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Old Jan 26, 2004, 11:25 PM   #1
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black hole sun
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ATI Technologies ATI Driver FAQ & Troubleshooter: Look Here Before Asking!

Version v4.1 -- Last Updated On Oct 08 2005

This thread collectively pools together the common knowledge of this forum into one nice, but not-so-neat thread ;-) This is mainly for new ATI users, for those updating their drivers for the first time, and for those with common problems that need fixing. Happy troubleshooting :-)


Since this post has gotten so large, it might be a little difficult to find what you're looking for by manually scrolling through it. So, press CTRL +F to bring up the find dialog box. Type in a keyword, and if this FAQ has info on it, it will find it. For example to find info on Windows 2003 drivers, just type in "Windows 2003." It's that simple.

Note that this post is built mainly around 2k/XP. Legacy bits and pieces are provided here and there for the folks still clinging to the past, but don't expect a whole lot of documentation on six-year-old and born-handicapped operating systems.


1.) Quick 'n Easy Installation If you want to set up your drivers quickly and easily, this section is for you.

2.) System Purging This details the steps on how to completely remove ATI drivers - Almost as effective as a format. Use this to correct errors during installation, or to conduct a fresh install of ATI drivers to fix strange game/app errors that no one else is having.

3.) Third Party Drivers, Windows 2003 Setup, Mixing Old OpenGL Drivers with Newer Drivers Custom installation routines for the DNA and Omega drivers, instructions on how to install drivers for Windows 2003, and how to use older OpenGL drivers with the latest Catalyst.

4.) Control Panel / Post-Installation FAQ Control Panel's features explained. FAQ about AGP Aperture, refresh rates, "Secondary" in Device Manager; ATI services; Windows Update.

5.) Troubleshooting I: Specific, Common Problems Answers on VGA errors; the various SMARTGART options; 'Unreadable Memory'; BIOS Flashing; OVERDRIVE; Monitor Problems; Stuttering; Artifacting; Card Crash; Windows File Protection.

6.) Troubleshooting II: System Level Debugging Problem not listed in the troubleshooting section? Having some strange errors no one else is? Enigmatic lockups? This is the place for you!



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1.) Quick 'n Easy Installation

For most, only a basic installation procedure is necessary. If this is your first time installing or updating the Catalyst drivers, then I would recommend you try this method first; if you have problems, move on to the more advanced installation routine in section 2.

Note: If you're coming off an nVidia product, you're going to have to uninstall the Forceware or Detonator drivers prior to installing the Catalyst software. To that end, run Driver Cleaner to get rid of your nVidia files. Of course, nothing can top formatting. nVidia drivers are notorious for staying in your system even after you wrack your brains trying to remove them. So if you run into a bunch of problems after upgrading from nVidia (yes, I mean upgrading ) then I would suggest a full reformat of the Windows partition (which for many is the only partition on the drive).

What you need:
Uninstallation procedure:

Before you begin to uninstall, disconnect your computer from your internet or network! If you are connected to the internet, Windows, always impertinently thinking that it knows best, may try and install whatever Radeon driver is on Windows Update. We don't want to let it do this. So, either a) turn off your modem, or b) take out your phone jack (if you're on dial-up).
  1. Go to the Windows Control Panel, and then to Add/Remove Programs. Select for removal first, 1) the Catalyst Control Center; second, 2) the ATI Driver; and finally, 3) The ATI Uninstaller (a program that, when you "uninstall" it, removes most of the ATI software installed on your system. It comes with all relatively recent drivers. If your driver is too old and does not have it, get it here. Wow, this is a lot of stuff in parentheses!). When asked, opt not to reboot.
  2. Reboot and install the new drivers (see below).
Note: If you have any ATI demos or ATI screensavers installed, the ATI Uninstaller will ask you if you want to remove them as well in a cryptic message, "Are you sure you want to uninstall this product?" You will get as many of those messages as you have non-driver related ATI products installed. Selecting "No" will NOT have an adverse effect on the driver removal process.

Installation:

After you remove your drivers and finish rebooting, Windows will popup the Found New Hardware "Wizard." Cancel out of it; it's useless and most unhelpful. It will popup twice in total, the first for your card and the second for its secondary (TV Out). Cancel out of both - we don't need the help of Windows to install drivers. From here, it's very simple. Go to wherever you downloaded the ATI drivers and double click the installer package. Follow the onscreen prompts; let it do its thing, and then reboot when asked.

Be patient when the system boots back to desktop. Smartgart sometimes takes a good while to finish doing its thing. It may take up to 20-30 secs after desktop appears to be loaded and the screen will flash once or twice, then it's done!


2.) System Purging

You are probably reading this because during the so-called "Simple" installation procedure, you've gotten some not-so-simple errors impeding the setup.

You might also be using this section to troubleshoot. A complete system purging might be just what the doctor ordered to solve some generic game errors or system crashing. Before you make a new topic, make sure you follow this process and conduct the clean install.

This section isn't anything revolutionary; it simply combines all known cleaning methods into one complete system purging process. Short of "Format C:," this is as complete as an uninstall gets.

What you need:
  • The ATI uninstaller. Again, it comes with all recent drivers, and again, for those of you using, for example, Catalyst 3.9, you can get the download here: click me. It was written by ATI itself as an official response to the uninstall much-a-muck plaguing many users.
  • You also need Spike's wonderful tool, DriverCleaner. This program is updated all the time to obliterate any trace of the ATI (and nVidia) drivers. Please read the instructions in the list below on how to use the tool, so you don't mess up anything. Get the latest version of DriverCleaner over at 'DH,' DriverHeaven.net.
  • RegCleaner scans your Windows registry for installed programs (for the purposes of this post, you will be looking for ATI entries). It is freeware, not the "RegSupreme" shareware. Get RegCleaner at MajorGeeks.
  • The SMARTGART Uninstaller. Removes the ATI SMARTGART service, a component of the driver (don't worry, you don't need to know what it is).

Uninstallation procedure:

In addition to removing the driver from the control panel, and in addition to using the ATI Uninstaller, we're also going to use tools DriverCleaner and the SMARTGART Uninstaller.

But, we're not quite ready to begin. Before you can start following any of the steps, you have to disable any anti-virus program running in the background. They can interfere with our uninstallation routine. This doesn't just mean disabling the AV from within the program. You must also stop the services and startup services it creates.

For a Norton-based virus scanner (which is what I run), click Start -> Run -> MSCONFIG and uncheck "ccApp" and "ccRegVfy." Next, click Start -> Run -> Services.msc. Normally, you'd only need to find and disable 'AntiVirus Auto-Protect.' If you have Norton Internet Security, however, you'll also need to disable 'Norton Internet Security Accounts Manager,' the 'Script Blocking Service,' 'Symantec Proxy Service,' 'Symantec Password Validation Service,' and 'Symantec Event Manager.' Reboot when finished doing all of that.

Since I'm only familiar with Norton, I'm not sure how to disable other AV programs. If possible, uninstall them, at least temporarily; unless of course you are 100% certain you know how disable it completely so it won't interfere with our driver uninstallation.

Before we begin to uninstall, disconnect your computer from your internet or network! If you are connected to the internet, Windows, always impertinently thinking that it knows best, may try and install whatever Radeon driver is on Windows Update. We don't want to let it do this. So, either a) turn off your modem, or b) take out your phone jack (if you're on dial-up).

