Cannot update ATI video card after Windows XP Update

By tg4 ยท 5 replies
Oct 12, 2006
  1. Hi,

    This problem has been discussed a lot, but I haven't seen any conclusive answer on how to fix my current problem. Please read -- you're help is greatly appreciated:

    My friend bought an upgraded copy of XP and decided to upgrade his version of XP to a valid, registered copy (XP SP2). Upgrading anything is a nightmare -- he should have never done this. He has an ATI 9600SE Video card and uses 2 monitors. Ever since upgrading, the ATI driver is no where to be found, AND in Device Manager, there is NO node for "Display Adapter" -- it simply doesn't exist. After deleting every trace of any ATI video drivers on his system, I downloaded the latest version of the ATI catalyst software and tried reinstalling, but everytime I do this, I get the following error in the middle of installation:

    Setup was unable to complete the installation.
    Try to setup your display adapter with a standard VGA driver before running setup.

    When I go to Display Property / Settings, there is no mention of a display adapter there -- (I couldn't use 2 monitors if I wanted, because there is no option to do so). When I go to advanced, the adapter is the "VGASafe" windows adapter. So, I think that the standard VGA adapter is ALREADY installed (it is DEFINITELY VGA resolution, so it has to be using a driver, and it must be using THIS driver, which I believe is windows' "standard VGA driver", is this correct?) One of my thoughts, was to "upgrade" or reinstall the ATI driver through this advanced tab, but since it's not listed, I don't think I can do that.

    I've also tried putting a new ATI video card in the computer and installing the driver, but still same outcome. Here are my questions:

    1. Is there a way to "reinstall" the "standard VGA driver" in win XP so that this issue might go away?

    2. Does anyone know why my Display Adapter node is not showing up in Device Manager?

    Thanks very much for your help -- I'm at a loss and I do not want to reformat and start over. Thanks!!!
  2. tg4

    tg4 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    any thoughts on this one? thnx.
  3. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    A few things to try:
    * Download and install, but DONT RUN Driver Cleaner Pro (
    * Download and install .NET Framework 2.0 from
    * Download but DO NOT install the Catalyst 6.2 drivers, FULL with CCC from ATI (Yes, start with the 6.2's.. you can upgrade to more current once things are stable). You'll have to expand the little tree on the left side of their site for "Previous Driver Revisions" on the XP/Radeon listings.

    * Power down the PC and inspect the hardware. If there is a PCI slot next to the AGP slot, make SURE this slot is open/avail. If there is a card in this slot, you'll need to move it to another available PCI slot.

    * Visit Add and Remove Programs and remove all traces of ATI here in this order, skipping any you may not have from this list. Do NOT reboot when asked after each one, instead save this for the last entry:
    ATI Remote Wonder (I/II)
    ATI Multimedia Center
    ATI DVD Decoder
    AVIVO Codecs
    ATI Parental Controls and Encoder
    ATI Control Panel
    ATI Catalyst Control Center
    ATI Display Drivers (click Select All, then OK)
    ATI Software Uninstall Utility
    You may reboot after the Software Uninstall Utility, but stand on guard..

    *Press and hold F8 on reboot right after the BIOS/POST tests to get Windows Boot Menu. Select Safe Mode, then log-in as Administrator.

    *As Administrator in SAFE MODE, launch Driver Cleaner Pro (you'll likely have to browse and manually launch the EXE from My Computer, C: drive, program files, etc.etc. as it wont have a shortcut for Administrator on it's start menu).

    *Select Multiple Cleaning Filters and then add all things ATI on that list. Start the cleaning and let finish. Reboot in normal mode.

    From here, reboot into Normal Mode (hehe guess you could call it Dangerous Mode vs Safe Mode? hehe).. launch the 6.2 Catalyst driver you downloaded previously.. and cross your fingers. :)
  4. peterdiva

    peterdiva TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,088

    After following Sharkfood's instructions to remove all traces of ATI, reinstall the motherboard's chipset drivers. You should have a Display adapter setting in the Device Manager listed as "Standard VGA Graphics Adapter", without this you'll continue to get the same error message when installing the ATI drivers.

    If you don't get this after installing the chipset drivers then boot holding down F8 and select VGA mode.
  5. tg4

    tg4 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thank you both VERY MUCH for your replies. I really appreciate the time you took. I will try all the above and report back. Thanks again!!!
  6. tg4

    tg4 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, here's the final word:

    My client upgraded his copy of Windows XP to Win XP SP2 (his bad). In doing this, the upgrade process asked him for a driver file entitled, "viaagp1.sys" -- this is the chipset driver that windows uses to interact with the AGP card. My client ignored this warning and kept happily installing. After he was finished, windows got into a funky state regarding its video driver. There was no "display adapter" node in the Device Manager and I couldn't re-install the ATI drivers for the ATI AGP Video Card. The install would stop in the middle telling me to install a standard set of VGA drivers first (which confused the hell out of me cuz obviously there was a set of VGA drivers ALREADY installed cuz I was looking at VGA resolution!). So... after a lot of pain, I realized the problem was that the XP Upgrade somehow internally disabled the AGP slot -- EVEN THOUGH my bios setting had it enabled and listed it was fine. I learned that the AGP slot was "disabled" after installing Lavalys' Evergreen Sys Dianostic tool and saw that the AGP Slot was disabled under the monitor tab (and other monitor settings were off too.)

    So, I went to to get the latest set of window's chipset driver for my motherboard. I looked at my motherboard number and figured out VIA was the developer of the chipset and downloaded the "4 in 1" drivers here:

    Here's the order of things I did to fix my problem:
    1. Followed sharkfood's advice above to fully clean my system of all old ATI drivers and other crap (with driver cleaner etc. -- follow his exact steps -- they work well.)
    2. Then reboot and make sure everything is clean and that displays still work etc (even though windows still doesn't recognize your display adapter properly).
    3. Then boot back in SAFE MODE and install the 4-1 video drivers in SAFE MODE. (that's peterdiva -- you got to the heart of the problem). I couldn't successfully install these drivers in normal mode. When installing, DON'T install the PCI driver -- only the AGP and the other file too.
    4. Reboot and your system should now recognize the AGP Slot and start autodetecting your installed AGP video card. It should give you the "new hardware found wizard" and you should be good to go!

    NOTE: I read a couple posts that the "VIAAGP1.SYS" file is needed to rectify this problem -- this is TRUE, BUT you can't just copy this file from another working machine and copy it to your drivers folder (like a few people had mentioned in other places). You need to download those 4 in 1 drivers from VIA and run the executable in (most likely) safemode . This will install the VIAAGP1.SYS that XP needs and you will be good to go! (I was missing this file too until I ran the VIA exec.)

    Hope this helps someone. thanks.
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