Uninstall of AMD Catalyst driver kills USB keyboard and mouse

Some users experiencing a strange effect: After uninstalling AMD Catalyst graphics driver, the USB keyboard and USB mouse are dead. Here are a few details about that issue.


I came across this behavior in a (German) MS Answers forum posting. Searching the internet shows many hits since years (here, here, here, here) for instance. The error description are similar:

usbs not working after uninstalling AMD Graphics drivers

After uninstalling my AMD graphics card drivers, the stupid uninstaller messed up my computer and made it so that all my usbs don't work- they work during BIOS, but then stop after that. I have a PS/2 keyboard and have been trying to fix the computer using that, but its troublesome/impossible without a mouse. (source)

No USB mouse or keyboard after removing ATI drivers …

This morning I was attempting to remove all my ATI related drivers ue to a display driver error I kept getting so that I can start fresh with a clean installation of the ATI video drivers. I went into the registry and deleted all the ATI related stuff I could find to make sure I had everything. I restarted my computer, and lo and behold, my keyboard and mouse weren't functioning at all, and I couldn't log in because of that. I realized in deleting those ATI drivers I'd possibly removed the USB controllers. (source)

Usb ports do not work after uninstalling AMD drivers

I have read the other threads and have tried to diagnose this problem, but I am having no luck. I got a new graphics card and went to uninstall the previous AMD graphics card drivers so that I could start fresh. I accidentally did an express uninstall, and now I have lost all of my AMD drivers and am not able to use usb ports. (source)

All users have a common problem: They thought they uninstalled the Catalyst control center or the graphics driver, but after a restart, also the USB drivers has been removed. As I read that in MS Answers forum, I thought "it's a bug" – but it seems to be "by design".

The user's fault?

I don't have here a system with AMD chipset or graphics card, so I couldn't test anything. But I found a logical explanation in this forum thread. Obviously there is an option "Express Uninstall All ATI Software" in uninstaller, that causes the trouble. Searching the web, I found this AMD uninstall instruction that unfold the incident.

They insisting to go to Control Panel, selecting Programs and Features and follow the steps suggested from AMD Catalyst™ Install Manager (CIM).


In Programs and Features it's only possible to select AMD Catalyst Install Manager and click Change. Following the steps suggested by the Install Manager, the user will see the following dialog box.

 (Source: AMD)

Following AMD's suggestion, the user will select Express Uninstall All ATI Software instead of Uninstall Manager. Well, it's looking "fool proof" and it seems to work well on systems with Intel chipsets and AMD graphics. But this is dangerous on systems with AMD chipset, because after a restart, also AMD's chipset drivers are gone – and USB support stalled.

Also this AMD document describes a clean utility, removing all AMD drivers. So: Overall, (in my view) it's not a user's fault – it's a design flaw in AMD's Install Manager. A good design will warn a user about the consequences of his choose.

How to solve that issue?

After such an incident, there are not too many options to cure this. Here are a few options, I identified so far:

  • If the main board still have PS/2 outlets, the user can connect a PS/2 keyboard and a PS/2 mouse to the machine and reinstall AMD chipset driver.
  • Boot the machine using a Windows install media or a system repair disk, click Repair your computer in the lower left corner of the Install now setup dialog box. Then follow the steps to try a system restore.
  • If a system restore doesn't help, try a system recovery from a backup or a factory reset from vendor's recovery partition. HP provides a few hints (and here) for their systems – other vendors will provide similar documents.

The steps to repair the system depends on the Windows version.

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