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Video problems? Black Screen? Browser freezing? AMD drivers may be the culprit

AMD’s optional 21.9.1 drivers are out and they’re recommended for Deathloop and the Call of Duty Vanguard Open Beta, but it may also be the sources of some problems.

Since installing the driver we’ve experienced a host of issues. Our browser (vanilla Chrome) would hang and seem to crash when certain videos were played, the usually reliable VLC media player could no longer play files and display a black screen, and we experienced some hitching in general use of our PC.

After some troubleshooting we narrowed down the problem to the 21.9.1 drivers simply not working properly on our one aging desktop with an RX 580 8GB GPU.

For the sake of completeness in this story the desktop is also running a Ryzen 5 3600, 16GB of RAM and Windows 10 off of an NVMe SSD. This other hardware shouldn’t be a factor but we’ve included it if it helps anyone with their own troubleshooting.

Similar problems to the ones we describe are also present in the known issues section of the 21.9.1 release notes available here.

If you’re running an AMD GPU and have noticed some problems recently it may be because of 21.9.1 and rolling back to old drivers is recommended. We did and our affected PC has gone back to normal.

A short and concise video tutorial of how to do this can be seen in the video embed at the bottom of this page, but we’ll provide the steps in writing too.

  1. Go to This PC -> C: drive -> AMD
  2. In this folder there will be, at the top of the list, more folders titled “AMD_RADEON_INSTALLER_X” where X is the driver packages that were last installed
  3. Click on the subfolder which is the most recent driver before 21.9.1. If your Radeon install was up to date before now, that should be 21.8.2.
  4. Click on the folder and run the executable titled “Setup”.
  5. Follow the install wizard to replace your current drivers.
  6. Restart your PC to finish the installation.

You can also directly download the drivers you want from AMD’s website, but this method uses just the files which are already on your PC.

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