[How to] Fix freeze/crash during AMD driver install or restart

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by TrantaLocked, Aug 6, 2017.

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  1. TrantaLocked

    TrantaLocked Notebook Deity

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    Hey everyone! I've decided to try and further raise awareness of a widespread driver installation problem that mainly seems to affect slightly older AMD GPUs. This problem has existed for years now and still affects many, many laptop owners.

    The problem is that when one attempts to install an AMD driver package for their AMD GPU, the installation may cause Windows to freeze during installation and/or during restart and bootup after driver package installation. I know there are other threads of this nature that include solutions, but again, I wanted to raise more awareness because I find it to be an extremely important matter, and one that AMD has continued to ignore and neglect.

    The simple solution is to disable a feature called ULPS (this helps saves power when GPUs are in crossfire mode), after installing the AMD driver package. I personally believe that this feature is a primary culprit because it may cause issues in driver loading and/or operation in some older GPUs which aren't quite as paid attention to or supported, especially those installed in laptops which have manufacturer-specific features and video setups.

    Instructions: First, clear out any traces of AMD GPU drivers by using AMD's Clean Uninstall Tool. No need to use DDU; in fact, it's preferred you use AMD's tool. Reboot as requested. Next, install an AMD driver package of your choosing like normal, but before restarting after initial installation, you'll need to use the registry editor to disable ULPS. Open up regedit (key combination win+r -> type "regedit" -> click ok -> yes). Once in regedit, click the edit tab -> find -> type "EnableULPS" into the Find What text box -> click find next. Once the search is completed, find the entry for "EnableULPS", double click it, and change the value to "0." Then restart.

    And that's it. Windows should now restart properly without any issues. You can try enabling ULPS again to see if things work, but your mileage may vary. It's perfectly fine to keep it disabled, however. As a side note, there's a problem with the very latest AMD driver package (17.7.2) and my system (NP9150 with an HD 7970M), in that AMD settings will not open even with a clean installation. I need to use the previous WHQL for AMD settings to work, so may this be a helpful tip to anyone experiencing any issues of that nature.

    Note for updating to a major Windows 10 build (including Anniversary and Creator's Update): Wipe all AMD driver software and disable the placeholder Microsoft video adapter in device manager before proceeding with installing a new Windows 10 build. Your system may freeze during the installation process otherwise, as it seems ULPS can be automatically re-enabled during the process.

    Solution for dGPU causing system lockup or not being recognized even after using the ULPS method: This is the baking method. First, if you're having trouble even booting or using Windows, boot up in safe mode and manually disable the dGPU in device manager. Baking can help reverse damage by healing connections or components. How it exactly works I'm not sure, but I've successfully baked my 7970m twice. The recent time, my 7970m was recognized by Windows but would freeze my system if ever enabled, and baking solved the problem. All you need to bake a GPU is an oven, aluminum foil and a baking sheet. Clean up your GPU, support it on the sheet with balls of foil under the corners and heat for 10 minutes at 385 F after first preheating. Let the GPU cool after and then you're good to install it. You'd need to talk to someone more qualified about safe temperature and time because I really don't know how hot is too hot. Be safe and I hope this helps.

    Thanks for reading.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
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  2. MacHater

    MacHater Notebook Evangelist

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    This helped tremendously. Many thanks, good sir!
     
  3. cope123abc

    cope123abc Notebook Evangelist

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    Does this still work currently 7970M Crossfire fresh Windows 10 - having issues, tried the EnableULPS fix, still crashes?

    after removing the drivers at what point do you reinstall them?
     
  4. TrantaLocked

    TrantaLocked Notebook Deity

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    At what point does the system crash, during installation or later?

    If there's no AMD drivers you can go ahead and reinstall them but make sure EnableULPS is disabled before you restart. If it's crashing midway durning installation then you could attempt to disable EnableULPS in regedit and/or disable the 7970M in device manager during the installation. You could also go back to previous working drivers or an older version of Windows 10 just in case that's the problem.

    Baking your GPU is also an option if it's a hardware issue but get back to me on the software stuff first.
     
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