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Wierd Random Artifact only on Aero Backgrounds

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transpro61181

Registered
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Location
Dallas Tx
System specs= Processor-I7 930 2.8 OC to 4.2 (prime95 stable for over 2 hours) Mobo-Asus Rampage III extreme- Ram- Corsair dominator GT 1866mhz 9-9-9-24 set to 1603 mhz with 7-8-7-22 timings. PSU-Corsair TX850W VID- HD 5970 Sapphire x1 OS- Windows 7 Ultimate x64

My problem is that I get this wierd black horizontal artifact bar ONLY on AERO backgrounds. (See the first two images on my photobook link- http://s864.photobucket.com/albums/ab208/gixxerjrock/). Another person thinks it appears to be a scrunched desktop and not a video card artifact. I have had my computer for 6 months and this problem started 2 months ago. If i revert back to a normal non aero background, the artifact will go away, then I can go right back to an Aero background and all will be fine for some random period of time. Also, one time when it occured I let it do its thing and kept aero on just to mess around with it to see what would ultimately happen. I went to control panel and changed the aero slide shows to change every one minute just for the heck of it to see if the issue would eventually go away, it didnt. Each time aero would change the screen, the black bar would stay exactly the same, but move down the screen about one inch, and this process would repeat each time the aero screen changed, then once the black bar got to the very bottom by the taskbar, it started back up at the top of the screen and progressed its way down..this cycle kept repeating until I switched to a non aero background..then it went away...very wierd. The issue is completely random. Sometimes it takes a day or two to occur and other times it takes about 3-10 days to occur, although I have had it occur 3 times within 2 hours once. I have no video issues whatsoever in 3D enviroments. I can play crysis warhead and Call of duty MW2 hours on end flawelessly without any issues. The video card is also Furmark stable for over 2 hours at 1900x1080 at 8X MSAA with the highest gpu temp not exceeding 50C and the hottest VRM did not exceed78C. (VRM's get close to 110C and gpu's get close to the 80C with the stock ATI aircooling block on a furmark burn test)I use GPU-Z as my monitoring tool. CPU is overclocked to 4.2ghz and Idles at 38C and max is 75c after 2 hours of prime95 torchure (perfectly stable). I have a complete top of the line watercooling system in this pc with a complete coverage video card block and cpu block. Heat is definately not an issue here.

What I have done so far to troubleshoot this issue:
1. Removed the overclock from my video card and put it completely to default settings. Same issue.

2. I was told that my video card idles too low in 2D mode (157mhz gpu and 300mhz memory), and that Aero was too graphically intense for that low of a frequency. (The card runs at 725mhz gpu and 1000mhz memory when running games/3D apps). So okay..that made sense, so I edited my .inf files on my catalyst profiles and got the card to idle at 400/900. Was told that this fixed tons of 2d crash issues with this card. In my case it did not. Artifact showed up a day later.

3. Reformatted my hard drive 3 times and did a complete fresh OS reinstall, still same issue.

4. I lost count of how many times I removed and reinstalled video card drivers. I have tried Catalyst 10.10, 10.11 and now im running 10.12. My method of removing the drivers was as follows, reboot into safe mode/uninstall programs/ let windows uninstall the drivers/ Ran driver sweeper/ removed all other traces of Ati folders in the registry/ rebooted in normal mode/Install driver/Reboot. Same issue.

5. Replaced the motherboard (due to a defective onboard firewire controller). Same issue. (Was pretty sure that wasn't the issue to this problem anyways)

6. Ran memtest86 from a bootable CD, no ram errors after 4 passes with ram settings at 1603 mhz with timings at 7-8-7-22 (stock for my ram is 1866 and 9-9-9-24). Ram is at 1603 due to bclk limitations and the fact that I dont wanna deviate too far above stock volts for the IMC.

7.Updated the motherboard bios from 0802 to 1102. Same Issue

8. PCIE freq is set at 101 (stock is 100) was told not to mess with this one too much. Really dont think this is the issue though, but I could be wrong...

