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Author Topic: [SOLVED] 6990 Flashed BIOS Problems  (Read 3952 times)
NLA
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September 30, 2011, 12:36:48 AM
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So yesterday I decided it'd be a good idea to reduce the amount of electricity I pull from the wall when mining by flashing the BIOS of my 6990 (master and slave BIOS) such that the memory clocks are always at 300MHz. I flashed through Windows with the ATI BIOS flash utility (winflash? atiwinflash?) and the utility reported that the flashing was successful. Upon rebooting into Linux, I ended up at a blank screen and the OS was unresponsive.

Keep in mind that NOTHING had changed in the mean time with Ubuntu -- it was working fine, I switched to Windows and flashed the BIOS, rebooted to Ubuntu, frozen at black screen. So after backing up all my files and such, I completely re-installed Ubuntu, re-installed all the necessary files for bitcoin mining, and updated the rig, and then rebooted. BLANK SCREEN. Cry So just now, I toggled the BIOS switch back to the backup BIOS, and voila I'm back into Ubuntu just fine.

Anyone else have this issue with BIOS flashing? Has anyone managed to flash the BIOS of a 6990 and have it work just fine? Is there something special I need to do to flash properly? Literally all I did with RBE was adjust the memory clocks to be 300MHz across the board on the master and slave BIOS, and I ran into problems.

Halp plox. Sad

EDIT: My problems are similar to https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=8447.0, but I have my master/slave BIOS backed up. My problem has to do with Ubuntu not wanting to boot with my modified BIOS on the 6990.
EDIT2: Took me a while, but I actually found someone that has been messing around with BIOS flashing the 6990.. http://www.overclock.net/13034600-post601.html.. he only covers volt modding through RBE and doesn't mention underclocking the mem, and he mentions to only adjust voltage on the VID4 GPU register entry.. Hm..
EDIT3: Just reflashed to a slightly different modified master/slave BIOS (underclocked mem, voltage bumped to 1200mV instead of 1175mV) and same problem, Fgsfds. Has anyone managed to BIOS flash their 6990 properly?

Still open to suggestions/thoughts/advice!

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September 30, 2011, 02:38:18 AM
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drivers are recognizing a flashed/changed bios and crapping out...
Also, apparently AMD has put stuff in to disallow downcklocking memory.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=43990

there are other treads I've posted on to this effect, just too lazy to dig them all up right now...

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September 30, 2011, 02:53:41 AM
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drivers are recognizing a flashed/changed bios and crapping out...
Also, apparently AMD has put stuff in to disallow downcklocking memory.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=43990

there are other treads I've posted on to this effect, just too lazy to dig them all up right now...
I thought this only affected Windows users? Right now I'm running with 3 6970's and 1 6990 in the case, and I've already BIOS flashed the 6970's to run @ 300MHz memory speeds, and there's no problems with them.. only the 6990 is causing a problem with booting into Ubuntu.

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September 30, 2011, 02:55:43 AM
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drivers are recognizing a flashed/changed bios and crapping out...
Also, apparently AMD has put stuff in to disallow downcklocking memory.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=43990

there are other treads I've posted on to this effect, just too lazy to dig them all up right now...
I thought this only affected Windows users? Right now I'm running with 3 6970's and 1 6990 in the case, and I've already BIOS flashed the 6970's to run @ 300MHz memory speeds, and there's no problems with them.. only the 6990 is causing a problem with booting into Ubuntu.

nope...

it's in drivers AMD writes...

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September 30, 2011, 02:59:53 AM
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nope...

it's in drivers AMD writes...
In Linux, though? So the drivers are fine with me BIOS flashing my 6970's as I please, but there's some special case for 6990's? wtf. Huh

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September 30, 2011, 03:04:28 AM
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nope...

it's in drivers AMD writes...
In Linux, though? So the drivers are fine with me BIOS flashing my 6970's as I please, but there's some special case for 6990's? wtf. Huh
^This.  I have 38 x 6970's all running at 940/340 with modified BIOSes.  A 6990 is the same card with an extra GPU and a bridge.  I don't know why this would be different.  Have you tried clocking the 6990's ram to 300mhz in Windows with Afterburner?  Is it stable?

