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I have two graphics cards in my system, both Nvidia Quadro 4000. One always works regardless, the other appears and disappears from device manager randomly and doesn't work for a while. An hour later of swapping the cards around, turn off and on the switch at the wall, it normally works again.

Both the cards work fine in my other computer. However, only one seems to work in this PC.

I have tried all combinations of PCI slots, PCI Power, different BIOS versions, forcing PCI Express 2.0 in the bios and even using another graphics card in place of the second Quadro, which still doesn't work, even on its own.

The motherboard has its additional power connector connected for multi GPU setups. I'm not using SLI as it’s not required, however I have tested them using a bridge and i get same issues.

Originally I was using ESXI PCU pass-through, but It’s much easier to diagnose these issues in windows.

I don't believe this is a driver error, as both windows and ESXI randomly stop seeing this card.

I think the PSU is okay, however I have not tested another one, I think that is my next step.

Other Specs:

  • Intel i7 3770
  • MSI Z77 Mpower Motherboard
  • 600W OCZ PSU
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    One of the cards doesn't work on its own, so it sounds like that card is no longer reliable. You've done the same initial steps I would. Given that the card was released in 2010, it's probably out of warranty. Test another PSU. Also update the motherboard BIOS and reset its settings to defaults, just in case it's got some customized power or timing settings. – Christopher Hostage Dec 7 '17 at 17:51
  • Yeah I guess that even though the second card works in other machines, it clearly has an issue. Just very strange. I updated the BIOS and reset many times. However, ill try another one and see if it jumps into life after each BIOS reset. Thanks. – mt025 Dec 7 '17 at 17:56
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    Normally I would say 600W is enough, and it is unclear what else you have installed, but i would expect this to be a actual case where the PSU is sagging. ( nvidia.com/content/quadro/pdf/quadro-power-guidelines.pdf ) Puts the 4000 series at about 125 watts each in addition to the PCIe provided power. Coupled with an older PSU, you might be starving them a little and one may be more sensitive to that. Try pulling the PSU from the known-working system to test.. – Yorik Dec 7 '17 at 18:09
  • Yeah thats a good point. I also have 1 HDD, 4 SSD, 2 Optical – mt025 Dec 7 '17 at 18:10
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    I had a failing single GPU in a system and it turned out to be an older PSU with tons of overhead. Having a second PSU to try will eliminate that possibility quickly. – Yorik Dec 7 '17 at 18:11
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When you say specifically one card disappears, is it always the same card?

If it is then you have a hardware fault that needs replacing. If not you have a hardware fault in your motherboard PCI bridges, or a software fault in your drivers.

Try running a vanilla install for a bit and see if after leaving it on or stress tested (use Uniengine or a blender bench if you don't have anything) one of your cards disappears. If it does under stress, your PCI-e Bridge traces/caps are on the way out but you may be able to workaround by using a different PCI-e socket (assuming you have 3 or 4), and if it does whilst idling then it's either a bad driver version or your PCH is going and you'll need a new motherboard.

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