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99benns

2015 13" Retina Macbook Pro eGPU on Win 10 - will not boot past spinning wheel!

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Hello,

I've spent the past few days reading almost every thread here, but I cannot get Windows 10 to get past the spinning bootup wheel!

 

My Setup

-2015 Macbook Pro 13" with intel iris

-Sonnet Echo Express SEL

-Zotac NVIDIA GFORCE 970

-650 watt ext power supply

 

I think I've tried every setup combination such as:

-powering the eGPU up at the bootup screen

-powering the eGPU before booting up

-powering the eGPU after Windows has started and hotplugging the thunderbolt - (in this case it's detected in device manager, but nowhere else)

 

I've also tried:

-installing on OSX (it works)

-reinstalling bootcamp and windows from scratch

-formatting my entire hard disk and re-installing mac from time machine, then windows

 

..but as long as the drivers are installed and the eGPU is powered before the spinning loading wheel, Windows won't boot!

 

any other suggestions would really be appreciated, as I'm ready to send the whole lot back :(

detected if hotplugged but not usable.JPG

my setup.jpg

Edited by 99benns
added photos

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I installed Windows 10 today from scratch for testing Windows 10 myself.

First of all it is good that the eGPU is running in OSX, because we can be pretty sure the eGPU setup is fine.

For Windows...

 

Please try this booting procedure:

- turn on MB

- press und hold alt key

- wait for boot chime and boot selection menu

- wait for WiFi search to finish

- now turn on the eGPU (already connected)

- wait 2-3sec

- boot into Windows

 

Also a check list:

- Did you install the whole bootcamp driver package?

- Latest Nvidia driver installed? (361.82)

- Can you test with an external display connected to the eGPU?

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@Dschijn thanks for the tips. I've tried all of the above this morning with no luck. I downloaded and installed all the latest bootcamp drivers from Apple and just installed the latest Nvidia 361.82 (I was running the latest from the website before- 361.75).  I have to hotplug the thunderbolt or egpu power after Windows bootup so that the installer will detect the card. I've got an external display connected which is working fine on the latest OSx, but still the same loading circle graphic loop when Windows is booting (this is the white circles on the black background, before the blue welcome screen).

Edited by 99benns
Clarify error

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Hi @Tech Inferno Fan I've read through this whole thread and have tried everything mentioned already. I got the EFI mod working but it had no affect on my startup problem.

 

It's worth noting that that some of the comments say not to do this with a 2015 MacBook Pro as its not necessary and may cause further issues. Uninstalling the mod took me a while as the steps mentioned don't clear out the extra files. I actually ended up doing a full system format (OS X and Windows).

 

Any other ideas? The only difference I can see with my setup and a lot of others is the pcie enclosure, however you can't get the akitio in the UK anymore and I need to be able to easily return it if I can't get it working. I tested on OS X last night and still working fine there - pretty frustrating!

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29 minutes ago, 99benns said:

Any other ideas? The only difference I can see with my setup and a lot of others is the pcie enclosure, however you can't get the akitio in the UK anymore and I need to be able to easily return it if I can't get it working. I tested on OS X last night and still working fine there - pretty frustrating!

 

Can try 'automate-egpu.sh -a' : 

 

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This is how I got it working on Mac OSx, no change to the Windows boot problem though!

Edited by 99benns

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This is the only riser I have so I guess not. Do you think it's worth buying another to try?

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@Dschijn you got me thinking about the riser, so I disconnected it, gave it a blow, reconnected it and it's worked twice in a row!!! I need to make some more tests, but I think I may have a solution

 

Edit:

After a driver reinstallation the same problem came back and I once again can't start up the computer

Edited by 99benns

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Yeah… that's why we don't recommend using riser cables here… too often people are having problems.

The thing is…

- how are you powering the Sonnet? Please don't use 2 PSUs at the same time

- If you want a good riser, take a look here:

http://www.moddiy.com/products/Premium-Gold-Plated-16x-PCI%252dE-Extension-Shielded-Cable-Riser-%2819cm%29.html

or

http://www.highflow.nl/hardware/videokaarten/li-heat-pci-e-gen-3.0-ribbon-flexible-riser-cable-black.html

 

I ordered the first one and post my experiences first hand ASAP I got it.

A cheap powered riser worked for me in the past as well though... The quality of the cheap riser cables varies too much!

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Well the joy was short-lived. Yesterday I had stripped down the Nvidia software setup to just the driver alone. I've just re-run the install with all the other pieces (physx etc...) and I have the problem again. 

 

Regarding the riser, I was aware of this, but I can't find another way to get from x8 to x16 (I suppose I could try a fixed riser and modify the case). I'm going to try this one first:

http://www.moddiy.com/products/PCI%252dExpress-PCI%252dE-x8-to-x16-Extension-Cable-Riser-%2819cm%29.html

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Ah you only have x8 slot… damn. You could cut open the slot so a x16 would fit in ^^

Is there a way you could switch to an AKiTiO Thunder2?

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Im struggling to find one, all the stores say 'end of life'. (Unless you know somewhere?) I could get one from the US but returns would be costly and difficult. By the way, since taking that photo I'm now using the same psu.

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Hi, about buying an Akitio, have you tried the resellers named in their website? 

 

I bought mine from iData in Spain, although they sell to companies and professionals. 

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Thanks for the tips, I've found it at a couple of stores but need to see if I can get a refund on my sonnet first. I'm not hopeful it's going to solve the problem though as everything seems to be fine in OSx 

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I'm back, this time with an Akitio enclosure, and the problem is exactly the same. Infinite loading wheel on windows, working fine on mac.

