I have a HP Envy 14 Beats edition laptop with a ATI Radeon HD 5650 discrete graphics card, which has done everything I required from it for a few years now. Upon recommendation of many I upgraded to Windows 8 and it was a mixed bag of tricks, I liked a lot of the visuals and some functionality while the rest was just frustrating (made the OS feel more like a toy), however it did do everything I needed it to and I was fine with it.
A few driver updates later though I found my screen brightness controls fail to function (laptop hotkeys or manually in power settings), and after some fiddling around I found that the controls stopped working after Catalyst Driver 13.1 (that is 13.1 was the latest driver I could find where everything works fine). Again being Windows 8 this was fine because I could install that driver and not have to bother with it again.
However, now with the Windows 8.1 update, the system forces Catalyst Driver 13.9 which is not compatible with my system. I know its the latest driver for my configured card, but even AMD states on the websites that newer doesn't mean its fully functional for your specific system.
Again this would not be an issue if Windows would let me install the older driver, but everytime that I do the system automatically updates the driver to the latest. And rolling back the driver just causes the system to crash. That's right, I have seen the blue screen of death on Windows 8 more times now than I have ever seen it on any of my other machines I have owned, including XP.
I have even gone as far as to disable automatic updating, but to no effect. I'm sure if I keep tinkering around with the registries and such I might be able to come up with a fix/hack but I don't have time and I need this issue resolved soon. I work a bit with photo editing and so on but staring at a screen on full bright and really strenuous on the eyes and its starting to become almost painful even just to finish writing this help request.
So my questions are;
1. Is there a way to force Windows 8.1 to use a specific driver and stick to only that without updating every single time? (for clarification reverting to the old driver restores all brightness functionality)
2. Failing which, downgrade back to Windows 8 so I don't have to deal with this at all?
Thanks in advance for whoever might have any suggestions!