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:
- "Today I bought an ATI video card. Now it is so that after installing this video card none of my new games, like SpellForce or URU will play. The video card I had before (Radeon 7000) was fuzzy but the games worked. I don't know what the problem is...
- "ok so my friend was installing new DNA video drivers to his ATI Radeon 7000 and in the middle of the installation a warning popped up sayin missing some file...unfortunately he didn't write down what file it was.....he clicked ok completed the installation and restarted his computer and now his computer restarts gets to the windows load screen (where the white bar goes across) a blue error screen flashes for a second and then his computer restarts....anyone know how to fix this?...please help!"
- "I have a laptop with an ATI go video card. Just randomly while in the middle of playing WoW, the screen freezes up and I have to do a force restart. When it started up the lettering was all chopped up and letters were missing, and there was a bunch of colors shooting across the screen like little squares. When it got to the logon screen, the screen went black and stayed black. So I forced booted again, and started in safe mode. When I tried taking a print screen, of course it didn't catch that part of the screen. So I ran my virus scanner (Kasperky) and it found a couple of Trojans, but nothing pertaining to my video card. I also checked the event viewer to see if anything was there about the force boot, but nothing there either. After checking the virus, I rebooted normally, and same thing happened, still the colors across the screen, and it is going black at the logon screen. Help me please!!"
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
After you are finished, click GO and you will see the search results, like in the image below:
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:
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:
Since we know the file is legit, click Run. The setup will ask for a location where to extract some files:
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:
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!