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Token Ring
Izmi
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎10-18-2008
Location: Amsterdam
Accepted Solution

R400/T400/T500/W500: display driver "amdkmdap" crashes

[ Edited ]

Executive summary: All current Lenovo ThinkPads with switchable graphics (R400, T400, T500, and W500) have usability issues in connection with Vista and the use of external monitors. For more than half a year, users were plagued by frequent Windows crashes. During that time frame, Lenovo did not comment on the various available reports and complaints. By the end of April 2009, Lenovo resolved many issues by releasing a new official driver. Though several problems, including severe ones, remain as of today. Lenovo has said to be actively working on the remaining issues (without outcomes so far).


Important information for affected users: If you're having one of the issues reported here, then Lenovo advises you to call your local Lenovo Support. Demand that a case is submitted to hardware engineering. In particular, you should ask for "a CMVC case to be created and escalated". Using these "code words" ensures that your case is properly addressed.

Old problem description

On Vista 32 and Vista 64, the ATI display driver "amdkmdap" crashes when an external monitor was active before OR an application (game) using DirectX technology is used. The user typically receives a couple of so-called "Timeout Detection and Recovery" (TDR) messages from Vista:

 

Vista TDR message

(Click here for an explanation of the message from Microsoft)

 

Sometimes, amdkmdap crashes several times in a row. Then Windows crashes with a so-called "BSOD", likely resulting in data loss. Typically, Windows detects "atikmpag.sys" as the crashing driver. Sometimes, also an instantaneous reboot happens independent of prior TDR crashes. In such a case, no BSOD is displayed.

 

The following movie illustrates the phenomenon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBX9QsCmrpY

 

This behavior above has been confirmed for the following ThinkPad models: R400, T400, T500, and W500 (see below). Problem reports indicate that the symptoms are often related to playing games and/or the notebook being docked and the external monitor being connected via DVI.

 

Though, the presence of these two conditions is not necessary to trigger the driver crash:

  1. There are reports where no dock was involved and the external monitor was connected directly to the notebook's VGA port.
  2. Furthermore, there are reports where the notebook was docked and an external monitor was connected to the DVI port.
  3. So far, there has been no report relating to a monitor being connected to the Display Port which is available on some models. (Possibly because this port is not used.)
  4. There are a few reports where neither a dock nor an external monitor was involved.
  5. Playing certain games reliably triggers the crash.

Steps to reproduce

While intially (around September 2008 - October 2008) the crash could be triggered easily, the situation is now (December 2008) more complex. The crashes do still occur, though there is no clear pattern anymore. According to various reports, the display driver crash can be triggered as follows:

  • Resuming from standby
  • Watching a DVD.
  • Playing one of these games: Fallout 3, Bioshock, Team Fortress 2, Knights of the Old Republic.
  • Arbitrarily during normal work. On a normal working day, the problem occurs at least once.

 

Further issues

Here are more issues which seem to be related. More information can be found in other posts of this thread:

  • The notebook display and/or the external monitor runs at a low resolution after resuming from standby.
  • After the login both monitors flicker while adjusting the resolution of the monitor.
  • The external monitors cannot be activated using Presentation Director.
  • The external monitor is blank after docking or undocking.
  • There are some reports about display driver crashes on machines running Windows XP.
  • The switchable graphics drivers limit the useable RAM under Vista 32 to 2.5GB (i.e. 500MB-1GB less than usual).


Workarounds

 

Lenovo has released a new "tip" document which provides a link to a new driver. Get it here but be sure to read the instructions!

(Old tips follow below the line. Consider them as obsolete.)

 

---

 

Here are some tips which might make the problem occur less often. I have not tried all of them. Though, A. and B. have improved the situation for me; your mileage may vary.

 

A. If you do not have to use an external monitor, then switch to Intel graphics for time being.

 

Otherwise:

 

B. Make some changes to your system:

  • Disable Aero.
  • Create a new profile in the power manager with the following setting: When running on AC, turn off the monitor after 40 minutes. (Thereby, the notebook goes less often to standby.)
  • Install the newest graphics drivers.
  • Install the newest BIOS.
  • Install the newest Hotkey utility.
  • Install the newest drivers.

