This article provides the basic steps to guide you through selecting a compatible driver, installing the driver, and troubleshooting potential issues that may occur.
Table of Contents
Before selecting a driver, first consider your circumstance and determine if you need to install, reinstall, or update the driver. Steps to install the display driver will vary depending on the circumstances.Here are some reasons to install or reinstall a display driver:
- New install or upgrade of the operating system
- Resolve display issues or error messages that may be related to missing/corrupt files associated with the driver
Here are some reasons to update an existing display driver:
- Confirm compatibility and functionality with a newly installed graphics card
- Support a newly installed software i.e.; 3D games, design/productivity applications, and plug-ins
- Obtain bug fixes, new features, and performance improvements.
NOTE: Updating the graphics driver is not required even though a newer version is available. If there are no issues with the performance of your system, software, and graphics hardware, then updating the graphics driver is not recommended.
Now that the reasons to install/reinstall or update a graphics driver have been covered. Let us explore the available methods for locating a compatible driver on the AMD website and understand when and why to use each method.
Locating a Driver
There are currently two methods for locating a compatible graphics driver, both will be covered in more detail below, they are:
NOTE: AMD also provides drivers for other non-graphics products it designs such as: RAID, motherboard chipsets, and audio. Although drivers for these products are available for download from the AMD website, the installation and configuration support is provided by the system vendor or motherboard manufacturer. For a list of AMD Partners and their corresponding websites, refer to KB article: GPU 91
AMD Driver Autodetect Tool
The Autodetect tool is a small application that does not need to be installed. It is the recommended method for installing or updating the graphics driver. The tool is designed to provide only the latest official AMD Catalyst™ graphics driver.
The tool is designed to detect the model of the AMD graphics card and the version of the Microsoft® Windows operating system installed in your computer. If a new driver is available, the tool is designed to help you download it.
After a successful download of the driver, the tool will provide you an option to install it.
If your system is not running Microsoft Windows or you are looking for an earlier driver or the latest beta driver, you can manually search for it on the AMD Driver Download page. Information on how to use the AMD Driver Download page is covered in the next section of this article.
To access more information about using the Autodetect tool and the link to download it, visit the AMD Driver Autodetect Tool page.
NOTE: If the Autodetect tool doesn't locate a matching driver for your AMD graphics card and/or operating system, it could be that a driver is not available due to compatibility issues. The graphics hardware does not meet all the requirements of the operating system or vice versa. Another possible reason is that the graphics hardware or operating system has reached end of life and support has been discontinued. More information can be found in the following KB article: GPU 125
If a driver is not found using the first method, you have an option to search for a compatible driver using the selector menu on AMD's driver download page. The driver selector menu allows you to specify your AMD graphics product, model, and operating system to search for the latest compatible driver. If a matching driver is found, it will take you the driver download page containing information about the driver, release notes, and the file download link.
This method is effective only if you know your AMD graphics product, model, and operating system. If you know your graphics product, model, and operating system and would like to learn how to use the driver selector menu to locate a matching driver, please follow the guide: How to find the latest drivers for an AMD graphics card
To proceed directly to the AMD Driver Download page, visit: www.amd.com/drivers
If you are unsure of your AMD graphics product, model, and/or operating system, the section below will explain how that information can be obtained and selected from the driver download page.
First let's understand the different types of AMD graphics products in its lineup. Choose your graphics product and the system it's used in from the list below:
- APU (Accelerated Processing Unit): These are processors that combine the CPU and the graphics processor (GPU) on a single chip. APUs are commonly used in desktop PCs, mobile notebooks, and workstation systems. The AMD A-Series APU is an example.
- Desktop Graphics: This technology is commonly used in home desktop PCs. The AMD Radeon™ HD series graphics cards are examples.
- Notebook Graphics: This technology is typically used in notebooks/laptops. The AMD Mobility Radeon™ HD series graphics cards are examples.
- TV Tuner Products: This refers to devices that allow desktop computers and notebooks to receive live broadcast video and HDTV content. AMD TV Wonder™ 750 series tuner cards are examples.
- Workstation Graphics: Workstation graphics technology is commonly found in computers used for business purposes. They are designed for use in the Computer Aided Design (CAD), Digital Content Creation (DCC) and simulation markets. AMD FirePro™ series graphics cards is an example.
- Integrated Motherboard Graphics: These graphics components are integrated into the motherboard of a computer system. The AMD Radeon™ HD4290 series graphics cards are examples.