 

To recap what I've tried:

-every bootup order under the sun

-full bootcamp reinstall

-full laptop re-format from time machine

-nvram clear

 

Any other thoughts?

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10 minutes ago, 99benns said:

I'm back, this time with an Akitio enclosure, and the problem is exactly the same. Infinite loading wheel on windows, working fine on mac.

 

To recap what I've tried:

-every bootup order under the sun

-full bootcamp reinstall

-full laptop re-format from time machine

-nvram clear

 

Any other thoughts?

 

Did you re-do the steps I posted previously? If done and problem persists then consider doing a Bootcamp 4.0 installation of Windows. Difference there it installs in MBR/BIOS rather than UEFI mode. That affects the initialization of the eGPU and may aid your Windows hang on boot.

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3 hours ago, Tech Inferno Fan said:

 

Did you re-do the steps I posted previously? If done and problem persists then consider doing a Bootcamp 4.0 installation of Windows. Difference there it installs in MBR/BIOS rather than UEFI mode. That affects the initialization of the eGPU and may aid your Windows hang on boot.

Hi again @Tech Inferno Fan

 

-I've re-tried 'automate-egpu.sh -a'. I got a message which says : /Library/LaunchDaemons/automate-eGPU-daemon.plist: Operation already in progress, automate-eGPU-daemon launched. Background services enabled. (So I suppose that was successful)

-I've not re-installed the EFI mod as several users say it will only cause further problems with 2015 Macbooks (and it didn't help before).  

-I tried reinstalling bootcamp with Windows 8.1

-I tried reinstalling bootcamp again with windows 10 and the bootcamp 4 drivers instead of bootcamp 6

 

The outcome is still the same. Boots fine into windows without driver installed (listed in device manager as detected but not installed). As soon as I install the driver - infinite startup wheel :frantics:

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12 hours ago, 99benns said:

-full laptop re-format from time machine

If you messed up the EFI partition, this doesn't help.

 

1) Hold down Command+R, open disk utility and erase the whole disk. Then reinstall OS X from Internet recovery. This makes sure that the EFI partition is in factory state.

2) Install Windows 8.1 or 10 and use the latest Bootcamp drivers: Boot Camp Assistant -> Action -> Download Windows Support Software.

3) Feed the power through the barrel connector. Don’t use the riser.

4) Hot plug the TB cable and install Nvidia drivers. Shut down. Boot into OS X, sudo ./automate-eGPU.sh, restart the Mac, sudo ./automate-eGPU.sh -a, select Windows in Startup Disk, and restart the Mac.

 

If the -a mode doesn't help, turn it off: sudo ./automate-eGPU.sh -m, and try hot plugging TB cable during the boot process.

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Thanks @goalque for your suggestions. I don't have a riser anymore as the card fits directly into my Atikio. I have the power routed through the barrel connector

 

So last night I did:

-a complete format from internet recovery (factory fresh, no time machine restore)

-just to be 100% sure the EFI was reset, I completely removed the EFI partition and recreated it with disk utility

-reinstalled OSx, latest bootcamp, win10

-ran windows update

-latest nvidia drivers

-no other custom software or drivers loaded at this point

-followed all instructions at the link below again to the letter including the NVRAM clear and all other things to try if Windows doesn't boot

-just tried sudo ./automate-eGPU.sh -m

-just tried alternative TB cable and socket

-just tried hotplugging

..but I still get the same problem, it's driving me a bit crazy now! Not sure where to go from here..

 

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So you first resized the partition 100% for OS X, selected the root item “Apple SSD” and clicked “erase” in disk utility? Can you boot into Windows without the eGPU?

When you installed Nvidia drivers on Win10, did you have the eGPU monitor plugged? In the best case, the eGPU should work without restarting. You can set the eGPU monitor as the primary display, and then restart.

 

@tranj10 got it working on Win8.1. I’m not sure about Win10. You can ask what driver version he is using.

 

Release 361.75 introduced the beta support for external graphics:

http://us.download.nvidia.com/Windows/361.75/361.75-win10-win8-win7-winvista-desktop-release-notes.pdf

"GPUs supported include all GTX 900 series, Titan X, and GeForce GTX 750 and 750Ti"

Edited by goalque

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1 hour ago, goalque said:

So you first resized the partition 100% for OS X, selected the root item “Apple SSD” and clicked “erase” in disk utility? 

Yes. Here are the exact steps I took:

-removed bootcamp with the bootcamp wizard and resized partition 100% for OSx

-booted into internet recovery with command+option+r 

-selected the SSD and formatted it by clicking erase in disk utility

-opened terminal, unmounted the SSD, then removed the EFI partition (it's not possible to remove it using disk utility)

-opened disk utility and formatted the disk again (just to be sure!), then repaired and verified it to restore the factory EFI partition

-re-installed OSx

-re-installed bootcamp

 

1 hour ago, goalque said:

Can you boot into Windows without the eGPU?

Yes. I can also boot into windows with the GPU connected and the drivers uninstalled. The GPU appears in device manager as a GTX970 without drivers installed. As soon as I install the drivers and restart I can't boot.

 

1 hour ago, goalque said:

When you installed Nvidia drivers on Win10, did you have the eGPU monitor plugged?

Yes, but no activity

 

I'm using the latest driver from NVIDIA, 361.91 15th Feb with Windows 10 (yesterday I tried 8.1, same problem)

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