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Seeking testers for Fermi Freeze Fix.


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#1
rominator

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Okey Doke,

After spending a couple weeks jacking around with 3 different 6xxx series cards and then seeing all my findings posted on various Mac news sites with all of the credit going to Bozo & Clarabell at TinyMac86, I have learned some lessons. So I am not going to just post useful info for all and expect everyone to behave like honest adults.

First and foremost, I am looking for people with the ability to use NVFlash to reflash their Nvidia cards. If you are unfamiliar or unwilling to do this, hit the "Back" button now and move on to next thread. The idea that a GPU can be "bricked" via a BIOS flash is an old wive's tale. They can ALWAYS be reflashed back to working state, worst case scenario you may need a different MB to flash in or an ATI card to flash from but cards can always be restored to their original BIOS. If by some MIRACLE OF CHRIST you can't, I will offer that you can ship the card to me and I will revive it should you be so woefully incompetent as to need that. (Offer only applies to Closed Beta testers)

I need 1 or 2 people with a GTS450 and 1 or 2 with a GTX460.

I have been able to cure these cards of freezing in my machine, but as we all know, there have been several "fixes" that only seemed to work for their OP.

My fix will either work or it won't. I need a larger base to test with so hence this post.

If you can not live with the following conditions, then wait for the patch script, should this lead to one.

1. You will need to dump the ROM from your 450 or 460 and email it to me. I will change a few things and send it back to you. You will then flash it on to your card and post results.
2. You will NOT make these changes public or post the rom for others to try. IF these changes work, I will see if Netkas can write a patch script to make these changes work without flashing. I have discussed my findings with him and he thinks they may be helpful.
3. If and when these tests lead to a fix, the fix will be freely available here and on Netkas' board. Period. You would need to agree that testing this fix does not constitute you "discovering" this fix and that you won't go posting MY work over at Plagiarism Central.
4. You will need to have one of the lised cards and already had freezing issue show up.

I can NOT help you with DDT strings, or EFI boot lists or anything else of that nature. If you are injecting the BIOS at boot, you will need to remove or update that.

These fixes will not work on a real Mac Pro so this is Hacks Only for now I am afraid.

In a perfect world you will be dual booting into Windows and can post about Windows behavior as well.

If you are a BIG FAN of tonymac than you should probably recuse yourself and wait for this or another fix in the future. I am CERTAIN that someone will figure out a fix sooner or later that works for everybody. I am just as certain, that the glory hogs over there will have it posted on their site within days with a "Look What We Found For You. Aren't We Great? Please Click on some of our Banner Ads"

Basically, I have been doing mods on these ROMs and noticed that they haven't frozen in several days now. They both used to be rather unusable, I would be moving the cursor across desktop and it would stop mid swipe. Never in a game, or running anything taxing. Just simple stuff and then BANG, the screen is locked up. So, don't get too excited but neither card has frozen again since I did this fix. FWIW, I never had this problem with GTX40 or GTX480 so doubtful that I can help anyone with those.

Again, don't get too excited, this fix may very well turn out to only work for me, but so far I have seen o (ZERO) freezes since I made changes. I have a GTS450 and a GTX460 both running trouble free.

BTW, the other big change I have made is to have installed the entire MBP system onto this machine. I doubt that could cause this but to be scientific I need to mention it.

UPDATE : Another day has gone by and no freezes. 60 views and 1 tester so far.

By way of some explanation, the power states in Mac driver are set up for Quadro 4000. The GTX460 and GTS450 have a different number of active voltage states. I have made my cards run more like Mac OEM Fermi and they have behaved better. Keep in mind that while many cards are specified in the drivers, they are only really guaranteed to run 1 card well. Makes sense to get the others to run more like the one the drivers were written for in the first place. SInce it is pretty well agreed that issue manifests at specific power state or transition from one to another, this makes a more sensible place to start "fixing" than the others I have seen.

#2
cure72

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Hi! Flashed the bios test, while (8 hours), freezing was not. But I have already written, unpredictable thing - maybe two or three days without any problems worked out. So that will have to wait for a week. By the way only to later BIOS for my video card there were four PowerStates, on the very first (I bought the card at the end of July last year), there were 3. If you want I can and send it. Also the presence of a Windows 7 x64, and Linux (Open Suse 11.4 x32). May need to be any damps can do everything you need.