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September 30, 2011, 03:09:47 AM
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In Linux, though? So the drivers are fine with me BIOS flashing my 6970's as I please, but there's some special case for 6990's? wtf. Huh
^This.  I have 38 x 6970's all running at 940/340 with modified BIOSes.  A 6990 is the same card with an extra GPU and a bridge.  I don't know why this would be different.  Have you tried clocking the 6990's ram to 300mhz in Windows with Afterburner?  Is it stable?
Yeah, runs just fine, perfectly stable. And I mean it will obviously work fine since the 2D mode for all AMD cards is like 250core 150mem, so 300mem should be just fine. I just don't understand how voltmodding the 6990 through RBE is OK with the drivers (from what I've read.. I haven't tried yet), and yet underclocking the mem to 300 causes the Ubuntu ATI drivers to freeze up and refuse to boot. It's just total crap. :/

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September 30, 2011, 03:21:07 AM
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Ubuntu boots fine on all of my machines...

What version of the ATI driver are you using?  I wonder if they changed this in a later revision?  I'll have to check what I'm using when I get home, but I haven't updated the driver for a few months.

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September 30, 2011, 03:28:13 AM
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nope...

it's in drivers AMD writes...
In Linux, though? So the drivers are fine with me BIOS flashing my 6970's as I please, but there's some special case for 6990's? wtf. Huh

6990 has two bioses.  One for each GPU.  I don't have a link but I remember seeing a thread on overclockers forum about it.  If you only flash one of the two bioses (i.e. for GPU 0 but not GPU 1) the drivers hang.
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September 30, 2011, 03:33:05 AM
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Ubuntu boots fine on all of my machines...

What version of the ATI driver are you using?  I wonder if they changed this in a later revision?  I'll have to check what I'm using when I get home, but I haven't updated the driver for a few months.
I mean, the 6970's with the modded BIOS run fine when they're running the modded BIOS in Ubuntu, its just the 6990 that borks the whole thing up when its running the modded BIOS as Ubuntu starts up. If I start up the system with the 6990 in backup BIOS mode and load Ubuntu, it works fine. So its a BIOS issue specific to the 6990 in some way.

Not sure about what driver version, will check when I boot back into Ubuntu. I literally just installed Ubuntu, then followed this guide: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=7514.msg110334#msg110334 with the 2.4 APP SDK.

6990 has two bioses.  One for each GPU.  I don't have a link but I remember seeing a thread on overclockers forum about it.  If you only flash one of the two bioses (i.e. for GPU 0 but not GPU 1) the drivers hang.

I edited both: dumped the Master/Slave with GPU-Z, modified the clocks in the Master bios, modified the clocks in the Slave bios, then flashed each to the Master/Slave BIOS of the 6990. I'm definitely doing this right. Its just that Ubuntu really doesn't want me to boot with this modded BIOS, which is so strange. :/

EDIT:

[SOLVED] AND JUST LIKE THAT, I FIGURED IT OUT. OK, here's the deal: when I was modding the BIOS for my 6970's, I changed voltages and memory clocks for all 'modes' of the 6970 (boot, performance, etc), so no matter what, the same voltage and memory underclock would run all the time. Apparently you can't do that with the 6990 Master and Slave BIOS: you have to just edit the memory speed in the column with the 880core, and just edit the 1175mV voltage (to something else) in the GPU register -- leave everything else alone! I hope this helps anyone else out there that has been having trouble with this, as no one else on the internet apparently has had this problem. The 6990 BIOS is apparently more sensitive to changes than the 6970.

If you spent a long time searching through Google for a solution and my troubles helped you, consider tossing some BTC's my way.. 1HayA42ajEr19iEaeJbLLkPyKYMve2U4T2 Smiley

If my post helped you in some way, please donate to 1NP2HfabXzq1BB288ymbgnLcGoeBsF7ahP. Smiley
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October 04, 2011, 11:57:29 PM
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EDIT:

[SOLVED] AND JUST LIKE THAT, I FIGURED IT OUT. OK, here's the deal: when I was modding the BIOS for my 6970's, I changed voltages and memory clocks for all 'modes' of the 6970 (boot, performance, etc), so no matter what, the same voltage and memory underclock would run all the time. Apparently you can't do that with the 6990 Master and Slave BIOS: you have to just edit the memory speed in the column with the 880core, and just edit the 1175mV voltage (to something else) in the GPU register -- leave everything else alone! I hope this helps anyone else out there that has been having trouble with this, as no one else on the internet apparently has had this problem. The 6990 BIOS is apparently more sensitive to changes than the 6970.