- Embedded Graphics: This graphics technology is found in products built to deliver the high performance of desktop graphics for embedded applications often found in smaller form or thin clients. AMD 785E and AMD 780E graphics processors are examples.
- MAC Graphics: These are graphics products used in MAC computers. Apple Boot Camp drivers can be found in this product category.
The next selections on the menu are the graphics family and model. If you're unsure of the exact AMD graphics product you have, you can find it by reviewing the KB article: How-To Identify the Manufacturer and Model of an AMD Graphics Card.
The last selection on the menu selection is the operating system. You must specify the operating system and version in order to search for a matching driver. To determine your Microsoft® Windows operating system version, take a look at Microsoft's KB article: Which Windows operating system am I running?
After you obtain the information about your AMD graphics product, for step by step instructions on how to use the driver selector menu to locate a matching driver, please refer to: How to find the latest drivers for an AMD graphics card
NOTE: If you are unable to find a driver by selecting your combination of AMD graphics product and operating system from the menu, it may be due to compatibility issues, such as the graphics hardware not meeting all the requirements of the operating system or vice versa. Another possible reason is that the graphics hardware or operating system has reached end of life and support has been discontinued. More information can be found in the following KB article: GPU 125
Installing, Reinstalling, or Updating the AMD Catalyst™ Driver
This section provides information on how to install, reinstall, or update the AMD Catalyst™ graphics driver and best practice procedures to consider when performing these actions.
Installing or updating a new driver:
For systems running Windows operating system, a driver install or update requires that the operating system is up to date with the latest service pack and Microsoft® .Net Framework. To check whether your Windows is up to date and the latest Microsoft.Net Framework is installed, please visit the Microsoft online article about Windows Update.
Once you have determined that the operating system is up to date, you may proceed with installing or updating the driver. This can be done by simply double clicking the executable file.Instructions for installing AMD Catalyst™ drivers on a Windows-based system can be found in the article: How-To Install AMD Catalyst™ Drivers For A Windows® Based System
NOTE: Users with systems running any version of Windows XP and Vista MUST uninstall the existing driver before reinstalling or updating the driver.
For instructions on how to uninstall an existing AMD Catalyst™ graphics driver on a Windows based system, follow this guide: How-To Uninstall AMD Catalyst™ Drivers From A Windows® Based System.
Reinstalling an existing driver:
To troubleshoot driver related issues by reinstalling the existing driver, it is recommended to ALWAYS uninstall the problematic driver first. However, before beginning the uninstall process it is recommended to ensure that Windows is up to date.
To check whether your Windows is up to date and the latest Microsoft® .Net Framework is installed, please visit the Microsoft online article about Windows Update.
If Windows and its components are up to date, next proceed with uninstalling the graphics driver. For instructions on how to uninstall an existing AMD Catalyst™ graphics driver on a Windows based system, follow the guide: How-To Uninstall AMD Catalyst™ Drivers From A Windows® Based System.
After the problematic driver has been uninstalled the driver package may be reinstalled.
Instructions for installing AMD Catalyst™ drivers on Windows based system can be found in the article: How-To Install AMD Catalyst™ Drivers For A Windows® Based System
How-To Debug Driver Installation Problems
This last section covers potential issues that may cause the driver installation to fail and troubleshooting steps to resolve the install problems.
Driver installation failures may be caused by the following:
- The system not meeting the requirements of the graphics hardware and/or driver
- An outdated operating system or a missing required component such as the Microsoft® .Net Framework
- A corrupt system registry and existing driver files
- A background application such as antivirus preventing the driver installation
If the driver installation encounters a problem or an error preventing the process to complete, or the driver fails to load after installation, then it is recommended to perform the steps below:
- Ensure the system meets the requirements for the graphics hardware and/or driver
- Requirements for AMD graphics products can be found on the AMD Product Page
- Requirements for AMD Catalyst™ graphics drivers can be found in the release notes located on the driver download page
- Perform all available updates to the operating system
- For Windows visit: Windows Update
- Use a third party cleaning tool (e.g. Driver Sweeper or CC Cleaner) to remove any remaining AMD graphics driver entries, affected registry entries, and corrupted files prior to installation of the AMD Catalyst™ driver. For support using these tools, please contact the respective software company that provides them.
- Temporarily disable the antivirus until the graphics driver has been successfully installed
These troubleshooting steps can resolve most driver installation problems. If the steps suggested did not fix your driver installation issue, check the AMD Graphics Drivers and Software Download and Installation FAQ.
Additional information resources can be found searching: