My brand new Nvidia 970 GTX hangs at BIOS screen. I upgraded from a Windforce GTX 660 to a Windforce GTX 970. The 660 has been a damned good card and had lasted me for 3 years of pretty intensive gaming, so I chose the same line again and went for the beast. EXCITED! Until I swapped the cards and my system hung on a letterboxed splash screen.
- CTRL+ALT+DEL worked to reboot but no other keys worked (F12 boot, DEL setup)
- Checked power supply and PCI-e cables (the new card uses 8+6 pin power)
- Checked cable seating
So I put my old card back in and it was still working fine. However the minute I swapped to the new card, my system kept hanging at the splash screen and wouldn’t budge. I couldn’t even access BIOS. I thought maybe the card had arrived DOA but decided to update the firmware on the board just in case. I put my old card back in, booted to Windows, and used the Gigabyte @BIOS utility to update my BIOS. 2mins later it had updated and my system was accepting the new 970.
I read that this has happened with MSI boards and GeForce 970/980s. Older boards have a problem with the new cards – my motherboard has been sadly discontinued which might explain it.
The first (and oddly most annoying) part of finding a good BIOS update was knowing my motherboard model – I bought it in 2013 and the model number is not written anywhere on it. Usually it’s fairly trivial to check the model, either with dxdiag or system info.
Windows key + R opens a run command. In here, type dxdiag and you can see an overview of your system.
No dice on the motherboard model. Windows Key + X opens a Power User task menu, so from here click Run and then type msinfo32
Still no dice. So I spent an hour going through old receipts to discover that it was a Gigabyte X79-UD3. From here it was simply a case of visiting the Gigabyte site, finding their @BIOS utility for the X79 chipset and installing.
Once installed, take a backup of your BIOS and save it to a USB device. It’s only 8MB. It’s worth noting at this point that I have a jaunty SNES icon for my BIOS backup because all .bin files automatically associated with my SNES emulator when I installed it. In any case, once it’s backed up you can choose an online update, select your motherboard model and mirror, and start the download.
Once the wizard has finished, shut down the computer, install the new card, restart and boom. All working.