 

C. Disable the switchable graphics in the BIOS setup and install modded drivers from ATI (see zilla's post in this thread for instructions).

 

The last workaround (C.) has been confirmed to work reliably by several users. Though, thereby you use drivers which have not been tested by Lenovo. It's possible (but not very likely) that damage results by doing so. Also, it might be difficult to install a future Lenovo driver which resolves the issues reported here. Finally, you cannot use the power-saving Intel graphics. Thus, you should only use this workaround if you know what you are doing.

 

The programs can be downloaded from the following locations. Notice that System Update does not always offer you immediately the lastest versions.

  • R400 and T400 users: Go here.
  • T500 and W500 users: Go here.

 

 User opinions

  • "Is there any chance this will be fixed, or should I just get used to my "workstation-class" machine crashing regularly?"
  • "I [am] thinking about to sell my w500 if this problems won't be fixed in the next weeks."
  • "I've got a T400 w/ Vista 64 and I'll say the Switchable drivers on it S[**]K bad."
  • "Unfortunately for Lenovo, our IT Manager is at the point of a awarding a new and rather substantial Enterprise Agreement for our whole organization's PC's, which included a rollout of many new PC's for 2009. The contract was going to go to Lenovo. He mumbled something about HP when I asked him about the state of affairs with my PC... [O]ur firm's IT Manager decided to return all the faulty Lenovo's for a refund and would replace them with HP's."  
  • "Is someone from Lenovo paying attention[?]"
  • "i'm getting angry with ati and lenovo."
  • "there are no new drivers and no ETA for a fix."
  • "ThinkPads are supposed to be good, so you'd think there wouldn't be a problem like this."
  • "honestly it is completely unacceptable for lenovo to have done nothing this long. I paid extra to get the ATI card, and now I can't hook up my laptop to an external monitor without it crashing. I will probably end up selling the laptop soon since using an external monitor is extremely important to me and lenovo doesn't seem to care about fixing the situation."

 


Update:

- Lenovo support has informed me today (2008-10-24) that they are working on the problem.

- changed subject (was: Major troubles with DVI-port and a T400) to reflect new information.

- changed message body to reflect new information

- See MIGR-70490 (dated 2008-09-21) for an official statement from Lenovo.

- 2008-11-15: The problems are still present and there is still no ETA for a fix.

- As expected, also R400 models are affected. See below for reports.

- 2008-11-26: Still no word from Lenovo when the problem will be fixed. Added information on (partial) workarounds.

- 2008-12-03: Lenovo updated MIGR-70490. Though, problems persist.

- 2008-12-13: Updated problem description on the basis of new reports.

- 2008-12-16: Updated problem description on the basis of new reports.

- 2009-01-07: Updated problem description on the basis of new reports. Still no word from Lenovo. I called Lenovo's customer service in the Netherlands and was promised to receive a callback. Though, so far they didn't (want to) get back to me.

- 2009-01-08: Updated workaround description on the basis of new reports.

- 2009-01-10: Updated executive summary on the basis of new reports.

- 2009-01-14: Updated problem description on the basis of new reports (movie).

- 2009-01-19: Updated workaround section.

- 2009-01-21: Happy birthday MIGR-70490! It's now 4 months. Updated workaround section. I called Lenovo's customer service in the Netherlands again.

- 2009-01-22: Added section "User opinions"

- 2009-01-23: Updated problem description on the basis of new reports.

- 2009-01-24: Small updates.

- 2009-02-02: Small updates.

- 2009-02-03: Changes to section "Executive summary". Added section "Important information for affected users".

- 2009-02-04: Update to section "Credits".

- 2009-02-19: Update to section "Credits".

- 2009-02-27: Quick update to "Executive summary" and "Workarounds".