Just one more bit of preliminary info, I promise: FOLLOW THE BELOW STEPS IN ORDER! I personally have tested this method in this order. PLEASE follow the steps in chronological order to avoid any potential problems!
  1. Head over to the Windows Control Panel, and then to Add/Remove Programs. Remove the CCC (if applicable), any ATI-driver related entries, and then the ATI remover (again, if applicable). Opt not to reboot.
  2. Run the SMARTGART Uninstall Utility. Do not reboot.
  3. Install DriverCleaner. Run Tools->Live Update to update all the cleaning files. Do not do anything else; you should never run this program outside of Safe Mode, which we'll be doing in a few seconds.
  4. Run the ATI Uninstall Utility, as mentioned in the Quick 'n Easy setup. Reboot now.
  5. When your BIOS screen appears, get into the advanced Windows boot screen by repeatedly tapping F8. A prompt will come up; even though the 'Safe Mode' option comes in several different flavors, for now, just select the standard "Safe Mode." When you get into this stripped-down troubleshooting version of Windows, open up DriverCleaner.
  6. Click on the drop down menu and select "ATI." Press the 'Clean' button, and then patiently wait until it's finished. Do the same for "ATI Hydravision," "ATI MMC," "ATI WDM," and "ATI Uninstall Utility." Even if you don't have an All-In-Wonder product, and thus shouldn't have to use any cleaning file other than "ATI," occasionally, some of the others will be loaded onto your machine. When finished, don't close DriverCleaner; we're not done yet.
  7. Still in DriverCleaner, select "Tools," and then "Cab Cleaner." Select clean. This will take a LONG time--well, at least longer than we're used to. It usually takes a good 10 minutes or so. What "Cab Cleaner" does is best described in Spike's Readme (I've taken the liberty of correcting a few typos ;-)


    Quote:
    I found out that whenever I installed drivers, or removed ones, Windows would restore certain files from the driver cache folder, or any other cab files from service packs. This caused windows overwriting new files with old files. To prevent this, I wrote this program. With a special routine, it will clean any ATI and nVidia files out of those cab files. The files in those cab files are old, so it isn't bad to delete them.

    It can take some time depending on your system, and because the cab cleaning sometimes spans for more than 1 file. It is better to use [this cleaning procedure], because windows can't overwrite your new files with old ones. Also, you only need to run it ones and than when you installed a new service pack you need to run it again.

  8. Reboot once more into Windows. Now you are prepared to install any ATI driver!

As mentioned in the Quick installation guide, when you reboot back into Windows, a "Found New Hardware" wizard will pop up. Cancel out of it, however many times it opens itself. Windows will complain of a "failure" installing the hardware; ignore it.

Note 1: After all of that, if you still get a "Please use the Standard VGA Driver" when attempting to install a driver, then please see the troubleshooting section.

Note 2: You may have to reinstall your monitor's driver after finishing.

Note 3: If you get an "internal program error" when installing the Catalyst Control Center, then see the troubleshooting section.



3.) Third Party Drivers, Windows 2003 Setup, Mixing Old OGL Driver with Newer Driver

These "custom" drivers are slightly modified Catalyst's. They have various registry and INF tweaks to enhance image quality and improve the smoothness of gameplay. They require a special installation routine, however, to which this section is dedicated.

For now I only have the Omega drivers listed. I have removed the DNA's, because the DNA-driver author plagiarises off of Omega's work.

What you need:
  • These 'are' "Omega's" tweaked driver set. They aren't for benchmarking, but for some, they make the game feel smoother and improve image quality. They are over at Omega's Corner.
Uninstall using the "Quick" or thorough methods described above. Your choice, really. They are very well packaged, I must say.

Uninstallation procedure - Omega:

Follow any uninstallation method mentioned in the first two sections. Note: Omega asserts that only the control panel needs to be uninstalled prior to installation; however, if you're having VGA or INF problems, do a clean install.



Windows 2003 Driver Installation


If you want to install ATI display drivers for Windows 2003 (any version), download an ATI driver for 2k/Xp, right click on the installer exe, and hit Properties. Click the "Compatibility" tab, and select "Windows XP." After that, it should work. For post-installation troubleshooting, click here and here.


Mixing Old OpenGL Driver with Newer Driver


For one reason or another (for example, to correct CounterStrike problems) you may find youself wanting to use, say, Catalyst 3.5's OpenGL driver with the Catalyst 4.4's (one reason you might do this is to get the Dawn demo running). This is possible - Although note that it is NOT possible to mix and match DirectX drivers.

How-To
  1. Install any driver, whichever one you prefer, if you've not already done so. We'll change it's OGL driver in a bit.
  2. Download, but do not install, the Catalyst driver that contains the desired OpenGL driver. You can find previous Catalyst driver versions here. Save whichever driver you downloaded to the desktop.
  3. Download and install WinZip.
  4. Use WinZip to open the Catalyst driver with the desired OpenGL driver. To do this right click the Catalyst package (which should be on the desktop, as I told you), select WinZip, and then "Open With WinZip".
  5. Search for the file atioglxx.dl_ - Double click that file.
  6. A new iteration of WinZip will popup. This is normal. Highlight "atioglxx.dll" and select "Extract" from within WinZip. Extract it to the desktop.
  7. Highlight atioglxx.dll on the desktop and cut it (press CTRL + X) - this puts it onto the clipboard so we can move it.
  8. Browse to C:\Windows\System32 and paste the atioglxx.dll file there (Press CTRL + V). Confirm file replacement. If nothing happens, then you did not cut correctly the atioglxx.dll file as, I told you to in #7.
There, you're done! Go ahead and delete the driver you downloaded to the desktop, since it is no longer necessary.

This can be done with any OpenGL driver on any card with ANY Catalyst as many times as you want - just remember to CONFIRM file replacement in the System32 folder!



4.) Control Panel / Post Installation FAQ

This section contains explanations for some of the ATI Control Panel options and various, common post-driver-installation questions.


Direct 3d and OpenGL tabs

For the first time user, the Control Panel can be a bewildering place. There are many settings to choose from, sliders to be slid, and lots of gizmos to be tinkered with; but a good understanding of the control panel is critical in getting the best performance and image quality out of your Radeon. We'll start with the Direct 3D and OpenGL tabs, or just the "3d" tab if you're using the spiffy new Catalyst Control Panel (ACE).

DirectX and OpenGL are called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), platforms on which developers use to create games and other graphical applications. DirectX, made by Microsoft, is built into Windows; OpenGL was originally written by Silicon Graphics (SGI), but now OpenGL is administered and worked upon by a variety of companies, including both ATI and nVidia. OpenGL for the most part comes with the video driver.

Every modern graphics program uses one API or the other. If you're using the legacy control panel, you'll need to determine which API your game uses in order to determine which tab to modify. Ascertaining this is a little difficult, however; but as a rule of thumb, if it's Quake 3-based (SoF2, Call of Duty, RTCW) made by Bioware (NWN, KOTOR) or iD (Doom 3), it's OpenGL. Otherwise, it's probably Direct3d.

For users of the CCC, modifying anti-aliasing will modify its setting for both OpenGL and Direct3d, so you don't have to know which API your game is using.



