Atikmdag error, display resets, system crawling/unstable

EDIT: SOLVED, see below. (Gigabyte's latest BIOS update solved my problem)

Hey folks, I was hoping you could help me figure this out. I've got a new computer I've built and I am occasionally getting some strange and extremely annoying system instabilities. I'll describe the symptoms.

I will be playing a game (I think it's only happened with Assassin's Creed), or, as happened tonight, I was just in Windows with a couple photo editing softwares open, and I was dragging around a window with an image in it. Anyway. My computer will stop responding, and my screen will go black (no backlight even), then the black light will come on after a few seconds, then the windows display will slowly load back up (the system is perfoming at a crawl, and mouse cursor movement updates once every couple seconds usually). And this cycle basically repeats itself, as if the video card or display drivers repeatedly come on and off.

Remember, the computer is performing at a crawl, but I can slowly and patiently start Task Manager between screen resets, and nothing looks unusual.

So here is my computer.

Intel core i5 750
Gigabyte P55M-UD2 mATX LGA1156 motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL7-7-7-24 Core I5 Memory Kit
XFX Radeon HD 5850
Coolermaster Extreme Power Plus 600W power supply
Nothing's overclocked, I have a well-ventilated case.
Windows 7 x64 home premium.

I've been using the most recent Catalyst drivers since I've installed Windows (9.10), and yes, they are installed correctly (and have been reinstalled correctly a few times, yes that means getting rid of the previous drivers). Earlier today I installed the 9.11 beta drivers to see if it'd fix my double-size mouse pointer problem I sometimes get (it didn't, by the way).

Now some extra data I was able to pull from Windows event viewer.
The standard generic message seems to be "Display driver atikmdag stopped responding and has successfully recovered." Now I *sometimes* get that if my game crashes but doesn't send my computer into a crippled perpetual crawl. Otherwise it doesn't really show that balloon message on account of my screen updating every 3 seconds and it being black much of the time.

The potentially more interesting messages in event viewer are the following (there were MANY repeats but these are the unique ones).
[cpp]0000000072: 2009-11-05 21:17:13:743 Exception: No value exists with that name.
Exception Called by: ATI.ACE.LOG.Foundation.Implementation.Setting::DeleteRegistryFromUser processID:03516 threadID:( ) domainName:(CCC.exe ) assemblyName:(LOG.Foundation.Implementation, Version=2.0.3568.36906, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=90ba9c70f846762e)

0000000073: 2009-11-05 21:17:13:977 _IDEMDeviceDFP2Settings_0812.GetDFP2ITCFlag failed with status 2
Error Called by: ATI.ACE.CLI.Aspect.DeviceDFP.Graphics.Runtime.RT_DeviceDFP::PrivateRefresh processID:03516 threadID:( ) domainName:(CCC.exe ) assemblyName:(CLI.Aspect.DeviceDFP.Graphics.Runtime, Version=2.0.3568.36865, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=90ba9c70f846762e)

0000000070: 2009-11-05 21:17:13:743 Exception: No value exists with that name.
Exception Called by: ATI.ACE.LOG.Foundation.Implementation.Setting::DeleteRegistryFromUser processID:03516 threadID:( ) domainName:(CCC.exe ) assemblyName:(LOG.Foundation.Implementation, Version=2.0.3568.36906, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=90ba9c70f846762e)
0000000074: 2009-11-05 21:25:55:822 FAILED:ADL_Display_SLSMapIndex_Get and return value is: -1
Error Called by: ATI.ACE.CLI.Caste.Graphics.Runtime.RT_GraphicsAdapter_N::RefreshSLSInfo processID:03516 threadID:( ) domainName:(CCC.exe ) assemblyName:(CLI.Caste.Graphics.Runtime, Version=2.0.3568.36822, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=90ba9c70f846762e)
0000000076: 2009-11-05 21:29:28:700 Exception: Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.
Exception Called by: ATI.ACE.CLI.Caste.Graphics.Runtime.RT_GraphicsAdapter_N::RefreshDisplaysManagerAdapter processID:03516 threadID:( ) domainName:(CCC.exe ) assemblyName:(CLI.Caste.Graphics.Runtime, Version=2.0.3568.36822, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=90ba9c70f846762e)
0000000085: 2009-11-05 21:32:56:523 Exception <WndProc - Source handler>: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Exception Called by: System.Windows.Forms.Control+ControlNativeWindow::WndProc processID:03516 threadID:(HotKeyForm ) domainName:(CCC.exe ) assemblyName:(System.Windows.Forms, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089)
0000000001: 2009-11-05 21:42:20:703 RT_GC_N
Error Called by: System.RuntimeMethodHandle::_InvokeConstructor processID:03544 threadID:(CCCThreadNew:Runtime) domainName:(CCC.exe ) assemblyName:(mscorlib, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089)

