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I've got a brand new HP Envy (ATI Radeon 6850m graphics) which is experiencing some stuttering and other problems in several games and would like to update the graphics drivers to hopefully fix this.

Unfortunately, I discovered that AMD's drivers won't install and I'm restricted to using HP's OEM drivers... and the last time they released an update was 5 months ago with version 8.820.5.1000.

Is there any way workaround to updating the driver? Further, why do manufacturers do this in the first place?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

No, sorry. If the AMD drivers don't run, it's usually because HP implemented the hardware in a way that deviates from the reference. Manufacturers do this to provide variations in capabilities, such as different support for external monitors.

How exactly did you determine that AMD's drivers won't install? You should use AMD's testing/installing tool, either the 32-bit or the 64-bit version depending on what version of Windows 7 you have.

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Well that's bad news. During installation of the new drivers, it returns an error saying it can't be installed on the hardware configuration and to check with the hardware vendor. Same thing with their detection utility. Recently, HP's "technical support" has flat out told me AMD's drivers won't work. – Ryan Oct 26 '11 at 23:42

As David Schwartz said, laptop manufacturers often uses non-standard video BIOS or power management module that require an OEM driver. But for most laptops, a generic graphics driver will still work.

To force install, you'll have to

  1. Run the original exe to extract the installer files. Cancel the installation wizard and locate the drivers. Normally it's under %systemdrive%\ATI\[driver package name]\Packages.
  2. In device manager, update the driver of display adapter and manually browse to the "Drivers" folder inside the "Packages" folder.
  3. If Windows can't automatically locate the newer driver, you may have to force install a driver. Go back to the "Browse for drivers ..." screen, click the "Let me pick ..." button and then use the "Have disk..." button to open one inf file in the "Drivers" folder. You may have to try one in each sub-directory until your graphics chip model is listed.
  4. If it is not listed. You may need to modify some of the inf files. You can find some posts on this through Google.
  5. After the driver is updated, install the apps (CCC, etc.) in the "Apps" folder.
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In 'ATI\...\packages\' there is no 'Drivers' folder, only 'Apps'. A quick search doesn't turn up any .inf files at all. I'll keep looking... – Ryan Oct 27 '11 at 0:35
Which driver package did you use? Could you give us the URL? – Oct 27 '11 at 2:10
I guess the Control Center doesn't have the driver, but it prevents me from also downloading the Suite due to the "hardware incompatibilities". Link here – Ryan Oct 27 '11 at 2:28
AMD does distribute different packages for the same hardware. Could you try the bigger CCC package on this page as it may actually contain the drivers. The 1.1MB package is obviously just a downloader. – Oct 27 '11 at 18:58
The Control Center @ 87MB is what I downloaded and extracted to '\ATI\' That's OK, I think I'm just hosed on this one. Your help is much appreciated. – Ryan Oct 27 '11 at 19:11

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