Anti-Aliasing (AA)

Anti-aliasing is the real meat and potatoes of "SmoothVision," the part of the control panel which enhances image quality. Anti-aliasing is an algorithm that removes jagged edges from polygons. To spare you the trouble of a long, technical explanation, just look at the pics below.

The higher multiplier you set anti-aliasing to, the less jaggies are noticeable. HOWEVER, there is a price: performance can take a severe hit with AA on (as it will henceforth be abbreviated), and some applications don't work at all with any level of AA (most of the time this is the game problem; however, sometimes the driver is the one to blame, but that is rare). The higher you set the multiplier, the more severe the performance hit.

The higher the resolution, the less jaggies are noticed. Thus, at low resolutions, such as 800x600, I recommend at least 4xAA, depending on the app. At higher resolutions, such as 1280x1024 and 1600x1200, I would recommend at most 2xAA, since at a high-res, the application is already taking a big enough frame-rate hit.

But, it all varies from game to game. If you find that you're getting a consistently high framerate in a certain game, by all means increase the amount of AA! But if performance is already suffering, perhaps lowering or even disabling AA would be in order.

Note: Although there is no "Disable Anti-Aliasing" checkbox, there is "Application Preference." Unless an application specifies, AA will never be enabled. And unless a game has a visible option that can be modified to toggle AA, AA will not be enabled.

UPDATE: New pics! :-)

AA:SF 2.1 With No Anti-Aliasing Oh the horror! Look at the jaggies!



AA:SF 2.0a With 4x Anti-Aliasing See the difference?





Anisotropic Filtering (AF)

As for Anisotropic Filtering (AF): in a nutshell, this makes textures appear sharper and less blurry. This, too incurs a performance hit; although it is much less severe than with AA. Although some people claim the R3XX series gets AF for "free," this is certainly not the case. As mentioned above, if you feel you're getting a high framerate and want to crank the IQ a little more, enable AF. But if you're already getting low frame-rates, don't touch this option.


Call of Duty w/ No Anisotropic Filtering Notice how blurry it gets as you look further down the path.



Call of Duty w/ 16x Anisotropic Filtering Quite a bit clearer (but notice the framerate)!



It's of particular note that there is a "Quality" and "Performance" AF setting. With "Quality," textures are true trilinear filtered (better IQ). With "Performance," filtering is "optimized". This optimization is somewhat angle-dependent, and is rather complex - basically, only textures that need filtering have filtering applied. This results in faster performance. Here are some comparison shots: COMMING SOON.



Refresh Rates.

Your refresh rate is the number of frames sent to your monitor each second, which is expressed in Hertz (Hz). The higher the refresh rate, the less flicker is noticed. Supposedly, @ 75 Hz flicker is completely gone. If you have a digital flat panel as opposed to the standard CRT, you will never notice flickering because there is none, even at relatively low refresh rates such as 60Hz.

Your refresh rate capability is dependant on your monitor and resolution. Not all monitors can do 1600x1200 @ 100 Hz. Usually, the higher the resolution, the lower the maximum refresh rate is. For a valid list of refresh rates, right click your desktop and navigate to Settings -> Advanced -> Monitors. Make sure the "Hide modes this monitor cannot display" is checked, and the drop-down menu will show you a list of refresh rates within your monitors range.

Windows XP has a messed up refresh rate system. Some games will default to 60Hz, no matter what your desktop refresh rate is. To get around this, at least in Direct3d applications, go to the Advanced Display Properties (same dialog box in which the Monitor tab is located) and go to ATI Displays -> Monitor -> Refresh Rate Override. Input your desktop refresh rate (or higher, if you intend to run games at a resolution lower than that of your desktop).

NOTE: If you set your desktop to the same resolution and refresh rate as your game then Widows will maintain the same refresh rate even while in game.

Of course, the above fix doesn't work if a game is OpenGL-based. For that, you will need to either a) use in-game commands to set the refresh rate; unfortunately, most games have no such option. Or, you can b) get a program like ReForce, freeware that forces a user-specified refresh rate.



V-Sync.

V-sync, or Vertical Synchronization, synchronizes the framerate with the vertical retrace signal of your monitor. This eliminates the "tearing" effect you may or may not notice. With this enabled, your in-game framerate will never go higher than your refresh rate, thus it is not recommended for benchmarking.
  • Direct3d Apps Most D3D apps won't suffer much of a performance loss with this on.
  • OpenGL Apps You can get a major framerate decrease with V-sync on if you don't have 'Triple Buffering' enabled. Toggle Triple Buffering on and off in the "Compatibility" tab in the OpenGL dialog box. Be forewarned, though; triple buffering takes up a lot of video memory. If you experience stutter, then you'd best disable both V-sync and triple buffering. Remember, if you don't have V-sync on there's no need for triple buffering.

AGP Aperture.

Ah yes, the never-ending debate: what IS the optimum AGP Aperture size? And what does it do, exactly? These questions seem to be omnipresent wherever graphic cards are discussed. Hopefully, this subsection will cut down on the amount of topics posted about this.

The AGP Aperture is a portion of memory devoted to (but not exclusively) your graphics accelerator. The RAM is there if your card needs it, but is used for other tasks if it doesn't (so, no RAM is lost in limbo waiting on your Radeon).

Many people think the higher aperture the better, or that its size should match your card's onboard video RAM; these common misconceptions are incorrect, however. Your RAM is a LOT slower than the memory onboard your graphics card. Usually, data is only put in the AGP aperture when your graphics card runs out of onboard memory. The aperture can be thought of as a last resort. (Of course, there is miscellaneous data your Radeon is liable to put into memory, even if it has more than enough available video memory)

'AGP Texturing' occurs when your card looks into your system's RAM for texture data. This is not good. As mentioned above, your system memory is a lot slower than that onboard your video card. If or when your card needs to access textures from your aperture, you will notice a lot of stuttering, because, quite simply your RAM is just that slow. Even if you have PC3500 or RDRAM, it isn't anywhere near as fast as your vRAM.

Again, using the AGP Aperture causes stuttering; so, why not disable it, you ask? Well, your RAM is a lot faster than your hard drive! When it runs out of memory, the Radeon needs to put excess information somewhere, and better it be in your RAM than in your hard drive, which is infinitely slower.

So what is the optimal setting? For some, 32MB is enough. For others, 32MB results in system crashes. 64MB might be good...I personally use 128MB.

I recommend that if you have a card with a low amount of onboard memory, such as the 64MB 9100, a 128MB aperture should suffice. Cards of larger memory amounts, such as 256MB, will very rarely need the Aperture; for those, 64 or 32MB will work. Test these settings out for yourself and see what's best for your system.


Update 1: Renzo has brought to my attention comments made by OpenGL guy on this subject, who's an ATI employee. Here are his words:

Quote:
Originally posted by OpenGL Guy
Currently, the driver limits the AGP aperture to 64 MB unless you have more than 1 GB of RAM. We're investigating changing this behavior, but have to be sure there are no side effects.


The driver determines how large an aperture to allocate based on several factors including system BIOS setting and the value recommended by the OS. If you have less than 1 GB of RAM, the OS won't recommend more than 64 MB so that is the current limit.

