HP Running the ATi QA Show?

ATi's RubyFrom the day I built my PC a few years ago until just last week, it’s been impossible for me to play a game (pretty much *any* full-screen DirectX/OpenGL game) without the ATi drivers crashing. (For reference, stock ATi HD3870 on an ASUS RoG Maximus Forumula II motherboard). I’ve tracked down each and every possible lead, and solved a number of crash-inducing issues in the process, but haven’t been able to completely prevent the display driver crashes from the days Vista or now on Windows 7.

There were issues pertaining to dual-displays in a mixed VGA/DVI environment (one display DVI, the second VGA) which were never resolved by ATi (to the best of my knowledge) and were worked around by initially downgrading the DVI to a VGA connection and later replacing the older monitor with a new DVI-based display. There were issues related to the refresh rate. There were issues related to the resolution. There were issues related to the games. There were issues related to the OS. Basically, wherever you look, there were problems caused by poor development practices and crappy QA all around.

There were issues that Microsoft/Windows’ new WDM model caught, triggering a restart of the graphics subsystem without causing a BSoD. And there were (unfortunately the majority) of the ATi display driver crashes that caused BSoDs left, right, and center.

Today, my Windows 7 PC surprised me with an interesting question:

Send info to HP?

ATI display driver has stopped working properly. [big surprise!]

At this time we don’t know the exact cause of this problem [again, no surprises here!]. Hewlett-Packard [!!!] is interested in gathering additional feedback. Please visit the Hewlett-Packard website to provide information about the problem.

Pin-drop silence. Remember, this PC is homebuilt. HP has nothing to do with it. If it said “report to ATi,” or “report to AMD,” or “report to Microsoft,” I’d understand. But HP?

And it wasn’t a mistake. Following the link presented takes me to this HP page. And the first question? Did this crash occur on an HP PC?

So it’s not a mistake on Microsoft’s behalf — HP is making a real effort to track down a bug caused by ATi drivers running ATi hardware. Wow.

All I know are two things:

  1. Having been in contact with ATi over these problems for several years, I’m glad someone else is looking into it now.
  2. I’m not getting another ATi/AMD graphics card ever again!

7 thoughts on “HP Running the ATi QA Show?

  1. An interesting article. I would be surprised if HP actually did anything. I once had an HP PC (before I stared building my own) and their support was horrible. I currently own a HP Photo Scanner, a scanjet 5530, that doesn’t work because HP did such a crappy job of updating the driver for W7. My new scanner (not an HP) arrives today via UPS. I’ll miss my 5530 because it had autofeed for photo’s up to 4X6 inches. Can’t even find a replacement with the autofeed. You would think they would at least make the drives “open source” if they aren’t going to fix ’em.

    The whole reason I started building my own PC’s was because of the crappy support, if any, that one gets from EVERY pc maker I’ve dealt with. Dell had me run a program to determine my HDD was bad but because of the HDD it took 8 days for the program to complete and then inform them the HDD was bad. Asus just never responded to my queries. HP responded but I think their support people need to take a stupid test before they can be hired (nope your not qualified for support… your too smart!).

    I feel your frustration… too bad ATi doesn’t.

  2. This is too common with ATI. I bought a 32″ Full-HD LCD TV for my vision-impaired dad to use as a monitor – it’s been GREAT. Even with Windows enlarging fonts he can see a whole web page or e-mail. Also reduced clutter since the built-in audio replaced his desktop speakers.

    Bought an ATI card with HDMI output to install in his HP computer so it could send a digital signal and the video wouldn’t chew into his 2 GByte memory. USELESS!

    – Nightmare finding drivers. The ATI website probably earns negative usability ratings.

    – Extraordinarily confusing configuration panels

    – Could NOT get a clear and properly scaled screen image via HDMI regardless of how I configured it. Fell back to VGA into TV’s “PC” connector.

    Frustrating – when I had tested HDMI with my laptop’s nVidia card “it just worked.” Even prompted me to size the razor-sharp image into the Goldilocks zone – not so big that part was hidden by the bezel, not too small so there was a black border.

    The experiment confirms my nVidia-only policy. I regret trying to save a few dollars with ATI.

  3. I have had the same problem with an ati 5670 hd card. It crashes during games quite often freezing the screen into a green stripped screen. I hoped when AMD bought ATI that this would be addressed but so far nothing. I’m with you, it will be the last ATI card i ever buy next card will be back to nvidia as soon as I can afford it.

  4. JUst uninstal your ATI drivers, and let pc find them with driver update , it installs microsoft wdm driver and no problems whatsoever.

  5. same exact message i get, with my cyperpower built comp, hd 5970 Ati card, can only play new direct x 11 games and some new direct x 9 games.

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