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Planky

Maes Tech Support: ATI Drivers

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I have this lovely problem I'd like to put to the techies of Doomworld (Maes).

I've been trying to beat a computer (W7, 64bit) with a ATI Radeon HD 6450 into submission, but not having much luck. This computer has been bluescreening every couple of days. According to the minidumps being generated, the issue is the ATI driver (atikmdag.sys).

So, my first instinct, is to update the driver. I downloaded the 6xxx HD series driver and installed. It appeared to make no difference - the driver version/date in Device Manager remained the same. When I ran a custom install, it doesn't mention the driver, just the control center, sdk, etc. I cannot find an INF file anywhere in the extracted archive - which ruled out installing it the old fashion way via Device Manager.

Next step, I uninstalled the card using Device Manager and telling it to remove the driver. It does this successfully and switches to the Standard VGA driver. When I reinstall the driver, everything seems to go fine, but it remains using the Standard VGA and displays a message at start up saying there is no ATI compatible card installed. Ugh.

At this point, I've used System Restore to revert back to the driver that was installed at purchase...

I've never had much luck when it came to ATI cards; I learnt over the years to just leave them if they are working and never try to upgrade them. However this isn't an option this time around given the constant bluescreening...

Edit: Found the INF within the extracted archive, but it doesn't list the 6450 model nor does it list the Hardware ID...

Edit2: Actually, this reminds me of the issues encountered with brand name laptops/desktops, forcing one to use a custom INF file to update to the latest drivers as the manufacturers don't update them. I might hack the ATI driver INF to include the dev ID and see how I go.

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Aren't you just supposed to download that all-purpose Catalyst package and run that? I've never had to deal with any .inf or card model selection issues in the years I've had this 3870.

The only problem has been these recent 11.x drivers. I was working fine at 10.x for a long time, then last week I decided to install the 11.2 Catalyst. More lockdowns and bluescreens in 2 days than in the last 2 years. Reverted to 10.8 drivers and everything's fine again. You may want to try some older 10.x drivers and see if they help, since it sounds like your problems were the same as mine when I tried the latest 11.x drivers.

Also, I only ever install the display driver package, nothing else. And after that, I go to Services and disable the ATI Hotkey Poller - that'll kill those ati2evxx.exe's that show up in task manager processes.

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Turns out the card is from another pc, branded as Medion. Their driver is what was on the system and explains why the ATI driver wouldn't work. I updated the inf with the hardware id and it worked.

I've had to do a similar thing for my HP laptop because I needed the latest NVIDIA drivers, but the version on HPs site were 6 months old. Granted I just downloaded a custom inf, rather than modify it myself, but its the same issue.

Sorry Maes for cheating you out of your elite hacker guru skills

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I'm running 11.2 without any problems.

The new installer is shit though so I use the command-line for updates. I usually install the CCC and driver even though I could probably ditch CCC since I use ATI Tray Tools for everything.

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Seeing this topic has reminded me that I still have the 10.12 drivers installed. I need to stop being lazy and update.

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Whoo said:

I need to stop being lazy and update.


I shall look forward to your tech help thread :D

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I had a similar problem but with a much older ATI card. The drivers were next to impossible to find, and somehow the installer let me install the wrong ones. Problem was it would blue screen on start up every time. I eventually had to give up and ended up not using that card.

Since your problem is more random it appears to be mostly functional and you're probably doing everything correctly. If it's an option, I would suggest upgrading to Windows Vista or 7. Since third party drivers no longer run on the kernel (like XP an previous), they can't cause the OS to blue screen.

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hobomaster22 said:

Since your problem is more random it appears to be mostly functional and you're probably doing everything correctly. If it's an option, I would suggest upgrading to Windows Vista or 7. Since third party drivers no longer run on the kernel (like XP an previous), they can't cause the OS to blue screen.


Many third-party drivers can cause Vista to crash, including ATI drivers. I had that problem for a while.

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Aliotroph? said:

Many third-party drivers can cause Vista to crash, including ATI drivers. I had that problem for a while.


I assumed XP because I have yet to see a blue screen on Vista or 7 due to driver crashes (but I guess it's always possible). I guess at best the new design stops a lot of driver crashes bringing the OS down but not all.

You can scour the internet for 'ati blue screen windows 7', wait for a driver update and hope to god it fixes it, or jump ship to nvidia... doh.

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hobomaster22 said:

Since your problem is more random it appears to be mostly functional and you're probably doing everything correctly. If it's an option, I would suggest upgrading to Windows Vista or 7. Since third party drivers no longer run on the kernel (like XP an previous), they can't cause the OS to blue screen.


It is running Windows 7. And yes they can still cause bluescreens, though its rare.

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Hmm... anything I could come up with has already been said. However, in order to extract the .inf files from some types of "protected" installers, you need to look in your system's temp directories when the installer is still running, not simply where it extracts itself in order to run. This helped me snatch the drivers out of some brain-dead installers like those for some HP printers, and even bypass their minimum system spec checks.

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