Update 2: OpenGL guy has since been nice enough to update the situation regarding AGP aperture. In private message, he wrote:

Quote:
Originally posted by OpenGL Guy
[in referencing the above quote] That was changed ages ago. If you change your AGP aperture in your system BIOS you should be able to increase the AGP size available to the video driver. There are still some restrictions, but much less so.


Therefore it would seem that you should be able to increase the size of the AGP aperture no matter the RAM amount.



ATI Services.

After you install ATI drivers, you will notice two services added in the service window (you can see your system services in Windows XP through Start -> Run -> Services.msc). These are the ATI Hotkey Poller, and ATI Smart. The ATI Hotkey poller manages, as you might have guessed, hotkeys; it also manages ALT+F5 to switch between monitors. In addition, this service administers one other thing: OverDrive. If this service is disabled, OverDrive will neither show up in the control panel, nor will it overclock your 96- or 9800XT. See the OverDrive section for more information.

The 'ATI Smart' service is SMARTGART (see further down for an explanation of SMARTGART). After you install the drivers for the first time and reboot, this service configures your bus settings for you. After it has run once, there is no point in keeping its setting to Automatic.

Some new information, here. It has come to my attention that post-3.8 drivers have two instances of 'ati2evxx.exe' running in the background. This is the Hotkey service's system name. Why are there two running? It's an architectural design, not a bug, according to CATALYST maker. Click here to read more.

As of the advent of the Catalyst Control Center, two more processes can be found in your task manager; both called CLI.exe. These are support services for the CCC and they must be running in order for the CCC to be able to start up. They don't typically take up much memory, although in some cases their combined memory usage has been observed to exceed 50 megabytes; however, bear in mind that Catalyst Maker has repeatedly stated that if any application requests that memory, the CLI.exe tasks will give up its allocated memory.



VPU Recover.

VPU Recover, introduced in Catalyst 3.8, helps stop your computer from hard locking by resetting the video card when it stops responding to driver commands. Often a handy feature, especially for those of you that overclock much and to whom hard locks are no stranger ;-) If you are getting persistent VPU Recover errors, or if your screen keeps going blank, try disabling this feature.



Catalyst A.I.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away there was much controversy over the use of game-specific optimizations in video drivers, "cheats" that consequently led to unfair / inflated benchmarks. ATi looked for a way to escape this vilification while at the same time improving performance for specific games; Catalyst A.I. is what they came up with. Essentially, for certain games it "re-invents" shader algotrithms to increase your framerate. The downside? Well, that is subjective; ATI claims that there is no image quality loss, I happen to believe them, as I have never born witness to any. But that's up to you.




Geometry Instancing.

Geometry instancing is a feature of DirectX 9.0b. Taken from X-bit: Currently, games face limits on the number of unique objects they can display in the scene, not because of graphics horsepower, but often the CPU-side overhead of either storing or submitting many slightly different variations of the same object. With geometry instancing, the VPU can create multiple objects from a single geometric model. Rather than passing an entire new model for each on-screen item, the application can send one model, and then supply parameters which indicate how each instance of that model is to be rendered in the scene. This results in savings on the CPU side. Essentially, geometry instancing allows games that have implemented this feature to "copy" certain types of objects rather than having to "re-draw" them every single time they're used. An example of this would be grass in FarCry; rather than having the game redundantly render many small green blades of grass, instancing allows just one basic model to be created and copied over hundreds of times, saving performance.



OverDrive.

Another feature introduced with the 3.8's, Overdrive is an automatic overclocker that, currently, only increases your core clock (a future update will also overclock your video memory). It is 100% safe to use and does not void your warranty. However it only works on certain 96- and 9800XT's. I say "certain" because many manufacturers have disabled overdrive (such as Asus). If your card supports this feature, there's no reason not to enable it!

Unless, of course, you're using RadClocker. This program currently has a problem with Overdrive, in that when you overclock your Radeon with Overdrive enabled, your clock speed is halved. The solution is to disable Overdrive when overclocking with any tweaker.

If you are having problems getting this tab to show, then head to the troubleshooting section.



"Secondary" device in the Device Manager.

This is, by far, the most frequently asked question to ever crop up on Rage3d. The "Secondary" 7xxx, 8500, or 9xxx device listed in the Device Manager is for the TV-Out onboard your video card. It's completely normal; everyone's Device Manager reports this, so don't bother trying to get rid of it.



Windows Update.

If you are running relatively old CATALYST drivers, and you run Windows Update, an ATI Driver might be available. This is NOT new--this is Catalyst 3.8, stripped bare to just Direct3D and OpenGL, nothing else. The reasoning behind putting this driver on W.U. is quite clear--most people never update their drivers; most don't even know what a driver is! ATI and Microsoft put 3.8 on there solely for those people, to give them a more stable experience. This does not include a control panel. Do not bother with this "driver," just go to ATI.com and get the latest CATALYST from there.



5.) Troubleshooting: SMARTGART, OVERDRIVE FAQ, Stutter, Artifacting, Card Crash FAQ

Information on the most frequently encountered problems can be found here. Look here first before making a new topic! If you have any suggestions for improving this section, such as adding potential solutions to the belowmentioned issues, or adding another common issue altogether, send me a private message and I'll assess its potential value in this thread.

Note: Before consulting this section please use section 2, "System Purging." If after that, you still have one problem or another, well, scroll down! :-)


Before we begin, stop overclocking! Return EVERYTHING to default speed. You never know what kind of problems your overclocking can cause. This means resetting your RAM timings, your Radeon, processor and FSB speed. No, now don't whine about it! You're in need of help and you're at my mercy! So do as I say!


Specifying the Windows Standard VGA Driver in Windows 98

If you have tried and tried again to get your drivers installed on your Windows 98 system, but they just won't because of a 'standard VGA' error, then try this potential solution.
  • Right-click the desktop, and then choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  • In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.
  • Select the Adapter tab, make a note of the Adapter Type the computer is currently using, and then click Change.
  • In the Update Device Driver Wizard dialog box, click Next.
  • Select "Display a list of all the drivers in a specific location, so you can select the driver you want," and then click Next.
  • Select Show All Hardware.
  • Select Standard Display Types from the top of the Manufacturers scroll box.
  • Select Standard Display Adapter (VGA) from the Models scroll box, and then click Next.
    Note: Standard Display Adapter (VGA) video drivers display only 16 colors. Switch to Super VGA for applications that require a minimum of 256 colors (e.g., Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere).
  • Click Yes to confirm that you want to use this driver.
  • Click Next, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver. You may need to insert your Windows 98 CD-ROM.
  • Click the Monitor tab, make a note of the Monitor Type you're currently using, and then click Change.
  • In the Update Device Driver Wizard dialog box, click Next.
  • Select "Display a list of all the drivers in a specific location, so you can select the driver you want," and then click Next.
  • Select Show All Hardware.
  • Select Standard Monitor Types from the top of the Manufacturers scroll box.
  • Select Standard VGA 640x480 from the Models scroll box, and then click Next.
  • Click Next, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver. You may need to insert your Windows 98 CD-ROM.
To revert to the previous video driver, select the Adapter Type and Monitor Type you noted in steps 3 and 11.

Credit goes to Adobe.com for the above instructions.


Have Windows XP or 2000, and the same VGA problem?

If you are having the same problem, and have Windows XP or 2000, conduct a compete system purging. After that, head on over to this handy link.

