I appologise for this quick off-topic warning post, but this info might save many of you from throwing out a perfectly good ATI Radeon 4xxx series that suddenly stopped working. I use ATI HD4670 in Win7 32bit, but this may apply also to other series of ATI cards.
A very recent upgrade of Microsoft C++ run-time library version 2011.0.30xx to 2011.0.40xx (Win7 32bit) breaks ATI Radeon graphics drivers. The symptoms are similar to when a graphic card breaks due to a hardware failure, that is screen goes suddenly black during a boot up, in high resolution large screen mode, while it may still be working when booted in the "safe mode".
I haven't tracked down yet where that .40 upgrade came from but I have determined it by multiple trial and errors beyond reasonable doubt that it is caused by the Windows 7 system run-time library incompatibility.
To fix the problem:
1) If your screen is already black, shut down, remove ATI Radeon graphics card, plug in some other card (Nvidia or something much older, even a standard VGA will do). Reboot.
2) Open Control Panel, Programs and Features - Check if you have MS C++ 2010.0.40xx Run-time installed. If yes then uninstall it.
3) Go to www.amd.com go to ATI Radeon downloads section, download and install "ATI Catalyst Center" (this will install all necessary graphics drivers for the ATI Radeon series) . I installed an older version (10.12) but the most recent one (11.7) should also work They all install MS C++ 2010.0.30 run-time library, as part of their overall installation process - verify the log that it was installed OK! If you forgot to uninstall version 40 then this step of "ATI Catalyst" installation will report a failure!
4) Shut down the PC, remove the old graphics card, reinstall ATI Radeon, restart.
New Critters - I saw some new animals today in the South Boulder wetlands which the progressive University of Colorado and City of Boulder want to destroy.
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