Suspected Video VGA Bios Corruption

Maxime506

Honorable
Apr 22, 2013
94
0
10,660
28
Hello there,

Have a Acer Aspire 5560G laptop, with A6-3400M CPU (Come with HD 6520G iGP) and HD 6650M dGPU.

Previously I am running GTA V on WIndows 10 Build 10162. When I am testing with dual graphics the laptop hanged completely and I have to reboot. After this, Windows always crashes BSOD unless I uninstalled the video driver.

Occasionally I checked the BIOS and found out that the VGA Bios information is not available, and the video memory is 0 (should be 1024MB with "Switchable Graphics" option on). However when I switched to "Integrated Graphics" the BIOS information returned normal and read the correct version, and I never encounted any BSOD when I install AMD Catalyst Driver.

That's why I suspected that the VGA BIOS on HD 6650M, the dGPU, is broken. Any way to fix it? ANy comments and answers are appreciated.
 

CmdrJeffSinclair

Estimable
Aug 29, 2014
32
0
4,590
1
The graphics drivers contain either the same or updated BIOS information for your graphics card(s). If reinstalling the drivers after a clean wipe (full uninstall with Nvidia/AMD driver utility then fresh install) then it's not the VGA driver unless it's a BETA, in which case download then install WHQL drivers.

My first guess that GTA5 is stressing your system out way too much. That game can bring a 290X to its knees and your APU+GPU structure would not be nearly as well optimized as a high end GPU would be. I would not expect the best experience for GTA5 with your setup.

Since an APU structure is only as good as its drivers and since APUs are rarely powerful enough even for mid-range gaming, it may be the case that the system cannot simply run GTA5 unless AMD specifically updates the ever living hell out of its drivers for your GPU, dGPU and the APU setup altogether. That might be very unlikely in any reasonable time period.

But then if I'm wrong above, I do have some experiences that may help you to troubleshoot if your rig isn't so much the issue. I underwent a similar untraceable nightmare with my graphics and it turned out to be multiple factors all causing my Black and Blue Screens which each seemed to link to the drivers as well. Seemed to, at least. The drivers actually turned out to be the only "visible" link in an otherwise very long chain of unpredictable cascading issues from several drivers between my graphics and Windows and the hardware.

I learned that:
1) A dying or stressed PSU can fail to send power properly under stress (gaming) which can cause a black screen and blue screen. Check your watt usage if you can with the software that hopefully came with your PSU
2) Windows is almost always the culprit to many of these problems, and since Windows 10 is not out yet, chances are very high it's an issue with an API communicating to a Driver for your hardware. If Windows itself is having DX-API errors/miscommunications then those will definitely result in overheating, memory errors, driver failures and then naturally black and blue screens start up...and all that is just for starters of what could happen.

So, that being said, a fresh install of Windows 7/8/8.1 with their respective service packs wouldn't be a bad thing to do and then see if the issues are resolved.
3) Antivirus is another very common culprit. My Norton 360 loves to swallow up any .exe, .dll, and inhibit any setup file during the setup process that it doesn't recognize BUT IT NEVER NOTIFIES ME lol. It's quite awful and often has no trace of activity in the "Recent History" since it was a "block" and not a quarantine of a file. So you can try to completely disable your antivirus firewall and antivirus "active-scanning" then fully reinstall GTA5. If an important .dll file was blocked during installation or is missing from your installation then that could easily cause a whole stream of issues with graphics. This happened to me on Skyrim multiple times until the Norton Community had reported it enough times that Norton updated its definitions. An easy way to validate if all files are there for your GTA5 installation is to do this via Steam. Just right click the game and click Properties, then find "Validate Cache" which will replace all lost files for GTA5. It will say if any files were missing.

4) Since GTA5 is notoriously demanding even on the latest PC hardware, your 1GB of VRAM may not be enough even for low/medium settings. An obvious thing to do would be to dial down all the graphics to the LOWEST possible and play. If the black/blue screens still occurs then you know reinstalling GTA5 would be a waste of time as the issue is not software related but hardware.
5) Make sure your drivers are not BETA. You want WHQL when things like these happen. Drivers like these are tried and proven to work as best as they can.
6) Make sure your GPU is under 90C, since most vendors throttle the GPU when it hits 90C to prevent heat damage. As a result, since your GPU is likely already at its max load for a game like GTA5 then it is very likely the overheating is causing the BSODS

A story from my experience below!

When my laptop was having this same issue as you, I thought it was the drivers too. However, my laptop adapter was almost dead. What did I discover?

1) Disabling crossfire greatly increased the time between crashes. This made me believe my graphics cards or the drivers were dying or corrupt
2) the issues persisted. Becoming wiser, I then set my CPU to run only at half speed plus left crossfire disabled. Again, the crashes lessened, but persisted.
3) I then ran 14 tests on the hardware and everything completely checked out
4) I then realized that either my motherboard or adapter was dying
5) Since I could not test the motherboard, I unplugged the power adapter and ran on batter power.... problem solved. All crashing ended.

Bought a new adapter and everything has been fine since. The trouble is that the adapter was dying and feeding bad energy waves to the motherboard which in turn caused massive cascading issues to all parts. When I would test the parts, everthing tested OK because testing and benchmarking (etc) are not realistic daily usage. They don't stress drivers between layers and layers of API's and DLL's. They test one thing at a time, which was never enough to stress the entire system at once. A video would though. In a game, the CPU, GPU, HDD and RAM would hit max easily, then poof, BSODs galore.

