Alienware 17 R4 2017 review
Hi, firstly let me just say that I'm old and consequently that tends to make me a bit hard of thinking, although I have built a few PCs in the past so I'm not a total novice.
Because my main PC had started creaking a bit I decided to build a new (new to me) one. I acquired a MSI Z87-G45 board, a i5 4670K CPU and a brand new MSI GTX750TI GPU and together with 8GB of DDR3 and a SSD started putting it all together.
So many things have changed since my last build, I was totally oblivious to SS drives, I didn't know that we had moved on to DDR3 and what in Hell's name is this UEFI thing? Who stole my BIOS?
All my geriatric concerns aside, I put it all together, installed Win 7 Ultimate, the required mobo drivers and away we went, only before I could do anything vaguely productive I hit a snag....and this is it.
When booting the PC, the UEFI nowhere near fits the screen, about a third of the dragon logo only is displayed (badly) and the UEFI itself is completely unusable, it looks like something out of a coder's nightmare. However, once past the UEFI the PC boots into Windows perfectly and everything runs smoothly. This outcome occurs with the GTX750TI GPU fitted and with it connected to my Sony LCD via HDMI.
However, before the GPU was fitted, the UEFI displayed perfectly when connected via HDMI from the Z87-G45's on-board graphics chip and also, when the monitor is connected from the GTX750TI GPU via a VGA lead, the UEFI displays perfectly well also.
I have scoured Google for hour after hour and whilst I've discovered multiple posts with people complaining about similar phenomena, I've yet to find any solutions except for downgrading the GPU or just having a VGA lead kicking around when I need to delve into the UEFI.
The UEFI is flashed to the latest version as is the GPU so I really have nowhere to go with this one unless of course someone here with far greater knowledge than myself can come up with a fix....please God!
So the UEFI will not display correctly though new GPU's HDMI port and yet it's fine through the same GPU's VGA port and the motherboard's HDMI port....WTF is going on and how do I make it behave? ;O)
BIOS is not setting the correct resolution for your GPU card
might be worth temporary disable UEFI secure boot so you get get in BIOS properly to set the resolution.
Firstly I'd just like to extend a hearty thank you to Mr Bat and Mr Bumpkin for your suggestions, most kind of you indeed. Sorry also for not getting straight back to this thread but this issue has so puddled my brain, I really had to leave it alone for a while or else go totally crackers!
So to sum the problem up again. My UEFI displays correctly when either connected to my 1080p Sony Bravia via HDMI directly from the Z87 motherboard or by VGA from my 750Ti graphics card. However, if connected via HDMI from my graphics card I get a broken up display and a completely useless UEFI.
I have been researching obsessively since we last interfaced and have come up with a few more ideas but nothing which has helped much in all truth.
Regarding the suggestions above. There is no way of increasing the monitor's resolution before shut down as it's operating on maximum 1080 all the time ~ and I totally agree with Mr Bat that the UEFI is not setting the correct resolution for my GPU but as the machine has Win 7 installed there is no way of specifically disabling UEFI secure boot as all Win 8/8.1 features are disabled anyway.
The more one employs differing search terms for the problem, the more people Google chucks up suffering from the same issue, no UEFI display via HDMI but fine via VGA and the most prevalently cited cause for it is explained concisely in the following post I found on another forum....
"UEFI only outputs at 1280X1024, depending upon what your TV supports and how the GPU handshakes, you may run into this issue. TVs can have limited support (just like some projectors). Not much you can do about that - there is no fix for it. You need a screen that handles the output res properly."
The handshake between the GPU and the TV gets blamed time and time again for creating this phenomena....
"The UEFI (BIOS) only supports a single fixed resolution. Using a TV as a display can be problematic as most TVs do not support the resolution the UEFI is set to. The only real workaround is to temporarily connect a regular monitor."
....HOWEVER....as much as I'm OK with resigning myself to putting up with this major irritation if it really is unavoidable, how in hell's name is it possible that the UEFI is broken up, garbled, unusable when connected via HDMI to my TV from the GPU but displayed perfectly when connected via HDMI employing the same cable wired to the same TV using the HDMI output on my motherboard....that just makes no sense whatsoever.
One idiosyncrasy I did notice which might provide a clue was as below. When following a successful displaying of the UEFI via VGA or mobo HDMI, Windows 7 would boot using the familiar "Starting Windows" coloured balls turning into a flag logo, however, following an unsuccessful displaying of the UEFI when the TV is connected via GPU HDMI, the start up screen would read "Microsoft Corporation" and the green progress bar of Windows Vista would appear, I later found this post on another site....
"Please keep in mind that new Windows 7 boot screen requires at least 1024x768 screen resolution. If your monitor's native resolution is smaller than this, Windows 7 will show Windows Vista boot screen."
...of course this makes zero sense either as the native resolution of my TV is 1920 x 1080, no way is its resolution smaller than 1024 x 768 but the Windows Vista start screen is definitely what's appearing before Windows 7 kicks in.
So that's where I find myself today, completely and utterly bewildered with no sign of the fog clearing. I don't think I've got a suspect graphics card because as I said, this problem is all over the interweb, sadly though; all the solutions I've discovered either involve swapping monitors or cables around, downgrading graphics cards or prayer, none of which sit very comfortably with one as anal and OCD as myself.
Thanks again for all your help though, I live in hope. Regards, Charlie.
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