Also, try pressing F8 while booting up and select "Enable VGA Mode." Try and install the drivers in that mode, after uninstalling your old ones of course.

If after all of this, you STILL get that error, you might need to reinstall Windows. As far as I'm aware, there aren't any other solutions to this recurrent problem. If anybody has something to add to this, feel free...



Certain 9600NP cards cannot install drivers above 3.4

Apparently, some 9600 non-PRO cards that are NOT built by ATI have problems installing any CATALYST drivers above version 3.4. It is difficult to determine whether or not this applies to your card. After all, there are many reasons why your drivers would not install. Make SURE you re-install Windows or attempt the System Purging process before you consider yourself a valid candidate for this problem.

If you're certain your card cannot install drivers above 3.4, then in order to use 3.5+, you will need to flash your card's BIOS. See this thread for more information on how to flash. Again, this applies ONLY to third party 9600 NON-PRO makes, NOT XT or BBA versions. This is a LAST resort.
Thanks to spyre for the above information.



"Internal Program Error in atixxxx.exe"

This irritating bug happens to me all the time, so I assume it might happen to others. To resolve it, go to C:\ATI\SUPPORT\<long driver version string>\ACE and click on setup.exe. When asked, choose to modify the installation, and click the drop-down hard-drive icons. This will bring up a menu: choose "Install this feature, and all subfeatures, on the local hard drive." Then click next, and reboot when asked. This fixes it for me.



SMARTGART Troubleshooter

This advanced tab is used to configure your AGP (or PCI) card's BUS. The default tab includes options about Fast Writes and AGP Speed, and the SMARTGART Advanced Tab includes options about AGP and PCI reads and writes.



Fast Write.

Often more trouble than it's worth, Fast Writes supposedly speed up performance by allowing a direct AGP connection between CPU and framebuffer. If you don't know what that means, don't worry about it. It's an outdated shortcut whose function today is almost completely negated. Back in the days of the GeForce 3, this used to be a hot new feature that actually increased performance a respectable amount. Nowadays, however, all it's liable to do is give you a major headache when your games start to artifact or crash outright. Most motherboards support fast write, but not all use it correctly. For that reason, it may cause you a whole slew of undocumented, generic or otherwise strange problems with your display. If you encounter any sort of artifacting or crashing, before you make any topics about them, make sure Fast Write is off, first.




AGP Speed.

This makes the AGP bus data single, double, quadruple, or octuple 'pumped.' To understand this (warning - long, extraneous explanation ahead :P ), think of how Double Data Rate (DDR) RAM works. In DDR RAM, data is sent on the 'rise' edge and on the 'fall.' For an analogy, one that I often use, we will compare data to trucks on a job site (bear in mind that this is quite oversimplified, but I think the gist of the technology can be learned here):

Sit back and imagine a dual lane road; the two lanes (obviously) go in opposite directions. This particular road is being used by your company, which is currently using Ford 4x4's to dump excess dirt (bear with me here) into a landfill.

Now, each of your trucks has to go get dirt, dump it, and then go back to the source to get more dirt, and repeat the process. Since you have the two lanes, the trucks don't have to wait for everyone to finish dumping to go back to the source. Similarly, in DDR-RAM and in your AGP bus, data streams don't have to wait for "everyone" to pass their information along to the motherboard before returning to the source to get more, which was a major problem plaguing the old SD-RAM architecture. Obviously, DDR and AGP 2x is the way to go!

But wait! Add two more lanes to that same road. Efficiency is doubled; traffic is significantly decreased. This can be thought of as AGP 4x.


Now add FOUR more lanes, and efficiency CAN be doubled again. However, your trucks -- they don't really need the extra lanes. They just aren't big enough and they aren't doing enough to require an eight-lane road (of which not too many exist ). Remember; you don't have giant 18-wheelers; just simple Ford 4x4's, which require significantly less traffic to move efficiently (in this analogy, less traffic = more bandwidth). Sure, it's nice to have the extra lanes, as it can reduce traffic on occasion; but for right now, and until you make the leap to 18-wheel semi's, 4 lanes will be fine. The trucks can be thought of as texture data.

If you have an AGP 8x capable motherboard and AGP 8x compliant graphics card, SMARTGART should detect this and as such set the AGP speed as 8x. That's in an ideal situation. But since you're reading a subsection under the heading "Troubleshooting," things are far from ideal!

For certain chipsets, SMARTGART won't let you select anything higher than 4x. Before you go ranting and raving that you're only getting half the bandwidth, remember: currently, there is absolutely no need for the extra bandwidth AGP 8x offers. No game today significantly benefits. You might get 5 or 6 more frames in Unreal Tournament 2003 benches, but other than that, don't expect any miracles. Think back to the above analogy; your lowly Ford 4x4's don't really need the extra lanes. That's not to say that one day these lanes won't be put to good use and fill full of weighty commuters. For now, however, don't lose sleep over it.

But if you must have AGP 8x, and SMARTGART is being an ass about things, there are a few things you can try. First, go to your motherboard manufacturer's website and get the very latest AGP and Chipset drivers: these MUST be installed shortly after you install Windows, or you might encounter serious problems. In addition, get any FlashBIOS updates. Note that most motherboards allow you to set the AGP speed in the BIOS, so make that in your BIOS you set AGP speed at '8x.' After you do the aforementioned, go to the SMARTGART tab, click "Retest All," and reboot, hopefully it will solve your problem.



Texture Acceleration.

If you are lacking Texture Acceleration (this can be diagnosed via DXDIAG; Start -> Run -> DXDIAG -> Display), it basically means your video is not hardware-accelerated, which means most of the rendering is done on the CPU. There are several troubleshooting steps you can try.

First off, right click your desktop and hit 'Properties.' Select Settings, Advanced, then Troubleshoot. Make certain that your Hardware Acceleration is ALL the way to the RIGHT.

Now head over to Start -> Run -> SMARTGART (the advanced SMARTGART settings). If everything is off, you've got problems; some might be on, others off; or they might all be on. Regardless, hit "Retest All." You'll need to reboot; but before you do, head over to your motherboard's website and get the LATEST AGP and Chipset drivers, in addition to FlashBIOS updates.

Restart now; it's unlikely you will still have the problem. If you do, try reinstalling your ATI drivers via the System Purging procedure, and then perhaps re-installing DirectX 9.0b.



Generic Troubleshooter: "Unreadable Memory" errors, BIOS flashing, Stuttering, Artifacting, Card Crash/Infinite Loop

This is a general troubleshooter for miscellaneous issues which do NOT involve SMARTGART.



BIOS flashing.

For one reason or another, you might want to flash the BIOS of your ATI card. This is not just for uber-tweakers; this can actually correct bugs. See this thread for more information, where I have also written a mini-FAQ on how to flash (scroll down). WARNING: Flashing the Radeon's BIOS can cause irreversible damage to your graphics card. I'm not responsible if you fubar your card.



Missing OVERDRIVE Tab.

For certain brands of the 96- and 9800XT, the OVERDRIVE Tab might not show up in the control panel. This can be due to several reasons.

First, as mentioned elsewhere in this FAQ, one potential problem is that the ATI Hotkey Poller is not running because you disabled it. This service is required for Overdrive to function. Set it to "Automatic" if you want Overdrive to function.

