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View Full Version : [Computer] Damned ATI crap software!



Freejack
09-12-2009, 09:24 PM
After the video card wars settled down, I pretty much kept with nVidia cards over ATI. ATI cards just seemed very cheesy looking (packaging).

My last computer lasted many years. I went from an nVidia card (ti2600 I think) to a pair of ATI 9250's. Cheap cards that let me run 3 monitors without a problem and my games worked fine.

Last year I finally decided it was time to get a totally new system. I found a few reviews on various hardware and settled on one of the "build a great system for $1000" article. It gave me a good base system and I enhanced things a tiny bit. I replaced some kit that really didn't need to be replaced but I figured that since I was getting other new gear, I'd splurge and get the last couple of bits; dvd burner, extra hard disk, 4 more gigs of ram and like that.

In the article they gushed over the ATI 4870 GPU so it was the largest purchase I made at $250. I bought a motherboard that supported Crossfire technology and planned on buying a second 4870 in about a year and going Crossfire. In the mean time, I snagged the ATI 9250 and put it in the new box so I could still run four monitors.

Ok, build new system. XP Pro, install 4870 driver, install 9250 driver, system crash. H.A.R.D. I have to blow away XP and reinstall the system, can't even roll back.

Ok, rebuild and use the Windows 9250 driver. Catalyst Control Center sees the other two monitors which is all I need really.

So for the past year, the system has occasionally rebooted after Windows starts with an ATI error in the logs. We're in the middle of selling and buying a house then moving and getting settled in. Finally I get annoyed enough at it to pull the 9250 card entirely and run on the single 4870. Still it reboots, and now at times when browsing the web or starting a video.

I've spent the past year downloading the most current drivers from ATI. I've had to drop to safe mode to clear out a newer driver that borked the system causing it to reboot as Windows starts over and over again. Really I'm just trying to eliminate the occasional booting. It's somewhat annoying. The last update caused a problem with the Catalyst Control Center and it won't start. As such, I'm not able to rotate my left monitor 90*. Makes reading PDFs a little harder. I rolled the driver back but in the process, the uninstall removed some driver from .NET and now the older driver doesn't work. I get a MOM error. I can see the two monitors but that's about it.

So frustrated, I decided it was time to get the second card and rebuild the Windows. I checked around and found the newer 1Gig 4870 Radeon (I have the 512M Radeon already) for $130 with rebates. Yep about what I figured. I was considering blowing it off and getting an nVidia card but you know how it is. I spent $250 on a card and don't want to throw it away.

Yesterday I pulled the machine apart, carefully moving cables around. I moved the 4870 512M to the second slot and installed the new 4870 1G into the primary slot. I moved a couple of things around to accomodate the move and installed the Crossfire tabs that connect the two cards.

The system starts but boots when Windows starts again. I have to boot to safe mode, delete the ATI drivers (and the 9250 Windows drivers are still there) just to get Windows running again. Then I have to clear out all the .NET frameworks (1.1, 2.0, 2.0 SP1, 3.0, 3.5, and 3.5 SP1). Then I have to hunt down the redistributable ones on the Microsoft site. Then reinstall all the .NET frameworks. Then hit Microsoft Update after each to make sure all patches are applied. Then hunt the 'net for words of wisdom for the errors.

"You have to uninstall the ATI drivers, then get a third party app to remove the rest of the ATI drivers then get another third party app to remove the leftover ATI registry entries OR THE NEW DRIVER MAY FAIL!!!!!

:mad:

Ok, so I go to get the driver cleaner and it's now a pay application and I should use this other one that "is just as good". Ok ok, so I boot to safe mode, run this app, clean off all the ATI drivers and .dlls, boot the system and see there are no ATI drivers or dll's running.

Then install the new video card's drivers.

Boot the system.

Configure the two additional monitors and the main one to be at a readable size.

Run Catalyst Control Center.

It won't start.

Hunt the 'net for more words of wisdom.

"Oh, you need to make sure all the drivers and registry entries are gone or it won't work."

:mad:

Honestly, we're thirty years into personal computers. Can't they get the support software working?

Carl

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-13-2009, 12:35 AM
You have my sympathies, Freejack. I gave you 5 stars for an entertaining read. Thanks for making my day seem just a bit better.

Best of luck with that contraption of a computer.

