Trying to make sense of the term "default settings" for a graphics card.

Posted on 2007-10-17
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
I want to clarify the meaning of default settings for a particular graphics card, the Diamond V9600XT 256 Radeon 9600-XT card

Awhile back I installed a program called Powerstrip and really have not explored its capabilities (thats the subject for a different question) but, as I understand it, it allows a very detailed capability to modify a large number of graphic card settings but, as far as I know, I did not change any of its settings through that program.

Since I installed Powerstrip, however, one message that recurs has notified me that my defaults have changed and do I want to allow this or do I want to change my Diamond V9600XT 256 Radeon 9600-XT card to its default settings

I have set my display to 1024 by 768, High color (16 bit), 60 Herz by right clicking on the Desktop to access the Settings tab and Advanced button of the Display Properties box because it helps the screen to screen responsiveness when I am trying to use Remote Assistance with another computer.

Please specifically answer the following questions:

Question 1.
Would the fact that I made screen resolution changes in that way meet the definition of a "change in default settings?"

Question 2.
What is the correct way to reset the hardware to its defaults?

Question 3.
How can I determine what the adapter default settings are supposed to be for a particular graphics card?

Question 4.
How can I determine at a particular point in time what the current adapter settings actually are?

Thank you..
Question by:rsuess1
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Hi rsuess1

    I will try and answer your questions, with my own knowledge and experience.

    Question 1:
    This should not make any changes to the default settings, i don't believe. What it is warning about, is probably more important settings of the graphics-card, which ATI thinks could make damage, or give you trouble with your hardware.

    Question 2:
    The correct way, would be to reset them in the software that comes with ATI drivers, this means the catalyst software.

    Question 3:
    Well this is a pretty hard questions. But you could reset the settings from the catalyst software, then it should be the right default settings.

    Question 4:
    Use the catalyst software to check the settings, or you could use Powerstrip or another kind of gfx software to check the settings.

    Hope this could answer some of your questions.

    Author Comment

    Hello psyclown,

    I'm editing my response and will soon post it.

    Author Comment

    Hello psyclown-,

    First, let me finish with questions regarding my original question:

    New Question  1.
    Your answer to Question1.above confuses me and I was trying to relate it to Questions 2-4.  I'm trying to get a handle on just what "settings" of the graphic card we are speaking about.  Can you give me any examples or an idea of just what is being set?  The only settings I could thiink of were things like the screen resolution and the bit setting which, if I didn't misunderstood you, you seem to be telling me is not correct.

    New Question 2.
    I need to tell you that I tried to update the driver for my Diamond V9600XT 256 Radeon 9600-XT graphics card and it also should have installed an ATI Catalyst Control Center.  Am I correct that you meant that I should use the ATI Catalyst Control Center to restore those defaults?

    New Question 3.
    Wouldn't it be correct to say that updating the driver for my Diamond V9600XT 256 Radeon 9600-XT graphics card should automatically reset its defaults to whatever they should be?
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    What i meant with my answer for question 1 was, the reason why it is asking if you want to "change to default settings", is probably because some changes have been made outside the "normal" way of changing those settings. ie. The screen-resolution is normally changed from windows, or from the catalyst software, so when you change it from a third party software, those programs might be confused, and ask if it is correct. That is only for security reasons.

    Yes, you the Catalyst driver to reset to default settings.

    Yes, installing new drivers should reset all settings to default. But if you have a third party software, like powerstrip, installed, it might overrule those settings after the install.
    So you could try and uninstall powerstrip first, and maybe use Driver cleaner (, before installing a new driver.

    Author Comment

    Hello psyclown-,

    Before finishing here, Ill give you information about the current status of my computer with its graphics card  remember the graphics card was the Diamond V9600XT 256 Radeon 9600-XT card and, if you notice any discrepancies that I need to know, Id appreciate the comments.  I had tried to update the driver for that card along with the ATI Catalyst System (which never was supposed to be on my computer before trying the update) and a complicated series of events occurred.

    That update package included the ATI Driver update but, I believe, even though at the time I installed it, it was version 7.20 of the ATI Catalyst System that was offered.  When I recently went back and rechecked at the AMD/ATI update download site, that version had been withdrawn and a more up to date version 7.10 dated Oct 11, 2007 (with some error removed from v7.20?) was being offered.  

    After the installation, what first occurred was a request that I register the ATI Catalyst System but that could not be done because it was interfered with by a .NET Framework 1.1 Initiailization Error message telling me that in order to run the ATI Catalyst System I first had to install the .NET Framework 1.1 update v2.0.50727.  This notification has occurred each time I reboot since I haven't yet updated to v2.0.50727.  In addition, there is not an ATI Control Center icon in the Control Panel.  