9. Updated the Master and Slave video card bios from sapphires official site last night. Problem has not reoccured yet, but it has only been a couple of days so far. Sometimes it could take up to 10 days for this issue to appear.

Initially my suspicions were the video card hardware and I have had numerous people tell me I need to RMA the card. Then I realized how could this be if it is flawless in 3d intense games/furmark with heat well under control? I really don’t wanna RMA the video card for such a small issue. Then I started wondering if my cpu overclock/mem timings were in need of some tweaking, but then again, how could that be if its prime 95 stable for over 2 hours? If it happens again after that then im going to believe there is an imcompatibility with the code in windows aero and my video card drivers, but I am definately not by any means a software engineer, so hopefully someone much smarter comes along this thread and has a solution, because I really love Aero backgrounds and I have spend way too much money on this system for it not to be able to run everything to the max. Other than this one issue, this os is very stable and I enjoy it very much. PLEASE HELP!! Jerrod
 
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Psycogeec

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
well 2 more things you might not have tried:

1) size manually the background picture size to the exact size of the background it displays on. if native working resolution is 1920x1080, get the background picture into a photo editing program and size it to exactally that size, then change the background settings , so it never attempts to do tiling , or scaling. if it is alreayd that size, then try and switch the scaling/tiling thing so that the displaying of that picture is one locked down method.

2) dont allow the Memory itself to be stepping, when you chose a lock down clock settings lock the memory itself to never change , that is the thing that often "flashes" when changed in scaling and frequency.

it cant be the monitor, because it is background based, not the whole picture itself.
but refresh rate is output by the card, some people (like me) will set thier refresh rate on the video card to 75 80 100 or whatever , trying to get a refresh speed that the monitor does not actually USE, it will work with it , but not really be changing that fast. so did you try locking in a 60?
 

Wathnix

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
try downloading a new, different windows aero theme and see if it still does it. I'm guessing maybe the files containing your background images have become corrupt.

if it does, go to CONTROL PANEL > DISPLAY > ADJUST RESOLUTION > ORIENTATION and choose PORTRAIT and see if the bar flips 90 degrees with the background or if it stays horizontal. If it stays horizontal you may have bad memory on your video card and will have to try a different card.
 

RJARRRPCGP

Member
Joined
May 30, 2004
try downloading a new, different windows aero theme and see if it still does it. I'm guessing maybe the files containing your background images have become corrupt.

if it does, go to CONTROL PANEL > DISPLAY > ADJUST RESOLUTION > ORIENTATION and choose PORTRAIT and see if the bar flips 90 degrees with the background or if it stays horizontal. If it stays horizontal you may have bad memory on your video card and will have to try a different card.

Bad VRAM should fail 3D Mark.
 
OP
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transpro61181

Registered
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Jun 12, 2010
Location
Dallas Tx
well 2 more things you might not have tried:

1) size manually the background picture size to the exact size of the background it displays on. if native working resolution is 1920x1080, get the background picture into a photo editing program and size it to exactally that size, then change the background settings , so it never attempts to do tiling , or scaling. if it is alreayd that size, then try and switch the scaling/tiling thing so that the displaying of that picture is one locked down method.

2) dont allow the Memory itself to be stepping, when you chose a lock down clock settings lock the memory itself to never change , that is the thing that often "flashes" when changed in scaling and frequency.

it cant be the monitor, because it is background based, not the whole picture itself.
but refresh rate is output by the card, some people (like me) will set thier refresh rate on the video card to 75 80 100 or whatever , trying to get a refresh speed that the monitor does not actually USE, it will work with it , but not really be changing that fast. so did you try locking in a 60?

