AGP ATI Cards - DO NOT INSTALL CCC 7.8 or 7.9

Well I just had a monster headache trying to figure out why the newest ATI Catalyst Drivers 7.9 didn't work for me. Kept giving me a black screen upon Windows XP load. I would also get an error while installing the driver, "Zero Display Service Error". The work around for this error is ridiculous and I'm severely pissed off at ATI now.

737- 29381: Radeon™ AGP Series : AGP Read/Write and PCI Read/Write are disabled

The information in this article applies to the following configuration(s):

* Catalyst Control Center
* Catalyst Display Driver 7.8
* ATI Radeon™ AGP Series Graphics Cards
* Windows XP Professional
* Windows XP Home Edition
* Windows XP Media Center Edition
* Windows XP Professional x64 Edition


Install the Catalyst 7.8 Software Suite. Open Catalyst Control Center. Click on SmartGart. AGP Read and Write and PCI Read and Write will be turned off. They cannot be enabled.

To workaround this issue please uninstall Catalyst 7.8 and install Catalyst 7.7

ATI Engineering has been advised of this issue and is investigating. Any updates will be published when they become available.

Well guess what. That issue has NOT been resolved. 7.8 and 7.9 completely break everything if you have an AGP Radeon card, which I do. I have an AGP x1950 PRO. Do NOT install anything past 7.7 if you run AGP ATI card or feel the wrath of the broken driver.

So even when I tried to uninstall 7.9 and install 7.7 it would give me that zero display error again and again. To fix it I had to do the following.

1. Install 7.7 full catalyst like you normally would but DO NOT restart. You want it to extract and unpack all the install files into it's ATI directory.
2. Have Driver Cleaner Pro handy. So download this before hand.
3. Run the ATI Unintall utility
4. Rename the C:\ATI folder to something other than that. (I renamed mine ATI_bk)
5. Run the Driver Cleaner Pro and remove everything ATI. This is just a safe measure and might be overkill.
6. Restart into default video mode which XP should find your VGA controllers as new hardware.
7. It will bring up the wizard. Click no you don't want it to auto update and then you want it to look for it in the specific folder within the ATI folder. It's CX_49709.inf or you could just cancel out of it and update the video controllers manually from Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Devices -> Video Controller -> Driver -> Update

Mine happen to be here:

It will then load the drivers as normal. Do it again for secondary video controller until all done.

If you wish to install WDM and Catalyst for some reason you will have to browse into their directories in that ATI folder path and run setup.exe for both separately.

Then reboot.

Finally it's fixed after 2 hours of screwing with it.

ATI piece of shyt drivers. Grrrr.

Edit Add: Obviously if you just install 7.7 in the first place it shouldn't give you any errors. Just don't go past 7.7 for now until they say for certain they fixed it or do so at your own risk. I'm going to do some more investigation on this to see if there is more to it than me just having an AGP card. Maybe it's a known conflict with other applications or drivers.

Hrm, I just installed 7.9 in an attempt to get my x1650 to support my new monitor's 1680x1050 native resolution. Fortunately, I had no problems after rebooting and played an entire night of BF2142 without so much as a crash to desktop. (Also, it seems all I needed to do was go into the Monitor Properties from the catalyst control panel and set 1680x1050 as the highest supported resolution.)

I have no problem with 7.9 under vista but for some reason i can't get anything better than the drivers on the cd for win 2k...

Word of advice to anyone. If you know you are going to install a video driver and especially if you haven't updated in a while, always do a "system restore point" just in case things go south badly. Better to revert to a previous windows state than have to figure out how to fix it with a screwed system.

How to set a restore point (101)

Start -> Run
Type: msconfig
General Tab click "Launch System Restore"
Click "Create Restore Point" then Next.
Name it something you can tell what it is and then click Ok.

Then you can do things you need to do like major updates or messing with drivers and the such.

NEVER do this if you know you have a virus or something bad. Because then you will forever have a restore point that is corrupted or virally infected.

I've had this problem with 7.8 - 7.9 drivers and my x1950 Pro AGP. Smartgart forcing everything off, blank icons, extreme slowdown.

Thus, I had to play Bioshock with 7.7s, but I installed 7.9 "Quake Wars hotfix version" and the issue no longer exists in that one.

Of course, after that I did a little experiment and reverted to 6.12 which made Quake Wars UI start 3 times faster and shortened the time between "spawning entities 100%" and level load about three-fold, as well as removed the texture-loading pauses during the game.

6.12 (the last of 6.x series) is the best driver ever.

...that explains my BSOD I was getting. Thanks for the update!

I've had that Zero Display Service Error almost as long as I've had the x1950 AGP. I should look up when I bought it because I think it might have been right after the first 7.x drivers came out. I found a forum post (I believe from Derek Smart) somewhere through google for a fix for the error, but I'm so used to doing it killroy's way I don't care. I'm currently on 7.9 (i think the bioshock hotfix one) and I've been tempted to go back to 7.7 but after reading shihonage's endorsement of 6.12, I'm going to install that instead when I get home and see if I can last more that 5 minutes in TF2 w/o freezing.