How do I get out of this boat? Or how to not build a box.
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Author:  aristide1 [ Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:50 pm ]
Post subject:  How do I get out of this boat? Or how to not build a box.

Board - MSI K9A2 quad PCI, updated BIOS. Open Box.
CPU - 4850e X2 2.5GHz low power, idle, no OC.
PS - Are you kidding? Seasonic 850 watt ($60 rebate).
HD - Seagate 250GB SATA, because smaller sizes didn't make sense.
DVD- Samsung, because my last one works. SATA.
GPUs(3) - All 96 shaders, 8800GSs and 9600 GSOs. EVGA and ASUS.
OS - Vista 64 (I just posted the phrase epic failure elsewhere, need I do it again?)
Floppy - You name it; generic, Teac, NEC, and my savior BYTECC! No, seriously.

I'm rarely home so updates have been slow. Bad weather kept me from doing yard work. I spent over 6 hours trying to update the BIOS and FAH. First part was I made a bootable CD from an ISO file. My first download was an IMG file, and neither of my freshly downloaded burning software packages could handle it. Eventually I got an ISO burned, but there was no way I could add the flash program and BIOS, so that went to CD #2.

Bootable CD's are odd beasts from what I encountered. The CD-ROM/DVD drive became the A drive (huh?). C, D, E nowhere to be found. I assumed at this point that the system files are in memory, so I pulled out CD #2. It's not recognized. Huh? So I restart and boot Vista, go to My Computer (there is no YOUR computer, so just call it computer). Windows burned CD #2 in UDF format, the bootable CD was ISO9660 aka CDFS. I make another CD, CDFS format, BIOS and flasher.

I restart with the bootable CD. I go to change CDs and same error. I tried making another bootable CD, with just DOS. I found an ISO file to download, it's 1.4MB. I drop it onto the burner and hurray for me, Windows gives me CD with an ISO file. Uh, the website says "bootable CD" but these ISO files are for diskettes. Don't believe anything you read on the web. The CD burner software won't address the floppy.

Speaking of floppy, why didn't I make a bootable floppy? Well I tried 3 different floppy drives and I get the same error on all 3. I would insert a diskette and Windows didn't recognize that I did that. It would sit there and keep prompting me for a diskette. Did I mention these 3 floppy drives work in 4 other PCs? I figure the floppy controller is bad. I call it quits after about 5 hours.

The next day just for laughs I try my brand new BYTECC floppy drive. It's actually built better than my older drives, no exposed circuit board or moving parts. It's heavy, whoda thunk? I install it, and it works! So WHAM I make a bootable floppy and a BIOS diskette, but only after numerous attempts. Seems it will only format 2MB floppies, not the older 1MB floppies I have laying around. OK OK, fine by me.

MSI - oh you just so suck. I download the flasher program, UDEX4281 and BIOS from the MSI website. I can't get it to work. It looks like I need to run the UDDOS command, it won't work. I go to the AMI website for the latest flash program. It's called UDDOS. Well DUH! MSI renamed the program for no apparent reason. It flashes, with some warnings. My personal warning, flash successfully or you're going out the window and into the street. It flashes. Mission accomplished, but like years ago, the saying doesn't mean too much.

I reboot Windows and try to start the GPUs. Yeah right. They all fail. Some can't find CUDART.DLL (that error AFTER they were working?) and 1 GPU fails with the wrong driver, just one. I check, all cards have the same driver. Go figure.

I download a new driver (135MB for Pete's sake). I install it once, they all pick it up OK. Still doesn't work right. I delete all my FAH folders, application and work directories. I download a fresh copy. I install for one GPU, and then make 3 duplicate directories for the other GPU's, both program and application/work folders. Get this, I place CUDART.DLL in all EIGHT folders. Helen Keller could find CUDART.DLL on my PC. I set my short cuts to -config (I wish it would do config only). GPU 0 blows it off and gives me CUDART not found error. Not so fast you chump. GPU 1 and 2 config, but after several attempts. GPU 1 and 2 start (I haven't installed the 4th card, even though I created the directories for it. I can't get 3 to work right just yet.) GPU 0 refuses to start correctly through the short cut. There is no file not found error, just the CUDART error. So I open Windows Explorer, go to the directory and double click the GPU exe file. There's no config file just yet, so I finally get a config popup box. I fill it and, then get the CUDART error. That's swell.

GPU 1 is folding, GPU 2 went through half a dozen unstable machine errors and decided to break for 24 hours. That's it's imitation of Dick Cheney - Aris, fxxx yourself. I thought it was pretty obvious by now that I did just that with MSI and MS.

I have no idea why the CUDART.DLL error is still happening. I have eight files in every location imaginable. What the hell is wrong?

