Problem Installing ATI Radeon 8500LE

I am trying to install a new video card (64 MB ATI [built by] Radeon 8500LE) in my Dimension 8250 (Win XP Home SP1, 2.4 GHz, 512 MB.) I encountered two problems:

1) All of my various attempts to install the ATI card yield the same result: Windows automatically installs its own drivers for the card, rather than presenting the "Add New Hardware" wizard asking for driver/software location, so I am unable to install the ATI drivers, assuming they are on the install CD that came with the card. Which leads to the second problem (more about it later.)

Before installing the new card, I restarted the computer in Safe mode, uninstalled the drivers for the old card (an NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 420) in Add or Remove Programs, removed all references to NVIDIA in the registry, uninstalled the NVIDIA card in Device Manager, shut down the computer, and swapped out old card for new. The first time I turned the computer back on, I booted back up in Safe mode and expected the “Add New Hardware Wizard” to ask for the location of the driver software. Instead Windows installed its own drivers for the card. I have gone through this procedure several times in other ways (booting in VGA mode, booting normally) after first going into Safe mode and deleting the ATI entries from the Registry and the card in device manager, but Windows, after detecting the ATI card, always installs it own drivers without asking what I want to do. I thought I could just reboot in safe mode, delete the card in Device manager, remove the ATI registry entries, and then simply run the setup program on the CD that came with the ATI 8500LE card to install the appropriate software. However, this leads to the second problem:

2) When I insert the CD and run the Setup.exe file on it, the setup program tells me it cannot find any components on my computer for which it can install software, even though, of course, the card is physically installed (and recognized by Windows as an ATI card.) As a result, I cannot install any of the ATI software, even if given the opportunity by the “Add New Hardware” wizard; e.g.; the drivers, ATI control panel, and the DVD program. Curiously, the name of the CD, as shown in Windows Explorer, is “8500_128M.” If the “128” refers to memory, I wonder if this CD is the wrong one for the 64MB card that I bought. Should I download the latest drivers/software for my card from the ATI site and try to install them? Would I just get the same message that runnning setup from the CD gave (i.e., can't find any components for which to install?)

I would greatly appreciate any help in resolving these issues.


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  1. The problems described in my post were resolved by some advice from MrEMan on the DellTalk Forum. He said "...Don't mind the windows drivers for your card. Also you are running into your second problem because you are trying to install video card drivers in safe mode. Can't do that. So boot back up into regular Windows XP and then run the setup CD and see what happens. The ATi setup program automatically removes the MS drivers and installs its own."

    I followed this procedure and all of the software installed fine.

    Thanks to all here who took the time to read my posts.

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