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Windows 7: Theater 550 Pro TV tuner

15 Feb 2010   #21

Windows 7
Fixed...550 theatre pro on windows 7

I have installed windows 7 eleven times now, and I have a working system. I don't 'install' any software other than Winzip, media browser, livemila, and utorrent. Everything else is portable edition. I used windows backup to back up docs, favorites, etc. So...I can reinstall over and over with minimal setup time.

My 550Pro was working fine with Win7 on my old motherboard. Two weeks ago I was forced to get a new motherboard/cpu/ram/videocard as the old one died. The 550 never worked with the new system....

My repeatable steps to working 550 on windows 7 with an ATI HD4200 videocard are:
1) remove the 550 card from the PC.
2) Install Windows 7. Do not connect to the internet yet! select 'later' for windows update (ie it is turned OFF)
3) you may be in VGA mode 800x600. This is fine. If there are no drivers for your video card on the windows7 DVD, this will happen. It happened to me using the HD4200 (but not using an older PCI card)
3) connect to the internet
4) manually run windows update (Set it to run 'never')
5) you should see a critical update for your video card. Installing this will give you high resolution display again. Install all the criticals.
6) with video now working, power off the PC
7) insert the 550 card
8) pwer on PC. Windows 7 , will go to the internet and find the right driver for you. This works on both x86 and x64 windows 7. Since I did 64bit last, and it gives me some more ram to work with (I have 4Gb) I'll just stick with that.

Never, ever touch any driver from ATI/AMD website until after windows7 does the driver install. If you install the ATI packages first, and wind up with a broken system I was *never* able to get the 550 to work. The driver model in win7 is so complex that you can never get rid of a bad driver. It's horrifically complicated. For example when you install the driver package in 'compatibility mode' it doesn't actually install it. It just registers the device with the system and logs the location of the drivers. Then when you are in device manager and manually installng the drivers (by pointing to C:\ati\support\.. ) *then* it actually installs the driver for use! (You can see this happening from the command line. Monitor system32 and system 32\drivers for the gory details. Then do a "dir ati*.* /s /p" from \system32 to see how bad things can get. Ugly. ). The problem is, once a bad driver is 'registered' it doesn't matter what you do to reinstall the drivers, it always uses the same driver. If you 'uninstall' the driver, it just removes it from system32, but leaves the registration and location finder in place. So when you 'reinstall', it just puts the same broken driver back in place.

The advice given above can also work, the trick of using 9-7 for the 550 and the latest for the vid card does work, but takes longer and you wind up with the same driver version anyway. Using the steps I have outlined, you can then run the latest ATI package, to get Avivo and the codecs working. The ati install detects the current driver and leaves it alone. Or, to be really safe, do Custom and skip the driver update!

If you were reading between the lines, you'll see the problem here. Once the 550 driver package is 'broken' in Windows7, there is no way that I can see to fix it other than reinstalling windows. Sorry folks. you get one chance, if you mess up you reinstall.

The reinstall is pretty painless. You can boot off the DVD, point to the same drive and it politely renames your old window to windows.old AND it puts all the user profiles, program files etc in there as well. So you can copy all your old stuff back to the new profiles pretty easily. I have a windows, windows.old, windows.old.001 windows.old.002 on this drive right now

Hope this helps someone out there!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #22

Windows 10 Pro

I hate to say this but your post is meaningless without system specs. How do we know it's not a hardware issue with your "new" system?

Posting this without providing system specs is like saying my computer didn't work until I replaced a driver. HUH???

Give us a point of reference by providing system specs.

And for what it’s worth, I have an ATI TV Wonder Pro 650 and an ATI 4890 video card on Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and didn't have to go through the elaborate steps you propose. All I did was install ATI’s Catalyst drivers after Windows installed and both items worked.

And before you go there…we both use the same Catalyst driver which includes the ATI Stream Driver!!!

Happy you got your problem fixed after 11 OS reinstalls but...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2010   #23

Windows 7 64-bit

Well, it actually is helpful to me, although with a caveat: I run Windows 7 64-bit, and heavens knows it's not the same as the 32-bit variety.
Having said that, I think it's very helpful because:
  • He clearly spells out that Windows 7 is particularly finicky with driver installs, i.e. you get only one shot at doing it right - else, it's back to reinstalling the OS;
  • He clearly spells out that letting Windows 7 doing its thing by itself (i.e. finding / installing a driver) must happen before you install specific drivers from ATI;
  • If you end up with a broken / incomplete setup, forget about fixing it - just reinstall the darn OS all over again.
I have a new almost-stock ASUS Essentio CG5275 (8GB RAM, Intel Core i5 650 @ 3.2GHz, 1TB HD, and an ATI Radeon HD 4650 GPU w/ 1GB VRAM - that's the only change I made) and now I'm off to see if I can get my trusted ATI Theater Pro 550 PCI working in it, as well... Keep my fingers crossed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Apr 2010   #24

Windows 7 Professional- 64

I have a Theatre 650 Pro and I found the driver 10.3 for Windows 7. Instead of looking for the driver through the the Catalyst (go to go to the web page and click tab on find "Support & Drivers". That will get you to 10.3 for Windows 7 for 550 Pro. I just doublechecked and it worked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2010   #25

Windows 7 64-bit

Good thing I didn't jump into installing it... I prefer to be cautious rather than reinstalling the OS.
As ATI announces here:
Due to the incompatibility between Microsoft Windows 7 and ATI’s legacy TV Tuner products, driver support will not be available for the following products:
  • ATI Theater 550 Pro chipsets and older
Windows 7 Tuner drivers for the products listed below are not available. There are no plans for driver development at this time.
  • ATI All-in-Wonder™ HD
  • ATI TV Wonder™ 650 Combo USB
  • ATI TV Wonder™ 600 USB
Applicable Products:
This article applies to the following configuration(s):
  • Hardware
    • ATI TV Wonder Series
    • ATI All-in-Wonder HD Series
  • Operating System
    • Windows 7 32bit
    • Windows 7 64bit
Sad but true.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #26

Windows 7 Home Prem.
Things seem better these days

I reinstalled windows 7 today, and it was really east to get my theatre 550 pro working.

I finished windows setup, then installed all the drivers for my asock extreme 3 mobo from the asrock website. Then I went to the amd ati website and to download and install the latest catalyst.

Contrary to what was said above, I installed the amd ati drivers from the website first, and did not try to use device manager to upgrade the drivers from windows update.

Then I downloaded the 9.7 wdm driver package for the 550 pro, and installed it. The install completed, but in media center the tuner didn't work.

I had to go to the device manager and upgrade the drivers manually, for ati unified avstream driver. I pointed driver upgrade wizard to the root folder for the 9.7 drivers, and windows did everything else automatically. Fired up media center and it recognized the tv tuner immediately. Hoorah. Windows reinstall and working legacy card in less then a couple hours!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Theater 550 Pro TV tuner

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