Seriously, stop installing WinRar

This article has only one purpose, to freely promote a quality, free software and open-source . The issue? It seems rather not popular for the mainstream audience.

Please note though that I’m not affiliated to this software nor with their authors. This article is to pay respects to an excellent piece of software that I find useful everyday.

If you don’t like long stories, just click on the link below to head to the official 7zip website:

7zip’s official website

Download and install it, then click on the Window’s start menu, lookup for 7zip, right click on it and start it in administrator mode by clicking on “Run as administrator”, once the 7zip window will appear, click on the top-menu “Tools” then “Options” and finally on the plus “+” button as highlighted in the screenshot below. Finally, just click “Ok”. This will setup 7zip as your default compressed files manager.

7zip options window with file associations

Here your go. You can now enjoy an unlimited free software that’s lightweight, fast and awesome. For those who want to read my story, continue below.

Why 7zip is better?

Let’s start with the simplest point, it’s FREE. 7zip is free and open-source software, which means that all of its source code is made public and anyone can view, modify and alter it. The advantage besides your saving you money is that you are sure that you have a software which does not potentially collect your private data. Also, that there is a community which will maintain the software and will ensure that that it is “compliant”.

“Yes but WinRar has an ‘infinite’ trial period so I don’t pay anything.” Yes, you do not pay anything, but that does not mean that you comply with the WinRar license agreement. In addition and above all, it is a closed software, you have no idea how it uses your data for example.

However, this argument may not hold up for you. So to justify a little more my rant in front of the aberrant use of WinRar in spite of a free competitor such as 7zip, here is a situation I’ve witnessed the other day.

A friend in front of me wanted to open a .rar file, he double clicks, it has the famous window of “Your trial period is over etc..”. He extracts his files, closes the software and realizes that he still needs the file so re-opens and still has the trial period window.

You would say to me, it is just an additional click, or it could have extracted via the contextual menu of the file, but I will answer “Why when there is better!”.

7zip offers the possibility of doing the same thing more quickly. But not only in terms of interface, also in terms of decompression speed. See for yourself this performance test that I found on reddit

7zip vs WinRar performance test

On this test, 7zip is faster and offers better compression rates compared to WinRar.

But why 7zip is so unpopular?

This is the question I asked myself, and I remember seeing a video (I can’t find it anymore) about WinRar which lit a lightbulb in my mind. WinRar’s strategy and the endless trial period also keep it popular. Indeed, people install it, bypass the little message and that’s it. Being so popular, this software is installed at the enterprise level. However, a company cannot afford to use “endless trial” software and that is where they will buy WinRar licenses.

This article is therefore intended for you, everyday user and for companies who waste money on such software.


Solve the problems of AMD 5700/XT graphics cards

EDIT 19/Feb/2020: Just a heads up about the current situation, I’ve updated to the latest Adrenalin software 20.2.1 and I’m experiencing less issues. But I’ve also noticed another odd behavior linked to the BIOS on my Saphire 5700XT, turns out that the overall experience is more stable on Performance mode than in Silent mode. If your 5700/XT comes with dual BIOS, try to test on the two modes and check if it helps you solving the issue, I will be very happy to get your feedback in the comments.

EDIT 15/Nov/2019: I decided to roll back to driver version 19.7.1 because after extensive testing, it turns out I’m still having the same issues sadly, I’ll keep you posted when a new release will be up.

EDIT 09/Nov/2019: The 19.11.1 driver looks stable after my tests, you can install it and enjoy the latest version!

Note: I would keep this article up to date depending on the driver considered “stable” for the AMD 5700/XT.

If you are one of the lucky owners of the new AMD Radeon 5700 or 5700XT (or partner version as in my case the Sapphire 5700 XT Pulse). It is possible that you are having problems in recent days with several video games.

Don’t worry, it’s not your new graphics card that’s giving up. It’s the drivers who are unfortunately riddled with bugs.

Do not use any drivers besides version 19.7.1

To check your current version of Adrenalin drivers, launch “AMD Radeon Settings” via your start menu. Then click on the “System” or “System” tab depending on the language of the software. Make sure your driver’s version is the 19.7.1 as shown in the screen print below.

The System tab in the AMD Radeon settings with the software version

Where to download version 19.7.1?

If you have a newer version of the driver, this is the very source of your problem. You must download and install the 19.7.1 version of the driver and test it. Your problems will be ancient history. Click on the link below and scroll down to the “Download Locations” section as shown in the screen print below. Be careful, keep reading the section below before you jump into the water.

Download Adrenalin 19.7.1 software on Guru3D

Download links on the Guru3D website

Uninstall the driver before installing this version

In order for everything to go well, you need to uninstall your current driver using Display Driver Uninstall which you can download via this link. Just like before, scroll down to the “Download Locations” section to download the software.