#3
Gringo Vermelho

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rominator, you're a rock star. :rolleyes: Don't worry about the banner ad tribe, they will get what's coming to them.

I have this ASUS GTX 460 card...
http://www.asus.com/...amp;templete=2#
...with fermi freeze syndrome.

Can I test the modified BIOS in OS X by loading it with Chameleon, instead of flashing it to the card?

I have verified that the BIOS as extracted from ioreg in OS X matches the BIOS dump I have placed in /Extra - I've seen reports of Chameleon truncating the BIOS but this is not happening to me.

Or is flashing the BIOS mandatory?

I'm using some butt ugly proprietary ASUS software on the Windows side that manages the cards clocks and fan speed, it works very well for me and I'm worried about breaking or losing that functionality if I flash my card with a modified BIOS.

Here's the BIOS, extracted with NVFlash: Attached File  Asus_ENGTX460_70.04.13.00.01.zip   44.82KB   16 downloads
ASUS offers a BIOS update for their various ENGTX460 models, but it's only for cards with Hynix memory. Apparently my card uses a different brand of memory because it doesn't pass the check in the BIOS updater. So this is the latest available BIOS for my card.

#4
rominator

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OK, ill write you a couple different ones to try. Not sure if the injection route works, but I guess worth a shot.

Not sure how to be certain that values from original BIOS won't get tucked into some register and used instead of VBIOS.

cure72, go ahead and send me the earlier BIOS you mentioned with only 3 power states

I will write some of these for you guys tomorrow, takes more concentration than I have now

#5
cure72

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Hi rominator
Old bios sent. Maybe something will help.
By the way the computer was sleeping at night, morning, woke him up until now no problems. :unsure:

#6
real3x

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Another tester if you want, got a Gigabyte GV-N460OC-1GI ( Card link )
My bios is already flashed to avoid stepping, the card is injected by dsdt and hdmi audio is working.
The card freeze between 1h-2day, my bigger uptime (without the playing video trick) is about 2 day and few hours, then the freeze come back to my door.

This is the original bios, extract with nvflash : 460 rom

edit :: i forgot, i can test under win 7 with game, thats why i got the card
ty

#7
momavujisic

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I got a eVGA GTX 460 1GB if you still have room for another tester. Got Windows 7 also for testing.

What effect would the flash have if I switched back over to my Windows installation?

#8
neilK

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i'd be happy to try the injection method on msi 460gtx hawk with 10.6.6. might need a bit of guidance. this weekend i would have a bit of free time to mess about.

#9
Gringo Vermelho

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might need a bit of guidance

It's easy, don't worry. You can do this in 5 minutes.

NVFlash runs in a command prompt on Windows and comes with documentation.

To read the ROM, type nvflash -b whateveryouwant.rom
To flash the ROM type nvflash nameofrom.rom

Don't forget to make a backup of your factory BIOS.

To load your BIOS ROM and inject it into the ioregistry with Chameleon 2.0 RC5, add UseNvidiaROM=y and VBIOS=y to your /Extra/com.apple.Boot.plist and place the BIOS ROM dump in /Extra.

I'm not sure both those commands are required. Until someone can clarify this, use both!

The ROM must be named vendorID_deviceID.rom. That's 10de_e022.rom for my Geforce 460GTX for example.

#10
cure72

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Hi rominator
Incidentally, I remember something related to the first (3 P-States) bios. When they left the drivers for Windows 260.xx series owners GTX460 production Palit \ Gainward (and including me) are faced with a problem. Namely, with drivers 260.xx problems began, as in Windows, and Linux some time after the OS boot screen is covered with artifacts and the system froze. Occasionally BSOD (in Windows) Since in Linux and Windows have enough tools to track the state of the video card at the time of the problem, I immediately noticed that the problem occurs at the moment of transition in video mode 2d (50 \ 135 \ 101Mhz) and so also discovered that this problem does not occur if you install the most the first bios (the one that I sent to you with 3 P-States), I contacted tech-support Gainward (Nvidia also on the forum raised the issue) and led a fairly rough correspondence with Gainward. One and a half weeks I have been sent to the order of 5 to test the BIOS checks. The latter was successful and in the end they have placed on its website for downloading. Ie it turns out that the problem still was associated with the change of regimes of state (or incorrect addition of a fourth mode) as on the BIOS with 3 P-States had no problems. But I somehow did not hit upon check this bios in MAC OS. :D And frankly, it somehow did not want to use the old bios when there is already a new one. :angel:

#11
rominator

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I am about to start up VMWare and write a few more test BIOSs. I will pm people with my iDisk when the ROMs are done.

I saw the posts from the guy wanting the OP of "big" Fermi thread to fix up 1st post.

I agree it would be nice, but if the OP doesn't visit much, he may not be around to edit it for some time.

I would like to define the "Fermi Freeze" as I see it and if I have listed anything that doesn't jive with someone else's experience, please let us all know. If you have any other notes or observations, also please let us know.

1. Freeze happens to GTS450 and GTX460 ONLY so far.

2. GTX470 & GTX480 are immune

3. The affected cards will NEVER crash whilst doing a 3D intensive task, it is only while running simpler things. I am pretty sure that for me, it was always while using Safari. I would go to click on something and realize that computer was no longer paying any attention to me. A Power Plug yank was the "fix" at that point.

4. To avid the "freeze" the current working "fix" is to keep something running that keeps card in 3D mode. A VLC window looping a short video has been the most common.

5. While I always just had screen freeze, others have reported a full on KP. (Grey "Curtain of Death" coming down with the multi-language "Need to restart...Bob Lob Law"

6. After a restart, there are 2 potential notes in Log, One of them points to a Window Server error, the other to an OpenGl Channel Exception.

Please think about your experiences if you have a Fermi card and post your results.

ROMs coming for testers, remember that they are to be kept private until we get an answer that works.

#12
rominator

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Already have 1 tester reporting that fix isn't working for them.

Will try using the BIOS I was sent with only 3 power states.

Have enough 460 testers for now.

Will continue to post updates

#13
og-phantom

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Rominator, I will be anxiously awaiting your fix!! You are the man!! If you end up wanting/needing another GTX460 tester, I have a nVidia branded GTX460. <crossing fingers your fix comes out soon>

#14
rominator

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Downloading DP2 now.

Will hold off writing more ROMs until we see if new drivers fix this.

Fingers crossed.

#15
Carstiman

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hello, got a ASUS GTS 450 - 70.06.1F.00.00 and would like to test it too.

GraphicsEnabler wont detect this card and till now i did it with dsdt and got few freezes with KP.

good luck and thx in advance ^_^

Attached Files



#16
cure72

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Well, today I received a freeze. Just boot your computer, launch the browser Opera, 3 minutes first stops responding to clicks (mouse move) then everything is completely frozen. ;)

#17
momavujisic

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Anxiously waiting for this to hopefully become a true fix! You can do it! If you need more GTX460 testers let me know.

In the meantime... I should see if I can get my 8800GS working side by side with my GTX460 for OS X....

#18
rominator

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I think we need to examine the "retail Install" from Nvidia and create a list of the various kexts and bundles and then try either moving them all, or various bits over to SL.

It is interesting that Cure & I have both noticed this behavior to be connected to using a web browser, while Gringo has games trouble.

I have actual life responsibilities today, so I can't get to this until tomorrow.

Anyone want to take point? Put together a Lion DP2 Nvidia installer?

I am attaching some of them, I imagine some are missing but I think important ones are here.

We have been using 256 drivers since Nov 16

These are 270 drivers.

Unfortunately, the GL Driver Bundle is 36 Megs so I can't attach here but I can iDisk it to any of my testers who wish to try.

Attached Files



#19
cure72

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rominator
I will say more. If for example take 9 out of 10 cases of freezes occurs to me that they occurred just when Web surfing. No difference whether I used Safari or Opera.
Drivers will be checked.Good luck with the experiments.

#20
Gringo Vermelho

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It is interesting that Cure & I have both noticed this behavior to be connected to using a web browser, while Gringo has games trouble.


I forgot to mention that I've had freezes during browser use as well. It happens in exactly the same way as you described earlier in the thread, except I use Firefox.

For me the browser freezes became a lot less frequent since 10.6.7/latest nvidia drivers/Firefox 4. Can't say which because I updated all three at pretty much the same time, but the freeze is rare enough now that I've stopped running VLC in the background.

I was using Left 4 Dead 2 for testing your BIOS because it is a much more reliable way to make it freeze. I can use Firefox all day and night without anything happening, so I decided that it would take too long to get a reliable test result that way.

/edit

FWIW, that unlimited love qt video runs fine for me in Firefox on 10.6.7 already.





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