TL;DR: I switched out my existing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 with an AMD Radeon R9 290X and now none of my games will run. If I switch back to the NVIDIA card everything works perfectly fine, just as it used to. I have tried everything!
I have a fairly old computer, the specs are as follows:
CPU: Intel i7-970
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-E, Socket-1366
PSU: Corsair HX 750W
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Service Pack 1
Monitor: Eizo FlexScan S2431W (1920x1200)
It has worked perfectly for 5-6 years now, almost never rebooted, never blue screened, absolutely stable. It still works perfectly, but a coworker gave me his old computer which is about 50% faster in 3dmark than mine. It includes an AMD Radeon R9 290X 8gb from MSI. This computer is a prebuilt HP machine and it has basic unnamed components apart from the GPU. It has Windows 10 Home, an Intel i7-3770K CPU and 12gb ram.
I don't want to reinstall all my programs so I thought I could just move the GPU from this new machine into my existing machine, but all my attempts at this have failed. My games flat out refuse to run on the AMD card. These are the messages I get:
Diablo 3: "Your video card isn't supported for Diablo III. For reference, you have: Operating System Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Video Card: AMD Radeon R9 200 Series"
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: "Just won't start, no message."
Borderlands 2: "Has stopped working" immediately when I click play.
Fallout 4: "Has stopped working" immediately when I click play.
Sniper 4 Elite: "Directx 11 failed to initialize"
GTA 5: "Unable to initialize DirectX 9 device"
The ONLY game that runs is DOTA 2, which I don't even play. I just installed it hoping that installing a game with reinstall directx or something and fix my issues. BUT it only works if I add "-dx11" to the launch options. Otherwise it shows a message: "Unable to find a valid Direct 3D device!".
As for what I have done in order:
1. When I decided I wanted to try putting the AMD card in my machine I just turned the computer off, removed my NVIDIA card, inserted the AMD card and powered it on. Then I downloaded the latest drivers and rebooted.
2. After not having any luck starting my games I started uninstalling everything related to NVIDIA. At this point I found information on Google which lead me to believe I should have done this before removing the NVIDIA card, but this information was conflicting, a lot of people claimed there was no issue having both drivers at once.
3. Still nothing worked so after some more googling I turned on Windows Update and downloaded and installed every available update (I have never run Windows Update on this machine before because if something works perfectly, then changing it can only make things worse).
4. Installing every possible Windows Update made no difference and a lot of my games were complaining about directx (see below) so I tried reinstalling it, uninstalling it, removing it from the registry, adding it back in. Nothing worked so I just restored it to how it was before I started fiddling with this.
5. At this point I thought I would try doing the process properly from the start so I downloaded a program from Guru3D for completely uninstalling graphics drivers and I ran that both for AMD and for NVIDIA. Then I followed a guide and deleted every folder or entry in my registry refering to NVIDIA or AMD.
6. I then turned off the computer and removed the AMD card and inserted the NVIDIA card.
7. I downloaded the NVIDIA drivers and verified that all my games worked just as well as before. This also verified that there's no issue with directx and that installing all those windows updates didn't change my system.
EDIT: And I also put the AMD card back into the new computer and verified that it still worked and that it ran just as well as before by running 3dmark and getting the same score.
8. Then I uninstalled the NVIDIA drivers again and did the same as in 5. to make sure every reference to NVIDIA was gone.
9. I then turned off the computer, removed the NVIDIA card and inserted the AMD card.
10. I downloaded the AMD drivers again and installed them.
11. This is where I'm at now. Still no games work except for Dota 2 with the "-dx11" launch option, which I don't even play.
I have no idea what to do now, what is left to try? I use OS X and Linux at work and there it is actually possible to fix something. With Windows it feels like if something doesn't work the only fix is to reinstall. That is my absolute last resort, in fact I won't do it. I will just put this AMD card back into the new computer and use that one if I need to play a demanding game, I guess.
But so many people online write about how effortless you can switch between NVIDIA and AMD or vice versa so obviously this has to be possible. And my computer still works perfectly. I'm writing this post on it. It has never failed to boot with the AMD card, it has never blue screened or crashed, and no games have crashed, they just won't start. The card is detected. I have no integrated graphics of any kind. dxdiag confirms that I have directx 11 and that the card is detected. 3dmark confirms that the card is detected, Diablo 3 confirms that the card is detected, the Radeon settings applications confirms that the card is detected. And the fact that DOTA 2 runs and runs perfectly well at around 120fps with everything maxed out should confirm the card works well.
Message was edited by: Øyvind Strømsvik
Solved! Go to Solution.
AMD drivers will have issues with Win7 (and Win8.1) if the OS is not FULLY updated. All critical, recommended, and relevant optional updates must be install prior to installing any AMD driver. Windows Update should tell you 'There are no more updates available'.
Thanks for the reply, kingfish, but I've done all of that, many times. The only updates available for Windows now according to the updater are foreign language packs.
And DDU is the tool I've been using.
I'm currently where I would be after following your steps and it's where I'm clueless what to try next. At the moment I have "Crimson ReLive Edition 17.5.1 Optional" installed with only the graphics driver, nothing else. But I've tried the whole package and I've tried the 17.4.4 version, but it made no difference.
And yeah, I can't really stand Windows 10 or any Windows version above 7 (or Windows itself really) so I'm not updating that until this computer breaks down and I need to buy a new one which probably comes with Windows 10 pre-installed.
Just want to add that I've now switched everything back to how it was originally, and both machines are working as they should. I can't imagine any of the standard "reinstall driver" things to work so there's not much point suggesting those unless they are actually different from what I've already attempted. Either someone here knows exactly what's up and how to fix it or I can't see any way to fix this that I haven't already tried. It has to be just a simple flag in the registry or something that's out of whack, but I have no idea what or where. I mean, everything works except any game (except DOTA 2 with the launch option) instantly tells me I have no graphics card installed or something of that nature, when I clearly do.
A full reinstall of Windows may fix it for all I know, but I'm not going to attempt that. And maybe this card just doesn't work properly on Windows 7?
As a final test before I switched the cards back I did everything kingfish said (which like I said I've tested numerous times already). The only difference this time was that I chose express install rather than custom install for the driver package. It made no difference.
I would obviously be extremely grateful if anyone was able to help me get this card into my existing computer, but at this point I feel like you'd have to know something that most people don't to be able to help me.
Also, I wanted to note that this thread (MS KB3125574 (Win7 SP1 rollup) will lead uninstall driver BSOD - Cannot install driver afterwards (I... ) was what lead me to these forums in the first place. But I do not have that update on my system so I can't test and see if removing it makes any difference. And his issue is different from mine anyway so it maybe isn't related.
My guess would be power, put in context the GTX 680 uses around 195 watts but the R9 290X uses 290 watts. Your 5/6 year old PSU has lost about 10 to 12% of it's rated capacity and probably can't supply the power needed for the 290X anymore, plus you also have to take into account that the GTX 680 uses 1x8pin, but the 290X needs 1x8 + 1x6pin and you have to have both connected for it to work properly (it may well work in your desktop with just one but trying to run a game will cause a failure)
That should be easy enough to test, but I honestly can't see that being the case at all. The PSU in the computer I received is a basic no-brand 600W one, mine is a high quality 750W from Corsair. I would imagine you could run dual GPU's on that PSU without issue. And I have to imagine power issues show themselves in a completely different way. It's not like the GPU starts drawing power before it needs it. I'm not even able to start the games before they throw the errors so the GPU is just idling. And it's going full blast when I run DOTA 2 so in my opinion this can't be the problem.
I would imagine power issues cause the system to shut down, crash or cause artefacting in some way when you stress the GPU, but only when it actually needs more power than you can supply.
You may well be right, but I have seen no name 600 watt PSUs with better 12 volt rails than high end 750 watt ones.
As an example in this machine I have a PC Power and Cooling 600watt PSU that runs just great, but I bought a 750watt Corsair PSU to cover future upgrades and it was unable to power even the HD 7850 I used to have at the time never mind the R9 380 I wanted to replace it with (which is now running quite happily on my wife's no name 550watt PSU)
I will test the power consumption as well as rafus' suggestion of using an older driver some time in the future. Currently my fingers are sore from inserting and removing the cards and their power pins so many times and my mind is sore from frustration.
And btw, my GTX 680 has 2x6-pin connectors and the R9 has 1x6-pin and 1x8-pin so in terms of connectors at least they're not that different.