    So, even if that was the only method for installing the graphics card default settings, I wouldnt have been able to do so.  However, you indicated that on installing the driver update the default settings would be restored as required as long as I had first uninstalled the Powerstrip program which I will do.  

    After I attempted to install the ATI Catalyst System, the Display Adapter listing in the Device Manager (and several other methods have given me the same information) changed from:
    Diamond V9600XT256 Radeon 9600-XT and
    Diamond V9600XT256 Radeon 9600-XT Secondary
    ATI Radeon 9600/X1050 Series and
    ATI Radeon 9600/X1050 Secondary Series

    It seems that the previous name for the graphics card has been obliterated and replaced by the ATI Radeon 9600/X1050 Series.  

    Also since performing that installation, on each reboot of the computer I am now getting a New Hardware found  ATI Radeon 9600/X1050  message stating:
    New graphics hardware has been found at Bus 1, device 0, function 0, and the current settings are being recorded as the adapter defaults for future reference.

    IMPORTANT!  If the current settings are NOT  the adapter defaults, you should Cancel this operation, reset the hardware to the adapter defaults, and then rerun this program.

    And this message box has 2 buttons, an OK and a Cancel button

    So, not knowing how to reset the adapter defaults, I have chosen the Cancel button each time.  

    Another interesting thing to me, however, is that even though, apparently, I havent fully even installed the graphics card if that is what that message was telling me, I am not aware of any malfunctions of whatever my system recognizes as my card and I am able to change the resolutions settings and as I use my computer I have had no display problems of which I am aware - it looks normal.

    I am aware of what I believe I have to do to correct this:

    1.  Uninstall the Powerstrip program

    2.  Uninstall the current ATI update software via the Add/Remove program in the Control Panel:
    ATI  Software Uninstall Utility
    ATI Catalyst Control Center
    ATI Control Panel
    ATI Display Driver

    3.  Reboot.  I believe that the VGA default display will now be active with no effort on my part

    4.  Install the .NET Framework v2.0.50727 update via a file named 'dotnetfx.exe

    5.  Reboot

    6.  Install the latest update to the ATI Catalyst Software Suite v7.10 (dating Oct 11, 2007) that includes:
    Display Driver
    Catalyst Control Center
    WDM Drivers

    7.  Reboot

    After completing all that I hope I will be through with this mess.

    Thank you.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Hey again rsuess1

    That really sounds like a mess for you. I've tried something similar while reinstalling a computer with an ATI card, just without the Frameworks problem.
    But i think you have the solution yourself, by completely removing any drivers or programs that can interfere, when trying to reinstall the graphics-card.
    If your solution doesn't work for any reason, then please post it, and I'll try to help you.

    Author Comment

    Hi psyclown-

    Well, I finally got though that mess (and believe me it was a mess) but I learned a lot in the process.  However, I guess my instincts were correct in asking that first set of questions about defaults for the graphics cards before I tried to install the driver and Catalyst Control Center updates.  

    If you don't mind these questions let me ask a few more questions relating to that driver installation and the retoring graphic card defaults problem.

    The first chore in doing that driver update required that I uninstall the ATI Software Uninstallation Utility from the Add/Remove program.  It proceeded through the uninstallation but towards it end, it started to install 'MyDVD' whatever that was.  I would have been best to not accept that installation in the first place but I thought it was a legitimate part of the ATI uninstallation process.  That ended by freezing on a message telling me that its serial number was invalid.  By ending that task in the Task Manager the remainder of the ATI uniinstallation proceeded, apparently, normally.  

    Question 1.
    My question here, however, it why, in the middle of the ATI uninstallation would a 'MyDVD' installation process begin?  ATI told me that didn't belong in the procedure so it wasn't their fault.

    Since completing that ATI Catalyst Control Center installation, on every reboot of the computer I am now getting that same 'New Hardware found  ATI Radeon 9600/X1050 Series' message stating:
    New graphics hardware has been found at Bus 1, device 0, function 0, and the current settings are being recorded as the adapter defaults for future reference.

    IMPORTANT!  If the current settings are NOT  the adapter defaults, you should Cancel this operation, reset the hardware to the adapter defaults, and then rerun this program.

    And this message box has 2 buttons, an OK and a Cancel button

    I think you can understand why the problem with the adapter defaults and their restoration bothers me so much:

    Because of that IMPORTANT part of the above message, I don't know whether to accept the current settings as the adapter defaults because I don't know whether that might leave me with a botched up display .  There must be information about this kind of problem.  I think you can see why I asked my original question.  Trying to be sure that I didn't ruin my display and, if I did, how to restore the normal setup.