Secondly, if you have a Dell-made 9800XT card, then Overdrive is by default disabled in your card's BIOS (however, you can get a FlashBIOS update from their site that enables it- click here to find the BIOS file). However, many others, such as Asus, have permanently disabled Overdrive.

Update:
Quote:
There is a great thread concerning the problems with Overdrive here (http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...e&pagenumber=1) in case you've missed it [which I have, BTW ;-) ].

The most important post in my opinion in there is the following :

"To support Overdrive, a 9600XT card needs the new 9600XT PCB layout PLUS a small chip called LM63 that reads out the on-chip thermal diode and "forwards" that info to the driver. So if a manufacturer puts the 9600XT chip on an old 9600Pro PCB it cannot support Overdrive since the old PCB layout doesn't support equipping the LM63 chip. If a manufacturer uses the new PCB, but doesn't equip it with a LM63, Overdrive cannot work either. Only if the manufacturer uses the new PCB Layout AND equips it with a LM63 chip, Overdrive can work. All 9600XT chips have the thermal Diode, but it is not enough. It needs the LM63 chip. The LM63 is one of the small 4x5mm sized ICs on the PCB. Here is info on the chip: http://www.national.com/pf/LM/LM63.html
Thanks to Banditgr for this update.



Monitor Problems.

If you were to search the Catalyst forum for "monitor," you'd likely find thousands of topics, because that's just how many problems people have with their monitors and ATI drivers. This section is for those of you whose monitor is goes blank at random times, or if it just flat out dies after awhile and you get a "no signal" message.

Go to your control panel. Under Options, toggle "Alternate DVI operational mode" and "Reduce DVI frequency." I say 'toggle' and not a definitive 'on' or 'off' because these options need to be experimented with. They might help, might not; might even make your situation worse. Play around with them anyway; they're likely to produce some sort of reaction.

Try plugging your monitor directly into an outlet, as opposed into a surge protector or power tap. I've found that my monitor, when plugged into a power tap, would sometimes go blank at completely random times; when I plugged it directly into an outlet in the wall, the monitor stopped doing that. So this may help.

You might also want to disable VPU recover. This buggy little tool needs some work, so try stopping it from running.


Update: Some more info, courtesy of TheMonkeyBoyz (which I've reformatted, and added a few words in brackets for clarity):


Quote:
ATI has a built-in uninstall in the Catalyst 3.10's and later that works very well. You could just try that uninstall, reset your motherboard BIOS to Factory Default, then reinstall your motherboard chipset drivers, your Monitor INF, Direct X 9.0b, and then the Catalyst Control panel/Drivers. You could then uncheck every box in the OPTIONS tab of the Display Properties for the ATI card and do the whole "Refresh Rate thing" as defined below.

[For WindowsXP/2k systems] the problem could be with the DDC controls. If so, with the ATI Control Panel installed, go to Display Properties -> Settings -> Advanced -> Displays. Click "Monitor". Under Attributes tab, uncheck "Use DDC information" and select your monitors max settings.


[For Windows98] based machines, try the following: start>run>regedit>ok. You can so a search for "IDCRegOptionDontUseOSMonitorInfo" manually, though they are commonly located as shown below on most systems:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SOFTWARE>Ati Technologies>Driver>0001>DAL

Find "IDCRegOptionDontUseOSMonitorInfo" and change it from 1 to 0

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SOFTWARE>Ati Technologies>Driver>0002>DAL

Find "IDCRegOptionDontUseOSMonitorInfo" and change it from 1 to 0 [and then] restart. You might normally have IDCRegOptionDontUseOSMonitorInfo only in the Driver>0000 folder, but it may be necessary to do it two times ( by using search in Regedit) and changing both values.

Stuttering.


One of the most annoying problems one can experience is stuttering. At one time or another, most of us have experienced this irritating little bugger. There can be a bunch of causes for stuttering, and as such, a bunch of troubleshooting steps we can take to alleviate this ailment.

First, close all programs and press CTRL, ALT, and DELETE at once (which accesses the task manager in pretty much every Windows version ever made). Look and see how many processes are running. More specifically, check how much memory the processes are using up (sort the list according to memory usage). If you have any one process taking up more than 30,000K (~30MB) of memory, and/or your CPU usage is constantly at 90-100%, then you either a) have some large file sharing clients going or b) have some major spyware problems.

Go and get Ad-Aware 6 and SpyBot: Search & Destroy. These are two of the most powerful spyware and adware killing programs on the internet. For those of you that don't know, spyware and adware are "programs" that are silently installed onto your PC without your permission. They "watch" you surf the web, and send back information from your computer to their home sites. They can even hijack your browser and install pornographic buttons and links, or pop up ads while you aren't even browsing the internet. Clearly, both spyware and adware need to go. Run both of these programs (separately) and remove anything they find. Do not worry; they are perfectly safe to use, I use them dozens of times a month to remove any pests that find their way into my machine.

Before you run them, however, make sure you update them. There are integrated update functions in both of the programs.

Another possible cause for stuttering can be Windows XP/2000 itself (for Win98, this does not apply). XP/2000 have many services (Start -> Run -> Services.msc) running in the background, most of which you'll never need and only "serve" to slow down your computer. To find out which of these services are to be disabled and which need to remain active, check out Black Viper's world-renowned service guides for Windows XP and Windows 2000. Anyone who's anyone is aware of these two excellent FAQs on the various Windows services.

Sometimes, the combination of V-sync + Triple Buffering can lead to stuttering because so many textures are being stored in your cards main memory. As a basic troubleshooting step, always disable V-sync and OpenGL Triple Buffering.

One other possible explanation is disk swapping/AGP texturing; try defragging your hard drive (Start -> Run -> dfrg.msc; or Start -> Program Files -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Defrag) and/or increasing your AGP Aperture in your systems BIOS (tap F8 while booting up).

Finally, you might just not have enough RAM for the game or program you are running. 512MB is pretty much the defecto minimum; anything less might cause swapping (see above). However, many of us are turned to 768MB or even 1GB of RAM. Let me put it this way: one can never have enough RAM. Go all out in this category, because sooner or later some power-hungry program is going to want a bunch and you will be glad you purchased a hefty amount.



Artifacting.

Artifacting is a generic term referring to graphical errors encountered during gameplay. Artifacting might include black, flashing lines in the center of your screen; tiny squares along the vertices of objects; white speckles popping up in various parts of the screen; or "garbled" portions of the screen. There are infinitely many kinds of artifacts one can encounter, but there are, typically, only five reasons as to why you would get them: your video memory is overheating, an application has a specific issue with the Radeon driver, your RAM is bad, your monitor is having problems, or fast writes.

If you're over-clocking, then artifacts are a common sight. When you go too far, they begin to appear. Even if you are not over-clocking your memory, if you go too far on the core, the PCB on which the memory rests might heat to the point that it causes the memory temperatures to shoot up, and thus begin artifacting. The obvious solution, of course, is to reduce the clock speeds, thus reducing the temperatures. If you have done permanent damage, however, the artifacts still might not go away.

Another possible cause is, of course, a faulting application. The app might have some sort of conflict with the driver. You should report any such instances to ATI's driver feedback program.

