How to Find & Fix AMD or ATI Display Drivers in Windows
ATI may be a thing of the past after being bought out by AMD back in 2006, but their graphics cards are still used in older systems. If you’re having trouble hunting down the drivers or getting them to work, we’ve got you covered.
In fact, the ATI branding was only officially retired around five years ago, so it’s not as uncommon as you might think to find ATI cards in use. Nevertheless, even if you’re running a more modern AMD card then you still might find some of the tips below useful.
Have you been having driver issues with your ATI card? Please let us know how you managed to resolve it in the comments after you’ve read the article.
Detect Your Driver
If you want to know whether your driver is updated to the latest version, or if you just want to know what you’re running, then you can find that information out easily. First, perform a system search for dxdiag and select the relevant result. This will load up the DirectX Diagnostic Tool and it’ll provide you with an overview of your system components.
Switch to the Display tab and check out the information provided in the Drivers section on the right. The Version will be the number of your driver and the Date will be when that driver was published, rather than when you installed it. While it isn’t necessary to update your drivers if you’re not having any problems, you might find that newer versions have some performance enhancements, especially for gaming.
Remove Your Driver
If you’ve jumped between graphics cards or have installed multiple drivers, it might be worth removing everything and starting from scratch to avoid them all clashing. This is especially recommended if you’re actually having display problems.
If you have the AMD Catalyst Control Center installed then you can use this utility to remove your drivers. Search your system for uninstall a program and select the relevant result. Now find the AMD Catalyst Control Center from the list and click Change from the list’s top bar. On the wizard that opens, click Next and then Express Uninstall ALL AMD Software. Follow the wizard through to the end and it’ll remove all your display drivers and the software itself.
This is one method of doing it, but for my money it isn’t actually the best, so don’t worry if you don’t have the Control Center installed. Instead, check out a piece of software called Display Driver Uninstaller. This works for NVIDIA too, but we’ll be using it for AMD/ATI drivers. This program will ensure that nothing gets left behind on your system, like stray folders and registry keys.
To begin, download the latest version of the software from the website, extract the download and then run the application. It’ll ask if you want to boot into safe mode, confirm that you do, and your system will automatically reboot and load up Display Driver Uninstaller again. It should have detected that you’re using AMD/ATI drivers, but if not then select it from the dropdown. When you’re ready to uninstall, click the Clean and restart button and let the program do its thing.
Your system will restart and you’ll now be without any video drivers installed. This means that we can go ahead and install the latest and clean versions of the drivers to your system and hopefully resolve any issues you might have been experiencing.
Install Your Driver
When it comes to any driver, you should always go direct to the official source if you can as they’ll be safe to download . In this case, head to the AMD website. You can download a utility that will automatically detect your driver, but we can also use the information we learned from the DirectX Diagnostic Tool earlier to do the manual selection instead.
If you do go for the manual selection, make sure you’re selecting the legacy ATI drivers rather than the recent AMD ones. You’ll find that XP is the most modern operating system that is named on the OS dropdown, but these drivers should work up to Windows 7.
However, don’t worry if you can’t get them functioning or if you’re on Windows 8 or above. Install the driver regardless, do a system search for device manager, and then select the relevant result.
Open up Display adapters, select Properties and then switch to the Driver tab on the new window. Now click Update Driver… and select Browse my computer for driver software. Now choose Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
You will then be presented with a list of drivers. Your selection at this stage will vary on your specific ATI graphics card, but ideally you should be able to select one without the Microsoft Corporation naming. If that’s not available and it isn’t clear which driver you should opt for, you may have to try them all out in turn (ensuring to uninstall after each). Select the driver, click Next, and let the wizard work its magic.
With thanks to Jon Gibbins for his guide on this particular tip.
ATI cards might be old compared to more modern AMD offerings, but they’ll work just fine in most systems. It might take some tinkering with the drivers to get everything up and running, but hopefully the advice above helped you and resolved any issues.
Be sure to check out our guide on how to find and replace outdated drivers across your whole system, not just for your video card. It’s always good practice to keep your drivers up-to-date, especially when you’re suffering system issues.
Are you still using an ATI graphics card? Have you got any tips to share for resolving driver issues?