I've recently had a minor issue occur with a game, and I was told that the fix for that would be to update my drivers. Never had I thought that it would be such a pain to do so.
I have an AMD Radeon R7 200 series video card, on a Windows 7 system. I knew it had some sort of program installed that could manage drivers and do other auxiliary stuff. There it was, in my Start Menu, under the folder 'AMD Settings'. I clicked on the icon to launch up the program and noticed that my drivers were apparently way out of date by this point, numbered at somewhere around 15.x, whereas the newest versions were apparently '18.2.1' and '18.3.2', the latter marked as "optional". Figuring the latter was some sort of beta version, I decided to click on the former to download it, thinking it would be a safer option. Ha!
Halfway through the installation, my screen started flashing, with programs and my mouse becoming half-unresponsive. I figured this was normal as I had seen things like this happen during past driver/DirectX/similar video-related installations. Unfortunately, what actually ended up happening was that I got a Blue Screen of Death halfway through the installation. Scary, right?
I managed to restart, but now started getting the error message that the system file 'amdihk32.dll' was "either not designed for a Windows system or contains errors" (translated and paraphrased). This error message shows up three times upon startup, and also shows up every time I try to start a game. It does not appear as though any real issues are caused by this - games and software that trigger this error message still seem to work properly so far, although who knows, perhaps they might develop further problems down the line.
At this point, though, I was afraid and frustrated, especially as I discovered that the aforementioned AMD program under 'AMD Settings', in the Start Menu, would no longer start up. Clicking on the icon resulted in absolutely nothing happening, while trying to find the actual application led me to a file named "Program Files/AMD/CNext/CNext/RadeonSettings.exe", which was my best guess for what I'd need to start up - but it just gives me another error message: "Qt5WebEngine.dll [a file in the same folder] was either not designed for a Windows system or contains errors". Somehow, the AMD driver update program itself was destroyed by this driver update! At this point, I decided to look up what could cause a BSOD during driver installation, and found someone mentioning that it might help to install the latest Windows updates.
So I did, or at least tried - I had issues trying to get the updates to download. At this point, things were a total mess, so I decided to try and see if there was a recent system restore point to go back to, hoping some issues would be fixed. I found a sys-restore point that was created about one hour before this whole calamity started. I decided to go back to that restore point, which looked like it would happen without issues, until it came to the point where the system rebooted. After that point, I got a "Windows failed to start" error. I wasn't as panicked as I could have been yet, since I had this occur a year or two ago and the automatic Windows repair tool that the system offered me to use fixed things up somehow at that point. This time, it appeared to fail - it offered me to go back to a system restore point where the system was still functional.
I was skeptical about whether this'd work, since it was right after a system restore that this issue sprang up, but decided to click OK on that anyways. After about five or ten minutes, the Windows repair tool told me that the process failed, and I was screwed. Fortunately, I somehow got lucky at this point as another attempt to boot up the system then succeeded without further error messages. The issue is, my problems hadn't entirely gone away. The machine is still making noise about amdihk32.dll, and I still can't launch my AMD tool.
I decided to go looking on the AMD site if there was some way I could reinstall the tool, and found an automatic driver update software that kind of looked like what I had been using before. This software told me that my current version was 18.2.1. I'm a bit suspicious about this - how did the new driver manage to install properly when its original installation was interrupted by a BSOD and then I had two, presumably unsuccessful, System Restore attempts? But at this point, I decided to test some of my games (a relatively new game with advanced graphics, namely EU4, which was the one that I had my original issue with, and a very old game that had a lot of compatibility problems). Both games appear to work properly so far, although as I mentioned above, I do get error messages about amdihk32.dll. So somehow, the installation must have succeeded, or at least, the failure didn't break anything that would cause the games to not work.
So at this point, let's sum up where we are right now:
- Driver version 18.2.1 has apparently been installed. I'm still suspicious and waiting for the other shoe to drop, i.e. for some major issue to happen.
- I'm getting error messages about amdihk32.dll and my original AMD settings software no longer works.
What I'm looking to get advice with:
- How do I make the amdihk32.dll error messages to go away? If these messages are the symptom of any issues, how do I fix those issues?
- What else could I do to verify that the BSOD and installation troubles did not do any stealthy damage to my system that I'm not yet seeing?
- What could have caused my AMD software to be destroyed, and how do I make it work again?
Thank you all in advance.