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15" Lenovo W520 + Quadro K4000@4Gbps+c-EC2 (EXP GDC V8) + Win10 [ssamydla]

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Hi, I would like to share my eGPU experience with EXP GDC V8 ExpressCard on my W520, Quad core i7, 12GB RAM, Quadro 2000M 2GB dedicated VRAM, Windows 10 Pro 64bit.

 

last month after weeks of fails and errors, (specially the famous Error 43), i finally got my EXP GDC running using mPCIE version with NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac (yes, for Mac!)

 

I make it works by setting the PTD switch to 7s. But by the time Windows successfully detect my Q4000 i straught away hook up my external monitor (EIZO CG245W 24-inch) to my eGPU, then the system blinks, i assume it detect a display signal. but it wasnt. And my W520 suddenly shutdown. And i can not make it work again. Even after hundreds of time reinstall-uninstall NVIDIA Drivers with DDU it wont make it work again.

 

So, at this point i switch the GPU to my Quadro 6000 6GB GDDR5, and repeat the last success process. Nothing happened. Our good friend Error 43 back again and stay there forever. 

 

In my desperate time, i finally ordered the ExpressCard signal Cable. 

 

While waiting it's enroute somewhere in China, I test the EXP GDC with my AJA Kona 3G 4K I/O Video Capture Card, and hey it's working! i can do Edit & Realtime Preview 4K RAW video files thru the card flawlessly, It utilized the card's hardware encoding, (4K RAW files from ARRI & RED Camera) as well as output 16-Channels 192KHz Audio signal from my DAW. (no additional 6-pin power required for this card)

 

Then i test my both Quadro 4000 & Quadro 6000 GPU back to my HP Z800 workstation, guess what? They're both bricked! :frantics: It received power, but system cannot boot up. Beeping. means GPU is faulty.

The next day, my AJA Kona 3G card also bricked! 

 

Today the ExpressCard signal cable finally arrived along with my 6-pin + 6+2 pin, but again, when i use the ExpressCard setup it doesnt do anything. No power comes in to the EXP GDC.  My 500W ATX PSU is running though, but the LED indicator on the EXP GDC not lit.  i set the slot to Generation 1 power mode in BIOS.

 

So, I've tried both mPCIe and ExpressCard on W520 with nothing but frustrations. Did i miss anything here?

I appreciate any workaround on this. Since i've never found any eGPU setup with W520 anywhere in the net. specially using ExpressCard & a High end Quadro GPU.

 

Here's my last config that i've managed to make Q4000 work:

mPCIe method:

BIOS:

  • Whitelist latest BIOS 1.42
  • Power Management: Both for Processor and PCI set to Disabled
  • Display Mode: Integrated Graphic
  • OS Detection Mode for Optimus Graphic: Disabled
  • PXE Boot and all Network Boot options including PCI LAN Boot order : Disabled

Win 10:

  • Device Manager: System Detect eGPU, Error 43
  • Uninstall NVIDIA Driver with DDU (safe mode)
  • Reboot
  • Check BIOS first, usually it will set back the Display to Optimus Mode, i Let it Boot in OPTIMUS MODE
  • Make sure Graphic Card(s) is detected in Device Manager as a 'Basic Microsoft Display Adapter'
  • Install Quadro driver for both Discreet Graphic & eGPU
  • Reboot to BIOS
  • Display Mode: Integrated Graphic
  • OS Detection Mode for Optimus Graphic: Disabled
  • Quadro 4000 for Mac successfully detected in Device Manager.
  • Plug my external monitor to eGPU
  • GPU Bricked

 

ExpressCard Method:

  • Same as mPCIe method
  • ExpressCard Power mode: Generation 1
  • Nothing happened

 

eGPU setup:

  • EXP GDC Beast V8
  • 500W ATX PSU
  • DELL 220W Power Adapter (backup for small cards)
  • PCIe 6pin+6pin+2 auxiliary power cable (backup spare)
  • ExpressCard Signal Cable
  • mPCIe Signal Cable

 

[IMPORTANT NOTE]:

  • You will know your graphic card is working fine when you power on your laptop, normally all Quadro cards fan spin at normal speed, then it will spin faster/accelerate for 3-4 sec at Windows logo, means the system & OS detects your card then it back to normal fan speed.
  • During the setup, i often get my Quadro 4000 fan spin so freakin fast. Faster then the POST boot init, but then back to normal speed
  • Bricked Quadro Graphic Card: Quadro 4000 Fan spin fast forever, while Quadro 6000 stays low speed.

 

Thanks a lot!

Edited by ssamydla
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Here's some pics of my setup:

I've managed to make my AJA Kona 3G 4K video I/O card work again with ExpressCard cable and DELL 220W. It is more stable than the mPCIe. I assume the mPCIe cable that makes my both Quadro cards bricked

d4834eeaef84d4f9c3936f0ac0e7a47b.jpg

c3f442c352b356c54d1353cb76f6bd2d.jpg

22d6d63df0676b882314dfb5af0f6d43.jpg

f1dc27815d03b4520b5d1a490c8f994b.jpg

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I've managed to get my eGPU Quadro 4000 work again! It turns out all this time I didn't really bricked the graphic card, but the mini PCIe version is not stable. 

