are you talking about the CPU or both the CPU and GPU?CPU and GPU temps both are on the rise. The GPU is getting much hotter however which may be why the CPU is rising.

    Are you using Official NVIDIA Drivers ?I am using EVGA driver (looks like NVIDIA on install) for the MOBO and NVIDIA drivers for the GPU's.

    First I would make sure that you have the correct BIOS. Update it to the newest one from EVGA.
    Good point. I started to do this and paused thinking I would do that later. I will update the BIOS and see if that solves the issue.

    What are you using now to monitor the temps? EVGA software. third party?
    I have used EVGA precision, Riva tuner, and NVIDIA monitoring tools (latest release of everything).

  8. #8

    DRIVERing me CRAZY!

    Wow that's a lot of stuff to cover but let's start at the most obvious place.

    You said that you're having an overheating issue, then you follow up by saying it's an Alienware Area 51 and not the best case for moving air. If that's something you recognize right off the bat I would normally ask "then why did you choose it"? but since we're beyond that part already let's look at what CAN be done. If I had known this before I received the PC I would have gone a different route.

    Most likely your first thing to do is find out what type of fans you have and how much air they're moving. Are they quality fans or cheap knock-offs? See if you can find specs on them as far as voltage, airflow, etc. Then look at the overall configuration inside the case and see if there is anywhere or anything you can do within reason to make the airflow better through the entire case (path). Are there wires all over the inside blocking the airflow Can more or better quality fans be installed to push air through the system more rapidly and efficiently?The case has a lot of room and the cables are neat and out of the way. The problem is the fan exhaust is covered by to much case material and the input case fans are also covered byt too much of the case preventing unobstruced air flow. I hate to tear this case up considering $6 grand was spent on the PC.
    This is why I am going to phase change or water cool the PC as soon as I get the drivers stable. I am tending toward water to avoid condensation issues.


    I would also suggest that since it's an EVGA mobo, you go to their website in the support area and see if they have a forum like Asus does. There you can post about what issues you're having with people who are using the same mobo and possibly a similar setup. The Nvidia drivers are another issue.
    Agreeded and yes I have read for the better part of a week on that site. In fact that is where I was pointed toward using driver sweeper to get rid of left overs. It appears that many folks have had this identical issue with drivers.

    "Two NVIDIA 9800 GX2 GPU's (from DELL) in quad SLI", you mean dual SLI?
    Nvidia drivers can be a royal PITA and the best thing to do is find a driver that works and stick with it. Some of their supposed upgrade drivers aren't the best researched ones and can create more problems than they're meant to fix. The latest, isn't always the greatest.
    I agree with this after this ordeal and I wonder which one is the most stable and up to date for my cards? In the past I have done nothing about drivers because what I had was adiquate for my purposes. Now that I have moved to windows 7 and am preparing to overclock and water/phase cool the PC have I wanted to update things.

    "Every time I try to update my drivers for MOBO or GPU I end up with severe overheating issues. This scares me so much I end up wipeing the OS and doing a fresh re-install and starting over."
    Overheating according to what? I would use Everest software to find out the specifics of all your components and then start actually looking at the temps to see if in fact they are overheating. Again though, this is a multiple step process. Look at the inside of your case first to see why there isn't good airflow. If the case is poorly designed then you're going to have to make some adjustments or decisions.
    This has been partially answered above and to prior poster.

    You're also adding more work to what you're doing by using driver removers. Windows 7 is very good at updating most drivers and resolving conflicts, there's little to no need to go in and remove each individual driver that is no longer used. The updated driver will superceed the old drivers and they will be discarded or stored in the system in the event you may have to rollback to the older driver for compatibility reasons. If you're looking to have a pristine system in Windows or any other OS good luck, it rarely ever works that way.Windows 7 seems to be very good so far. However I did run into a problem with driver updates when there is a more recent driver in the driver store. This came up when trying to update the Ageia card which is not presently in teh case. It seems like a shame to sacrifice a GPU for video when I have a card for that which is barely 2 years old.

