How do I enable my GPU after a forced Windows 8.1 update?

Jespere B February 26, 2015
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I have a Dell Inspiron 17R with an AMD Radeon 8730M graphics card and an Intel(R) Graphics 4000 onboard graphics card.

As I was forced to upgrade to Windows 8.1 (Against my wishes), I can no longer use my AMD Radeon 8730 graphics card. My computer forces the Intel graphics card, and if completely uninstall it switches to the “Microsoft basic graphics” that still uses the onboard card.

Things I have tried:

  • Uninstalling both drivers, then updating both from the Dell website.
  • Uninstalling both drivers, updating the AMD graphics from their recommended one on the website and installing the Intel(R) graphics 4000 from the Dell website.
  • Any combination you could imagine of the above (with or without catalyst control center, using Windows own ability to update the drivers, using the dell homepage driver, using the AMD recommended driver).
  • You CAN NOT select which GPU to use in BIOS on this laptop.

Without the AMD GPU my computer is basically useless as it can not run anything. I have no idea what else to do. I have searched a million topics and applied all fixes (As seen above) and nothing works.

Should I try a factory reset? Will that even help me since Windows 8.1 is a forced update?

  1. Jan F.
    February 26, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I understand that you have tried this in various ways possible however the general and usual working fix is to:
    1. uninstall both drivers first.
    2. reboot
    3. install the Intel drivers
    4. reboot
    5. install the AMD drivers
    6. final reboot

    The order of the driver installation as well as restarting after the Intel Graphics driver was installed and before the AMD driver is somewhat crucial. Any other way the system usually doesn't recognize it being a switchable graphics solution. You should also use the drivers supplied by Dell, unless they are not available for Windows 8.1.

    After uninstalling both drivers head into the Device Manager (you can find it via the Windows Search) and make sure the Display adapters show up as "Standard VGA Adapter". Otherwise right-click the entries and do a manual uninstall.

    You might also want to restore the default power plans of Windows. I believe the easiest way to do so is opening a command prompt and issuing the command "powercfg -restoredefaultschemes"

  2. ha14
    February 26, 2015 at 10:14 am

    perhaps you need to flash Bios, you can try to reset cmos battery.

    there is also Online diagnostics just below the above page and click on RUN QUICK TEST
    http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Products/?IsTag=False&IsInvalidSelection=False

    what GPUZ is telling you
    http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/

    open charm bar and type Find And Fix Problems
    1) under HArdware and Sound click configure a device
    2) Under System and Security click on Run Maintenance Tasks

    • Jim
      March 10, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Probably the best thing to do is free yourself from that dreadful operating system which I think is actually a virus and replace it with something like Linux Mint 17.1 MATE. All it took for me to give up Microsoft products was Vista, Windows 7 and Widnows 8, maybe the worst operating systems that ever charged a buck. Windows techs are waiting to waste your time and take your dough. At Linux tech is free and so is the OS, the upgrades, the updates and even the OS itself. And no Deathware.