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BSOD with ATI graphics in Windows Vista - ThinkPad R400, T400, T500, W500

Update (28 April 2009):
Lenovo has released an updated graphics driver, version 8.563.2.1-090401a-079160C (the package name is 7VD541WW). This new release resolves the BSOD problem, and has no known limitations. We strongly recommend that users update their systems to this newly released driver.
Click here to download the updated driver.

Symptom

Lenovo users have reported experiencing Windows Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) stop codes (aka blue-screen of death or BSOD) on their R400/T400/T500/W500 systems. TDR is a Microsoft feature that is new in Windows Vista, therefore only users with the Vista operating system are experiencing this problem. The TDR BSOD issue is preceded by several (two or more) non-fatal TDR errors in quick succession, which cause the screen to go blank or blink for a few seconds, and an error message to be shown in a balloon from the system notification area (like the image below).

balloon.gif

In addition, the problem only occurs when Windows Aero is in use; those using Windows Vista Basic do not experience this problem.

Affected configurations

To be affected by this problem, the following criteria must be met:

  • Any of the following Lenovo systems:
    • ThinkPad R400 with Machine Type 2782, 2783, 2784, 2786, 2787, 2788, 2789
    • ThinkPad T400 with Machine Type 2764, 2765, 2766, 2767, 2768, 2769, 2773
    • ThinkPad T500 with Machine Type 2055, 2056, 2081, 2082, 2083, 2087, 2088
    • ThinkPad W500 with Machine Type 4058, 4061, 4062, 4063, 4064, 4065
  • Microsoft Windows Vista operating system.
  • Windows Aero activated and in use.

Almost all reports also state that the system is using an external display, though that does not appear to be necessary. There are some reports of seeing the problem upon resuming from standby, playing a video, or playing a video game.

Solution

Lenovo is working on a driver which resolves this problem. We currently have available a signed driver that fixes the TDR BSOD issue, but in our testing we have found several other issues that are preventing us from releasing the driver as a general update.

Known issues with the driver:

  • If the DVI display is active and it is the primary desktop (or cloned), it remains in use after an undock request.
  • Presentation Director profiles must be applied twice before they take effect.
  • In Presentation Director, when the Test button is clicked when editing or creating a profile, sometimes the external display is blank.

The driver with these issues is being made available here for those users who want to fix their TDR BSOD problem and live with the known issues listed above.

Video Driver (version 8.563.2-090116a-075793C-Lenovo)

Instructions to install the driver:

  1. [This step is optional, but recommended] Uninstall the current video driver. From Uninstall a Program, select the ATI Uninstaller and click Uninstall/Change. After several minutes, this will complete, and you should reboot your system.
  2. After downloading and extracting the driver above, run Setup.exe to install the driver. You must reboot your system when done.

Note that Windows associates all drivers by the hardware ID of a device. These systems have a setting in BIOS for the Graphics Device, which can be Switchable Graphics, Discrete Graphics, or Integrated Graphics. When changing between these three settings, all that BIOS does is change the hardware ID of the graphics device. This is worth noting because the ATI driver is needed in both the Switchable Graphics and Discrete Graphics settings, and if you do not perform the optional step 1 above of uninstalling the graphics driver, your system will continue to use the old driver whenever you change the BIOS setting.

Additional Information

Alternative Solution or Workaround:

If you do not want to use this driver, or suffer the TDR BSOD problem, you can turn off Windows Aero and use Windows Vista Basic.

1. Right-click on the desktop and click on Personalize.

step1.gif

2. Click on Window Color and Appearance.

  1. step2.gif

3. Click on Open classic appearance properties for more color options.

  1. step3.gif

4. Select Windows Vista Basic, and click OK.

step4.gif

 


  • #Alias ID#:MIGR-71851
  • #Document ID#:HT002767
  • #Last Updated# :6/17/2014 10:33:46 PM
  • #Copyright#