I left the house defeated. I did the BIOS update with little success afterwards, and it was as easy as a root canal. Message to self - don't ever buy an MSI board again, let alone one that was NewEgg Open Box. I don't know even recall now if GPU 0 is running, idle, closed. I'm pretty sure it didn't self combust yet. I do have some gasoline on the porch, so that remains an option as well. I purchased BIOSTAR open box more than once, they work fine.

I have some spare HD's, I think I will try the Ubuntu route. Oh, after I updated the device drives for the GPUs (185.85) I opened Riva Tuner and the tab to OC is gone. Only the fan speed is left available. I need to find the latest EVGA tool that came with my GTX 260.


Author:  cordis [ Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:21 am ]
Post subject:  msi motherboards suck

Yeah, I have an old msi dual athlon board, and it was the buggiest board ever. One of the fan headers didn't work, I couldn't use a pci slot NIC without windows locking up, it was just a pain in the ass. Of course, my atom board is also an msi board, it hasn't given me any problems yet, knock on wood.

Good luck with ubuntu, I just got my asus board folding with 2 gpus, a 9600 gso and the built in 9300M, seems to be going well. It was easier to set up in Ubuntu than I thought it would be, although it did take a manual modification of xorg.conf to make it work. Luckily I have no fear of emacs, but if you aren't a unix guy, it might be tricky.

Author:  aristide1 [ Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

I was just on MSI's website. I clicked on Contact Us. Then I got page not found.

No points for consistently bad service.

Author:  cordis [ Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:34 am ]
Post subject:  found this page

This looks somewhat pertinent, has a number in LA anyway:


Good luck!

Author:  aristide1 [ Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:34 am ]
Post subject: 

I posted my problem over at the folding forum, but in a less colorful manner.

1. Change the BIOS battery.
2. Use DriverSweeper when performing driver updates.

I will try that, and in addition I will also try an older PATA hard drive, to eliminate any SATA/HD related problems.

There were more open box / "returned" K9A2's on the Egg than any other item I have ever researched. That was a major clue, wasn't it?

Author:  KansaKilla [ Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:26 am ]
Post subject: 

In defense of your original decision, I have had excellent luck with open box motherboards from the 'egg. Most of them are returned by folks who can't reach the OC they want, in my opinion, and the actual board is usually okay. Of course, if it's a wonky implementation of a chipset by a vendor that could cause them to be returned at a high rate as well.

I had the same problem with that stupid CUDART error. I ended up uninstalling stuff via safe mode and reinstalled the actual CUDA driver set. By doing this, I was able to get a 9600 GT folding on a Via chipset board that had rejected most modern video cards (anything after a 7600 GS). I've never heard of the bios battery going bad, those things can last for years. It's possible though. Did you pay for DriverSweeper?

Author:  aristide1 [ Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:31 am ]
Post subject: 

No DriverSweeper yet, but if its reasonable I will buy it. Since I don't use the pc for much else I may reformat. What do I care?

Author:  KansaKilla [ Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:02 pm ]
Post subject: 


I just got the same cudart.dll error after installing COD4 on on a couple of my folding boxes. I downloaded the cuda driver set from this link and it automagically fixed the problem. Didn't even have to uninstall the previous drivers. You might try that again and see where it leads you.

Author:  aristide1 [ Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

I discovered something this weekend. On this PC, the "problem child" the gpu fans spin away at their designated speeds. The screensaver activates (blank screen) and that's fine too. When it deactivates all my gpu fan settings are also lost. :shock:

So now I've deactivated the fool thing, not that I see what one thing has to do with the other.

Author:  KansaKilla [ Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

did you ever figure out the cudart problem?

I had the same screen saver problem on my folding boxes as well, so now I just disable it on everything. power save for the monitor seems to work fine for my needs, and it doesn't seem to affect the client.

Author:  aristide1 [ Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

I spent very little time on it this week. I couldn't go home Friday night because of nasty weather.

It was suggested its a driver problem. So next weekend I will use driver sweaper or the equally effective format C:\.

I hope turning off the screensaver helps. I get the feeling even at stock speeds the cards overheat and then take a 24 hour break. The alternative is to run them off of a 12V molex connector at full blast constantly. I'm not there, so why would I care?

cd8uk is kicking my ass.

Author:  KansaKilla [ Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

I've turned off the screen saver on all my folding rigs. Before you just go and wipe the drive, or even bother with driver sweeper, try downloading the cuda drivers (search cuda in google and go to downloads) and just install the cuda drivers over the top of what you have now. Worked for me and I haven't gotten the cudart.dll error since. Well, except when I installed COD4 on a folding box where it wasn't there before. I reinstalled the drivers and it both folds and plays the game without problems now.

Author:  aristide1 [ Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:41 am ]
Post subject: 

Follow up:

Per KK loaded latest drivers, also replaced BIOS battery.

CMOS does not clear by removing battery and setting clear jumper alone. Had to attempt boot in this manner, then storage capacitor was drained and CMOS cleared. All else waste of time.

