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New Threadripper build won't display video signal

This is a discussion on New Threadripper build won't display video signal within the Motherboards, Bios & CPU forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I just put together a pretty high end system for a friend of mine. This is the 200th or so

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Old 12-22-2018, 05:47 PM   #1
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I just put together a pretty high end system for a friend of mine. This is the 200th or so computer I've built so I didn't make any stupid mistakes but this is the first Threadripper system I built.

AMD 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper 2950X
G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4 @2666
MSI X399 SLI PLUS motherboard
FSP 850W Gold PSU

I got the RAM in the correct arrangement according to the manual, plugged in both CPU 8-pin connectors plus the 6 pin direct to the board that I guess supplies supplemental power to the PCI-E slots, the 6-pin to the GTX950 we're temporarily using to test it with, and according to the onboard POST code LED it passed an awful lot of tests, the fans spun down to a more normal speed, the 4 error LEDs in the top right aren't lit, and it turns on the CPU fan header LED to indicate you're using that and not the pump header. Theoretically that should be the last thing it does before it boots.

And then it just sits at E6 which according to the manual is "Reserved for future AMI progress codes" in the S3 resume progress codes. Well it's not in sleep mode so I think E6 is honestly just "it's passed the POST, now it's booting." The problem is, there's nothing on the monitor. Yes, I plugged the HDMI into the actual graphics card and yes the monitor normally works.

I don't have any SATA devices connected yet so I plugged in a bootable USB and that didn't change anything. So I swapped the GTX950 with a passively cooled GT210 and hooked it up with HDMI. Same result; no signal at all to the monitor. Then I tried 2133 1.2V DDR4 2x8GB in the 1st and 8th slot as the manual indicates and that didn't change anything. Then I tried it with just the CPU1 8-pin plugged in since it's only a 180W CPU and same thing, E6 code. Then I tried it with no PCI-E 6 pin connected to the board above the PCI-E slot. No difference. There is no onboard video so I don't know if the PCI-E slots are broken or what. I even tried the GTX950 in the 2nd PCI-E slot and got no video either.

What are the odds I got a board (ordered last week btw) that requires a bios flash before you can use threadripper 2nd gen chips in it? One reviewer on Newegg had stated that his configuration was using my exact CPU and he didn't leave a complaint about having to flash it so I doubt it. Also wouldn't I get an FF code or similar early POST error related to the CPU? Do I just have a defective board? If anyone knows what's going on here, help would be greatly appreciated! For now I'm going to try reseating the CPU and bench testing outside the case after reseating all connections.
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Old 12-22-2018, 06:40 PM   #2
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Okay, I'll leave this post up for anyone Googling this extremely aggravating problem because I solved it.
All MSI X399 chipset boards can flash the BIOS without a CPU installed at all. It's called BIOSFLASHBACK+
So get a flash drive 16GB or under. Format it to FAT32, not exFAT or NTFS. Download the latest BIOS from the motherboard's support page at MSI. This board needed A5 or later. I downloaded A7. Here's the link:


Unzip the ROM file and rename it MSI.ROM. Make sure you change the extension, not double extension it. Plug it into the USB slot on the motherboard that the I/O plate has labeled "BIOS Flashback" (right side, black USB 2.0 row)

Single press and don't hold the BIOS flashback button near on the top of the I/O plate. It will start flashing steadily if it finds the ROM matching and suitable. It takes around 4 minutes and then the button stops flashing and reboots the system. It should initialize the video card (technically the PCI-E slot/lane controller) properly now and you should get video instead of the annoying E6 error.

So it's all working now
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