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Windows 7: Dell AMD graphics driver update triggers BSOD

05 Apr 2018   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
Dell AMD graphics driver update triggers BSOD

As you can see I'm new here. Been lurking for a while. I'm a dinosaur finally transitioning from XP to 7. I've got a lot to learn about using my refurbished Dell, and this site has become my favorite place to do so.

According to the posting instructions I'm supposed to provide all details about my BSOD issue. Hope my story doesn't seem too long.

After I got my laptop up and running, I found most of the pre-installed drivers were several years old. I learned here that updating the drivers is a high priority. This became evident when I put in a DVD movie to test the graphics. In Windows Media Player the movie ran in the center of the screen at less than full size. Couldn't increase it with the options available in Media Player. My research indicated that this was happening because WMP was using the Intel graphics instead of the AMD card.

There is no option in the BIOS to enable the AMD card. I did a little more checking and learned that the only way to enable AMD graphics in my laptop is to use a function in the AMD Catalyst Control Center, which is included in the Dell driver package. However, my machine doesn't have the Catalyst Control Center listed in Programs and Features, while the Intel graphics driver is listed.

Apparently, only the outdated AMD drivers were pre-installed and not the full package that includes the Catalyst Control Center. According to Device Manager, the AMD device is working properly. Installing just the drivers was enough to make the Radeon card visible in Device Manager, but not enough to make the AMD graphics useful.

So I needed to install the full AMD driver update package from the Dell site. As recommended, I installed all chipset driver updates first, followed by the Intel HD graphics update. I then attempted to install the AMD package. The result was a BSOD and automatic reboot. Repeating the attempt made no difference. I also tried to use the Catalyst uninstaller in the package and got another BSOD for my trouble.

Opened a tech support ticket with Dell, specifically describing what triggered the BSOD. I was initally informed that the Intel and AMD graphics updates had to be installed back-to-back, without rebooting after the Intel install. If I didn't follow this procedure I'd have a problem. After going through some of the steps I was advised to take, it became increasingly clear that the guy I was working with didn't really know how to deal with my BSOD issue. He eventually admitted this.

Might have been better to come here first. As requested, my dump files are attached.

Thanks for taking a look.

Attachment 403467

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2018   #2

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

Please go into your Seven Forums profile / System Specs and put "Dell Latitude E6440" rather than "Dell E6440". That would be helpful to anyone trying to assist you.

A couple of things:

1. Just because the drivers are old doesn't mean they aren't good. In general, if the drivers are working, leave them alone. The only exception to that is if there is some vulnerability with a particular driver, in which case you should update only that one driver.

2. Make sure you have a good backup of the computer from when everything was working fine. You can restore that backup to fix problems that arise, such as the one you are now seeing.

In your case, there was a definite video issue, so you were right to update the video drivers. But it probably would have been better not to update the chipset drivers, if everything else was working fine, unless you specifically had to update them in order to update the video drivers. But if you didn't specifically have to update them, I would have left the old one alone.

So what can you do now? Uninstall the two video drivers, in reverse order that you installed them: AMD, then Intel. Then go on the Dell website and get an older version of the chipset drivers. Then uninstall the chipset drivers you just installed, and then install the older version of the chipset drivers. Then reboot. See if this fixes the BSOD issue.

There are two places you can uninstall drivers -- in Device Manager, and in Install/Remove Programs (found in Control Panel / Programs and Features). I would uninstall both video drivers from both places.

If this fixes the BSOD issue, then install the two video drivers back to back, per the instructions. See if that clears up the video issue you were trying to fix.

If you can't fix things any other way, it might be better to do a Factory Restore; in other words, wipe the drive and start over. Doing that will clear up all driver issues, because it will bring Windows back to brand new, factory condition. Unfortunately, it will also erase everything currently on the computer. Before doing this, make sure you can reinstall any must-have programs. You will need the install disks and any install keys. Without those things, your programs will be gone forever.

Below is information on how to do a Dell Factory Image Restore.

How to use the Recovery Partition to do a Dell Factory Image Restore:

If the recovery partition doesn't exist on your computer, you can download the recovery image from Dell, or you could purchase a set of the Recovery Media (DVDs). Go here for more information:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2018   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64

Good-day Mr. Phelps,

Updated my profile as requested. Re your item 1, I tried to do my homework before getting started. All driver updates came from Dell's website. One of the first listed by Dell was an "Urgent" Intel chipset update. Decided I had to install that one and did so. Ditto for the urgent BIOS update.

After that I installed all "recommended" updates in the chipset category to ensure compatibility with the urgent installs. There is a Dell page listing the correct sequence for installing drivers in a Latitude E6440:


Figured that list was made for a reason. Installing the additional chipset drivers was probably overkill on my part. I'm still learning.
Moving to your item 2, I created a few system restore points along the way. I'm not certain if I created a restore point before the urgent updates, but I know I did before installing the non-Intel and video drivers.

The AMD update never installed. May have cluttered the registry after making several attempts to get it in. I'm not sure if that will be an issue when I try again.