Angelus_Nox
09-13-2009, 05:47 AM
For some reason, I feel better with nVidia boards, even tho I used to prefer ATI (based on an ATI card being the first 3d boardsI remember).
Have you considered using Vista or Win7 instead? I'm one of the people who used to hate Vista, but now I'm using it and, apart from an occasional gripe, don't mind at all.

mrken
09-13-2009, 07:33 AM
If people like you have problems like that, what are people like me supposed to do?

Windstar
09-13-2009, 08:40 AM
Not meaning to add insult to injury, but you should have stayed with nvidia. I learned long ago when I built my first system, stick with the reputation, it may cost a bit but will save frustration level.

Freejack
09-13-2009, 09:57 AM
I'm probably going to go with Windows 7 when it becomes available. That's likely what I'll wait on before rebuilding this system again.

And yea, I probably should have stuck with nVidia. I have liked the product and have had several in the computers in the house.

One of the reasons for the change from nVidia GForce 4 ti2600 to the ATI 9250's was that drivers for XP weren't being written any more. The board worked great as a video board. I gave it to a friend whos system had fried the motherboard and video. But going to two monitors, I wanted something that would support them both properly. The 9250 seemed to fit the bill at $50 and more RAM than the 2600. When I went with three monitors, I got a second 9250 not wanting to muck up the system with different drivers.

So when I read the article on gaming systems (and there were several that liked the ATI 4870 and 4870X2), I just moved forward with ATI. Shows what a doof I am. I should have known better :)

And that's really the problem with software. The hardware is just fine but the drivers or OS forces us to replace the hardware. How many of the computers going to the recycling center are still perfectly good and can be used for Linux and still browse the 'net but are forced to be discarded because Vista needs more hardware to run?

As to my having problems over someone else mrken, for a single monitor, single video card system which a majority of people have, there's a good chance this probably wouldn't have come up. Heck, the reason the more technical of us have all the answers you need is that we've struggled with this setup, poked around in the registry, and other deep areas in Windows (and OS X). So when you come up with "I just replaced my old ATI 9250 with an ATI 9570 and I'm getting all sorts of problems", we can reply "oh yea, you need to get driver sweeper and regclean. Here are the URLs. Once you do that, remove all the ATI drivers then boot to safe mode and run driver sweeper cleaning out all the ATI drivers then regclean and clean out all the ATI references. Once you're done, boot the box and reinstall the drivers following the instructions and you'll be good." And you'll be "wow, how did you know that?"

Now you know how we know that :D

Carl

Angelus_Nox
09-13-2009, 11:59 AM
Ungh... driver/ OS rotting. I really hate that.
As to multi-monitor setups: I haven't really tried it yet, but my current nVidia can support two of them. Even tho it's a done deed now, what made you choose ATI (just trying to learn stuff :D)?

Freejack
09-13-2009, 01:18 PM
Ungh... driver/ OS rotting. I really hate that.
As to multi-monitor setups: I haven't really tried it yet, but my current nVidia can support two of them. Even tho it's a done deed now, what made you choose ATI (just trying to learn stuff :D)?

Originally it was the cheapest card at NewEgg or TigerDirect, I forget where I got it. I was getting a cheap one because I planned on rebuilding the box and didn't want to spend too much on a card yet.

The articles I was reading (and I have the link to the one I used somewhere) all liked the ATI over the nVidia. But they do change as each one up each other so waiting a few months might have had nVidia on top.

Carl

traesin
09-15-2009, 03:12 AM
ick. I have an ATI but only one monitor so no probs with it. My problem is i have to install a new motherboard.

Freejack
09-16-2009, 10:50 PM
Finished fixing my monitor problems and my left monitor is once again rotated to the left!

Woo hoo!!!

I went to the Diamond Multi-Media site to open a ticket, then downloaded the 5.9 driver suite (I had 5.8 on CD that came with the card).

Next I uninstalled everything ATI related even using the control panel to get the last bits. Booted to Safe Mode. Used driver sweeper (from Guru3D) to remove all the drivers (had to rename one as it couldn't remove it) and some registry entries. Then used ccleaner to remove the rest of the ATI related registry entries.

Booted the system back to normal mode then installed the 5.9 suite.

After booting it again, it automatically popped up the Catalyst Control Center to ask if I wanted to enable CrossfireX :D I went into advanced mode and rotated my monitor and here it sits.

:D :D :D

Still pissed that it was so much trouble but happy it works finally.

