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New graphics card freezes windows

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January 11, 2012 6:01:24 PM

I've just upgraded my graphics card from a Radeon HD4850 to a Radeon HD6850. Once windows XP starts though it freezes as soon as the balloon pops up saying "Searching for drivers". I tried in safe mode and it doesn't freeze, but I can't install the Radeon drivers there (it complains about not detecting something). Back in normal mode it now doesn't come up with the "Searching for drivers" popup, but it still freezes at roughly the same time (about 10-20 seconds after starting).

I've put the old HD4850 back in and all seems fine.

I'm wondering if maybe it's the power supply? I have a 450W Corsair PSU. The wattage requirements for the 4850 and 6850 seemed pretty similar, so I didn't think it would be a problem, but I notice the box says 500W is required. I'm running an AMD 9950 Quad core cpu, one HD, one DVD drive and no other expansion cards. Does it seem likely I need a better PSU? Would it really cause the system to freeze at a time the graphics shouldn't be under particularly high load?

Otherwise, is it anything to do with Windows XP not supporting it? (I only just found out that DirectX11 cannot work on XP, but I would have assumed the 6850 wouldn't care about that would it?)

Or what other things do you think I could try? (If there's no other suggestions I'll be re-installing Windows next, but I'd rather avoid that if I can!)

Thanks!
January 11, 2012 6:19:37 PM

With the 4850 plugged in, try to download and install the latest AMD drivers for the 6850. That way, you might be able to avoid the pc freezing when it searches for drivers since the latest one will have been installed.
January 11, 2012 6:40:21 PM

+1 chippies. Your PSU is fine. Try updating the drivers to the latest version. If your mobo has onboard video, you might need to connect the monitor to that and then change your video card setting in BIOS to use discrete only. Finally, switch the monitor over to your new card. Sometimes mobos display odd behavior when a new card is installed.
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January 11, 2012 7:08:56 PM

Thanks - a good idea, but it didn't work :( 
Downloaded and installed the 11.12 catalyst with the 4850 in the machine. (I think it detects the hardware at this point though, so it may have only installed for the 4850).
Anyway, swapped the cards over - Windows boots and gives the error "No AMD Graphics driver is installed, or the AMD driver is not functioning properly. Please install the AMD driver appropriate for your AMD hardware".

Then the whole thing freezes (mouse won't move, Can't do CTRL-ALT-DEL or anything. But the picture remains fine, not corrupted or anything).

Any other ideas?
a c 85 U Graphics card
January 11, 2012 7:12:35 PM

dowload but do not install , then remove the old one with the 4850 stop computer switch card to 6850 then install new one or lets windows update find them
January 11, 2012 7:17:17 PM

Actually, rebooting again I realise it doesn't freeze when the warning message comes up. A few seconds after that the "Found New Hardware" pops up the balloon "AMD Radeon HD 6800 series" and at that moment it freezes.
January 11, 2012 7:18:50 PM

scout_03 said:
dowload but do not install , then remove the old one with the 4850 stop computer switch card to 6850 then install new one or lets windows update find them


That's what I tried originally. No drivers installed when the machine boots with the 6850, then when it detects it I would expect to install the drivers at that point. But that's when it freezes :( 
a c 85 U Graphics card
January 11, 2012 7:23:11 PM

the pci-e power cable is connect on the card so you will have to check your power supply if it give all the power needed for the 6850 and all the other components
January 11, 2012 7:32:13 PM

scout_03 said:
the pci-e power cable is connect on the card so you will have to check your power supply if it give all the power needed for the 6850 and all the other components


The 12V cable is definitely plugged into the 6850. The 4850 used it too so I'm assuming it's not completely broken. Is it likely that an underpowered PSU would cause this kind of problem? I would have assumed it would cause more random freezes rather than predictable ones? (Although I'm far better at troubleshooting software than hardware).

I've just booted into safe mode and it seems to be working fine there. Even got a message saying new hardware is installed, needs a reboot. But back in normal Windows it freezes again in the exact same place.
a c 85 U Graphics card
January 11, 2012 7:33:39 PM

try installing the driver in safe mode
January 11, 2012 7:54:34 PM

scout_03 said:
try installing the driver in safe mode

In safe mode i get "Failed to load detection driver" during the AMD Catalyst install. Then it sits there with "Failed to detect system configuration". Doesn't freeze Windows though, but the AMD installer seems stuck (cancel/close doesn't do anything).
a c 85 U Graphics card
January 11, 2012 7:56:32 PM

if you put hte 4850 in safe mode could you install the driver
January 11, 2012 8:06:12 PM

scout_03 said:
if you put hte 4850 in safe mode could you install the driver

I'll give it a go - but that sounds unlikely to help. I can already install the drivers in 'proper' windows with the 4850 installed. It's only when the 6850 is installed I am getting problems.

BTW, in safe mode, device manager correctly detects a AMD Radeon HD 6800 series. I can even uninstall the Display adapter and re-scan for hardware changes and it detects it without crashing (again, only in safe mode).

Also, there's no onboard graphics on the motherboard. It's a Gigabyte GA-M720-US3 in case that matters.

It reminds me of good old fashioned IRQ conflicts from yesteryear, but I don't know if that can even happen these days!
January 11, 2012 8:33:00 PM

With the 4850 back in I still can't install/uninstall the AMD drivers in safe mode because it says "Failed to load detection driver". So I'm guessing that the Catalyst drivers just don't work in safe mode at all.

I'm going to put my bet on some kind of software conflict and re-install Windows from scratch with the 6850 in from the start. No way I'm doing that tonight though.

But thanks for all the suggestions - if there are any other thoughts I'll check these forums tomorrow before I start formatting :) 
January 14, 2012 7:40:24 PM

Just to say I formatted my Drive C and re-installed windows XP. Everything is working fine now (well, except the microphone, but I'm sure that's another issue!).
Thanks for the suggestions. Must have just been a weird software conflict somewhere.
a c 85 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 10:53:18 PM

check audio driver and settings for microphone
January 14, 2012 10:59:08 PM

For future reference. What you should do if that were to happen again while upgrading is download a program called Driver Sweeper. It will clean everything out, probably fix the issue.
!