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E2 EDID compatibility issue with AMD FirePro W7100

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Hello Fellow WatchOut ops,

On a recent show, I had subscribed to an E2 EDID of 2880 x 720 using an AMD FirePro W7100. This particular EDID, combined with how WO digs into the GPUs, has potentially caused irreparable damage to the GFX card. I've found that a display set to that format would begin to cache and receive it’s files/data on a WO update, but would then just freeze in a state where it displays it’s display name. Once in that state, a forced exit of Watchpoint would be the minimal that is needed to be done to resolve. In one instance, I had to turn the hardware off, only to find that it never booted into Windows again. From that point on, that machine would boot to a screen that pertains to an error in the Windows installation. But it gets better! Any time I would image a new OS from a different computer, the resulting cloned disk would render the same results in this particular machine. The newly cloned OS would be able to boot to Windows in another working computer, but once inserted into the original machine, it would incur the Windows error and then that SSD would incur the same failure in any other working machine. 

 

Further testing needs to be done to discover exactly what components may have played a role, but I hope this info helps prevent problems for others. I will post official findings when thorough testing has been completed.

 

 

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I doubt your graphics card is damaged. The failure to reboot after running WATCHOUT is a known issue with recent AMD FirePro drivers. WATCHOUT sets a registry key to solve an audio issue, but the latest driver is sensitive to that fix and causes the issues you are experiencing.
 

Quote

WATCHOUT sets a registry key for the AMD GPU driver, in order to get rid of an audio bug. 
There is a command line argument that can be used when starting up WATCHOUT which removes this registry key. 

If you don't use this flag in the command prompt ( on ordinary start-up)  WO will check if the registry key is there and if it has the right value. If it is not, it will be created. In your case not setting the key might be the answer.

The command line option to disable setting the registry key is:
- WmAudioRegFix off 
This will make WO erase the registry if key, if it exists. Otherwise it will be kept empty.    
For more information on setting command line options, refer to the WATCHOUT 6.1 User guide, Appendix D, Command Line Options, page 171

In order to keep it in this state the command should be used at every start up of watchout. If it is not, the registry key will be set, which is not what you want.
After the first change on your system you will need to reboot it in order to make it work.
 

 

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Failure to boot from a cloned OS disk (resulting in a Windows installation error message) is likely because the original was installed under UEFI which results in Boot Manager governing the bootup. Putting in a cloned OS disk results in the BIOS listing the new disk as the top priority in the list of disks to boot from, and Boot Manager being demoted to a lower priority.

To solve, after inserting cloned OS disk, boot into BIOS with F2 or DEL key. In BIOS, one should be able to click and drag Boot Manager as the first disk to boot from. F10 to save and exit, and Windows in the cloned disk should boot up as expected. You would have to do this everytime you change the OS disk.

Hope that works for you,

Thomas Leong

 

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4 hours ago, jfk said:

I doubt your graphics card is damaged. The failure to reboot after running WATCHOUT is a known issue with recent AMD FirePro drivers. WATCHOUT sets a registry key to solve an audio issue, but the latest driver is sensitive to that fix and causes the issues you are experiencing.
 

 

 

Hello Jim! Thanks for the prompt reply! I will certainly remember to use that command line option moving forward and very much appreciate the insight. In regards to the GFX driver, we are still on AMD driver v14. That being said, I'm not sure if the driver/registery issue applies here, but great info none-the-less. I'm still a bit confused on what is actually being written where. Are we talking about the registry of the O/S or the w7100? What would be a good course correction for reviving a machine once that occurs? 

2 hours ago, Thomas Leong said:

Failure to boot from a cloned OS disk (resulting in a Windows installation error message) is likely because the original was installed under UEFI which results in Boot Manager governing the bootup. Putting in a cloned OS disk results in the BIOS listing the new disk as the top priority in the list of disks to boot from, and Boot Manager being demoted to a lower priority.

To solve, after inserting cloned OS disk, boot into BIOS with F2 or DEL key. In BIOS, one should be able to click and drag Boot Manager as the first disk to boot from. F10 to save and exit, and Windows in the cloned disk should boot up as expected. You would have to do this everytime you change the OS disk.

Hope that works for you,

Thomas Leong

 

Thanks for the information Thomas. I did use the boot manager, via F11, to select the proper O/S disk. Are you saying it is strictly a bios level setting outside of this approach? I was under the impression that the F11 boot manager is what ultimately directs the selection of the system disk. The clone may indeed have been based on a UEFI install. I will certainly use your advice as I put this machine through the wringer. Thank you!

