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

Installed Or Not?

Tom's Hardware was made aware of a rather curious issue when one of our readers asked us for assistance. While at first glance it may not seem very serious, the frequency of its occurrence at least makes the issue a minor annoyance. After searching the Internet and finding a large number of forum threads on the subject, we came to the conclusion that the event described by our reader was far from an isolated case. This piqued our interest in the matter, especially since no plausible explanation had yet been offered. The issue boils down to the Device Manager and Catalyst disagreeing on whether the northbridge driver is actually installed or not.

The reader had already contacted AMD support, but since the system was working without any apparent problems, the answer he got was that everything seemed to be in order. This answer did little to satisfy him—or us. We went through the installation process on three different Windows 7 systems and managed to reproduce the issue in all cases. Our reader was right, after all.

The issue manifests itself under the following circumstances:

  • Windows 7 (x64, x86)
  • Motherboard with AMD chipset
  • Catalyst 10.2 to 10.5
  • Setup in Custom mode (not Express mode)

We hope that this article can be of help, because an old but very effective trick that we'll explore later in this article actually turned out to be the solution. It also has the potential of eliminating other irritations that may arise during the installation of AMD/ATI drivers. Furthermore, we will briefly describe a hidden option in the Catalyst installer that might be of use.

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

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

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