PC remembers gpu settings for gpu 1 2 3, continues to forget gpu 0
Must complete WU on GPU 0 before rebooting or changing stuff, else WU is tossed. I no longer use shortcut for starting gpu 0 I go to folder and right click start. GPU 1 2 3 start successfully via shortcut.

9600 GSO may use 105 watts fully loaded but folding:

4850e on MSI K9A2 with HD and 4 active folding cards currently using 355 watts at the outlet. Note my ps is very high efficiency. :D

Author:  KansaKilla [ Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

so do you think the fourth card not holding onto the settings is a windows issue, an nvidia issue, a client issue, or a hardware issue?

Author:  aristide1 [ Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

KansaKilla wrote:
so do you think the fourth card not holding onto the settings is a windows issue, an nvidia issue, a client issue, or a hardware issue?

I'm clueless, I haven't heard of anyone else with this problem. :?

Author:  aristide1 [ Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

I think I found the last of my "issues" with my quad setup. They appear to be caused by Windows, but I need to see what kind of points I get over an additional 2 days before I make a claim.

Dang, I'm getting some big WUs on the GPUs. I still get 0 points on some of the daily 3 hour periods on
http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/ ... s=&u=34735
and then - POW:!:

Author:  psiu [ Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Wait...this is the crazy FAH forum...

<--tiptoes back out of the ward

Author:  aristide1 [ Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

:?: I think we've been insulted. :roll:

Author:  psiu [ Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

aristide1 wrote:
:?: I think we've been insulted. :roll:

No! just ended up on the front page topics and I read it slowly through before catching on where the post was...I appreciate all the research this stuff helps out.

4 video cards and not for gaming! That's crazy, and in this case, that's a compliment!

Carry on, crazy people :wink: :lol:

Author:  KansaKilla [ Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

I'm an orange!

Author:  aristide1 [ Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

KansaKilla wrote:
I'm an orange!

Uh OK, setting aside some deeply rooted psychological issues, you're actually bright red.

Author:  aristide1 [ Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:24 am ]
Post subject: 

Yes, I'd say I got rid of the last of my problems, based on the fact that my points jumped up and stayed there. Blasted Vista was in power saving mode and kept putting the PC into a coma after 20 minutes. This played evil with my raised fan settings, they kept dropping back to 20% speed, which overheated 2 of my video cards. Ironically enough the semi-brain dead Asus cards, which only run their fans at full speed, were the cards that were not affected. So I turned off all of Vista's power saving modes. I couldn't find any Cool & Quiet options in MSIs BIOS to turn off.

The quad setup occaisionally dips below 300 watts at the outlet, which is pretty impressive. Now I don't have any slots available, and I sure as hell am not going to build another. Well, at least not this year.

And in the long run all of my open box purchases from NewEgg work correctly.

I didn't know Felger Carbon passed away. He was an active member here, yes?

4 video cards for gaming, to me that's crazy. :wink:

This is kinda crazy too:


Author:  KansaKilla [ Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

I shudder to think how much that would cost in waterblocks alone.

Author:  aristide1 [ Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

KansaKilla wrote:
I shudder to think how much that would cost in waterblocks alone.

The cards are marked up about $200-$250. $200 - $250 for the kit, that's $1250 & change for normal people, almost 2K for the milking machine.


But hey, you're a doctor, start selling those free Viagra samples. :mrgreen:

Author:  KansaKilla [ Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:54 am ]
Post subject: 

And i should start my own internet pharmacy business, too!

Maybe I should start coming up with subject lines for the advertisements:
"Give her more to hold and help me fold"
"You need to get hard and I need a new card"
"This little blue pill will help your sex drive--I've gotta have a GTX 295"

How's that for a start?

Author:  aristide1 [ Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

Try something along this line of advertising:


Not subtle, not punny either. :mrgreen:

Author:  KansaKilla [ Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:53 am ]
Post subject: 

I freakin' love it.

Author:  aristide1 [ Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

GPUs 1 & 3 continue to have periodic problems. I will swap them with gpus 0 & 2 next time, but I think this is motherboard related. Slots 0 & 2 are the 16 lane slots, which cut down to 8 lanes when 1 & 3 are populated. I don't believe that function is working as well as it should.

Also this EUE business goes on for a while and then all of a sudden it runs like a bat out of hell. Then it reverts back.

No doubt - This setup will be the first one I obsolete when new gpus come out. Then I plan on taking my Vista 64 CD, sending it registered mail return receipt to the CEO of MS, and telling him to shove it up his arse. Regardless of the folding issues, I hate how V64 behaves on this pc.

Author:  KansaKilla [ Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:14 pm ]
Post subject: 


You might like this.

Author:  colm [ Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

if any board needs bios, blah. the rare find of "final" means it cannot do anymore.

I too am on my last msi, for new stuff anyway. The 865 chipset days were mastered...seems its the last. I hope i am wrong someday.

I am going to tyan next.

missing file may need to be registered, like win 98 ... :roll:

these events remind me of cleaning the drive off to nothing and starting over, then wiping all free space after a slow defrag...just to fix the invisibles.

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