- 2009-03-10: Quick updates to section "Executive summary" and "Important information for affected users".

- 2009-03-21: Quick update to "Executive summary"

 

Credits

  • Workaround "Aero off": Bubbi, TonyK
  • Workaround "Modded ATI drivers": jtull89,  zilla
  • Thanks to Mark_Lenovo and Confederate for their work behind the scenes 
  • Thanks to feedback from: ajgiordano, Andy_7575, ben2e, brettgri, bri0831, Brimstar, Bubbi, CodeNameSly, cpueschner, dandill, diablo2man, ewilansky, gaccounts, gan, gandalf7, golffreaksi, Homer, hubertlam, Jiraiya, johnsonjf, jordan_moss, jmark, jtull89, kbarina, lenardg, lukest, misitmichaelf, mlb, MMetts, ojisan, pendaluent, Qot, rmccallen, sarnil, shaofengsd, Snakecharmed, StephanK, tarzan23, Texas1040, TheNewNumber2, TonyK, trickyDick, vedman, Vitalus, Waschbecken, xpnet, xrafx, zilla, ZPrime

 (Please don't expect that this list is complete. I am not paid to keep it accurate and complete and, actually, I have a life besides writing about Lenovo's problems. :smileywink: )


Original post

 

Hi there!

I have major troubles using a Dell 2709W monitor with my T400. 

The notebook is attached to a Advanced Mini Dock to which the monitor is connected via DVI.


 The problems are as follows.

 

A. Activating the external monitor often fails

 

Steps to reproduce:

1. Attach a Dell 2709W via DVI to an Advanced Mini Dock which is connected to a T40

2. Start Windows and make sure that the T400 is running on the ATI card.

=> Dell monitor enters power saving mode because no signal is coming.

3. In Windows use either the Presentation Director, Windows, or the ATI tools to activate the Dell monitor.

 

Expected result: The Dell monitor is activated and the Windows desktop is shown on it.

 

Actual result: It takes 1-3 seconds for the Dell monitor to display something. The monitor shows the Windows desktop for a short period. Then it's black again and the monitor returns to the power saving mode .


Analysis: It seems that the Presentation Director, Windows, or the ATI tools (or more aptly, I guess, the ATI driver) expect a quick response from the DVI-port that a monitor is present. If they do not receive the response, the DVI-port is deactivated again. Since the monitor is too slow to respond and enters the power saving mode too quickly, the monitor can hardly ever be activated.

 

Suggested change: Change these tools (or the ATI driver) so that they wait longer for a response on the DVI-port.

 

 

B. Resuming from monitor sleep causes Windows to fall back to a low resolution if the Dell monitor was activated before

 

Steps to reproduce:

1. Attach a Dell 2709W via DVI to an Advanced Mini Dock which is connected to a T400

2. Start Windows and make sure that the T400 is running on the ATI card.

3. Select the Energy Star profile

4. Activate the Dell monitor

5. Don't use Windows until the notebook display and the Dell monitor are set to sleep by Windows.

6. Wake up the displays (e.g. by pressing some keys)

 

Expected result: Both displays are run in the display mode as before.

 

Actual result: The Dell monitor still sleeps. The notebook displays is run at a lower resolution (I guess 800x600). The Windows login prompt is not visible and it has to be guessed that it is shown. Though the typical Windows login background is visible. If the password is entered, then Windows can be used again. Though, the resolution is still low and the Dell monitor still sleeps.


Analysis: It seems that by sending the Dell monitor to sleep, the monitor deactivates the DVI-interface or enters a low-power interface mode. This seems to disturb some component in Windows (the Presentation Director, Windows, the ATI tools, the ATI driver) in a way that Windows only activates the notebook display when it resumes from "monitor sleep".

 

Suggested change: Change these tools (or the ATI driver) so that they can cope with the situation that the DVI-interface is deactivated and wait longer for the interface to be in a useable state. Reactivate an external monitor even if it "sleeps very deeply".