There is also the possibility of faulty RAM. I've added this cause entirely out of experience; I had a bad stick of DDR-RAM that would cause massive artifacting in Return to Castle Wolfenstein. I would recommend you run MemTest in order to determine the integrity of your system's memory.

Artifacting may also be caused by your monitor. This isn't to say it's faulty; however, try toggling on and off the control panel settings "Reduce DVI Frequencies on High Resolution Displays," "Alternate DVI Operational Mode," and "Alternate Pixel Center." Obviously the first two options only pertain to DVI panels--again, toggle these on and off to see if they help; the other, Alternate Pixel Center, applies only to Analog monitors and is recommended to be on in case of display corruption. Once more, play around with these settings and see if they help.

Fast Writes, as mentioned in an above section, often cause more problems than they are worth. Sometimes they can even cause artifacting. Try disabling these via SMARTGART (Right Click the desktop -> Properties -> Settings -> Advanced -> SMARTGART). Reboot for the changes to take effect.



Card Crash / Infinite Loop / Spontaneous Rebooting.

There can be many reasons that your card would crash / infinite loop / spontaneously reboot. However, one of the most common causes is an underpowered Radeon -- aka, your Power Supply Unit (PSU) isn't supplying the AGP card with enough power. ATI cards, especially the newer ones, suck up a lot of juice. As such, ATI recommends at least a 300 watt PSU for the R3xx (Radeon 9xxx) line. Depending on your system, you might even need a 450 watt-er. I'd recommend you get at least 400 watts from a quality brand name such as Antec, maker of high quality power supplies. Even if you have a good wattage, your power supply, if it's generic or an unknown brand, might not be performing to the best of its abilities. So if you're getting the infinite loop, swap out your current PSU for one of higher quality and/or wattage.

Or, it's possible that your card might be under-volted in the BIOS. Check out this helpful thread here at Rage3d for that solution, and other possible solutions to the card crash problems.



Windows File Protection.

If you do not uninstall your ATI drivers in Safe Mode, the following message will appear in the Event Viewer:
Quote:
File replacement was attempted on the protected system file c:\windows\system32\atixxxxxx.sys. This file was restored to the original version to maintain system stability. The file version of the system file is 6.xx.xx.xxxx

Windows File Protection (WFP), which you can read more about here, does not allow system files (.sys), OCX files, or DLL files used by the system (.dll) to be changed unless you are updating a driver or using an update from Microsoft. Normally this isn't a problem: the new ATI driver will overwrite the previous one. However this is undesirable for clean installs and has the potential to cause problems.

As of WinXP Service Pack 1 and Win2000 SP2, you can NOT disable WFP w/out a kernel debugger attached to your system. This means the popular registry tweak supposed to disable it, and Xteq Setup Pro, can no longer disable WFP. Disabling this system service is not necessary, however; simply boot into Safe Mode to uninstall, during which time WFP is inoperable (or at the very least, not protecting ATI files).



5.) Troubleshooting II: System Level Debugging

Many say troubleshooting is a lost art. People are more often ready to blame the drivers than admit that a problem might exist on their end. No worries, though, since many problems can be very difficult to diagnose.

Before you reinstall Windows, try the below steps in order. This is an excellent way to determine whether or not your problem is a driver bug or a system error.
  1. Update your motherboard's BIOS.
  2. Uninstall your graphics driver via the advanced method described earlier in section 2.
  3. Stop overclocking. Return everything to default speed. This includes RAM timings.
  4. Set your AGP Aperture, from whatever it is now, to 64MB. This is done in your system's BIOS.
  5. In your BIOS, stop BIOS Caching/Shadowing, if there are such options.
  6. Turn OFF Fast Write.
  7. Install the latest AGP/Chipset drivers (these are essential) for your motherboard. A bad install of these can wreck havoc on an otherwise stable system.
  8. Temporarily uninstall the application in question, if the problem you are having is with a specific app or game. Of course, this does not apply to operating system errors.
  9. Get MemTest and run it for a few hours at a time. If it comes up with ANY errors, your RAM is faulty and is the most likely cause of your problems.
  10. Remove ReForce or any other refresh-rate locking program.
  11. If you're having spontaneous reboots, infinite loops, or generic BSOD's, then the integrity of your PSU (power supply) can be called into question. Swap it out for a friend's, or buy another; see if that helps.
  12. Your problem might be caused by your sound driver, believe it or not. Get the latest drivers from your manufacturer.

  13. Now, get the latest catalyst drivers, install them.
  14. Reinstall the app in question.
  15. Disable VPU Recover.
  16. Check for conflicts in the Device Manager.
  17. If all these steps didn't solve your problem, then it is highly probable that you have found a driver bug. Report it!



And so concludes this FAQ. I hope it helped you :-) Post any questions here.
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Last edited by black hole sun : Oct 9, 2005 at 12:21 AM. Reason: Updated cleaning methods, removed even more obsolete info, added some troubleshooting tips
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Old Jan 27, 2004, 02:49 AM   #2
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Old Jan 29, 2004, 06:47 AM   #3
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"Hi! I am a n00b.. plz help" thread..
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Old Jan 29, 2004, 12:34 PM   #4
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WOW>.great
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Old Jan 29, 2004, 06:44 PM   #5
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Great Read!!
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Old Jan 29, 2004, 08:57 PM   #6
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@Kombatant

Forgot to thank you for making this a sticky Sorry

@everyone else

Thanks for the compliments. Remember if you've anything to add to this PM me and I'll see if I can fit it in
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Old Feb 2, 2004, 07:21 AM   #7
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One note, the ATI Uninstaller is buggy under WinME and deletes at least one system file.
Even worse, you cannot even uninstall the uninstaller without it doing it's dirty deed.

Sorry, but in my experience it is a lame program.
It leaves some registry entries created by the drivers.
It doesn't delete all ATI files on the harddrive (I can always find some left with a simple search).
And it deletes at least one system file that it has no business touching.

Can you say 'broken software' ???
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Old Feb 3, 2004, 06:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
So what is the optimal setting? No one can tell you that. For some, 32MB is enough. For others, 32MB results in system crashes. I personally use 128MB.
According to ATI, recommended aperture size is 64MB. The system/drivers will not use aperture sizes above 64MB unless you have at least 1GB RAM.

If this information is updated/changed, ATI personnel should make statement about it.
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Old Feb 3, 2004, 08:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Renzo
According to ATI, recommended aperture size is 64MB.
They recommend 128MB; if you are having corruption they recommend 64MB.
Quote:
The system/drivers will not use aperture sizes above 64MB unless you have at least 1GB RAM.
edit: hmm well now I'm not too sure. Where do you get this information?
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Old Feb 3, 2004, 09:52 PM   #10
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You may want to add a bit explaining that certain makes of 9600 (NONE XT versions) need to have their bios's updated to work with any drivers after 3.4 version

ALL BUILT BY ATI cards are unafected by this issue
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Old Feb 3, 2004, 10:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by spyre
You may want to add a bit explaining that certain makes of 9600 (NONE XT versions) need to have their bios's updated to work with any drivers after 3.4 version

ALL BUILT BY ATI cards are unafected by this issue
Ahh, I've heard of that, completely forgot about it. Thanks, it's now added
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Old Feb 4, 2004, 11:43 AM   #12
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Refresh problems can also be becuase the wrong inf drivers are being used by the drivers. Noticable if you have a CRT and LCD setup. LCD inf's are used for the secondary display as well even if it's a CRT.
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Old Feb 4, 2004, 04:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by black hole sun

edit: hmm well now I'm not too sure. Where do you get this information? [/b]
From this board, information posted by the OpenGL Guy
http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...highlight=6xaa
Quote:
Originally posted by OpenGL Guy
Currently, the driver limits the AGP aperture to 64 MB unless you have more than 1 GB of RAM. We're investigating changing this behavior, but have to be sure there are no side effects.

