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Bug Or Feature? AMD's Catalyst Doesn't Recognize NB Driver

Installation And Verification

To eliminate all possible sources of errors, we used clean Windows 7 installations with no drivers or updates installed, except for the Windows 7 updates.

In the Device Manager->System section, we selected "AMD PCI Express (3GIO) Driver," where we found the files atipcie.sys (x86) or atipcie64.sys (x64). These are the default drivers. We noted the installed driver version before proceeding.

We then unpacked the current version of Catalyst into the suggested directory and started the installation, pausing at the initial choice of either installing or uninstalling the driver.

We had to choose "Uninstall" and then "Custom Uninstall" to check whether any components were recognized by the installer. The result confirmed what we were expecting based on the described symptoms: Catalyst did not recognize any installed components, even though the driver was already installed by Windows 7 and Windows Update had been run.

After starting the installation again, we chose "Installation" and then "Custom Installation."

In addition to the USB drivers, we were offered the option of installing the northbridge drivers. Interestingly, the version offered was the same as the one already installed. We chose to install the drivers anyway to avoid confusion. The installation completed successfully.

After the mandatory reboot, we opened the Catalyst installer again to check the options for uninstalling the drivers.

Except for the USB drivers, no other components are displayed. When we switched over to the installation routine, where the driver was suggested for installation once more, nothing indicated that it was already installed!

Even if you only notice this issue when using the Custom installation mode (Express mode reveals little information about the installation process), we can understand being confused. Let’s set out to find the cause and a possible solution.

  • icepick314
    I would like to hear what AMD says about their Catalyst installer "bug"...
    Reply
  • AMW1011
    THESE are the type of articles that made Tom's awesome years ago, hopefully you guys will keep them coming.

    Thanks, very interesting.
    Reply
  • tigsounds
    So, I guess since I installed with the express method, I'll never know.
    Reply
  • superflux
    It still didn't work for me on my radeon 3200 laptop...
    Reply
  • omoronovo
    Am I the only one that took note of the fact that the driver version installed was "1.3.3.7"? Maybe Microsoft and ATI/AMD were trying to tell you not to bother :p
    Reply
  • dlpatague
    Yes I love articles like this also. Very informative and helpful.
    Reply
  • The Greater Good
    The "Bug or feature" only works with Apple.

    ...just sayin...
    Reply
  • This problem has certainly been around for years. I remember posting a question about it on the AMDGame forums.
    Reply
  • How about just installing 10.6!
    Reply
  • Ciuy
    wtf, update? why they hide it? wtf ATI !!!!!!!
    Reply