 

 

Relevant system information

 

- T400 2767-CTO (T9400, 2x2GB RAM, ATI, WXGA+ LED)

- Advanced Mini Dock

- Vista 32 Business (German) - fully updated

- All Lenovo updates via System Update are installed

- Dell 2709W
- The system runs the ATI graphic card in the described scenarios
Message Edited by Izmi on 05-21-2009 10:34 AM
Message Edited by Izmi on 06-29-2009 03:13 PM
Token Ring
Izmi
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎10-18-2008
Location: Amsterdam
0

Re: Major troubles with DVI-port and a T400

[ Edited ]

This is an update to my previous report.

Sometimes when my computer resumes from standby in a state in which the Dell monitor was attached and active before the notebook going to sleep, the display driver crashes (amdkmdap). Below is the eventlog entry from Windows:

 

Protokollname: System
Quelle:        Display
Datum:         19.10.2008 11:12:33
Ereignis-ID:   4101
Aufgabenkategorie:Keine
Ebene:         Warnung
Schlüsselwörter:Klassisch
Benutzer:      Nicht zutreffend
Computer:      Lorelei
Beschreibung:
Anzeigetreiber amdkmdap reagiert nicht mehr und wurde erfolgreich wieder hergestellt.
Ereignis-XML:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="Display" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="0">4101</EventID>
    <Level>3</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2008-10-19T09:12:33.000Z" />
    <EventRecordID>23658</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>System</Channel>
    <Computer>Lorelei</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>amdkmdap</Data>
  </EventData>
</Event>

Message Edited by Izmi on 10-23-2008 10:16 AM
Token Ring
Izmi
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎10-18-2008
Location: Amsterdam
0

Re: Major troubles with DVI-port and a T400

[ Edited ]

Yesterday, Windows crashed after amdkmdap several times in a row. The result was an unexpected Windows shutdown followed by a restart.

 

Errorcode: 0x00000116 (0x84a1d008,0x8dd9e5a6,0x00000000,0x0000000d)

 

The problem pattern seems to be connected to the ATI drivers. How can I make sure that the relevant people from Lenovo/ATI are informed?

Message Edited by Izmi on 10-23-2008 10:17 AM
Token Ring
Izmi
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎10-18-2008
Location: Amsterdam
0

Re: Major troubles with DVI-port and a T400

I've informed Lenovo support, though I've received until now no reply. :smileysad:

 

I've also sent error reports to Microsoft through the Vista error report tool. So, ATI/Lenovo should have access to the memory dumps collected by Vista.

 

Some more info about the config:

 

- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400 series drivers from Lenovo, version: 8.520.4.300

 

- Problem occurs when Notebook is docked and Dell monitor is attached to the DVI-port on the docking station.

- Dell monitor runs at 1920x1200 (32bit) at 60 Herz.

- Notebook display runs at 1440x900  (32bit) at 60 Herz.

- Windows is configured to extend the windows area.

- amdkmdap-service problem can be trigged quite reliably by sending notebook to sleep and waking it up again.

Token Ring
Izmi
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎10-18-2008
Location: Amsterdam
0

Re: Major troubles with DVI-port and a T400

I've called Lenovo support. I've been informed that my support request is not in their system. Nevertheless, I got I reply from eagmgr@us.ibm.com with the subject "<Notification>-OpenPR:Acknowledgement of your support request." (I omitted the tracking number due to privacy reasons.)

 

Lenovo support has advised me to install the graphic card drivers from ATI. I've done so but the display driver still crashes after Windows resumes from standby when it was running on both displays before it entered standby.

 

I've installed the following driver: 8-10_vista32_dd_69564.exe

That is the display driver from the Catalyst™ Software Suite Version 8.10. If I understand correctly, this is the same driver as Lenovo lists in the driver matrix

Token Ring
Izmi
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎10-18-2008
Location: Amsterdam
0

Some problem reports (Was: "Re: Major troubles with DVI-port and a T400")

[ Edited ]

Lenovo support made me reinstall presentation director to rule out this component as a factor. After the reinstallation, the amdkmdap-problem is still present. Letting Windows go to standby and waking the system up afterwards, is a reliable method in my case to reproduce the problem on condition that an external monitor was active. The problem does not occur if no external monitor is present.

