Recently, both AMD and Nvidia released drivers that pose risks to gaming PCs. Nvidia’s issue is a simple CPU overuse problem that occurs after exiting a game, which can be resolved by reverting to the previous driver or using Task Manager to end the Nvidia Container entry. On the other hand, AMD’s issue can result in the total corruption of a user’s Windows installation in rare cases.
The problem lies in the fact that Windows often updates the OS while users are installing new AMD drivers, resulting in system corruption. The Adrenalin 23.2.1 driver from February, as well as the current 23.2.2 version, have both been found to be capable of bricking a user’s PC. Brad Chacos from PC World and a number of Radeon owners documented their problems and the difficult steps they took to recover their systems after the driver update failed.
The workaround suggested by AMD engineers is to spam the power switch on bootup to force an automatic recovery event. This must be done in the split second between the BIOS keypress options screen and the spinning Windows logo appearing. Users can then select from some advanced options to sort out their system. However, it may take several attempts to get the automatic recovery event to trigger.
To avoid encountering this issue when updating drivers, AMD recommends that users uncheck the Factory Reset checkbox in the Adrenalin install options. This is particularly important if the user is updating from an Nvidia card.
Nvidia’s issue is less severe, but can still be an annoyance. The Nvidia Container software can sometimes take up 10-15% of the CPU’s resources after a game is quit, resulting in increased fan noise. Users can either end the Nvidia Container process via Task Manager or revert to an earlier driver without the AI video upscaling feature or with the latest game optimizations.
Nvidia has acknowledged the problem and added it to its list of known driver issues. It may release a hotfix soon if it can determine the exact cause of the problem.
In summary, both AMD and Nvidia have released graphics card drivers that can cause problems for your gaming PC. Nvidia’s issue is a relatively simple CPU overuse problem that occurs after exiting a game, and the workaround is to either revert to a previous driver or use Task Manager to end the Nvidia Container entry.
On the other hand, AMD’s driver has the potential to totally corrupt your Windows installation, which can be a much bigger problem. The issue occurs when Windows decides to update the OS while you are installing new AMD drivers, which can corrupt the system. To avoid this, AMD recommends unchecking the Factory Reset checkbox in the Adrenalin install options when updating your drivers.
If your system is already corrupted due to the driver update, the workaround is to spam the power switch on bootup to force an automatic recovery event. This can be a difficult process, as Support Book’s techs had to mash the power button on fifteen different boots before they were able to get their system to recover. Once the system is recovered, it may be necessary to do a system restore to a previous restore point to make things functional again.
Nvidia has acknowledged the issue and added it to its list of known problems with the driver. There may be an imminent hotfix available if they can identify the problem. In the meantime, if you notice increased fan noise after quitting a game, it could be due to the Nvidia Container taking up processor resources. Check Task Manager and force an End Task on the process if necessary or revert to an earlier driver.
It’s important to keep your graphics card drivers up to date for optimal performance, but it’s also important to be aware of potential issues that may arise. If you experience any problems after updating your graphics card driver, check online forums for potential workarounds or contact the manufacturer for support.