Yes it is locked in at 60 hz and windows wont let me bring it any higher..even if u uncheck that box under it to allow other non native frequencies. Now how do I check to see if my memory is scaling?..are u talking about system ram or vram? Is there a program other than 3d mark that can do an extensive test on my vram like memtest86 on regular ram? dont really have the $$ for 3dmark atm
 

Psycogeec

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
i was speaking of the video memory. you had figured out how to overclock and underclock it, i was suggesting Locking the frequencies so they dont ever change. and seeing if the problem occurs. Disable the video cards stepping temporarily.

What you described and the steps you already took, didnt leave many other possibilities for the glitch you had, you already did everything.

fur doesnt hard test video memory, neither do 3D games , or 3D benches, GPU tool and ATItool are much meaner to it. so mean that without proper cooling , the disclaimer of breaking your video ram exists. But if you have gone back to stock settings, i dont see a lot of point in testing it, except for temperature problems.

then re-reading again, because your having so Little trouble with the video, and it is sooo intermittant, and the GPUs on "auto" do run hot, increase the fan speed, and just run cooler, and see if it happens. see if it was cooled better constantally that the glitch would not occur to begin with.

To me it looks like (i percieve) one glitch, that could be caused by the video ram, or because it takes a long time to occur, a possible "resources" issue via other programs or even the os or a driver . giving you one little Blip, that knocks it one time, then the effect of the glitch stays until something changes.

Next i switch into rant mode :) a freaking desktop taxing the Video card, would cost about $300 a year extra power costs here (minus air conditioning because it is winter). we have had un-overclocked video cards, just Fail completly after doing not much of anything, over long periods of time. why are people wanting to waste so much money, and risk the problem of not knowing why a video card is dead, for some cheezy eye candy? Is a 3D desktop really as fun as the games the money could be reserved for?
.
 
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Psycogeec

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Underclocking the card won't cause crashes. lol

which card, and at what underclocked values?
there have been reports before where people were lowering the clock frequencies (way way low), and the video card locked up. check out techpowerup and guru3d, atitool and ati tray tools, where they will overindulge on adjustments and get a video lockup. Crash? i dont know if they would have called it a crash, but without rebooting the video was completly locked up.

the OP does not report a crash, just a glitch.

there were other things about my post that were completly laughable i am sure, but crashing when messing with the frequencies of the video card , it has been done. Those particular tools would allow for changes way beyond the norms.

Flash, when making changes to the video memory with Atitool, and atitray tool, the video display will flash when the change is made, when the frequency of the memory switches, I believe it would be a good time to get a very minor memory glitch, when the frequency bumps. It is also the time that an unstable setting would lock up :) Mabey it is a good time when the voltage is off a bit or the cooling isnt sufficent that it cant make it past the change.
Try it sometime, get it really close to the edge of failure , then bump the stepping.
.
 
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transpro61181

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Jun 12, 2010
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Dallas Tx
Hey Psychogeec. Good information. I understand what u mean by the VRAM now. If it occurs again I make my next troubleshooting step to lock the memory frequency. And I said above my video card has a full coverage waterblock. Heat is well under control. Also something I failed to mention was that I read an article on 7 forums about ghost drivers causing problems..so i did an edit to a registry key to view hidden drivers and found a TON everywhere, to include one ghost for the vid card and three ghost drivers for the monitor...deleted them. Also another thing...something very wierd happened to me last night for the first time. I rebooted my computer and about 5 seconds after my desktop loaded the screen went blank..flickered..and gave me a gray artifact screen. Instantly i knew that was the video card...rebooted the computer...same problem three times..So of course I get a little upset cause i believe my vid card just took a S**T and now im gonna have to rma. but as one last hope I rebooted again..opened msi afterburner as fast as i could before it would freeze..and found that it ramped my gpus up to 900 mhz while leaving the core volts at STOCK!! I have only the first profile saved in there as 900mhz with 1.187 with mem at the stock 1000mhz..have been using this profile for 6 months its furmark stable for over 2 hours. so why would afterburner just randomly apply 900 mhz while keeping the volts at a stock 1.095? Well anyways that was DEFINATELY the problem. What could cause this? This is the first time I have had afterburner act up on me..anyways I removed it from my computer in fear of it just randomly deciding to ramp up my volts inadvertantly. My computer is running perfectly fine now with the card at stock settings just played crysis warhead for the past 4 hours off and on with no issues.
 

