Windows 10: Interesting CPU usage pattern caused by atikmdag.sys


  1. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 64bit
       30 Aug 2016 #1

    Interesting CPU usage pattern caused by atikmdag.sys


    I am using Acer V5-122P and running Windows 10 Build 1607 64-bit with all the latest updates.

    Recently, I have noticed abnormal CPU usage by "System" (regardless of whether the PC is idle). This does not happen in the past, but I'm unable to tell when exactly it started.
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    The CPU usage graph is very interesting.
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    Perhaps a little bit less interesting if the 4 cores are displayed separately.
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    I have downloaded Process Explorer from Microsoft. It turns out that it is the atikmdag.sys that is causing the abnormal CPU usage.
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    Naturally I uninstalled the AMD display driver using the Display Driver Uninstaller. Then I tried several versions of the AMD display driver (including a pre-Crimson Catalyst driver and the driver provided by Windows Update). Unfortunately, all versions of the AMD display driver I have tried have the same problem.

    It is worth noting that the abnormal CPU usage does NOT occur if I use the generic display driver built into Windows. However, the generic display driver is not suitable for long-term use because I can't even adjust screen brightness with that driver.

    I am suspecting that the problem is caused by the Build 1607 update, but I'm too late to roll back to Build 1511 and I'm not prepared to re-install Windows at the moment.

    It would be great if you could kindly provide me with insights into the problem. Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 2,488
    Windows 10.3 Home 1703 x64 (Home per choice)
       30 Aug 2016 #2

    Just to make sure, have you installed APU Driver? The latest driver via Windows Update causes problems, better to hide it.
    Also, for some reason, Windows refuses to install AMD SATA, make sure you have that and not Standard SATA installed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 64bit
    Thread Starter
       30 Aug 2016 #3

    TairikuOkami said: View Post
    Just to make sure, have you installed APU Driver? The latest driver via Windows Update causes problems, better to hide it.
    Also, for some reason, Windows refuses to install AMD SATA, make sure you have that and not Standard SATA installed.
    Thanks for your reply. I have previously tried the version that you linked to. It causes blackscreen and significant lag. (sigh....AMD drivers....)

    I see that there is a "AMD Chipset Drivers" in the optional download. I used to have that but I don't know if the Build 1607 update or the DDU has removed that. I'll try installing that.

    Update: The "AMD Chipset Drivers" doesn't solve the problem. I would like to try some slightly older versions of the APU driver but I can't find it on AMD's website.

    Update: I heard that A6-1450 is no longer supported by the new AMD drivers: Legacy
    . It is so confusing for me because the exact display card model (i.e. HD8250) is not mentioned. When you use the AMD's auto-detect tool, it still gives you the new driver which crashes the computer.
    Last edited by little; 30 Aug 2016 at 05:04.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 64bit
    Thread Starter
       30 Aug 2016 #4

    Funny observation: When I use the old 15.7.1 driver released on 29/7/2015 (supposed to be the last driver that supports A6-1650), the CPU usage graph still shows a similar pattern, but the peaks are lower.

    Using 15.7.1 driver:
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    Using the driver provided by Windows Update:
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      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    04 Nov 2016 #5

    Same Laptop and exactly the same Problem


    Hy Little,

    I am the owner of a Acer V5 122P and been a long time very happy with windows 10. Exactly like you i got Problems with high cpu usage caused by atikmdag.sys. Most Time my Lappy is freezing and unworkable. So my question is if you found a solution for the Problem or please give me the link to the last working driver. Thanks very much, Frank from Germany

    little said: View Post
    Funny observation: When I use the old 15.7.1 driver released on 29/7/2015 (supposed to be the last driver that supports A6-1650), the CPU usage graph still shows a similar pattern, but the peaks are lower.

    Using 15.7.1 driver:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	98936

    Using the driver provided by Windows Update:
    Click image for larger version. 

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Size:	116.1 KB 
ID:	98937
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 64bit
    Thread Starter
       04 Nov 2016 #6

    fnetf said: View Post
    Hy Little,

    I am the owner of a Acer V5 122P and been a long time very happy with windows 10. Exactly like you i got Problems with high cpu usage caused by atikmdag.sys. Most Time my Lappy is freezing and unworkable. So my question is if you found a solution for the Problem or please give me the link to the last working driver. Thanks very much, Frank from Germany
    I have not found a perfect solution. Right now I am using the 15.7.1 driver (mentioned previously) which only uses 2%-5% of the CPU when idle. It does not seem to significantly impact performance or battery life so I just leave it at that.

    The 15.7.1 driver is available here: AMD Catalyst 15.7.1 Driver Download

    There is one more thing you need to care about - Windows 10 will attempt to install the new Crimson driver which has ridiculously high CPU usage on V5-122P. You need to use the "Show or hide updates" troubleshooter from Microsoft to stop Windows 10 from updating your graphics driver. The troubleshooter is available here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3073930

    So, if currently your laptop has a bad driver, you need to do the following steps:
    1. Uninstall the bad driver and reboot
    (Do not check for Windows Updates before completing the following steps)
    2. Use the "Show or hide updates" troubleshooter to hide driver update for AMD HD8250
    3. Install the 15.7.1 driver

    I hope this helps.

    (I'm really disappointed by AMD's driver support and Microsoft's compulsory driver update policy.)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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