With this machine, uninstalling either graphics driver from either location presents a problem. When I do so the entire device is removed in Device Manager. After rebooting, Windows doesn't automatically recognize the display adapters and doesn't load up Standard VGA drivers. I don't know if the same thing will happen with the chipset--we'll see. I should be able to get around most of this by using one of my early system restore points. I'll write down the driver dates from Device Manager beforehand for comparison.

I've never had to do a Factory Restore. Thanks for the links. Is this something that can be done more than once? My only concern is winding up right back where I started--with an unusable AMD graphics card requiring a driver update that won't install. Haven't reached the point of loading many programs, so that isn't much of an issue.

I feel like I've learned as much or more with one forum post than I did over several days with Dell. Although to be fair, I did include more detail here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Apr 2018   #4

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

You can do a factory restore as many times as you want. The only risk from doing it a lot of times is that you might wear out your hard drive from overuse! But it would take thousands of factory restores to wear out your hard drive, so don't worry about that.

if the AMD / Intel graphics card came with the computer, then a factory restore which is for your specific laptop should put the drivers back onto the laptop. The only type of factory restore which wouldn't do that is the one you would download from Dell, because with that one, you have to get the drivers from the Dell website AFTER doing the factory restore. However, if you purchase a set of factory restore DVDs, or if you do a factory restore from the recovery partition of your computer's hard drive, the AMD / Intel drivers will be included in the factory restore.

I suggest that you first try to do some restore points. If you know when the problem started, you could go back to the newest restore point prior to that time. That may well fix things for you.

As for why Dell said that the chipset updates were "urgent", in the last few months there has been a lot of malware going around, malware which attacks the computer's firmware. In order to protect your computer, you should download the firmware updates, and any other updates that the vendor recommends. However, the updates themselves were causing problems in many cases. So if you can backtrack to before the time you installed those updates, you may fix the video problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2018   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64

The early restore point will be my first option. If that doesn't bring me back far enough, a factory restore may be my second option. I see a recovery partition (D) in Windows Explorer. This laptop is the first computer I've owned that had one. If I use the partition for a restore operation, will I still have complete and unaltered (like new) C: and D: drives afterward?

The AMD Radeon HD 8690M card came with the computer. My machine has a FHD display. The AMD card is required to take full advantage of the 1920 x 1080 resolution. Latitude E6440 models with low resolution screens usually don't have this card installed.

Why the pre-installed AMD drivers didn't include the required Catalyst Control Center is a mystery to me. The Dell guys didn't have an answer. My best guess is that installing the full driver package can cause problems when the laptops are refurbished--maybe similar to what I've seen.

I've learned my lesson here. When I get the computer back near factory fresh I'll only update the graphics drivers, and do it the way Dell tech support recommends. If I continue to have a driver installation issue, more involved measures may be warranted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2018   #6

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

A factory restore will wipe your C: drive and bring you back to how the drive was when the machine was new. I don't think it touches the recovery partition (D).

Don't blame yourself for the problem. This stuff is really hard to keep up with, unless you do it for a living.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2018   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64

Sorry for the delay in getting back here.

My earliest system restore point didn't go back far enough. Had to do a factory restore. When that finished I immediately created two new restore points. Haven't allowed any Windows updates yet, as my research indicates one of them can interfere with AMD driver installs.

As a prerequisite for installing the Intel and AMD driver updates back to back, I uninstalled the Radeon device and driver in Device Manager as advised by Dell tech support. A Video Controller with a yellow bang appeared under Other devices after rebooting, which I assume is the AMD card without the pre-installed drivers.

I'm waiting for Dell support to answer some questions about getting the complete driver package installed successfully and enabling the AMD graphics. Nothing in Dell's online documentation mentions the back to back without reboot trick. The necessity of the Catalyst Control Center isn't documented either.

I'm doing my best to avoid any more issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2018   #8

Windows 7 Pro x64

Figured it was high time to post again. I installed the AMD driver update successfully without installing the Intel graphics update ahead of it. No BSOD this time. The key to that success may have been removing the pre-installed Radeon driver beforehand.

Unfortunately, the graphics problem I initally encountered was unresolved afterward. Still couldn't get a DVD movie playing at full size. The AMD Catalyst Control Center locks most programs to the Intel graphics whether I like it or not.

The BSOD issue is gone now so I'm going to mark this one solved. I'll be starting a new thread in the Graphic Cards forum to work on making the AMD card useful.

Thanks for the help.

Good luck Jim.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2018   #9

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

Since your computer is in good condition (except for the DVD movie issue), do a full system backup with a good aftermarket backup program. I use Macrium Reflect Free. (Don't forget to create the Macrium emergency boot disk.) Also, create a restore point right now, and also on a regular basis, such as every week or every month.

If you have a known good backup, which you know will work for a restore, then you can experiment with the video driver issues you have described, because a good backup will make it easy to get back to where you were before any problems happen.

The only way to know that your backup is good is to do a restore with it. And the best way I know to try a restore without overwriting what is now on your hard drive is to get a second hard drive, remove the first hard drive and install the second hard drive, boot with the emergency disk, and then do a restore to the second hard drive. If everything is good, then put your first hard drive into a static bag and store it in a safe place, till either you want to test another backup, or until the other drive crashes, in which case you'll be up and running fast by reinstalling the good hard drive that you had stored in a safe place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dell AMD graphics driver update triggers BSOD

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