Windows Vista and ATI display drivers

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My IBM T40 is not an old PC. Well, it may be three years old but it’s still a perfectly capable machine. One of its great features is the S-Video display output – perfect for watching films from the computer on a TV – at least it would be if I could get it to work under Windows Vista.

The trouble is that the T40 has an ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics chipset. The Windows Vista setup routine had installed the standard VGA graphics adapter driver (v6.0.6000.16386) but there is no supported Windows Vista driver for this chipset. I could rant on about how this lack of device support is a terrible way for ATI to treat customers and how it’s not as if I have any option to upgrade the graphics in a notebook PC but that won’t get me anywhere (and my blood pressure is already high enough). Nor will it sell me another PC, which is what hardware manufacturers really want, rather than developing modern drivers for old products. Instead, I spent far too much time today trying to get it working:

  • I found a forum post that suggested the Windows XP drivers would work (at least on pre-release versions of Vista) so I downloaded the latest available drivers from the IBM website, extracted them to a folder on my hard disk and let Windows Vista look there for updated drivers. After a successful installation (v6.14.10.6547) Windows reported the correct adapter type and provided support for multiple displays. So I was half way to my goal but without ATI-specific device options to enable advanced features (like the S-Video) connection.
  • Next, I tried running the full installer for the XP drivers and all the associated bloat but all I got was a blue screen of death (ati3duag.dll PAGE_FAULT_IN_NON_PAGED_AREA)… not a good result.
  • So I downloaded and installed the latest version (v7.5) of the ATI Catalyst Control Center (CCC) – except that it ignored my graphics adapter completely and just gave me some Catalyst Install Manager (CIM) links for updating/uninstalling CCC. At one stage, I was even dumped back to 4-bit 640×480 graphics and had to roll back my driver to the standard VGA before reinstalling the XP driver that had previously been working in Vista.
  • I tried running individual installers from within the extracted CCC package (e.g. ccc-graphics-full-existing.msi) and something happened to make a desktop right-click option for ATI CATALYST(R) Control Center appear (I hate excessive capitalisation in menu items!) but CCC still doesn’t load, so I guess it doesn’t like the XP display driver.
  • After reading Koroush Ghazi’s ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide, I tried Ray Adams’ ATI Tray Tools but these just produced memory errors on Vista, even when run as Administrator.
  • Finally, I went back to my extracted driver package and ran the ATI Control Panel (v8. setup (from the CPANEL folder, rather than the top level CIM installer). Even though Vista informed me that “this program has known compatibility issues” and that “ATI Control Panel is incompatible with this version of Windows”, it gave me access to all the advanced display settings but I couldn’t get it to recognise that the TV was connected.

ATI Control Panel

Now it’s the end of the day and I’m giving up. I guess I’ll have to go back to XP to use my TV-out (or watch videos on the laptop display). Grrr.

11 thoughts on “Windows Vista and ATI display drivers

  1. Did you ever get this working? I just happen to have a spare copy of Vista Business that I was going to install on my T40, as all my other home systems are now running Vista. Would really appreciate some feedback before I start! :c)

  2. i got a small problem while instaling vista in my pc. its asks to change the display adapter to STANDARD VGA setings.but,i already have standard vga adapter.

    my pc adapter information is:
    chip type: ATI RS350
    DAC type: 8 bit
    adapter type: VGA

    total available graphics memory:32 MB

  3. Not sure if anyone needs this information anymore, but I personally was able to get the ATI driver from the Lenovo site by using the management console. Just right-click the ‘standard vga display adapter’ and select update driver, then point it to the folder that you unzipped the Lenovo ATI driver to and let it do its thing. I haven’t tried the tv out yet, but I dont see why it wouldn’t work since the card is actually recognized properly on my t40.

  4. Has anyone gotten the t40 wireless card to work with VISTA. I cannot find the right drivers @ lenova or driverguide, neither can Google from what I can tell. Any advice would be great since I just removed my recovery partition for XP….argghhhh.
    I thought I would have an easy VISTA transition with my t40 since I have already evolved all of my home pc’s and most of my notebooks to VISTA with suprising few issues. My media center was the most difficult but nothing that a PowerColor X1550 512MB DDR2 Videocard and a AVerMedia AVerTV Combo PCI-e HDTV TV Tuner couldn’t resolve. Thanks in advance.
    I am just tired, and who want’s to spend all day on Christmas downloading Windows drivers???
    I’m Janie, and I’m a MAC user!!!!