    Direct link of how to update Windows 7 drivers? It does that itself by having updates turned on. You can adjust the setting to automatically load and install drivers, not auto install and load drivers, or never install updates or install them.
    Start first with the info on your fans and using Everest (free) www.lavalys.com to get some accurate numbers.
    That's my suggestion fwiw.
    I have always let windows update notify me so I can select what to install which has worked well for me thus far. Windows does not have the most recent drivers for all of my hardware but maybe they have recently changed this. It still feels like the best way to get drivers is from the manufacturer of the board I am updating thus eliminating MS and other third party vendors especially those sites that claim to be the solution for driver updates for the whole machine.

    Thank you for the information and it does matter to me that you took the time to reply. Collectively all of the responses may help get my issue resolved.

    I am begining to lean toward the fact EVGA and NVIDIA both may have been releasing drivers that were not fully ready or that had not been tested for all of the combinations of GPU's and MOBO's they claim to support. Certainly I seem to not be alone with this assumption.

    Monty

  9. #9

    DRIVERing me CRAZY!

    Sharkbytw -- the 9800GX2 is a dual chip gfx card so two of them is 4way sli.

    Monty -- whats the temperature in your room when you're doing this?

    I'm guessing from the components that you have in your setup that this computer is at least a couple years old.... Have you opened it up and blown out all the dust and stuff?

    With a pair of GX2s, your graphics cards need every piece of air they can get!
    My room temp is around 77 and air conditioned. I have been running with the case side open after seeing this problem and yet it persists. I have been blowing out the PC's using the blower from a wet/dry vac after securing the fans from spinning. This has worked well for me over the years and is done every month and a half to two months tops.

    I could not agree more about the GPU's and cooling. This looks like a poor engineering design to me, I believe that for a card with multiple GPU's there whould have been a better approach to the package and the cooling issues around having more than a single GPU. Just getting inside the GPU case to clean and replace pads / thermal paste is a pain but that is another story to be told.

    You are right about the PC's age, right at 2 years, however it still has a lot of life left in it and since it has never been clocked up now is a good time to do that to get what I can out of it before I have to lay out another few grand for the latest and greatest.

    I have been building PC's for several years (over a decade) and have never run into this kind of an issue before. Next time I go for the best I will build it myself, I bought this one from Alienware because I had a 4 year warranty (2 years left) and EVGA had been having some issues with board returns at the time I bought it. Pre built seemed to make since although I now believe I would have been better off doing a self build.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Monty

  10. #10

    DRIVERing me CRAZY!

    You might also want to do a little reading Monty:

    https://www.evga.com/forums/fb.ashx?m=342074
    :wink: Thank you! I did take a look at that post and it's not a complete fit to my issue but does reinforce my opinion about how drivers are released and the issues that EVGA has had with boards.

    I can't really come out blasting those guys since they have to put the technology togather and get it to market fast if they intend to sell any of it at all. At present waiting for a few weeks could obsolete a product and if it went back for modifications it likely would be out of date prior to being made.

    Once I get this machine stable with the drivers and bios, install the new cooling system, cut away some of the plastice and metal fan shrouds and install wire shrouds where needed I will overclock to a minimum of 4Ghz which should be easily doable. I am also going to overclock memory and FSB.

    I may have to leave the GPU's untouched unless I see a very large drop in temps when water is used to cool them. Then there is the fact that I may be able to move to newer models of GPU's for a reasonable cost and sell what I have before stressing them to the max. Prices are dropping fast since AMD got back into the game.

    If you or anyone has more to say please do so. I am watching this thread and expect to be on these boards for a while when I get into the upgrade of this box.

    Since I recently learned that NVIDIA does not support the AGEIA card on windows seven do you see any reason why the drivers for VISTA would not work? As I understand things both VISTA 32 and WINDOWS 7 32 were both built around the 32 bit SERVER 2008 OS and if that is true it should not matter, one would think, if the drivers were certified for Windows 7 so long as they had been certified for Vista Ultimate. I hate to lose that extra GPU for Phys-X. :roll: Come to think of it one of the software engineers at Microsoft made that comment on one of the technet boards I recently read.

    Thanks for the reply and I look forward to seeing you here from time to time!

    Monty

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