My NVIDIA Quadro BIOS is corrupted, make it's fan running on Max speed all time and this is why our good friend Error 43 appears. Now i use ExpressCard signal cable to bring it back to life. More securely connected and stable.

 

If you having Error 43, it is good to check the graphic card in other Computer first if possible. Make sure the card was fine.

If it's also not working, download nvflash and run it on Command Prompt. Here's the step i did:

 

Basic VBIOS Flash guide using nvflash within Windows 10 (not by a Bootable DOS USB):

IMPORTANT: make sure you connect your card on eGPU, and Discrete Graphic+Optimus is DISABLED, It shown on Device Manager, and Latest Driver is installed properly)

  • Download nvflash https://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2709/nvflash-5-292-0-for-windows (older cards might need older version of nvflash, check your card's manufacture date), i use nvflash_5.196.0.1-win (2012)
  • Extract the files into your convenient directory, since we need to type in the dir on CMD. I suggest put it on Desktop
  • Download your VBIOS for your card. it has to be *.rom file, put it in your nvflash directory. The largest GPU BIOS Database is Techpowerup https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/
  • Run CMD command prompt from Win+R or as Administrator to avoid Windows 10 autoclose Command Prompt like when using Shift+Right Click on Explorer > Open command window here
  • Type in your nvflash directory, (just type the first letter then hit TAB to autocomplete)
    Quote

    C: \Users\<username>\<directory>\nvflash<version>\

  • type:
    Quote

    nvflash --version

    then hit Enter
  • If it asked to choose which Adapter, it means your Discrete Graphic still Enabled from BIOS.
  • If you doing it correctly and your card's BIOS / EEPROM is corrupted, the command will show you this:
  • EEPROM Q4000 Failed Small.jpg
  • So go figure, your VBIOS is corrupted, this might cause Error 43 as well. 
  • Next, we need to Flash your VBIOS now. It's all up to you if you want to Flash it with Stock BIOS or tweaked.  But in my Quadro case, the graphic card's manufacture BIOS is the one that's worked, it's from Leadtek. Been tried BIOS from NVIDA stock, PNY, HP, all are useless.
  • back to CMD and still in your nvflash directory, or you can just hit Up/Down keyboard arrow to view your last command.
  • type:
    Quote

    nvflash --protectoff

    you should hear Beeping/chirp sound

  • lets begin flashing: (at this point, do this at your own risk)

  • type:

    Quote

    nvflash <biosname>.rom

    if it show ID mismatch, you should add -6 to forced it and proceed (notice that mine has FFBF, FFFF thats because the EEPROM is corrupted)

  • PCI SubSys ID Mismatch Small.png

    type:
    Quote

    nvflash -6 <biosname>.rom

     Wait for it... don't do anything otherwise you'll brick your card. Make sure your laptop run on Power adapter.

  • The moment of truth, If it's done, it will show you this:

  • EEPROM Q4000 Success Small.png

  • Hold your celebration. Your card is back to life though, but we need to Shutdown and Power Cycle everything

  • Exit CMD, and Shutdown your laptop, Unplug Laptop Power adapter / battery if possible, and unplug eGPU PSU / Power Adapter. This is very important. We need the card to clear all cache remains in it's board. This method also applied to Desktop PC / workstations as well when you're flashing / updating GPU firmware.

  • Put back eGPU & Laptop powers and start your laptop.  If you doing it right, you can hear the graphic card's fan now spin normally, but at Windows boot logo, it will spin faster for 3-4 sec. It means your graphic card is alive, healthy, detected by the system, and the Driver kicks in. 

  • Check on Device Manager

  • DevMan.jpg

  • Check Driver version in Nvidia Control Panel if needed. Use Driver directly from NVIDIA site not from your Laptop OEM driver, Disable Windows Hardware driver auto update

  • Let's celebrate :sorcerer:

This basic method is worked for me, but might not worked for you. The idea is to check your card's BIOS if you have Error 43. Install & re-install driver might also caused issues. Most people have Error 43 was only focusing on the config, eGPU brand, Driver version, OS version, etc, etc..  Also, you still can flash your VBIOS within Windows 10, it easier, not need specific DOS file, and HP formatting tools. Though using USB Bootable DOS is highly recommended. There are many eGPU and GPU BIOS Mod experts in this great forum, you can always refer to them. But most of the guides were back from 2010 or using Windows 7.

 

I hope this helps for those who struggling with Error 43 and Basic VBIOS flash on eGPU config. 

I use Leadtek Quadro 4000 for Mac by the way.. :rofl:  It's obviously an old card, but it's still worth to use, so please don't compare it with recent GTX cards :angel:.

It's CUDA working as expected on Adobe, Davinci Resolve, etc. I'm not intended to use it as for Gaming. Period.

 

Last but not least, I can sleep well now, so here's the glory i have:

eGPU 2 Small.jpg

I planned to put a small laptop USB cooling fan (two fans) and plug it to the EXP GDC USB port.

 

Q4000_GPUZ1.gif

 

AE_GPU_INFO.PNG

 

Cheers!

 

Edited by ssamydla

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I really love your setup. I'm happy that you got everything working! 

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On July 25, 2016 at 0:20 PM, Beer said:

I really love your setup. I'm happy that you got everything working! 

 

Thanks a lot mate! and thanks for checking out :) 

Edited by ssamydla

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Thank you Moderators for putting this into Implementation Guide - PC


Cheers! :sorcerer:

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