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Community Manager
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DZ77GA-70K: problem with lowest PCIEx slot (x4)

Hi all, I have a DZ77GA-70K here (latest Bios 0061) with an Intel 3770K (not overclocked), 16GB (2x8) memory and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti running Windows 7 Pro 64Bit SP1 with all updates applied, all drivers are up to date. Everything works perfect except for one thing:

When I install an addon card in the lowest PCIEx slot Windows shows the Safely remove hardware icon in the system tray and offers to remove a PCI-to-PCI Bridge ? The installed card works as expected but it's kind of annoying to see the message. Everything in the Device Manager is fine. As soon as I put the card in another PCIEx slot the message is gone. Tried different cards with the same result.

Anybody here seen something like that? Would disabling onboard components solve the issue? Or is the behaviour related to the Bios revision? Thank you all for your help in advance!

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Community Manager
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No one here ever seen something like that?

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Community Manager
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Intel's online support system (Guide Me) recommended to ask my question here. So I'm wondering if someone official from Intel is monitoring this community? I really need to solve my problem fast.

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Community Manager
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Without making the impression of being too pushy:

how long does it usually take before someone from Intel joins a discussion?

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Community Manager
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Usually, never.

The only thing I have to put in the 4X slot of my -70K is an old USB 3.0 adapter card and it doesn't trigger the warning you report. probably because it's a 1X device.

Out of curiosity, though, what happens if you disable the PCI-to-PCI bridge? Shouldn't make much difference unless you have a couple video cards (16X/8X) installed.

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Community Manager
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Dear rbmorse, all cards I've tested are also x1 devices (mainly video editing cards, 1394 controller etc). Disabling the specific PCI-to-PCI bridge is kind of difficult because there's no exclamation mark in the Device Manager. Which Bios version do you use? Did you disable some devices in the Bios?

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Community Manager
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I guess I wasn't clear. In your OP you mentioned that Windows put a notification in system tray offering to disable a PCI-to-PCI bridge. What happens if you approve that request?

Devices won't necessarily show in Device Mangler if there are no resources assigned to them (or attempts to assign resources).

I'm on the latest BIOS for the -70K whatever that is (0061?). Devices disabled in BIOS are (off the top of my head -- I'll update if there is something else):

integrated audio

secondary LAN adapter

all fast boot optimizations

IEEE 1394 interface

secondary SATA controller

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Community Manager
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The message in the system tray is about removing the bridge. It's basically the same message you see when you have an USB stick or a removable drive connected. I can remove the bridge (which makes no sense). After a reboot the message is there again.

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Community Manager
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Since it doesn't seem to affect the machine's operation, you could disable the icon in the system tray and the notification wont show any longer.

Click the "up arrow" in the system tray, click on customize, then find the icon for which you which to change the behavior and change the puilldown to "hide icon and notifications" should do it.

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Community Manager
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Sure I could hide the icon. But I think many will agree that it's far from normal that you can remove an addon card like a USB stick. Imho the Bios has severe problems to allocate resources. Eg disabling onboard devices affects the recognition of addon cards. Hopefully Intel solves this before going oout of production...

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Novice
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Hi Chris,

The PCI bridge message appears when the existing bus has to share lanes for other PCI-E devices. The last PCI-E slot is 4x so when populated the PCI-E x16 slot 1 goes to 8x and the second PCI-E x16 goes to 4x. There are only 16 lanes with the Z77 chipset.

The PCI-E 1x slots are on a separate bus so installing cards into those slots will not cause the PCI bridge message to appear.

I believe there is a competitive motherboard that uses a radical switching scheme thereby allowing all lanes to be "time shared" between slots.

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