So.... yeah. I'm not really sure what to make of all this. Do you think maybe it's just an intrinsic hardware problem? Video card problem? Like, get it replaced under warranty? I mean, I don't know if anyone else is having the same problem as me. If it were a driver problem I would think there'd be more on this issue, out there. uggghh. Thanks guys.
6 answers Last reply
More about atikmdag error display resets system crawling unstable
  1. It's also been happening after making a Flash-based video player (not youtube but similar) go fullscreen.
  2. I have the same problems with a Sapphire 5850. It also happens for me when running the Windows Experience Index.

    I have the GA-P55M-UD2 motherboard and Core i5 750 CPU. Memory is OCZ Platinum 1333.

    I have currently uninstalled the video drivers, and am currently trying to diagnose random system freezes. Memtest86 runs for hours with zero errors, OCCT and LinX passed tests so far, but system STILL randomly freezing.

    I'm suspecting the motherboard...
  3. I don't claim to be a master troubleshooter, but I do see something about an attempt to write to protected memory which can very negatively impact system stability, especially if it causes corruption of other memory as specified. I can suggest turning on hardware assisted DEP (Data Execution Prevention) for all services, rather than just windows services which may prevent this from happening. You can do this in Windows 7 by selecting the start orb, right-clicking computer, selecting properties, selecting advanced system settings in the sidebar, selecting settings under the performance subheader, selecting the data execution prevention tab, and selecting "Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select." Click apply, restart the computer, and see how it goes.

    Good luck.
  4. I doubt this will help for the gamers out there, but I'm going to try to rebuild the one system I have that is experiencing ATIKMDAG errors in the event log and delayed boot-ups. I note that as I don't use that particular machine for gaming, the BSODs and other pain described in previous posts have not come my way, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did, should I ever try to play something like FSX on that machine.
    What I am planning to do is rebuild the machine with a fresh copy of Windows 7 (64-bit Ultimate) and then add all Microsoft Updates, but NOT include the ATI Video Driver update. It seems to me that, 'round about the start or middle of October, I made the mistake of installing the ATI Video Driver update from Microsoft Update, and that's about when all this started.

    Then, I suspect the first thing I will do is write out 100 times "I will never, ever, install hardware updates from Microsoft on my systems!"

    For what its worth, the Microsoft updater is also offering three other hardware updates, all of which I've rejected due to the fact that everyone of them predates Win7--including one from sometime in the middle of 2007! :o

    I have heard on other forums that downgrading to the 8.x release of the ATI drivers is supposed to help with these issues. Upgrading from 9.08 to 9.10 certainly did no good--in fact, it seems to have made matters somewhat worse....
  5. I solved my problem through trial and error! Tried almost everything on the web and was just about to buy a new card then it suddenly became stable again!!

    Problem: I Had a problem with gaming more then anything else but It ran fine most of the time when I wasnt in a game, I used to get the error atikmdag.sys stopped and recovered etc then the screen would turn black and sometimes a repetitive sound from the game would loop over and over untill I had no choice but to manually turn it off!

    I did three things at once ut not sure which one worked

    1. I updated direct x (not sure if this would have had any effect but i did it!)
    2. I installed ati tool and underclocked my core.
    3. Finally I rearranged my ram sticks so they were in completely different slots, I put the newest one in slot 1.

    I think #3 had the most effective because it was more likely a hardware problem then software. When I underclocked the core of my graphics card I put it back to default when it was stable and that didnt seem to trigger the error, so I think it was a ram problem, not sure if one of the ram sticks are faulty....... but I dont care because my computer running faster than ever!!

    After a restart I no longer got the error Ive been playing for almost an hour now and no error!! I used to consistenly get the error around 3 mins of gaming!

    My set up is

    Motherboard: p965t-a ecs
    Ram: 3x 1gb sticks
    Graphics: x1950 pro 256mb
    OS: Vista home 32bit

    Hope this helps anyone!
  6. Hi everyone. I'm the original poster.

    I'm pretty sure I've solved my problem. Gigabyte released a new BIOS version shortly after I updated my bios, so I missed it for a while (thinking my BIOS was up to date).

    Updating my BIOS to the latest version fixed it.
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