What you need to know
- An issue that can occur when installing AMD Adrenalin drivers can cause a PC to crash and then fail to boot.
- The issue is rare and only affects a subset of systems that had a PC update occur during the installation of an Adrenalin driver.
- AMD has shared a workaround for the problem and is working on a permanent fix.
Some Windows PCs with AMD graphics crashed and were unable to boot after attempting to install AMD's Adrenalin 23.2.1 driver. The problem seems to be limited to an extremely small number of systems, but we now have a better idea of the root cause of the issue.
AMD released its Adrenalin 23.2.1 drivers in mid-February. Unfortunately, complications related to the driver updates caused systems to crash and then brick. In other words, PCs affected by the issue would stop working entirely. Wccftech gathered together several reports of PCs running into issues. The Adrenalin 23.2.2 seems to have the same issue.
PCWorld Executive Editor Brad Chacos detailed his system getting bricked. Chacos, who spoke with AMD about the situation, explained that a Windows update running in the background at the same time as a driver update caused his PC to crash and fail.
"We have reproduced an issue that can occur in an extremely small number of instances if a PC update occurs during the installation of AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition, and we are actively investigating. We recommend users ensure all system updates are applied or paused before installing the driver, and that the "Factory Reset" option is unchecked during the AMD driver installation process," said an AMD spokesperson to PCWorld.
"We are committed to resolve issues as quickly as possible and strongly encourage users to submit issues with AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition via the Bug Report Tool."
AMD is looking for a permanent fix for the issue. Until then, a simple workaround can prevent the installation of Adrenalin drivers from bricking your PC. When you install those drivers, do not check the "factory reset" box.
If you have already run into the bug and your system is bricked, follow the steps outlined by Chacos. It's a tedious process that involves pressing a button at precisely the right time.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.