Just another day I bumped into a problem with my old machine I’m using as a media player. I wanted to install Windows 8.1 to it. But it has an older Radeon card, a X1300. Windows 8.1 comes with integrated drivers from Microsoft that can handle the basic desktop resolutions. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to support bigger or more rear resolutions. So I had to install the official AMD/ATI Catalyst driver.

This wasn’t just so easy you might expect. The driver doesn’t install out-of-box. So I did some research and would like to share my findings.

First of all, as usual you need to be an administrator to install drivers. The second thing is that Windows 8 supports something called Fast start-up, which is not supported by the official driver. I tried several times to get the driver installed but ended up with a black green after cold boot. If you already have made this mistake you can still get the machine running if you use a reset button or CRTL-ALT-DEL during the boot. Anyway, fast start-up needs to be disable.

You also need .NET Framework 3.5 Feature turned on. And please, run Windows update before install so you avoid any further conflicts. During the install you need to have a compatibility mode activated for the setup to finish correctly. Here is a list of steps.

Installation procedure:

  • Login as an administrator

Disable fast start-up:

  • “Control Panel” -> “‘Power Options”
  • Click “Choose what the power buttons do” from the list on the left
  • From “Shut-down settings” disable “Turn on fast start-up (recommended)”

Install .NET Framework

  • “Control Panel” -> “Programs and Features”
  • Click on “Turn Windows features on or off”
  • Select “.NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0)”
  • Run “Windows update”

Use Compatibility mode

  • Right-click on the setup file and choose “Properties”
  • On “Compatibility” tab select “Change settings for all users”
  •  Select “Compatibility mode” for Windows Vista or 7
  • Select also “Run this program as an administrator”
  • Run the installer