It took me over 1 1/2 years to narrow down the issue and no one on Tom's could help because the nature of the problem was so extremely specific. Only you can narrow everything down. Only you know the moods and feelings of your system. In a situation like this, you need hands on help and you're the only free help you can find.

I would strongly invite you to think outside of the box on this one. Keep deducing until only one answer is left. When all else fails, admit that you may have missed something and begin at the next logical place. Troubleshooting is the most exhausting and tedious thing in computers. It tests the patience of even the biggest computer lovers! Good luck!
 

CmdrJeffSinclair

Estimable
Aug 29, 2014
32
0
4,590
1
The graphics drivers contain either the same or updated BIOS information for your graphics card(s). If reinstalling the drivers after a clean wipe (full uninstall with Nvidia/AMD driver utility then fresh install) then it's not the VGA driver unless it's a BETA, in which case download then install WHQL drivers.

My first guess that GTA5 is stressing your system out way too much. That game can bring a 290X to its knees and your APU+GPU structure would not be nearly as well optimized as a high end GPU would be. I would not expect the best experience for GTA5 with your setup.

Since an APU structure is only as good as its drivers and since APUs are rarely powerful enough even for mid-range gaming, it may be the case that the system cannot simply run GTA5 unless AMD specifically updates the ever living hell out of its drivers for your GPU, dGPU and the APU setup altogether. That might be very unlikely in any reasonable time period.

But then if I'm wrong above, I do have some experiences that may help you to troubleshoot if your rig isn't so much the issue. I underwent a similar untraceable nightmare with my graphics and it turned out to be multiple factors all causing my Black and Blue Screens which each seemed to link to the drivers as well. Seemed to, at least. The drivers actually turned out to be the only "visible" link in an otherwise very long chain of unpredictable cascading issues from several drivers between my graphics and Windows and the hardware.

I learned that:
1) A dying or stressed PSU can fail to send power properly under stress (gaming) which can cause a black screen and blue screen. Check your watt usage if you can with the software that hopefully came with your PSU
2) Windows is almost always the culprit to many of these problems, and since Windows 10 is not out yet, chances are very high it's an issue with an API communicating to a Driver for your hardware. If Windows itself is having DX-API errors/miscommunications then those will definitely result in overheating, memory errors, driver failures and then naturally black and blue screens start up...and all that is just for starters of what could happen.

So, that being said, a fresh install of Windows 7/8/8.1 with their respective service packs wouldn't be a bad thing to do and then see if the issues are resolved.
3) Antivirus is another very common culprit. My Norton 360 loves to swallow up any .exe, .dll, and inhibit any setup file during the setup process that it doesn't recognize BUT IT NEVER NOTIFIES ME lol. It's quite awful and often has no trace of activity in the "Recent History" since it was a "block" and not a quarantine of a file. So you can try to completely disable your antivirus firewall and antivirus "active-scanning" then fully reinstall GTA5. If an important .dll file was blocked during installation or is missing from your installation then that could easily cause a whole stream of issues with graphics. This happened to me on Skyrim multiple times until the Norton Community had reported it enough times that Norton updated its definitions. An easy way to validate if all files are there for your GTA5 installation is to do this via Steam. Just right click the game and click Properties, then find "Validate Cache" which will replace all lost files for GTA5. It will say if any files were missing.

4) Since GTA5 is notoriously demanding even on the latest PC hardware, your 1GB of VRAM may not be enough even for low/medium settings. An obvious thing to do would be to dial down all the graphics to the LOWEST possible and play. If the black/blue screens still occurs then you know reinstalling GTA5 would be a waste of time as the issue is not software related but hardware.
5) Make sure your drivers are not BETA. You want WHQL when things like these happen. Drivers like these are tried and proven to work as best as they can.
6) Make sure your GPU is under 90C, since most vendors throttle the GPU when it hits 90C to prevent heat damage. As a result, since your GPU is likely already at its max load for a game like GTA5 then it is very likely the overheating is causing the BSODS

A story from my experience below!

When my laptop was having this same issue as you, I thought it was the drivers too. However, my laptop adapter was almost dead. What did I discover?

1) Disabling crossfire greatly increased the time between crashes. This made me believe my graphics cards or the drivers were dying or corrupt
2) the issues persisted. Becoming wiser, I then set my CPU to run only at half speed plus left crossfire disabled. Again, the crashes lessened, but persisted.
3) I then ran 14 tests on the hardware and everything completely checked out
4) I then realized that either my motherboard or adapter was dying
5) Since I could not test the motherboard, I unplugged the power adapter and ran on batter power.... problem solved. All crashing ended.

Bought a new adapter and everything has been fine since. The trouble is that the adapter was dying and feeding bad energy waves to the motherboard which in turn caused massive cascading issues to all parts. When I would test the parts, everthing tested OK because testing and benchmarking (etc) are not realistic daily usage. They don't stress drivers between layers and layers of API's and DLL's. They test one thing at a time, which was never enough to stress the entire system at once. A video would though. In a game, the CPU, GPU, HDD and RAM would hit max easily, then poof, BSODs galore.

It took me over 1 1/2 years to narrow down the issue and no one on Tom's could help because the nature of the problem was so extremely specific. Only you can narrow everything down. Only you know the moods and feelings of your system. In a situation like this, you need hands on help and you're the only free help you can find.

I would strongly invite you to think outside of the box on this one. Keep deducing until only one answer is left. When all else fails, admit that you may have missed something and begin at the next logical place. Troubleshooting is the most exhausting and tedious thing in computers. It tests the patience of even the biggest computer lovers! Good luck!
 
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