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10 hours ago, WatchDog said:

Hello Jim! Thanks for the prompt reply! I will certainly remember to use that command line option moving forward and very much appreciate the insight. In regards to the GFX driver, we are still on AMD driver v14. That being said, I'm not sure if the driver/registery issue applies here, but great info none-the-less. I'm still a bit confused on what is actually being written where. Are we talking about the registry of the O/S or the w7100? What would be a good course correction for reviving a machine once that occurs? 

Thanks for the information Thomas. I did use the boot manager, via F11, to select the proper O/S disk. Are you saying it is strictly a bios level setting outside of this approach? I was under the impression that the F11 boot manager is what ultimately directs the selection of the system disk. The clone may indeed have been based on a UEFI install. I will certainly use your advice as I put this machine through the wringer. Thank you!

Are you running on the drive on a raid controller be it on board or on a card?

Cloning tools I have learn so far can mess up the way the bios sees each hard drive mapping if it doesn't have the correct raid drivers loaded.

For example if you have a drive that is on a raid controller, even if it is single volume, clone tools without the correct drivers will incorrectly interpret it as a regular AHCI mapped drive. It will restore and yes you may be able to boot up into windows. But it will never work 100%. I had this exact issue when my machines just refused to power off properly.

 

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6 hours ago, marklian said:

Are you running on the drive on a raid controller be it on board or on a card?

Cloning tools I have learn so far can mess up the way the bios sees each hard drive mapping if it doesn't have the correct raid drivers loaded.

For example if you have a drive that is on a raid controller, even if it is single volume, clone tools without the correct drivers will incorrectly interpret it as a regular AHCI mapped drive. It will restore and yes you may be able to boot up into windows. But it will never work 100%. I had this exact issue when my machines just refused to power off properly.

 

Thanks for the info! We do use on board raid config, but have had a well tuned recipe for quite some time now. I have successfully cloned O/S disks and distributed to display machines without issue before, so this one has me perplexed. As soon as the gear is back, I'm going to do some testing and utilize all of the above-mentioned advice. I will report findings here.

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19 hours ago, WatchDog said:

...

Thanks for the information Thomas. I did use the boot manager, via F11, to select the proper O/S disk. Are you saying it is strictly a bios level setting outside of this approach? I was under the impression that the F11 boot manager is what ultimately directs the selection of the system disk. The clone may indeed have been based on a UEFI install. I will certainly use your advice as I put this machine through the wringer. Thank you!

AFAIK, F11 only applies for that particular bootup. I do not think the BIOS remembers your preference the next time you restart/reboot. Doing it the way I mentioned, the BIOS does remember the preference until you swap OS disk again.

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Hey jfk,

Can you clarify the syntax for that command line argument? You wrote  "- WmAudioRegFix off". That exact string has a space between the dash and "W"... there shouldn't be a space, correct? Also, does the word "off" need to be encapsulated in quotes, or is just space then off?

 

Thx! 

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On 8/6/2018 at 11:09 AM, jfk said:

I doubt your graphics card is damaged. The failure to reboot after running WATCHOUT is a known issue with recent AMD FirePro drivers. WATCHOUT sets a registry key to solve an audio issue, but the latest driver is sensitive to that fix and causes the issues you are experiencing.
 

 

 

Hey Jim - you probably never were alerted to this because I don't believe I properly quoted you in my above response. Just looking for some absolute clarification in the syntax for the command line argument. If you could post answers to my questions regarding the use of spaces and quotes that would be great. Thx!

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On 10/3/2018 at 11:11 AM, JJ Myers said:

Hey jfk,

Can you clarify the syntax for that command line argument? You wrote  "- WmAudioRegFix off". That exact string has a space between the dash and "W"... there shouldn't be a space, correct? Also, does the word "off" need to be encapsulated in quotes, or is just space then off?

 

Thx! 

That is correct, there is no space between the dash and the text. I had copied the text from an internal support document and did not catch the extraneous space.

-WmAudioRegFix off

No quotes of any kind in this command line switch 

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On 10/8/2018 at 12:43 PM, jfk said:

That is correct, there is no space between the dash and the text. I had copied the text from an internal support document and did not catch the extraneous space.

-WmAudioRegFix off

No quotes of any kind in this command line switch 

Does that go in the watchout display startup shortcut?

So my new shortcut would have to be.

"C:\WATCHOUT 6\WATCHPOINT.EXE -WmAudioRegFix off"

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1 hour ago, TonyShamel said:

Does that go in the watchout display startup shortcut?

Yes

1 hour ago, TonyShamel said:

So my new shortcut would have to be.

"C:\WATCHOUT 6\WATCHPOINT.EXE -WmAudioRegFix off"

Almost. Your applicaiton path has a space in it which causes an issue. You must delimit the path and application name, so it would be like this ...

"C:\WATCHOUT 6\WATCHPOINT.EXE" -WmAudioRegFix off

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