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My ATI drivers wont load in W2K OR XP!!

By ohreli ·
I bought a new PC with 3.0E Ghz Prescott, 512K P3200 RAM, Foxconn 865A01-PE-6LS 8X AGP Mobo, ATI Radeon 9200 128KB Graphics Card. I installed W2K, and everything was fine until I upgraded to an ATI Radeo 9600 Pro 256K Card. At first it was also fine, then it would not load the display drivers half the time, then finally all the time. In Device Manager, it would recognize the card, and say the display drivers were working, but they obviously werent. Also, when I started, a message would say that ATI Control Center wont load because the ATI display drivers arent present. I tried updates, reinstalling, nothing helped. Suspecting W2K issues, I just did a full install of XP Pro SP2. Well, it is a little better because XP seems to be using a better generic display driver, so the resolution and colors are good. But I get the same message saying ATI Control Center wont load,even though Device Manager says everything is fine. When you move any windows around, there is a lag like you are moving underwater, so there is definitely a problem---I havent even tried actually demanding graphics! (Setting the pretty display options at "performance" setting helps a tiny bit). I have tried uninstalling and installing the drivers (and both the drivers on the CD and the newer ones on the ATI website), but nothing helps. DirectX 9.0c is installed (does it matter if DirectX is installed before or after the graphics card drivers??) I am getting ready (with a heavy heart) to try putting back the 9200 card, but hoping there is something else to do!?

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by ohreli In reply to My ATI drivers wont load ...

Point value changed by question poster.

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by ohreli In reply to My ATI drivers wont load ...

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by ohreli In reply to My ATI drivers wont load ...

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by TheChas In reply to My ATI drivers wont load ...

Start by adding more system RAM.
You need a minimum of 3X graphics RAM installed.

Next, in BIOS settings for a 256K (I think you mean MB) graphics card, you need an AGP aperture of at least 512MB. (If the setting is even there)

Then, check for an update to both the BIOS and the AGP mini-port driver for the chip-set on the motherboard.

Per ATI, you should install DirectX 9 first and then the display drivers.

The ATI control center is NOT part of the driver. While it comes with and is installed when you install the driver, the control center is separate software.
The ATI control center is just a bit of code that makes it easier for you to access display properties and change graphics resolution.
Most likely either a file is corrupt, or another piece of code is getting in the way.

As to the delay when you open an application, that is because you do not have enough system RAM to support the 256MB graphics card and applications. Windows needs to spend extra time swapping data in and out of virtual memory.

Chas

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by TheChas In reply to

Thanks for the message.

My response that you need more system RAM stems from the video card in use, not your delay in opening applications.

You just don't have enough system RAM to support a video card with 256MB of RAM on it, and run applications.

Despite Microsoft's stated requirements, I consider 512MB of RAM to be the minimum for a general purpose W2k or XP system.
With the ATI 9600, I assume that you desire to run either high end graphics applications, or PC games.
Either way, I would spec at least 1GB of RAM for your system.

Your display problems are in part because the AGP aperture is 1/2 video RAM.

The absolute minimum setting for AGP aperture is the same as video RAM.

The optimum setting for the AGP aperture is between 2 times video RAM, and 1/2 of system RAM.
So, if you increased system RAM to 1GB, you could increase the AGP aperture to 512MB and all should work fine.

In very general terms, the AGP aperture is the amount of system RAM available for buffering data to the video card.

The ATI 9200 functioned properly because you have enough RAM and the AGP aperture was set just large enough to allow the card to function.

While I can't justify why, it is possible that the ATI control center will not load because there is not enough system RAM dedicated to video.

I am confident that more system RAM, and a larger AGP aperture will correct all of your system problems.

Chas

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by ohreli In reply to

I appreciated these comments, but I dont think they were helping my situation. I did try a larger AGP apetrure--the highest option on my mobo was 256M, but this had no effect. On another board, they told me I should just try to put back the old 9200 and see if it worked, and therefore the problem must be a hardware malfunction with the 9600. I did this, and the 9200 works like a charm (at least for non-demanding tasks, but the 9600 couldnt move a window an inch without hiccuping!) Maybe 1 GB RAM is optimal, but it doesnt make sense to have such severe problems with a brand new system just because I *only* have 512MB. I have also read reviews comparing 128M and 256M ATI cards and they said the effect is basically nil--that the extra video memory simply doesnt get used in todays applications. BTW, you DID also say that not enough system memory was causing the application delay. But again this sounds like more than a memory issue, because it is only a one time halt in a fast process of loading, and then everything speeds up again. These problems simply seem to specific to be just solved by adding memory---after living with that 9600 card's problems for 2 weeks, my system with the same exact system RAM and a lowly 9200 seems like the ultimate speed demon!!! But thanks for trying!

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by ohreli In reply to My ATI drivers wont load ...

Chas:
I have checked the motherboard updates, there was only a BIOS update, which I did install.

I mentioned the ATI Control Center just because it doesn?t load because it doesn?t see any drivers, even though Device Manager sees them.

Why do you think I don?t have anough RAM, only because of the lag in the start-up routine? Now, it actually goes VERY fast, then stops and does NOTHING for about a minute (I don?t even hear the Hard Drive working at all) and the goes Fast again.

I do have a setting in BIOS for AGP Aperture Size?When I get home tonite I?ll check that. Would that keep the drivers from loading? I checked the BIOS options: Video BIOS Cacheable (Default: Disabled),AGP Aperture Size (Default: 128), Init Display First (Default: Onboard/AGP).

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by Blackcurrant In reply to My ATI drivers wont load ...

Hi

I use a Radeon9600XT (256MB) on my WinXP SP2 machine (I installed about 2 months ago) and had a few niggling problems. Have you installed the latest version of Catalyst? I think the latest version is 4.10.

Try completely removing the drivers and the card from your system, rebooting, turn it off, reinsert the card, reboot, then install the latest drivers. When I installed my card it took about half an hour for the drivers to install.

Good luck

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by ohreli In reply to

Thanks. Ihad already tried the latest Catalyst, and also the taking-out-the-card method you described. Didnt help. On another board, they told me I should just try to put back the old 9200 and see if it worked, and therefore the problem must be a hardware malfunction with the 9600. I did this, and the 9200 works like a charm. I'll have to decide if I want to try an upgrade again with a different card. Thanks for your help!

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by ohreli In reply to My ATI drivers wont load ...

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