 

A web search for "amdkmdap", "atikmpag","BSOD" with one of the ThinkPad-series names (like "T400") shows that other persons also have this problem with R400s, T400s, T500s, and W500s:

- t400: Display driver crashes

- W500 Display Driver

- My W500

- T400 Display driver stopped working...

- T500 Video/Video Driver Issues (2056-4SU)

- NUS T400 issues

- T400 Display Driver Issue

- Vista64 + 4GB RAM + External Display = BSOD

- R400 problem report (in Chinese)

- T500 problem report (in Chinese)

- Bioshock keeps crashing (seems related)

Vista x64, ATI graphics, dock + external LCD = bluescreens? (a report by a W500 user)

- many problems with lenovo w500

- another R400 problem report (in Chinese)

Vista BSOD on Lenovo T500 with new Switchable Graphics

- switchable graphics and external monitor through port replic

- Problem with Lenovo T500 notebook & external LCD

- Lenovo ThinkPad T400 - some impressions.

- T400 freezes with graphics Intense programes

- Standard Laptop mit ein paar Macken (in German)

 

 

Some possibly related Non-Lenovo cases: 

- Why Vista crashes so often when dual display is enabled?

- Vista and 7.3 Display driver atikmdag stopped responding error

- 4870 vista x64 multi-mon = atikdmag BOOM

 

In the cases in which people observe the "amdkmdap"-problem and describe the circumstances, the use of an external monitor is always a factor. These other reports also indicate that it is likely not an issue with the hardware of my notebook (or then a general problem for many batches of these machine types). For it happens a) on many systems and b) on different kinds of systems.

 

If others want to contribute to the problem solution, then we should provide Lenovo and ATI a good problem description. So, please add your description.

Message Edited by Izmi on 02-03-2009 11:53 AM
Blue Screen Again
Bubbi
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎10-23-2008
Location: Croatia
0

Re: Major troubles with DVI-port and a T400

I have that problem to. I buy W500 10 days ago and it was normal until I put it in a dock and connect with 2 external monitors. I get this crach 2 times a day. I cannot see what those craches have in common. I have this setup:

 

W500 with Vista Ultimate x32

Advanced mini dock station

1 DVI monitor (Lenovo lx22) connected to DVI output

1 analog Samsung 940N monitor on analog output.

 

Marko

Token Ring
Izmi
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎10-18-2008
Location: Amsterdam
0

Re: Major troubles with DVI-port and a T400

Lenovo support informed today (2008-10-24) that the amdkmdap-problem is known and that they are working on the problem.

 

Irritating: Lenovo knows about a problem that is affecting many people and is not informing them while they could do so easily. Thereby, many working hours are wasted.

 

In my opinion, such behavior is irrational and irresponsible.

Blue Screen Again
Bubbi
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎10-23-2008
Location: Croatia
0

Re: Major troubles with DVI-port and a T400

[ Edited ]

Just to mention something. I get this error twice per day and while I work. So its not related on to standby or something.

 

Today first time it happen it was after I switch to remote desktop (which was locked due to inactivity).

Second time today was after MSN message popup apper (it never appers at the end :smileysad:)

 

Thats it.

 

-- ADDED

Well after last blue screen (20 min. ago I got another). Now it started in middle of working (writting) :smileysad:. Its starting to be very frustrating. I called our contry main servis and they even did not hear about this :smileyhappy:.

Message Edited by Bubbi on 10-24-2008 07:10 AM
Token Ring
Izmi
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎10-18-2008
Location: Amsterdam
0

Re: Major troubles with DVI-port and a T400

After having installed the newly available display driver (MIGR-70417), the reported "crash after resume"-problem is still there.