How to use ATI's driver website


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In this tutorial, we will learn how to detect problems that affect our video card, find and download the correct hardware drivers for it, and install these drivers safe and easy. Although you might think that troubleshooting problems and solving them is an easy task, there are many errors that don't have an obvious cause. Further more, you could cause errors yourself by installing a wrong hardware driver or even installing the good one but in a wrong way.

Here are a few real problems from real people. You can find dozens more on forums all over the Internet and all over the world:

Now, do you think that troubleshooting video problems is easy? There are cases in which nothing works. Let's see how we can find out what happened with our video card.

Detecting the problem

First, we will have to go to the Device Manager. Go to Start, open Control Panel, select System, go to the Hardware tab, and click the Device Manager. Here you have a list of all devices present on your computer. If you see a yellow exclamation mark in a tab, it means that you have problems in that specific tab. My computer has been experiencing some strange problems that might be related to the video card. My video card is a ATI Radeon 7000 series. Here is how I found my problem:

Problem in the device manager

As you can see, Windows does not see the video card at all. This explains a lot. Now that I found what the problem is, I must fix it. The easiest way is to install the latest hardware drivers for the card.

Finding and Downloading the latest drivers

To do this, I must visit the manufacturer's website at www.ati.com. We can also search "ATI" on Google. The first result is the one we need. Here is how ATI's website looks like:

ATI's main page

A very clean page indeed! We immediately notice the Support and Drivers link at the top. We must go there if we want to find something. Click the link and you will reach the following page:

ATI's support page

You immediately notice the "Download graphics drivers" link under the Graphics Support category. Sounds good so click it. Here is what you will see next:

Customize search page

On this page we must choose our Operating System, video card type, and video card model. Here is how the page looks after I chose everything:

All fields filled in the Search page

After you are finished, click GO and you will see the search results, like in the image below:

Search results page

As you can see, we have found the driver (Catalyst Software Suite). This suite contains the driver, catalyst control center, and WDM drivers. Click on the link to continue to the download window:

the download window

Click Save File and choose an easy to remember location on your hard drive. Once the download is finished, it is best practice to save the file on a CD/DVD to have easy access to it later, when you reinstall Windows.

Installing the driver

Once the file is safely stored, double click it (on the hard drive or on the CD/DVD). You should see a security warning from Microsoft:

Security warning from Microsoft

Since we know the file is legit, click Run. The setup will ask for a location where to extract some files:

Download location

Click Install and, after everything is extracted, will start the main setup. All you have to do is agree to their terms and conditions, choose the type of setup (I recommend typical), and click Install. Once everything is installed, you will be prompted to restart your computer. Please do so.

After the restart, you should feel that everything is how it should be. But we want to make sure that the drivers are correctly installed and that the video card is working at full capacity, don't we? For this, go to the Device Manager and take a look at the Display Adapters. You should be able to see your model, like in the picture below:

Everything is OK in the device manager

Congratulations! The driver is successfully installed (the latest version), the video card is working flawlessly, and you are no longer experiencing crashes or annoying errors. Have fun with your properly installed video card!