    Tech suport at ATI told me, after having me check in the Device Manager that there were no errors (yellow questions marks or exclamation marks) in the installation and showing a normal appearance of the ATI Radeon 9600/X105 Series Display listings.  One tech told me that he didn't know why I was still getting that New Harware found message and another told me it might be due to some error in the particular drivers so he advised that I download an earlier driver.

    Question 2.
    Any comments would be appreciated.

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Uninstall any generic driver that Windows has installed in Device Manager. Then, reboot, and go into Safe Mode, Run Driver Cleaner, Install the new drivers, and boot back up normally. Now your drivers should be installed.
    If that doesn't work either, then try some older drivers, like 7.1,

    I'm not an expert in ATI drivers, i am a GeForce user myself, so i don't know much about them, But my guess is that the MyDVD is implemented as some kind of "sponsor" software in the ATI drivers, and therefor it tries to install when you uninstall/install Catalyst drivers or ATI software.

    Don't be so afraid about the default settings of the hardware (your graphics card). The settings won't do anything weird, and unchangeable, unless the drivers are broken, or something similar to that.
    It is all ways possible to change your graphics settings through the Catalyst software.

    I really hope that you can get it working now, so you can get on using your graphics card. :)
    Please report back, how my suggestions are working.

    Author Comment

    Hello psyclown-,

    Excuse me for not following your advice above because of the following alternative path (get ready for another long-winded description):

    Feel free to criticise what I'm saying if it doesn't seem correct to you and I apologize for any repetition in the presentation.

    From my conversations with ATI techsupport, they, having had me check the Device Manager to confirm that the currently installed driver for my graphics card is recognized in the Display adapter listing of ATI Radeon 9600/X1050 Series without any indications of errors such as yellow question marks or exclamations marks, were satisfied that the card was satisfactorily installed.

    They, apparently, gave me two lines of thought about the continuing reappearance of that 'New hardware found - ATI Radeon 9600/X1050 Series' message:

    1)  that the message was due to another device on the computer in need of its driver/installation
        From my viewpoint this would be contradicted by two things:
        a) that the heading of that message was that new hardware was found and       then listed it as ATI Radeon 9600/X1050 and
        b) that the Device Manager did not list any uninstalled devices since all the devices it did list had no question marks or exclamations marks indicating any errors

    2)  that there might be some problem with the driver itself or its installation that might be responsible for the 'New hardware...' message so the uninstallation should again be carried out with the reinstallation of an earlier driver - 7.7.  Interestingly when I tried to download that driver and the accompanying ATI Catalyst Software, the English version that I was trying to download was named '7-7_xp32-64_ccc_asian_49710.exe.  Needless to say, that 'asian' in the middle of what was supposed to be an English version turned me off to it.  So they suggested a somewhat earlier version - 7.4.   This fits one of your suggestions and was the one I was going to follow.

    Now, I apologize for holding back the following:
    Before going through that tedium of uninstalling and reinstalling the driver package, I decided to, first, click on that 'OK' button in the 'New hardware found...' message.  That meant that I was accepting the current settings (whatever those are) as the adapter defaults.  Since I was in an experimental mood, I figured I could just reinstall Windows XP from scratch if I had really botched anything too badly.

    When I did that, there were no noticeable changes in my graphic functions of which I was aware and as soon as I had done it, the Powerstrip program which I couldn't really find recently, reappeared.  So, now for my speculation that I'd like you to criticise:
    Somehow, the reason for that 'New hardware found...' message reoccurring on each reboot was due to my system (in the form of that Powerstrip program) causing some aspect of the driver to malfunction leading to a failure to recognize that the graphics card was actually reinstalled.  If that doesn't sound correct or if you have a better explanation, I'd appreciate your comments.

    Thank you.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    1: I have never heard about that, and if that is the case, then i would think that you would really have some serious problems.

    2: I cannot figure out how far you are in your process, and what you have done, and not done so far :)
    If it still doesn't work, and you have problems with powerstrip, then i would recommend you to uninstall anything that has something to do with your graphics-card/drivers, and use my guide to install some new drivers.

    Author Comment

    I'm sorry, if I was unclear.  I was simply reporting back in a detailed manner about my progress.

    As far as I'm concerned I now "seem" to have a functioning graphics card and I no longer have that 'New hardware found...' message.  The problem here is that I don't have enough knowledge to tell whether there might be surprises down the road of which I'm unaware.  Could you suggest any graphics diagnostic prorgrams that could tell me if there is any malfunction in the graphics card that I should know about?


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