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Tips with ATI video cards, 9200/9600/9800/AIW etc.

Problem: Windows is unstable with your Radeon video card even with latest catalyst drivers.

Posible answer: For some reason many ATI cards don't like Fastwrite, either turn it off in bios (ususally by hitting the delete key 5 seconds after turning the computer on) or right click somewhere blank on your desktop and select the "Catalyst Control Center" then choose "SmartGart" from the menu and ensure Fastwrites is unchecked.

Problem: You have an ATI Radeon video card and it is massively unstable. You also have a Via KM400 chipset motherboard.

Posible answer: The above combination doesn't always result in instability, but if it does it's a real problem and there isn't really any definate answer that allows you to keep the same hardware and have stable 3D acceleration. The only totally successful answer I found was to disable everything in Catalyst Control Center/SmartGart meaning Fastwrite/AGP Read/AGP write/PCI read/PCI write. If that doesn't totally fix the issue, then try setting the AGP to x4 instead of x8.
This has worked perfectly for me a few times, but it renders the ATI card useless for 3D (and in fact MS DirectX dxdiag won't even recognise the 3d features of the card anymore.). It will however allow your computer to function with some semblance of stability.

There are a couple of other things you can try as well, they have not worked for me (except #2 and #4) but you will perhaps have better luck.

1. Update your motherboards Bios. (have a look at it, there will usually be a model number and googling it will reveal the manufacturer).

2. Ensure you have downloaded and installed the latest ATI Catalyst driver (7.5 at the time of writing).  

3. Download the latest VIA 4in1 drivers install them, and then check that the AGP driver was upgraded properly. (it isn't always for some reason.) To do that, go to Control Panel/System tab/device manager/system devices and look for "VIA CPU to AGP" if you can't find it but instead have "VIA CPU to AGP 2.0/3.0 controller" then you probably have the updated driver. If not, you can manually install it by double clicking on it and selecting the driver tab, following that, click the update driver button and in the relevant place select "have disk" and browse to where the VIA 4in1 driver unpacked itself when you installed it. (install it again if you are not sure, it will tell you what directory it is unpacking to.) look for a directory in the unpacked via files called "ViaAGP" and browse there. From there you'll be good to go.

4. Get a new motherboard/mainboard, Nvidia Nforce2 boards are arguably the fastest AMD Athlon XP boards and are lightyears from KM400 based boards which are at the value end of the market. Like I said, these haven't helped my in the past, (except #2 which is a good idea in any case, and #4 which is a fairly drastic step), but you may have a different motherboard with a different bios so it might work for you.

Problem: Installing the ATI Catalyst Center results in an error messasge about MOM.implimention or CLI.implimentation.

Posible answer: These are .NET framework errors. uninstall the .NET framework 2 from Control panel/add remove programs and reinstall from scratch.
Ironically that didn't help me, but has apparently helped others. What helped me was to install the latest Catalyst driver, then go to "C:\ATI\SUPPORT\7-5_xp_dd_ccc_wdm_46743\Driver\vc8" (obviously the path will be different depending on your version of the Catalyst driver) and reinstall Visual C 2005 runtime. (If you have errors, try installing it in safe mode.) I don't know why, but that is what fixed it for me.

Problem:You have an ATI ALL In Wonder card (AIW) or some other ATI card that uses the MMC (ATI MultiMedia Center) and when you start the TV tuner, your picture is very slow/notchy/lagged/out of sync (pick one) and is totally unwatchable.

Posible answers: There are two possible answers that I know of. One was provided by an ATI support person and while it does work, it involves loading on older driver and MMC versions. I tried it, but then I found my better answer which I will detail below after giving you ATI's solution. (in his exact words)

---------------- ATI solution ----------------
Please follow the link below and select "All In Wonder" under option 1:

If there are items not removing from the add/remove programs, you will need to download the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility.
Windows Installer Cleanup Utility:

Please install Catalyst 6.2 bundle (Ensure that you install it in the order shown)
-go to http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html
-OR click on this link: http://ati.amd.com/support/drivers/xp/previous/radeon/radeonxip-cat62-xp.html
-select your operating system
-select All In Wonder
-select the product you have and click on go
-scroll down and under the additional links section, select "Previous Drivers and Software"
-select Catalyst 6.2
-download and install the "Display driver (6-2_xp-2k_dd_30152.exe), Catalyst Control Center (6-2_ccc_enu_30152.exe), and WDM integrated driver (6-2_xp-2k_wdm_30152.exe)" in the order listed
*do not select the Multimedia Center*

To get catalyst 6.2
Go to ati.amd.com, click on customer care at the top, wait for the page to load. Look for a grey column on the left hand side. On the top left hand corner, click on "advance search", select search by ID 737 and enter 21599.

2) Please install the Multimedia Center 9.06.1 bundle
-there will be 3 downloads here
-download all 3, and install it in the order show below:
1. DAO/MDAC (mmc-9-1-0-0-dao-mdac.exe)
2. DVD Decoder (atiCDwiz.exe)
3. Multimedia Center (9-06-1_mmc_enu.exe)

After everything is done, install remote wonder 3.02 if using the remote control.
------------- end ATI solution ----------------

As I said, ATI's solution DOES work, or at least it did for me, however I didn't like it because it used outdated software versions and I noticed a decrease in some aspects of my 3D experiance. So I did a bit of checking, and it looked to me like their Live TV feature had no on/off setting anymore and was on all the time. I also noticed a new driver listed under sound devices in device manager, the T200 WDM driver. Now looking around on the net indicated the problem was related to the T200 driver, but I found no solution that worked for me.
Attacking the problem from the other end, I decided to see what I could do to turn of the Live TV feature (which as I understand it allows you to pause/FF/FW live TV) to see if that would make a difference.
To that end I started looking for ATI registry keys that would control this feature. After much searching and nashing of teeth, I found it:

"HKEY_CURRENT_USER//Software//ATI Technologies//MultiMedia//Features//DTV//Channel Manager"

Find "LiveMode" and change it's value to "1". (don't know why they use 1 for disable and 0 for enable but 0 probably designates the default settings.)

Anyway, the above worked for me, I had full speed TV and the latest of all drivers and software, the only thing I lost was Live mode which was a shame but perhaps future versions of Catalyst/MMC will make this unnecessary. (If that is the case I'll be sure and note it here.)

Problem:You've installed the latest catalyst drivers for your Radeon 9800 or earlier card and now you have no 3D abilities at all. When you run dxdiag and look under Display, DirectDraw, Direct3d and AGP Texture Acceleration are all greyed out.

You have probably run afoul of ATI's SmartGart tool for checking system stability. It probably works great with newer cards but cards like th 9800 AIW end up running with most of their features disabled. Luckily the answer is quite simple. Install the Catalyst driver like normal, then go to "Control Panel" and "Add Remove Programs" and uninstall it. Then restart your machine.
When the computer comes back up, it will find your graphics card again and ask for a driver. Click browse and go to:


and click OK. (7-6_xp_dd_ccc_wdm_enu_48640 will obviously be different to you depending on what Catalyst driver you are installing.)
Because you have installed the driver manually instead of via ATI's install package, you have skipped SmartGart and it will no longer be a problem. If your system is less than stable, go into the bios of your motherboard (usually by hitting delete within 5 seconds of having turned the computer on) and find and turn off Fastwrites as they always cause me problems with my ATI cards.

------------- DISCLAIMER ----------------

Happy hunting! Keep in mind that all of the above are only suggestions and we take no responsibility for any problems caused while following them.
Editing the registry is always risky, and you should back it up before trying. If you don't know how to do that, you probably shouldn't be messing with it.
Good luck.

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