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ATI Radeon 3450 - "display driver atikmdag stopped responding..."

11735 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  reV66
Hello: New to this forum and a bit of a newbie to forums, so please indulge me.

Need help resolving "display driver atikmdag stopped responding and has successfully recovered" issue associated with black screen.

Platform: 4-month old Dell XPS 420 with Quadcore chipset, 4 GB RAM, running Vista Ultimate SP1 (32bit) and an ATI Radeon HD 3450 video card. No gaming software, no TV tuner, no dual monitor; just basic productivity software and a 20" flat panel widescreen monitor.

~4 weeks ago, out of the "blue", experienced a series of random "blue screens" after which the OS typically rebooted on its own (error code 4e in the Windows problem history).
Initial troubleshoot w/Dell: "bad hardware", so they replaced the MoBo memory under warranty. No problems for 3 weeks.
~5 days ago, another blue screen, same error message. This time, extensive t-shooting w/Dell (Windows debugger, etc): "bad hardware or drivers, perhaps bad memory on video card". So, we uninstalled the OEM version of the video drivers and installed a newer one (turns out, I now know, this was NOT the *most current* version, as there's an even newer version on the ATI site) AND they sent out a tech to replace the video card (3 days ago).
Since then, I now no longer have "blue screen" OS crashes, but *black screen* video display crashes (error code 117 in the Windows problem history) and the error message: "Display driver atikmdag has stopped responding and has successfully recovered". Windows diagnostics ran OK, no problems detected (FWIW).
Dell is clueless -- they most recently claimed today that my OS/registry must be "corrupted" (after THEY blundered through the driver uninstall/reinstall) and that I should reinstall the OS (losing countless more hours of productivity, inconvenience), even though there's every indication this is the video card/drivers, not an OS issue.
Since reinstalling the OS just didn't seem right, I've researched this on my own, finding my way to your forum.
I've learned that this is a COMMON issue between Vista and ATI drivers.
I've learned that MS blames ATI and ATI blames MS.
I've seen a host of proposed causes and (more importantly) a host of proposed fixes and solutions.
I also see that there's an even newer driver version on the ATI website.

This seems to happen most predictably soon after system start/reboot, even with only my browser open (no gaming, no videos, etc). It's intermittent, but annoying. I've already wasted countless hours with Dell, even with their live screen-share, "premium" tech support.

Aside from reinstalling the OS (which seems pretty clearly will NOT fix the problem), what has worked for you?????

Thanks so much!!

EDIT: I forgot to mention, if there's already a thread on this, please forgive me and please direct me to it (I'm a bit of a geezer on these forums :sigh:)
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Are you currently using the very latest drivers and still having the problem? Vista along with ati should work fine , especially if your not playing any video games. It's more or less dell's fault. We literally never recommend buying any oem computers at all (dell , hp , compaq , gateway , ect...
Hi, Emosun:
Thanks for the reply.
To answer, I *thought* it was the most current driver, since it was the one listed at the Dell support page for my system. However, during my research on my own last evening, I discovered that there is another, even more recent version on the AMD/ATI website. I ought to have known that. And frankly, so should the folks at Dell's "premium" tech support. So, no, it's not quite the newest.
So, I suppose the first step will be to 1) manually uninstall the existing "newer" driver/software, 2) reboot, 3) download and install the "newest" version from the AMD/ATI site.
As for the 2nd part of your reply, I'm not an IT geek and could not ever build my own, so I pretty much have to buy OEM.
Nor is this specifically a "Dell" thing, except that they have selected this particular video card for use in their systems. (There is a LOT out there about this particular issue, as it's been an ongoing problem ever since the Vista release.)

Anyway, I'll try to update the drivers again and see if that helps. Thanks!
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All you really need to do is download the latest drivers and install , no need to remove the old ones. I more ment "dell thing" by them giving you the run around and replacing parts w/o the machine actually being fixed.

I have exactly the same problem with my Dell PC, Vista, and an ATI Radeon 3450. The screen suddenly becomes black (before going black, there are tons of black boxes scattered around the screen) and the driver is recovered with an "atikmdag" message.

Installing the newest drivers (okay, 2 months ago) did not solve anything. Dell really does not have the slightest clue about the problem. After 15 e-mail exchanges, they replaced my ATI video card and my motherboard. However, the problem persists without any improvement.

Has anybody found a solution to this problem?

By the way, I am using a higher-than-standard DPI (144) with a resolution of 1920x1080. Even though not sure, I have a certain suspicion that ATI's video card, its driver, or both cannot properly handle non-standard DPIs. Any experiences?

Thanks a lot for any answers.

So I just bought a brand new ASUS AH3450 for my (sort of old-build) PC.
Specs are:
ASUS a7n8x Motherboard
AMD Sempron @ 1.8GHz (1 core failsauce, but it's good enough for what I need)
1,5 GB DDR
ASUS AH3450 (also known as HD3450)
1 40gb hard drive
1 80gb hard drive
I'm currently running Windows 7 Ultimate (x32).

Everything went smooth untill yesterday, when I connected the new graphics card. (old one is an nVida FX5200)

Some 10 minutes after installing the latest drivers, CCC, Hydravision and whatever kits ATi has to offer for my model GFX card, the pc froze, black screen, then the oh so annoying message: "Display driver atikmdag stopped responding and has successfully recovered." (it's a direct link to Event ID 4101).

Someone suggested that my power supply (delux 400W) might be a little too small.
After browsing for a solution on the internet (because neither Microsoft nor ATi seem to take the problem in their own hands) I've yet to find anything that can help.
I'm currently considering buying a new power supply (a 500W one probably) but I wouldn't want to replace a perfectly good power supply.

Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance.
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Hi reV66,

I still have my problem (posted above), and it seems to be exactly the problem you are experiencing. I have faced the problem for 11 months so far without any solution.

Dell told me to reset my Windows to Dell's original image, which I did several times to no avail. After writing them for 14 times (!), they accepted to inspect the problem and exchanged my graphics card and my mainboard. They told me they tested the PC and everything was all right now, but it still occurs at the same rate as before (several times everyday) and nothing changed.

I initially thought that an update to Windows 7 might resolve the problem, but the fact that you encounter the same problem with Windows 7 is very discouraging...

I have not tried (or Dell has not tried) to replace the power supply. If it works or if you find any solution, I would be really thankful for your feedback!!!!!

Thanks a lot!
I decided to try and change my power supply sometime in the next 2-3 days. I'll post my feedback (I hope it's a positive one) as soon as possible *fingers crossed*

P.S.: Apparently (from what some tech experts say) the graphic card doesn't get enough voltage/ amperage or something of that sort OR there's some hardware incompatibility. I still hope it's the first one...
So I've just installed my new power supply that provides 500W of power, I'll post the outcome sometime today, hopefully with a good result to this annoying and damn right eff'd up problem.

Stand by for results :)
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