Carl

Angelus_Nox
09-17-2009, 10:58 AM
Well done to you :D
I don't mind doing a little stuff when installing hardware, but stuff like that is... well, imagine the trouble someone who's not as tech savvy as you would have had.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-17-2009, 11:57 AM
Finished fixing my monitor problems and my left monitor is once again rotated to the left!

Woo hoo!!!

I went to the Diamond Multi-Media site to open a ticket, then downloaded the 5.9 driver suite (I had 5.8 on CD that came with the card).

Next I uninstalled everything ATI related even using the control panel to get the last bits. Booted to Safe Mode. Used driver sweeper (from Guru3D) to remove all the drivers (had to rename one as it couldn't remove it) and some registry entries. Then used ccleaner to remove the rest of the ATI related registry entries.

Booted the system back to normal mode then installed the 5.9 suite.

After booting it again, it automatically popped up the Catalyst Control Center to ask if I wanted to enable CrossfireX :D I went into advanced mode and rotated my monitor and here it sits.

:D :D :D

Still pissed that it was so much trouble but happy it works finally.

Carl
I'm tech savvy, just not that tech savvy; no where near, in fact. Wish i was.

cplmac
09-17-2009, 06:12 PM
And how ironic is it that when I got to the bottom of the posts, there was an add for ATI Windows Vista drivers?:laugh:

Freejack
09-17-2009, 06:23 PM
I'm tech savvy, just not that tech savvy; no where near, in fact. Wish i was.

It's a question of motivation. When you spend $400 on video cards and another $800 or so on gear just so you can get a good gaming experience, you tend to really want to get the stupid thing working.

More motivation is that I'm only able to get on the computer during the week. The wife requires my full attention on the weekends. So time spent dinking with the video cards vs working on personal projects tends to increase the irritation level with these problems.

Carl

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-17-2009, 06:50 PM
It's a question of motivation. When you spend $400 on video cards and another $800 or so on gear just so you can get a good gaming experience, you tend to really want to get the stupid thing working.

More motivation is that I'm only able to get on the computer during the week. The wife requires my full attention on the weekends. So time spent dinking with the video cards vs working on personal projects tends to increase the irritation level with these problems.

Carl
You are humble; i'll give you that, Freejack. Didn't you admit on another one of my threads that you are, or have been, fluent in over 29 software languages?

Motivation (I'll give you that), plus some serious computer & software experience helped, i'm sure. Again, i wish i was at your tech level. Perhaps one day. Thinking about picking up an MS in IT one day soon as well as some computer certs. We will see what life allows. Until then, i'll continue to tinker. My only hurdle to all my goals, ambitions, and endeavors? Money. Sucks to be limited not by capability, nor intelligence, nor motivation, nor desire, nor ambition, but by simple money. Doesn't seem fair somehow.

Freejack
09-17-2009, 07:35 PM
You are humble; i'll give you that, Freejack. Didn't you admit on another one of my threads that you are, or have been, fluent in over 29 software languages?

There are varying levels of knowledge of any programming or scripting language. I'm certainly not at the level of Dennis Ritchie (who I might consider fluent) but I have written a few large applications in C. The DBAs where I work made a humorous offer yesterday to have me come work with them after I let them know I was writing php, javascript, and manipulating data with mysql because I liked to do it :) It doesn't mean I'm fluent though. It does mean that after 30 years, I still like screwing around with computers even though they sometimes drive me a little around the bend :D


Motivation (I'll give you that), plus some serious computer & software experience helped, i'm sure. Again, i wish i was at your tech level.

It'll take a few more rolls on the Skills and Training table (and subsequently a few more 4 year blocks) but you'll get there. At 53 and 30 years into computers, I do have a bit more of a background than most :)


Perhaps one day. Thinking about picking up an MS in IT one day soon as well as some computer certs. We will see what life allows. Until then, i'll continue to tinker.

In reality someone who tinkers is more likely to be hired than someone with just a degree or cert, at least at sysadmin or programmer levels. A cert can help when you have a tinkering background (and of course can intelligently answer the questions). If you aim to be an architect or higher up in the food chain (management or CTO/CIO), you probably want more theory which is what a MS gives you.


My only hurdle to all my goals, ambitions, and endeavors? Money. Sucks to be limited not by capability, nor intelligence, nor motivation, nor desire, nor ambition, but by simple money. Doesn't seem fair somehow.

Well, that's why you have grants, scholarships, loans or just go to school part time. I'm taking engineering classes, not to become an engineer but because I want to learn more about engineering. And I'm doing it part time of course because I have a job.

Carl