How to [manually] completely remove ATI / AMD Radeon videocard drivers before installing any (even earlier) Catalyst driver - no thirdparty software involved

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How to [manually] completely remove ATI / AMD Radeon videocard drivers before installing any (even earlier) Catalyst driver - no thirdparty software involved

Postby Blín D'ñero » 11 Nov 2012, 11:15

*UPDATE* = since the Crimson driver, the driver uninstaller does all this.
So this post only applies to pre-Crimson drivers.


My method below is a simple and tested instruction to remove all traces that matter, of the current AMD Catalyst drivers, from the PC, so that you can install any other AMD Catalyst driver.

In the first place make sure you have automatic driver update by Windows disabled.

Right click Computer (in start menu) ---> Properties---> "Advanced system settings" on the left side menu ---> Hardware ---> Device Installation Settings.
Select "No, let me choose what to do" and select second option "Never install driver software from Windows Update."

After the procedure of this post (installing the AMD Radeon drivers of your choice), put that option back to "Yes, do this automatically (recommended)".

Image




The method i use for ATI Radeon cleansing from the PC running Windows 7.

The AMD Clean uninstall utility normally should do the trick, but it is bugged, so don't use it! Image
It uninstalls too much and may corrupt your system (it corrupts my Creative X-Fi drivers manager, saying i have no drivers installed)...
So forget about that tool for now!

Instead use the manual method; control in your own hands!
The endresult of each of these methods, makes the system run in Standard VGA mode.

This may be necessary between beta and WHQL installation, especially when going to an earlier version .

The method

It's easiest for those who use an Intel based machine with ATI videocards.
(Those with an AMD CPU based machine have to be careful with the AMD related software uninstalling, not to uninstall any CPU related parts).

  1. via Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> AMD Catalyst Install Manager:
    • Intel CPU based PC's: Express uninstall all AMD/ATI software.
    • AMD CPU based PC's: select Custom uninstall, and select to only uninstall the display drivers and the Control Center.
  2. Reboot the PC
  3. Make sure that "view hidden files and folders" is enabled:
    Control Panel > Folder Options > "View" tab > enable "Show hidden files folders and drives" and untick "hide protected operating system files"
  4. Delete (Shift+Del) the AMD/ATI folders that you find in
    C:/Users/*You*/AppData/Local
    and
    C:/Users/*You*/AppData/Roaming
    and
    Program Files, Program Files (x86) and Program Data
  5. In the search bar above the Windows Start orb, type msconfig and hit enter (or click msconfig.exe). On the "Boot" tab check on "Safe boot" and restart the PC
  6. In Safe Mode,
    • go to Control Panel -> Device Manager. In "View" select to show hidden devices
    • Right-click on (each of) your Radeon videocard -> Properties -> "Uninstall", check the checkbox to remove the drivers
    • under non-plug and play drivers uninstall amdkmdag
    • In the search bar above the Windows Start orb, type msconfig and hit enter (or click msconfig.exe). This time at the "Boot" tab uncheck "Safe boot"
    • and now reboot at the prompt
  7. In the search bar above the Windows Start orb, type regedit
    • Right-click regedit.exe -> Run as administrator
    • In Registry find
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ATI\ACE\
      and delete that key.
  8. Install (run as admin!) the Catalyst version of your choice.
  9. Crossfire users always have to reboot. I'd recommend single card users reboot as well.
  10. That's it.
Gaming PC: * Intel i7 4790K * Noctua NH-D15S * Asus Maximus VII Hero * 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD32GX3M4A2133C9 * 2× Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in crossfire * Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 / 60Hz * Corsair AX 1200W * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Asus DRW F1ST * Corsair K95 RGB * Corsair M65 PRO RGB * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S530 * Sennheiser HD598 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
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