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AMD/ATI Video Card Specifics

If you have an AMD/ATI graphics card then you may need to do these steps (ATI drivers don't seem to support OpenGL graphics very well, and SL viewers use OpenGL, as opposed to DirectX).

Furthermore, other types of graphics cards also require that the first step here be done; VBO is known to cause crashes in multiple different scenarios. So one thing to try:

  • Disable VBO: Run the viewer and before logging in, press Ctrl-P to bring up the Preferences window. Then click on Graphics → Hardware Settings tab. Make sure that “Enable OpenGL Vertex Buffer Objects” is not checked.

The World is Pink

If you are seeing everything pink, the issue is the graphics card driver. The best solution is to update the Catalyst driver (which may imply reverting to an older version than you currently have); links are provided in the section "Known Good ATI Driver", below.

If for any reason, this is not an option:

  • Enable the Advanced menu with Ctrl-Alt-D, if it isn't already
  • Then Advanced → Debug settings → RenderMaxTextureIndex → Set this to zero
  • This should fix the pink textures but may also cause a drop in your FPS (Frames per second)

Alternately, you can go to PreferencesGraphics -> Hardware Settings → Enable OpenGL Vertex Buffer Objects - and disable that.

Worn Rigged Mesh Goes Invisible

If rigged mesh goes invisible when worn the issue is, again, the graphics card driver. In this case, several Catalyst drivers are known to cause this problem. Refer to FIRE-14871 and here, where it is also evident that the same problem occurs with the official SL viewer. 1)

The best thing is to uninstall the graphics card driver you have, and install 14.4, or the latest 15.x driver instead. More on this below.

If for any reason this is not an option, then a work-around is to disable PreferencesGraphics -> General → Basic Shaders, or Hardware Skinning.

Everything is Black

Here are some work-arounds to solve the problem:

Windows: Updating the graphics card driver (which may imply reverting to an older version than you currently have) is likely a preferable solution; links are provided in the section "Known Good ATI Driver", below.

Mac: The issue has only been seen on Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6.8) so far. Since drivers are tied into the operating system on Macs, you would need to upgrade to Mountain Lion (OSX 10.8.3) for a permanent solution at this time. If that is not an option for you, then use the workarounds above.

Crashing While Editing or Wearing Mesh

This is a known issue with ATI Catalyst versions 12.2 through 12.4. If you have one of these versions, then you should update the graphics card driver; see below for more.

Temporary work-arounds:

Ref.: FIRE-5569 - VWR-28607 - MAINT-825

Display Driver Stops Responding or Crashes

This has been reported with ATI Catalyst 12.6 and 12.8: Ref. FIRE-6957 and the LL JIRA VWR-29208. The solution is update the graphics card driver as described below.

Log In Screen is Half Black, Half White

This is usually due to using outdated ATI video drivers. Refer to this SL JIRA. Disabling Aero may also help solve this. Information on how to do that is given here.

See below for how to update Catalyst, the graphics card driver.

Graphics Glitches

Some have reported all manner of graphics glitches, including:

  • water is totally transparent
  • sky and water Windlight don't work
  • the horizon is blurry
  • shadows give strange effects when enabled, or a black screen; or shadows don't render at all
  • inability to see glow
  • no clouds
  • prim faces illuminated in unexpected ways

These can often be solved by updating the ATI driver; see below.

Rotation Guides Missing

Please refer to this page for more on that issue.

These issues have been reported with Catalyst versions 12.11 and 13.01. See if any of the following suggestions are helpful:

  • Preferences → Graphics → General → Basic shaders - disable;
  • Preferences → Graphics → Hardware Settings → AntiAliasing - disable.

Updating the driver is a preferable solution; see below.

Driver on Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 may install its own driver for ATI/AMD graphics cards. This does not work well with Firestorm. You will need to remove the Windows driver, then install the appropriate driver from the ATI/AMD website.

How to Determine What Version of Catalyst You Have

This page gives guidance for Windows 7; more information is here.

