I installed Catalyst 4.9 drivers for my Radeon 9600Pro, overwriting the 4.4’s. Or so I thought. Error. “Try to setup your display adapter with a standard VGA driver before running setup.” I uninstalled the drivers and rebooted, reinstalling… this time, it could not find the file specified. That was merely the start of a descent into driver hell.

Reboot. My video card driver was dead, and it was replaced by a VGASave driver. After much research on a very slow Streamyx connection (downloading drivers at below 10kbps) and a night of rebooting, going into Safe Mode, using Driver Cleaner, disabling the conflicting NVIDIA nForce2 AGP Host to PCI Bridge, and not having anything aforementioned work, I found the solution, to my problem, at least.

The driver installer extracted installation files into a folder first. I peeked inside and installed CPanel/Setup.exe. That worked! Thus, the next step would be Driver/Setup.exe – while it did scare me a bit with a “Zero Display Service” error, it did ask to reboot, as customary after a successful driver installation.

Catalyst 4.7 was installed! I then installed 4.9, again, with the “Zero Display Service” error, but at least it worked! (Yes my driver hell could’ve been because I jumped from 4.4 to 4.9…)

Now before Nvidia groupies bash my head over, this problem happens with Nvidia cards as well, on nForce2 and VIA chipsets. And yes, I never did figure out the damn GeForce4 TI4200 128MB 4x AGP card that insisted on being in PCI mode. Hurrah for a 3dfx Voodoo3 16MB PCI card too, running incompatibly in Windows XP.

In a way, that escapade was hell on my computer. I went through all this trouble for a smooth walk in hell on Mars. Yes, the pretty Doom 3. Prettier than Far Cry in some parts, but geeking out there will be saved for a proper article.

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