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Drivers & Software

Adept II

Does anyone have it: After Adrenalin 2020 update, some games will crash your graphics driver (screen flicker > crash) and you need to restart

So after i updated to the latest driver version (win10-radeon-software-adrenalin-2020-edition-19.12.2-dec12.exe), some games will make my screen flicker a few times and then the graphics driver crash in such a way that Windows will load the Basics graphics driver. That means you will need to restart your PC, since the Device Manager will show an error code for your GPU.

What happens:

1) At any random moment, often shortly after launching the game, screen will start to flicker (black and back to your screen output, so forth, so forth).

2) Depending on how bad the case is (in my experience, varies per game that is affected) your GPU driver may either crash as seen in below screenshot ("Display driver failed to start", AMD driver crashed mid-game so Windows falls back on it)


.. or the flickering lasts a while and you can continue, albeit, in some games, the visuals will look pixelated and low-resolution if your driver doesn't forcibly crash. This state is one where if you close the game, your AMD driver will still be loaded and there is no need to restart your PC entirely to make use of it again.

Note: if your entire driver crashes per this issue, a bunch of WER error reports will be generated of independent AMD-related or reliant processes, in the folder C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\ReportArchive (or ReportQueue, if checked too early) it will look like this:


This can explain why some people are complaining about related things (like RadeonSoftware.exe or interface crash): it's a side-effect of the graphics driver (momuntarily or entirely) crashing. Because applications that rely on the driver to be properly loaded, may crash when it fails: just like dwm.exe presumably does, as seen in my screenshot above. It has no "render target" (or valid output device) when the driver crashes and before the Basic driver is loaded, causing it to crash. So that's trivial, the main problem is that the AMD graphics driver crashes, causing other effects.

Note: Kernel_187 crash is, once i opened the report file, due to 0x187_dxgkrnl!DxgCreateLiveDumpWithWdLogs so the DirectX kernel may also fail as a result of the graphics driver crashing, causing this "kernel" crash as yet another side effect.

I will attach a .zip with the contents of my entire WER error report folder, right after triggering the crash by launching a DX9 game. Might be useful if AMD developers read this (yes, I will also use the issue report form and refer them here).

So now from the technical stuff, back to the main subject:

Does anyone else experience this problem with flickering, for your graphics driver then to crash or be 'handicapped' as long said game runs (pixellated, as in my example)? So that you need to restart your PC to stop using the Basic driver (that you can do nearly nothing with, and lags) and load your AMD graphics driver again?

In my experience, so far, it happened only with DirectX 9 games.


1) GTA: San Andreas: can either flicker and be pixellated for that playing session, or crash the entire driver (unload it).

2) MTA: San Andreas (MP): cannot play, it will always crash the entire driver (unload it), most often in the main menu.

For reference, my GPU is Radeon R9 290 (in case not everyone is affected).

I should be able to play DX9 games, and that is not possible after installing the new driver, so I will probably end up downgrading for now unless a quick fix will be available.

Note: i heard others say this happened to them in more recent game titles.

Remark: either when the flickering starts, or in the last frame of the final flicker, the pop-up that tells you the key combination to open Radeon in-game will show up. It's far too coincidental, I think that the new driver drawing this overlay bubble into DX9 games may be causing the crash problem. I tried disabling every aspect of the overlay, globally and in per-game settings, so that Adrenalin 2020 is supposed not to show me this hotkey recommendation in-game, but it still does and it didn't help to stop the driver crashing issue. In fact, it's doing so despite explicit request not to do so (in the settings). This information can be useful to AMD developers looking to see what triggers the problem. Because I cannot turn this pop-up off, it's not possible to confirm this is the cause. Therefore, downgrading my driver is still the only option until a fix is available.

53 Replies
Journeyman III

I have the same problem, I have an R9 Nano, and it really is Adrenaline 20. So my solution was back to the last driver 19, I have Rx 570/580 where the bug does not occur. Only occurs with R9.


Have you tried the newest drivers 20.1.2 yet?


yes...problem persists ...


Thank you for testing it. So, it's not only me.

Let's hope the next batch of drivers will fix these annoying issues.


does the problem appear exactly in the way I described it in the OP?

They fixed it for the R9, so that would then be helpful for AMD to know..

Adept I

I'm using an RX Vega 64 with Ryzen 2700X and 32 Go RAM 3200.

I got the same problem on Destiny 2 which crash with a black screen that deny other applications to become visible.

When watching vidéos in Firefox like Netflix, vidéo freeze and I need to exit the browser windows to restart the vidéo.

I downgrade to 19.12.1 too.


Did you try the newest version of 20.1.4 drivers yet?

I am downloading them at the moment to check if the issues persist... Let's hope they did something right with this new version...:)


Ok, I have just closed about 30 mins of testing the latest drivers (20.1.4) into my system (cpu amd 2700X + gpu Vega 64 Nitro+) and no problems so far.

I know it too early to come into conclusions but with all the other drivers I had issues in the first 10-15 mins top.

I will continue the tests and if something odd occurs I will reply here...

Journeyman III


I am a user who does not play 3D games and I do not need the new features of the 2020 version. I think it is a serious mistake to "force" users to have a graphic engine manager on a resident basis, as it is potentially more sensitive to create conflicts with the programs and the operating system.

Since the release of the 2020 version - and I've tried all the resiviones - they all cause the system to freeze. It does so randomly, in such a way that you cannot try to detect which pattern follows to solve it. Sometimes even when the computer starts up or when the Windows welcome screen starts.

I don't like the little serious policy that Radeon has taken. To top it off, they are WHQL drivers.


The problem you are referring to has nothing to do with the policy that AMD follows. They have not change it at all. Yes they tried to add some new features which the most users will like but the whole idea is not a new one. I do not know how much time you are using AMD products but I can assure you that when the Crimson Drivers came we encountered worst problems that these ones.

Since then, they made huge steps ahead and they are trying not only to bring us interesting features but to keep the old ones too. Have they succeed it? Of course not. But I can tell they are on the right path to do it so. I just hope to do that earlier than they did it the last years.

Btw, I tested the new drivers 20.2.1 and for my system is the same as the 20.1.3. Much more stable than the previous ones but again NOT the drivers I want for my system as I still get random errors here and there. I see errors in an hour gaming session and not every ten minutes ( it happens with the 20.1.1-20.1.2 drivers) but again I play my bet with the safety of 19.12.1 at least for now.

Journeyman III

Did not read all the posts in this thread yet.

Just wanna add another sample point to this issue.

I experienced similar problem with my R9 Fury with the latest AMD Radeon Driver Ver. 20.1.4 (1/24/2020)

At my first try, my Battlefield 4 keeps crashing with this action sequences.

>Open the game. 

>Go to Graphics Settings 

>My previous working options are unchanged

      - Direct 11

      - 1280x720

      - Full Screen

> However, the game displays a small window on my 1920x1080 monitor.

> Change "Full Screen" to "Borderless"

> Game crashes. The error message says DirectX 11 has problem executing the Resize function.  

The second time, the game will not start at all. The error message says the DirectX has some errors like "get driver removed"

The third time, I edit the PROFSAVE_profile and enable Mantle, but the game still cannot start and this time it's about Mantle function error.

I am going to test other games. 


Still cannot play.  


Journeyman III

I’m gonna try this version of driver. I just got my gpu and only 4 games refuse to work. I have the RX 5500 XT gaming X Msi. 


this is your fix

it work for all AMD video cards