Would you mind posting a writeup on the specifics of what you had to change with GPU-Z/RBE/WinFlash for your 6990s to drop your memory clock to 300MHz with a core clock > 125MHz above the memory clock? Like many, I have tried dropping the memory clock below the core clock with the stock 6990 BIOS via cgminer and other tools like aticonfig, atitweak and AMDOverdriveCtrl only to see the memory clock jump back up to 1250MHz when mining.

Your post seems to be the only reference to this even being possible with 6990s on Linux and I for one would be very appreciative of some guidance.



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October 05, 2011, 04:07:46 PM
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what driver version are you on?

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October 05, 2011, 05:45:14 PM
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I've flashed both of my 6990's in the overclocked position using RBE & atiflash, no problems at all using Ubuntu and fglrx drivers.
I have them set to 600mhz memory, used to be 150mhz but I changed it in fear of causing damage.

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October 05, 2011, 06:35:41 PM
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what driver version are you on?

I'm using the 11.8 drivers with APP v2.5, and ADL 3.0 on CentOS 6 x86_64 mining with cgminer 2.0.5.


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October 06, 2011, 12:39:11 AM
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I've flashed both of my 6990's in the overclocked position using RBE & atiflash, no problems at all using Ubuntu and fglrx drivers.
I have them set to 600mhz memory, used to be 150mhz but I changed it in fear of causing damage.

Care to provide details on what you changed and how you changed it?

e.g. For the overclock BIOS on my rig I did the following:

1) With power off, set BIOS switch to overclock position on each 6990.
2) Boot to DOS on your mining rig with CD/USB/floppy (like Ultimate Boot CD) and attach media with ATIFlash.exe if not on the boot media.
3) Enumerate all cards detected with ATIFlash -i
4) Document the BIOS checksum for each of your cards with ATIFlash -cb x where x is your adapter ID provided in step 3.
5) Dump BIOS on each adapter to USB/floppy with ATIFlash -s x BIOSx.ROM where x is the adapter ID.
6) Remove USB/floppy and attach to a Windows PC with RBE.
7) Load each BIOSx.ROM into RBE where x is the adapter ID.
Cool In the Clock settings tab, locate Clock info 00 (this should have GPU (MHz) = 880).
9) Modify the settings for Clock info 00 to have GPU (MHz) = 880, RAM (MHz) = 150, Voltage (V) = 1.175. (Note: Only change the RAM MHz value)
10) Modify the settings for Clock info 03 to have GPU (MHz) = 800, RAM (MHz) = 150, Voltage (V) = 1.175. (Note: Only change the RAM MHz value)
11) In the GPU registers edit VID4 (mV) from 1175 to 1050.
12) Save each BIOS image to the USB/floppy named as BIOSxNEW.ROM where x is the adapter ID.
13) Move the USB/Floppy back to your mining rig.
14) Confirm the checksum on each ROM image with ATIFlash -cf BIOSx.ROM and compare with your previously documented values for each adapter.

If and only if the checksums match proceed to the next steps

15) Flash each new BIOS onto the respective adapter with ATIFlash -p x BIOSxNEW.ROM where x is the adapter ID.
16) Once all adapter BIOS images have been flashed, reboot. It is important not to reboot until both master/slave BIOS on a card have been flashed before rebooting.
17) Boot back into Linux, and confirm the clock settings have been updated with DISPLAY=:0 aticonfig --adapter=all --odgc
18) Mine away!





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October 07, 2011, 01:43:00 AM
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Well there's two things I'm interested in changing: voltage and mem clocks, so I'll talk you through how I got it to work.

For the GPU registers, you only change the VID4 entry to whatever voltage you want, don't change any other voltages. For the mem speeds, change the frequencies only for the left-most and right-most columns. Strangely enough, the left-most column with the 880 core clock and 1250 mem clock doesn't actually control the mem clock, the right-most column with the 800 core clock does. I recommend changing both just to be sure. So the column with 880 core should have 150 for mem clock (or whatever you want), and the column with the 800 core clock should have a matching mem clock to the first column. THATS ALL YOU CHANGE. Touch nothing else, or you'll find that Ubuntu will not boot up.

That's it! If this helped, please consider donating some BTC to me so I can pay rent! Smiley

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October 10, 2011, 11:45:30 PM
 #17

Thanks NLA,

I am doing some tweaking to find optimal settings with my setup and plan to post a comprehensive HowTo with our collective findings.

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