Windows 8.1 and Legacy ATi/AMD Graphics Drivers

Further to my unintended ‘series’ of recent Windows 8 posts, here’s one that has only come up to my attention since installing my ‘upgrade’ to Windows 8.1. The problem faced here is that today’s legacy ATi graphics driver install packages (that’s installers for HD4000, HD3000 and HD2000 Series chipsets), even the latest beta drivers, do not officially support Windows 8.1. The installer will install all the necessary extra software used by the card but the actual graphics driver itself does not get installed. This is not to say, however, that they do not work. My current rig currently sports an ATi Radeon HD4800 graphics card and after a clean reinstall I found that the installer would not install the graphics driver and therefore my Steam games would not run correctly, if at all. With thanks to a bit of Googling and stumbling upon this thread at the Steam Community Forums and realised I wasn’t alone. So … on with how to solve the problem: Scenario: Legacy ATi graphics card being used with Windows 8.1. Problem: Graphics drivers will not install and hence, graphics hardware not functioning correctly. Reason:  Graphics driver install package does not recognise Windows 8.1 as a supported operating system and reports “Driver Install: the specified driver package was not installed for matching devices” in the install log. Solution:

  1. Completely uninstall any existing ATi/AMD graphics drivers, including all supplementary software.
  2. Download the latest official driver pack for Windows 8 for your graphics card from http://support.amd.com/en-us/download.
  3. Install the full driver package as normal. (Even though the graphics driver will not be functioning it has been added to Windows’ driver portfolio.)
  4. Go to the Device Manager (use the search on the Start Screen for ‘Device Manager’).
  5. Open up the Display adapters branch, locate your graphics card.
  6. Right click on the card and select Properties. ati01
  7. In the properties box, go to the Driver tab and click Update Driver… ati02
  8. Select Browse my computer for driver software ati03
  9. Then Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer ati04
  10. You’ll see on the next screen two or more drivers relating to your graphics card. Select the driver listed without the Microsoft Corporation tag, as that one is the currently used basic driver without gaming support. ati05
  11. Click Next
  12. At this point your screen may go blank for up to a minute while the new driver is loaded. Once all is done, if all successful, you will be informed that Windows has successfully updated your driver software. Click Close to finish. ati06

All being well, you should now have the full official driver installed and running for your ATi/AMD graphics hardware.

23 comments

  1. Jayant Bhawal says:

    I followed the steps exactly as said, but in the drivers list, the first option as in your screenshot isn’t appearing. Only 2nd and 3rd ones from your screenshot are. I have a 4650 Mobility HD. Windows 8.1 x64. Downloaded drivers from the correct website too. Stuck on this since a day, scoured up the internet, not much help. Any solutions?

    • Jon says:

      Hi there.
      It may depend on the drivers themselves as to whether they will actually work with Windows 8 or indeed if more compatible drivers actually exist. Being a Mobility chipset (for the less power-consuming cards) may have something to do with it.
      My only recommendation would be to keep searching and experimenting to be honest. That’s how I managed to get mine going!

      Thanks for reading, Good luck.

    • @Jayant Bhawal I had the same issue with the driver not being there and only seeing the Microsoft one. I was able to install it by using have disk. So on the screen where you only see the 2 driver options (Microsoft Corporation – WDDM v1.1 and Microsoft Basic Display Adapter), click Have Disk… Browse to C:\AMD\Support\13-1-legacy_vista_win7_win8_64_dd_ccc\Packages\Drivers\Display\W86A_INF\ . I used C7160540.inf. The driver installed and seems to be working plus the catalyst control is able to talk to the card now. I hope that helps.

  2. Steve Root says:

    Thanks for sharing, fixed the same problem I had.

  3. Ronan says:

    This worked for me the first time I tried it but recently I upgraded to 64bit Windows and couldn’t get it working again. I was then able to fix it with these instructions: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-hardware/how-to-install-catalyst-legacy-driver-in-windows/a520d44c-0baa-4569-92de-81cc1f30bf6f?tm=1384227530336
    Thanks for this article!

    • Jon says:

      Normally if you can’t see the driver listed at this point, then the driver is not compatible with your device. Make sure you have the correct driver type too, Mobility vs normal graphics chipsets.

  4. stumped2 says:

    The problem is that the legacy cards, 2xxx,3xxx,4xxx, do not and never will be fully supported in Windows 8.1. Windows 8 was a little more forgiving…not so Win 8.1. The main issue is these cards do not/can not support WDDM 1.3. It may seem that all is working well…but it is not. A AMD 5xxx series chip/card that does support Windows 8.1 can be had for less than $30.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Display_Driver_Model

  5. Alpi says:

    Thanks a lot! This solved my problem. Thanks again and again!

  6. alipm says:

    I have a HD4650, and when I get to step X the only drivers listed are ‘ATI radeon HD4600 series (Microsoft Corporation – WDDM v1.1)’ and ‘Microsoft basic display driver’. Choosing the basic display driver puts me back to lowest resolution (no option for HD) and stuff still doesn’t work.

    Seems like this card is just not supported, so if anyone with one of the older cards gets it working I’d be interested to know how.

  7. joze says:

    Hi

    I have problem with my graphic card Ati radeon expres 200m series,
    computer asus X5RL, memory 2gb , program windows 8.1 enterprise n , 32bit
    How can i update graphic card?

    Thanx in advance, for all ansvers 😀

  8. Mutahhar Ahmad says:

    I’m having problem with my AMD Radeon Sapphire HD 5450..!! I have installed latest drivers on Windows 8.1(64-bit)..!! During gaming, there is a problem of resolution..!! My Monitor resolution is on 1024*768 while my games show half screen on this resolution..!! Games work on 1024*600 resolution but with low end graphics..!! Plx help..!!

  9. n.schouteren@live.nl says:

    When i follow all the steps,
    i only see the driver with (engineered sample) after the name of my card.
    when i enable that one, the driver still doesnt work

  10. Logan Gardner says:

    It is very important to remember this fact. The driver is at a software level not fully compatible with windows 8.1. Be warned Mechwarrior Online does not work for me, and worked 100% solid in every way on my machine with Windows 7! More to follow I’m sure. Anyways, the driver has no updates there will have no updates as far as I know. I started with 8.1 though, and won’t be trying that. I play MWO and a few older titles so I got a nice cheap card that supports 8.1…..

  11. Krebbin says:

    ooh it works! Thnaks foer your time and expertise.

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