Solved Windows 7 Professional x64 OS bootup hang problem caused by VgaSave on Dell Precision T7600 workstation (Rev: 1.3)


The Dell Precision T7600 workstation [2 x Intel Xeon E5-2687W (8 cores) 3.1 Ghz CPU, 256 GB RAM] has
  • a Nvidia Quadro 5000 video card
    [default installed at the top expansion card (#15) slot 1 (CPU2_PCIe3x16) by Dell] and
  • a Nvidia Tesla C2075 GPU card
    [default installed at the PCIe3x16 slot 2 (blue) by Dell]. 

Reallocated the position of the 2 Nvidia video cards by me in the Dell Precision T7600 workstation


The Dell U2412M 24" LCD monitor was connected to the Nvidia Tesla C2075 GPU card DVI video port. Although the Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64 Operating System (OS) can detect both the Nvidia Quadro 5000 video card and Nvidia Tesla C2075 GPU card in the Device Manager, it can only use the generic VgaSave display drivers (maximum resolution is only 1600x1200) and generic monitor drivers. Windows 7 Professional x64 OS cannot detect the Dell U2412M LCD monitor.

The recommended resolution for Dell U2412M 24" LCD monitor is 1920x1200 resolution. Hence, the display text is a bit blur and the images are not sharp. Although I have installed the latest Nvidia Tesla C2075 version 296.88 (release date: 2012.06.11) drivers, Windows 7 Professional x64 OS still use the generic VgaSave display drivers and generic monitor drivers. The use of generic VgaSave drivers prevent the turning off of the hibernation feature which we do not use and waste about 151 GB of hardisk space that is used in the hibernation. Placing Nvidia Quadro 5000 video card on the top expansion card (#15) slot 1 (CPU2_PCIe3x16) is also a waste because it is not fully use by Windows 7 Professional x64 OS.

In Device Manager, I click "View" -> "Show hidden devices". Then, under the "Non-Plug and Play Drivers" group, I select VgaSave , right-click and select "Properties". At the "Driver" tab of the "VgaSave Properties", I change the "Startup Type" from "System" to "Automatic". Then, I reboot the Dell Precision T7600 workstation.

The Windows 7 Professional x64 OS boot up, shown the Windows logo and "Starting windows" wordings, and hang at this stage forever. I restarted and booted the Dell Precision T7600 workstation to Safe Mode (by pressing F8 repeatly during the bootup process). However, the Safe Mode bootup process will hang for about 2 minutes when it is loading the \Windows\system32\drivers\CLASSPNP.SYS drivers. Then, the workstation will automatically reboot and hang at the displaying Windows logo stage.

I took out the Windows 7 SATA3 hardisk at slot 0 of the Dell Precision T7600 workstation. Then, I took out the original SATA hardisk from a Dell Dimension 5150 computer and attached the Dell Precision T7600 workstation hardisk to the Dell Dimension 5150 computer. I booted up the Dell Dimension 5150 computer from the Windows 7 x64 System Repair Disc (created from Windows 7 "Control Panel" -> "Backup and Restore" -> “Create a system repair disc”) and restored the Windows 7 Professional x64 OS to an earlier date where it can boot normally. Then, I powered off the Dell Dimension 5150 computer, took out the hardisk and installed the hardisk back to the Dell Precision T7600 workstation at slot 0. However, the system restore did not work because Windows 7 still hang at the displaying Windows logo stage.


Steps to solve the Windows 7 Professional x64 OS booting hang problem caused by VgaSave 
  1. Please power off the Dell Precision T7600 workstation. Kindly unplug the power connectors (6 pins and 8 pins types) that are connected to the Nvidia Tesla C2075 GPU card. Please took out the Nvidia Tesla C2075 GPU card that is installed at the PCIe3x16 slot 2 (blue) and leave it aside on the table.

  2. Kindly unplug the power connector (6 pins type) that is connected to the Nvidia Quadro 5000 video card. Please took out the Nvidia Quadro 5000 video card from the top expansion card (#15) slot 1 (CPU2_PCIe3x16) and installed it to the PCIe3x16 slot 2 (blue) which is the standard PCIe3x16 video slot use in the motherboard.

  3. Kindly connect the Dell U2412M LCD monitor to the Nvidia Quadro 5000 video card. Kindly power on the Dell Precision T7600 workstation and it will boot normally to the Windows 7 Professional x64 OS.

  4. Kindly click "Start" -> "Control Panel" -> "Device Manager". In Device Manager, kindly click "View" -> "Show hidden devices". Then, under the "Non-Plug and Play Drivers" group, kindly select VgaSave , right-click and select "Properties". At the "Driver" tab of the "VgaSave Properties", please change the "Startup Type" from "Automatic" to "System". Kindly click the "OK" button.

With the Nvidia Quadro 5000 video card installing at the PCIe3x16 slot 2 (blue) of the Dell Precision T7600 workstation, Windows 7 Professional x64 OS will automatically detected the Dell U2412M 24" LCD monitor and set the resolution to the recommended 1920x1200 resolution. As a result, the text and images shown are sharp and not blur. I can turn off the hibernation feature by issuing the below command in the Command Prompt:

# powercfg -h off

After powered off the Dell Precision T7600 workstation, I installed the Nvidia Tesla C2075 GPU card to the top expansion card (#15) slot 1 (CPU2_PCIe3x16). With the left side cover not close yet, the Dell Precision T7600 workstation boot up normally to Windows 7 Professional x64 OS. Display text and images shown are still sharp and not blur.

However, by placing the Nvidia Tesla C2075 GPU card on the top expansion card (#15) slot 1 (CPU2_PCIe3x16), the left side cover cannot be completely closed because the workstation handle cover is blocked by the side 6 pins power connector (due to not enough casing width spacing) that is connected to the Nvidia Tesla C2075 GPU card. I think that is the reason why Dell placed the Nvidia Tesla C2075 GPU card at PCIe3x16 slot 2 (blue) so that they can close the left side cover of the Dell Precision T7600 workstation.


Comment/Note on very noisy power supply fans (faulty)

When the Dell Precision T7600 workstation is using about 10% of the CPU power (low usage), the 2 power supply fans run normally and quietly. However, when we run simulations using 100% of the CPU power (high usage), the 2 power supply fans will runs at full blast speed that produce very high fans noise. Sometimes, the simulations are completed and the workstation goes back to the low CPU usage stage, but the power supply fans still runs at full blast speed which are very noisy.

According to the Dell Technical Support, the power supply fans should not produce high fans noise. If the power supply fans are noisy, then the fans must be faulty. It is not possible for Dell to change the brands/model of the fans.

Dell had changed the Dell Precision T7600 workstation power supply. When we run simulations using 100% of the CPU power (high usage), the replaced power supply is working at slightly high fans noise which are not very noisy (acceptable).

Reference

[1] Delete hiberfil.sys by disabling Windows Hibernate function

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