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What is code 12 and error in GPU?

Cryptocurrencies are the next step in the evolution of money and it is accessible to anyone willing to make the investment in the mining equipment with the GPU necessary for this, however this activity also requires minimal knowledge to control it. Just like when you buy a car, you must have knowledge to be able to drive, but also how to maintain it, such as changing a flat tire, measuring the oil, etc. The same thing happens in computers too and today I will talk about code 12, a device manager error that affects several devices but I will focus on the GPUs.

Introduction Code 12

Since June I have been mining with a modest team that little by little thanks to Zcash mining I have been able to expand it from one graphics card to four. The following article is made to help all those like me who do not have a deep or professional knowledge of hardware / software and have been affected by configuration problems that seem rare but can happen.

Unfortunately, it may happen that they buy a GPU (or several at once to mine) and connect everything but when starting Windows they notice that they are not recognized and when they go to device manager they appear that famous exclamation mark warning that something wrong happens in that device.

Context Code 12

You are mining with three graphics cards and everything works fine, you stop the miner, install the fourth graphics card and suddenly one of your cards shows an error and the fourth does not appear in the system.

“This device cannot find enough free resources to use. (Code 12).

If you want to use this device, you must disable one of the other devices in the system. "

code 12

To the misfortune of all of us consumers, each company washes its hands and does not give a real solution (I am not inventing it, since I have contacted ASrock and Nvidia) so we have to turn to a colleague who is the master of the universe willing to help us with these problems that escape our ignorant hands ... That or pay a specialist business that does not assure you a solution either, but a bill to pay.

Here I present several possible solutions for Code 12, all of them compiled from various sources, both in English and Spanish, to a conflict problem between Windows 10 and drivers that usually occurs both with a normal PC with a graphics card, and with a mining rig (more likely with this second one), I will try to put it from the easiest to the most complex and dangerous for our teams.



Physical check

First of all and although it sounds like a Windows "troubleshooter", look that you have connected everything well, that there is not a loose cable or that the gpu is well placed in its pci / riser port, as I said it seems silly but even to The smartest happens to them, yes, it happened to Assaulter too

You have variants

In the case of mining rigs, try placing the error gpu in another riser, the riser you use, even if it is new, may be defective. Try to place the gpu directly on the pcie port on the mother board to rule out that it is a graphics defect.

PCI Express in order

Another easy tip is to use the ports in their order, that is 0, 1, 2, 3, 4… and not toggle. The plates usually have the order silk-screened, although by default it would be from top to bottom starting with the one closest to the cpu.


Update the drivers for your video card, sometimes Windows updates itself and these new versions are not entirely compatible with the old drivers for our graphics.

Device administrator

To get here simply right-click the start button and choose device administrator, once inside look for the section Display adapters and look for the card that shows an error, press the right button on it and disable it and re-enable it, possibly the computer will ask to restart. If this does not work, go back in and this time instead of disabling it, you will have to uninstall it but taking care not to delete the driver software  and allows the computer to just reinstall the graphics (this may take about 4 minutes).

Change virtual memory

The latest version of Windows 10 puts virtual memory on automatic, to change it follow the following route:

Control Panel \ All Control Panel Items \ System

Inside we will see a column on the left and choose the option Advanced System Settings it will open a window and in the tab Advanced en performance click on the option setting, this will open a new window and we choose the tab Advanced Options and in virtual memory we choose change… again it will open another window and the option automatically manage paging file size for all drives must be deselected, below we select custom size: and we will assign the value "17000" both in initial size as in maximum size, we accept in each window to save the changes and exit from there, then restart the computer (If putting it in 17000 does not work try to raise it to 32000 and restart again).


You must restart the computer and press F2 to enter the Bios and inside you must make some changes, this specific section may vary depending on the motherboard you have so go slowly, read it all and try to find the most similar names.

Update the Bios. 

To do this, follow the following route (in this case the board is an Asrock H81 pro BTC R2.0):

TOOL \ Internet Flash - DHCP

This you have to do with the Ethernet cable connected so that the board connects to the internet and looks for its updates.


in this section follow this route:

ADVANCED \ Chipset configuration

Inside we will have to change several things

  • Primary graphics adapter \ pci-express
  • PCIE2 Link Speed ​​\ Gen2
  • Onboard HD audio \ Disabled

If your computer is a miner, then you should disable everything you don't need.

COMN port, parallel, audio, integrated graphics, most of these are in the following path:

ADVANCED \ Chipset configuration \ Super IO configuration

Set the ports to disabled.

Repair registry entries associated with Code 12

NOTICE: Manually editing the registry to remove invalid Code 12 keys is not recommended unless you are a PC service technician. Editing the registry incorrectly can cause your PC to stop working and cause irreversible damage to the operating system. In fact, a badly entered comma can prevent your PC from starting completely. The following part is literally copied from an entry in Microsoft support.

Click on Home, type regedit in the box Start search and then click regedit in the list of program . If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or click continue.

Find the following registry sub key, and then click it:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ PnP \ Pci

If the HackFlags registry entry is not present, follow these steps:

  1. On the menu Edition, select New and then click DWORD value (32 bits).
  2. Type HackFlags, then press ENTER.
  3. On the menu Edition, click on Modify.
  4. In the frame value information, type 400, click Hexadecimal In the area Base and then click Accept.
  5. Exit Registry Editor. If the HackFlags registry entry is present, follow these steps:
    1. Haga HackFlagsthen click Modify.
    2. In the frame value information, type 400, click Hexadecimal In the area Base and then click Accept.
    3. Exit Registry Editor.

Finally and maybe not so difficult but if a bit annoying is that after my investigation, many forums and even technical support from Asrock or Microsoft say that the problem is the version (build) 1709 of Windows 10 and that the only way to solve it is return to the previous version, that is, Windows 1703 10, which for almost 100% of users means reinstalling Windows with its consequent reinstallation and reconfiguration of the miner and reconfiguring all of Windows. As an update in the BitcoinTalk forum they say that Windows 10 has released an update on January 4 which already solves this problem, so first try updating Windows again and if it does not work, then reinstall the correct version.

If you have had this problem or have it, please comment on it, if you have solved it as well, since it will work for others and if you use any of these options presented and it works for you too.

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Paul Gerard

Mexican in Cantabria, video game lover, fanatic to the bone and passionate about technology in general. I'm not a programmer or a computer engineer, but that doesn't scare me to get my hands on both hardware and software. After work, I devoted all my time to mining, new video games and quietly recovering the gold lost in the conquest. WINTER IS COMING.

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  1. It happened to me, one of the screens that I have did not connect after updating windows 10. It went to device manager, right-click on the card that gives the error, you disable the device, restart and re-enable it. It has worked for me.

    All the best

    1. Paul Gerard says:

      In my case, the solution was to completely reinstall windows 10 to the version I mentioned.

  2. Hi, Pablo.
    I bought an exp gdc v8.5 to put an external gpu (gtx 1060 6gb) in my hp elitebook 8760w, but I had problems at first, it did not recognize the expresscard and when it recognized it I installed the drivers and from there I have the error code 12 is missing means. Can you advise me what I can do?
    Thank you very much.

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