  5. T40 comes with at least 3 different WiFi cards from IBM. The T40 with Centrino (sticker) uses the Intel Pro Wireless LAN 2100 3b. Vista should find this as it’s included in the Vista standard drivers. Be sure to go to the Control Panel, Device Manage, Network adapters & see if your Wireless card is there. Right click & make sure it’s Enabled.

    You can also let Vista search the Internet for a driver if you used the wired Ethernet port.


  6. I feel your pain – I purchased an emachine w4630 at the end of 2006 and actually got the free upgrade to vista home premium from xp mce. Getting drivers to work well has ben an absolute nightmare for me. ATI has updated catalyst drivers now that are supposed to work but I get the same results you describe here – the CCC doesn’t actually install, only the CIM – the drivers won’t install unless I manually go to each folder in the ATI/support/blah blah folder and then I still don’t get the CCC working correctly although there is a link to it when I right click – but nothing happens. ATI says go to your manufacturer for support and emachines (gateway) says they don’t support vista unless it was what was installed on the laptop. I was able to get the driver updated by going to device manager and update driver and say ‘have disk’ (after unchecking show compatible hardware) and then point it to exactly the folder in the ATI folder for display I choose radeon xpress 200 series and then it gave a warning that it may not work correctly, but it did let me install it. I don’t understand why there’s no entry for actual 200m when I picked that as my display on their website. The driver actually worked (I have the ati radeon 200m chipset) for the most part but it has issues with standby, and the secondary vga – don’t get me wrong, they work but not ideally and it is hit or miss. Then windows update wants to install an updated driver for my display and so I do that (after uninstalling the driver I have already updated). The drivers updated ok, but they are an earlier version and now I get all kind of issues, I think there are more than one version of the driver files – now I get display corruption after standby. I get problems with after seing the starting vista screen on bootup it goes black – won’t show the logon screen, but if I go to stanby and resume it works (sometimes) or if I close the lid and open it then it works sometimes. It is FRUSTRATING and I am a computer technician – so I can imagine how much frustration others are having. I keep submitting ati feedback reports and hopefully they will put out a compatible version on their website soon. Every time they release a new driver and it says radeon xpress 200m I am hopeful, but to no avail. The really frustrating thing is that there was a driver that came with vista that was signed by microsoft but it will not show up anymore as a driver to roll back to or update to and that one worked ok – at least the display wasn’t blank when I boot – all I can do is the standard display driver or the updated one from the microsoft updates. Sorry for the rant – just thought I’d share my experience – I’m probably going to dump vista – and maybe if there is an equivalent driver to the xp functionality then I’ll try it again later. It is sad when an “upgrade” to vista is really a downgrade to your whole computer experience – I haven’t even touched on my crappy experience with a supposedly compatible usb sound card and spdif support – arrrragggh.

  7. thanks for your post. i got it working… you have to change the graphics settings to 16-bit and 800×600… and reboot while you have your s-video/tv connected and vista will finally detect. thank heavens!

  8. Ok i’ve got ATI x1300 witch is also a x1550 graphics card but now i want to be able to play
    Assassins Creed One
    It use to work then for some reason it dd not and went back to x1300 so i downloaded the ATI 9-7_vista32win7_32_dd_ccc_wdm_enu.exe and i’m running windows xp professional version 2002 service pack 2 so now installed it and plays then now for some odd reason it will get all blockey and just stops then freezes and comes up with this window saying:

    Could not load file or assemble ‘CLI.Implementation’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    And also shows the logo of ATI in the tool bar where the start menue is.
    Please help me what should i do or download or if not then could you also suggest what motherboard i should upgrade to as i have bought a new graphics card sigh but once all said that the current board would support it found out in the end when trying to put on and on with pc it did not so if you can help then please say so then i’ll give you the specks of the DDR and chip set and new graphics card.
    Yours faithfuly
    Miss MQN

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