The driver determines how large an aperture to allocate based on several factors including system BIOS setting and the value recommended by the OS. If you have less than 1 GB of RAM, the OS won't recommend more than 64 MB so that is the current limit.
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Old Feb 4, 2004, 04:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Renzo
From this board, information posted by the OpenGL Guy
http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...highlight=6xaa
Thanks very much. Now added.
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Old Feb 9, 2004, 06:47 PM   #15
Banditgr
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Concerning the missing Overdrive tab :

There is a great thread concerning the problems with Overdrive here (http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...e&pagenumber=1) in case you've missed it.

The most important post in my opinion in there is the following :

"To support Overdrive, a 9600XT card needs the new 9600XT PCB layout PLUS a small chip called LM63 that reads out the on-chip thermal diode and "forwards" that info to the driver. So if a manufacturer puts the 9600XT chip on an old 9600Pro PCB it cannot support Overdrive since the old PCB layout doesn’t support equipping the LM63 chip. If a manufacturer uses the new PCB, but doesn’t equip it with a LM63, Overdrive cannot work either. Only if the manufacturer uses the new PCB Layout AND equips it with a LM63 chip, Overdrive can work. All 9600XT chips have the thermal Diode, but it is not enough. It needs the LM63 chip. The LM63 is one of the small 4x5mm sized ICs on the PCB. Here is info on the chip:
http://www.national.com/pf/LM/LM63.html"

There are pictures of the LM63 chip in the aforementioned thread. I hope this information helps.
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Old Feb 9, 2004, 09:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Banditgr
Concerning the missing Overdrive tab :

There is a great thread concerning the problems with Overdrive here (http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...e&pagenumber=1) in case you've missed it.

The most important post in my opinion in there is the following :

"To support Overdrive, a 9600XT card needs the new 9600XT PCB layout PLUS a small chip called LM63 that reads out the on-chip thermal diode and "forwards" that info to the driver. So if a manufacturer puts the 9600XT chip on an old 9600Pro PCB it cannot support Overdrive since the old PCB layout doesn’t support equipping the LM63 chip. If a manufacturer uses the new PCB, but doesn’t equip it with a LM63, Overdrive cannot work either. Only if the manufacturer uses the new PCB Layout AND equips it with a LM63 chip, Overdrive can work. All 9600XT chips have the thermal Diode, but it is not enough. It needs the LM63 chip. The LM63 is one of the small 4x5mm sized ICs on the PCB. Here is info on the chip:
http://www.national.com/pf/LM/LM63.html"

There are pictures of the LM63 chip in the aforementioned thread. I hope this information helps.
Now added, thank you for the information.
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 02:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by black hole sun
OpenGL was written mainly by SiS, but for the most part, it comes with the video driver. Every modern graphics program uses one or the other, so the customization of both tabs is necessary.
Correct this typo.
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 03:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mrksha
Correct this typo.
Oops.

Now corrected.
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Old Feb 29, 2004, 03:50 AM   #19
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Nice post, but the screens showing de difference between no-AF and AF don't do the justice... The best way to see AF in action is looking at distant textures. Looking at a wall doesn't show any noticeable gain with AF on.
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Old Mar 1, 2004, 09:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by hugo-rj
Nice post, but the screens showing de difference between no-AF and AF don't do the justice... The best way to see AF in action is looking at distant textures. Looking at a wall doesn't show any noticeable gain with AF on.
New screenshots uploaded, these from Call of Duty. I think they demonstrate AF much more ably now.
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Old Mar 2, 2004, 07:54 AM   #21
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Agp aperture size well i dont see this tab or settings in cataliat control panel, however i see "Graphics Aperture Size" with description "This feature allows you to select the size of mapped memory for AGP Graphics data." (this dont say VGA RAM or system RAM) in my BIOS under "Anvanced Chip Configuration" on my ASUS motherboard.
So here comes my question is this setting is ammount of my VGA RAM or its for system RAM?

Last edited by KillarXT : Mar 2, 2004 at 07:57 AM.
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Old Mar 2, 2004, 09:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by KillarXT
Agp aperture size well i dont see this tab or settings in cataliat control panel, however i see "Graphics Aperture Size" with description "This feature allows you to select the size of mapped memory for AGP Graphics data." (this dont say VGA RAM or system RAM) in my BIOS under "Anvanced Chip Configuration" on my ASUS motherboard.
So here comes my question is this setting is ammount of my VGA RAM or its for system RAM?
You can only set your AGP Aperture in your BIOS. As for your question -- system RAM, NOT the memory onboard your graphics card.
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Old Mar 2, 2004, 11:18 AM   #23
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lol i has 265 MB there begore now i changed to 32 will see how it will work
btw can i at least check if not change it somehow from windows?
big thx for your your article after i know so many new things.

I found how you can check this from windows program CPU-Z shows it.

Last edited by KillarXT : Mar 13, 2004 at 07:13 PM.
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 08:18 AM   #24
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the tips. But, could you help people with 21" monitors who want to use their BNC connectors instead of the crummy 15-pin connectors. ATI's drivers don't recognize BNC plugs and ReFreshForce and ReFreshLOck don't work! Help!
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Old Apr 15, 2004, 05:45 PM   #25
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Thanks this really helped. I guess I have some tweaking to do now.
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Old Apr 15, 2004, 09:19 PM   #26
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@False Christian

If my lack-of-a-reply didn't say enough: I don't know anything about that, I can't help. Sorry

@scriccs

No problem.
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Old May 3, 2004, 03:41 PM   #27
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If anyone has a problem getting WinDVD or PowerDVD to play on their 2nd monitor with extended desktop heres a workaround

Disable extended desktop
setup 2nd monitor to be clone mode instead
Start a movie
Goto the overlay tab
Clone mode options
Same on all
Exit movie
Disable clone mode for 2nd monitor
Enable extended desktop mode
Move movie to 2nd monitor and it will now display

Not sure at the moment if its a bug or a feature
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Old May 6, 2004, 04:02 AM   #28
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Though little in the original post is new to me, I'd just like to state that it's pretty much the best post I've ever seen on any forum in the dozen or so years I've been PC-foruming.
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Old May 9, 2004, 01:08 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by MuffinMan
Though little in the original post is new to me, I'd just like to state that it's pretty much the best post I've ever seen on any forum in the dozen or so years I've been PC-foruming.
That's a tall compliment Thanks, that means alot
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 10:30 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by False Christian
Thanks for the tips. But, could you help people with 21" monitors who want to use their BNC connectors instead of the crummy 15-pin connectors. ATI's drivers don't recognize BNC plugs and ReFreshForce and ReFreshLOck don't work! Help!
I don't think that ATi can do much about that.
BNC does not support "Monitor PnP" unlike the regular 15 pin VGA connector.
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