Another good reference is the table on this page. However, sadly, AMD have not kept it up to date. The drivers missing are:

12.11 beta with .NET Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1169 OpenGL Version: 4.2.11995 Compatibility Profile Context
13.1 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1172 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12002 Compatibility Profile Context 9.12.0.0
13.2 beta Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1191 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12171 Compatibility Profile Context 12.100.17.0
13.4 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1191 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12217 Compatibility Profile Context 12.104.0.0
13.5 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1191 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12198 Compatibility Profile Context 12.102.3.0
13.5 beta2 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1191 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12198 Compatibility Profile Context 12.102.3.0
13.6 beta Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1211 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12337 Compatibility Profile Context 13.101.0.0
13.6 beta2 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1211 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12337 Compatibility Profile Context 13.101.0.0
13.8 beta Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1234 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12438 Compatibility Profile Context 13.200.0.0
13.9 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1230 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12422 Compatibility Profile Context 13.152.0.0
unknown Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1247 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12618 Compatibility Profile Context 13.251.0.0
14.3 beta version 1.0 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1267 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12798 Compatibility Profile Context 13.350.1005.0
14.3 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1267 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12812 Compatibility Profile Context 13.352.1008.0
14.4 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1280 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12874 Compatibility Profile Context 14.100.0.0
14.7 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1299 OpenGL Version: 4.2.12967 Compatibility Profile Context 14.200.1004.0
14.9 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1315 OpenGL Version: 4.2.13084 Compatibility Profile Context 14.301.1004.0
14.9.1 beta Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1315 OpenGL Version: 4.2.13084 Compatibility Profile Context 14.301.1004.0
14.9.2 beta Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1315 OpenGL Version: 4.2.13085 Compatibility Profile Context 14.301.1006.0
14.11.1 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1315 OpenGL Version: 4.2.13092 Compatibility Profile Context 14.301.0.0
14.11.2 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1315 OpenGL Version: 4.2.13092 Compatibility Profile Context 14.301.0.0
14.12 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1333* OpenGL Version: 4.2.13283 Compatibility Profile Context 14.501.1003.0
15.3 Beta Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1333* OpenGL Version: 4.2.13292 Compatibility Profile Context 14.502.1014.0
15.4 Beta Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1333* OpenGL Version: 4.2.13292 Compatibility Profile Context 14.502.1014.0
15.5 Beta Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1333* OpenGL Version: 4.2.13292 Compatibility Profile Context 14.502.1014.1001
15.7 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1395 OpenGL Version: 4.2.13397 Compatibility Profile Context 15.200.1046.0
15.7.1 Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1404 OpenGL Version: 4.2.13399 Compatibility Profile Context 15.200.1062.1002

*Note: These numbers are identical. Use the Compatibility Profile number to determine the driver.

Known Good ATI Driver

Before doing anything else, if you used a work-around “fix” of copying Catalyst driver DLLs into the Firestorm folder, them please remove those DLLs before proceeding with the install of any new driver.

Catalyst 14.4 is believed to be a good driver version to use; it seems to fix all (or most) of the problems described on this page. Catalyst 15.7 also appears to be working well. So we recommend trying to use one of those versions of the driver, if possible - which may imply rolling back your current one to that version.

Rather than relying on the built-in driver update function, visit the AMD site directly and update from there; click here to locate the drivers for your system. Do not use the autodetect feature; instead, scroll down to “Manually Select Your Driver” and supply the required information. Then download.

If 15.7 is not available for your card, then once the results are displayed, click on Previous Drivers and Software and locate 14.4. If 14.4 is a downgrade for you, please make very sure that you remove whatever driver you currently have installed before installing 14.4


For a more detailed walk-through, have a look at this blog post.

Beta Driver

Catalyst series 15 Beta drivers have been solving the “invisible rigged mesh” bugs which have been a major problem for many. So you can trying dowloading the most recent one available, from the link given below.

The beta driver for Windows 7 and 8.1 can be found here.

1) If you have any doubts that the driver is the cause, please refer to the release notes for AMD Catalyst 15.3, and scroll down to [413076] Second Life : Rigged mesh objects are not rendered correctly when hardware skinning is enabled in the in game settings.
ati.txt · Last modified: 2015/07/31 03:30 by miro.collas