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Hardware Thread, Debug Code left in ATI/AMD Drivers causes programs to crash! in Technical; In the last year we've noticed a lot of problems with various pieces of software crashing with random errors and ...
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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Debug Code left in ATI/AMD Drivers causes programs to crash!

    In the last year we've noticed a lot of problems with various pieces of software crashing with random errors and weird graphical glitches appearing. We eventualy found out that the problems only occurred on the PCs we've bought over the last 2 years. Dell Optiplex GX620s and GX745s.
    After spending days worth of our time we eventually tracked the issue down to some kind of compatability issue with the AT/AMD Radeon cards (x1300/x600) that we had fitted to these machines. The program in question (Birchfield Chemistry Lessons) kept crashing with a projector error whenever we tried running it as a limited user. We've also had similar issues with Google Earth and several pieces of technology software.
    After spending this morning running tests to find out the cause it turns out that it's because of some debug code that's been left in the bloody driver. Whenever you launch a program that calls any kind of OpenGL routine the ATI driver decides it's going to create a file in the root of C:\ drive called modulename.txt . Because most users (quite rightly) wont have access to create a file in the root of the system drive this causes the software to crash! Allowing read/write access to this file once it's created allows affected software to run without a problem though it's a far from ideal solution.

    NB. I've just dowloaded the latest version of the driver from AMD's site and catalyst version 8 no longer has the issue but the bug's existed on every version 7 driver we tried

    So we've now got the choice to roll out a package to over 200 PCs to allow access to a file on the root of the system drive for everyone or update the Catalyst drivers on 200 computers. All because ATI/AMD screwed up and didnt remove what appears to be debugging code from their driver!

    NOT a happy bunny
    Last edited by flyinghaggis; 24th January 2008 at 03:47 PM.

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    bizzel's Avatar
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    ATI drivers have always been poor beyond belief. My old home pc had a Radeon 9000 and there were numerous problems with windows 2000 compatibility. My workstation at school has a Radeon 7000, all the driver versions I've tried either a) fail to work at all or b) randomly reboot the machine when it starts up, maybe one time in ten. And let's not forget the awful linux support. I don't know how the second largest graphics card company gets away with it!

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    We use the HP 5750 series ADM/ATI machines. The solution we found was by using the ATI reference catalyst drivers instead of the HP website drivers. This resolved alot of our ATIDVAG and blue screen freezing issues with Windows XP OS.

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