Psycogeec

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
cool
i dont know why it would change like that, one other user Here reported the MSI profile changing.
Now i am thinking that they werent just seeing things :)

Because the video cards change over time, and via dust , and EVEN via those stupid foam thermal pads getting old, my video card overclocking is strictally manuel, plus i like to decide for myself when it will be high or low, because when things decide to step isnt where i would all the time.
With the CPU , i can change it before booting, so no problem with going off Blind, but i have never experienced the cpu suddenly changing.
.
 
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transpro61181

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Dallas Tx
do you think ccc will conflict with msi if they were both open at the same time? maybe this is a glitch in the 10.12 drivers? I might roll back to 10.11 as i have heard a lot of complaints about 10.12
 

Psycogeec

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
The conflict item WAS on XP with the older drivers the AtiHotkeypoller service. in services.
I toss things out so fast :) i forgot to test, but they say that is the item that can do the stepping, most of the software would disable it, at least temporarily?

as far as i can tell CCC does not conflict with the OC software , as long as it is unlocked but not set to overclock itself?
oops, it is in the trash too :)

gee mabey you tell me after checking the hotkeypoller so i will know.
 

Psycogeec

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
That is the flashing i was talking about. it is the stepping itself. I think without it there is no longer the power and heat saving stepping. so there is also no flashing when the memory clock frequency changes.
 

Psycogeec

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
I Assume, that when that service is running, that the video card will Step up and down in speed as needed for 3D tasks.
soo, Have something that knows the actual GPU clock speeds, Like CCC does at the bottom (status) in the overclocking section.
Have the ATihotkeypoller service running.
Have any GPU 3D screens/windows off, then turn them on and ask them to do a 3D render, and the speeds of the unlocked GPU will go up "as needed" supposedly.
and the voltage as needed also, or it will crash.

We would use GPUtool ATItool atitray tool or furmark, 3D benches, or anything where you can turn 3D on and off at will to see.

I think it should ALSO go up when the 2D is needed, and i believe that is one reason why people report such poor 2D speeds. In both benchmarks of 2D and on 2D desktop stuff, it SEEMS like 2D is slower when the clocks are lower, and it SEEMS like the stupid thing does not step up for the 2D, even when it would help 2D speeds.
Driver updates were going to "fix" the 2D thing, i dont know if they did.
.
 
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transpro61181

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Jun 12, 2010
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Dallas Tx
K I see what your saying now. U just refer to it as hotkeypolling..I refer to it as the card ramping up/down as needed. Everything is working great now. I think MSI just glitched up due to me reinstalling the vid drivers a few times. Im gonna reinstall it and see how everything goes. But as far as the black artifact I was originally describing..it hasnt shown up for close to 4 days now since the vid bios update. (crossing fingers). If it does, I know how to edit my .inf file manually through wordpad to force a constant 1000mhz on the memory at all times like you said as my next troubleshooting step. I just want to take it one step at a time..because if I do three things at a time and it never comes back. GREAT! but at the same time im curious to know what is causing it. Now u say Atitool is the best thing to test vram with? I would like to do that in the meatime. And btw..thank you for all the quick responses! Jerrod
 

Psycogeec

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
i am still on XP, atitool and atitraytool do not work for windows 7
only a new beta version of GPUtool works for 7.
and most users prefer MSIafterburner anyway?

AtiHotkeypoller service WAS just for polling the hotkeys originally, I guess when they went to stepping they just tossed it into the same service, saving the users from having one more running item. so that is good that they conserve and combine, it is bad that they dont rename it for what it is ?? or put it in the manuel or something .