You will not be able to uninstall the driver of your graphics card directly. You need to restart in safe mode and launch DDU. To restart in safe mode on Windows 10:

  • Click the start button and then shuffle the settings button with a gear icon.
  • Click on the “Update and Security” tile.
  • Choose the “Recovery” tab on the left.
  • Then click the “Restart Now” button.
  • A blue screen will then appear with several options, click on the “Troubleshooting” tile.
  • On the next screen, choose “Advanced Options.”
  • On the next screen, choose “See more recovery options” at the bottom, then “Settings” and finally the “Restart” button.
  • Your computer will restart and you will have another screen. Press the F4 button to start in safe mode.

Phew, once in safe mode, you will see that the whole interface has become “big” it is mostly the screen resolution that is too small. In short, launch DDU, choose the device type first and then the device below as in the screen print below. Finally, click the “Clean and restart” button.

Display Driver Uninstall interface

Install the driver after restarting and ignore the new version

Once your machine has restarted, start installing the driver you’ve downloaded previously in the section above from Guru3D. During installation, the assistant will suggest you install the new version, ignore this message and continue to install the driver.

A final word for Overwatch players

For readers who play Overwatch, I would caution you against certain options not to activate or risk having crashes of the game:

  • Virtual Super Resolution: Reported as interfering with Overwatch.
  • Accentuation of image sharpness: Can interfere with Overwatch.
  • GPU scaling: Can interfere with Overwatch.

Fix the error "your rendering device has been lost" on overwatch

Update 2 (30/August/2019): If you have an AMD graphics card take a look at this article.

Update: I was able to change the motherboard of my Lenovo Y510p against another (so mainly I changed my graphics card) and after several parts, I can confirm that the problem came from my graphics card (NVIDIA 750M) and more precisely the graphics memory. This me
ans that if you have this bug, that you have tried all the solutions listed in the article, it is unfortunately possible that your graphics card is in the process of making the soul.

I started playing overwatch recently, an excellent game if we put aside the community enough… Different. But this article will focus on a fairly particular subject that I have partially solved. I will share with you the leads I have followed and the conclusions I have been able to draw
. Note that I have not solved 100% of this problem. Nevertheless I decided to consolidate all the information I have collected in this article, it will serve as a reference to those who galed like me.

The error "your rendering device has been lost!"

After installing the game and two parts, I got this error message. At first I thought it was an isolated problem except that by looking for a little bit, I realized it was a nightmare for all users alike.

Indeed, the error can occur on:

  • Laptops.
  • Fixed computers (desktops).
  • Computers with AMD or nVidia graphics cards.
  • All configurations combined.
  • On almost all models of graphics cards.

Faced with the magnitude of this problem, I decided to follow the forums. According to Blizzard's official support, this error may arise if the rendering device (in our case the graphics card) stops responding. Except that this bug has been there for quite a while and no one seems to present a viable solution.

Tested configurations

I tested overwatch on two laptops and a desktop:

  • Lenovo Y510p (my personal laptop):
    • Intel I7-4700MQ
    • nVidia GT750M
    • 12 GB DDR3 RAM
  • ASUS Vivobook Max X541J (laptop from a friend):
    • Intel i5-7200U
    • nVidia GT920M
    • 8gb RAM DDR4
  • Desktop Custom (desktop personal):
    • AMD Athlon X4 860K @ 4.2 GHz.
    • nVidia 1030GT
    • 8gb DDR3 RAM

The "solutions" suggested by the forums

I was able to find solutions on the forums, since I practically tested all these solutions, I propose to make you the list and put you my feedback below. If you want to contribute to this list with your solution, write a comment and I would be happy to add it.

Uninstall drivers and reinstall them with display driver uninstaller (DDU)

This solution is my first recourse in case I feel that there is a display problem. The first thing is to download DDU via this link then, reboot into safe mode and uninstall the Intel drivers then nVidia/AMD.

The second step is to reboot in normal mode, to install the Intel drivers first then nVidia/AMD. Of course, the Intel driver uninstall/install step applies only if your PC supports dual graphics card functionality.

I followed the routine, everything reinstalled but without results, it did not solve the problem.

Disable DVR and Xbox games on Windows 10

Windows 10 offers some very useful in-game features. However, several players have reported that these features are the source of this problem. To disable DVR and Xbox games:

Click the Start button» settings button above the stop button» in the new window that appears, select ' games ' in the tab ' game bar ' disable the feature then go to the ' game DVR ' tab disable all Features.

Before disabling DVR, I noticed that if I'm on overwatch and Windows shows me the game bar I instantly have the error in question. By disabling this feature, I thought it would be solved but not really, after a game, I had a crash.

Close all applications that may interfere

Almost all modern applications solicit your graphics card, from what I could understand, if an application tries to solicit the graphics card other than overwatch, the game will crash. Here is a non-exhaustive list of applications that can interfere:

  • Google chrome, Mozilla Firefox or any other browser.
  • VLC, steam, origin…
  • nVidia GeForce experience/AMD catalyst.
  • Any application that can use your graphics card in fact…

This is not a joke, even steam can interfere. I suspect the built-in browser feature that solicits the GPU.

I also followed this lead, with no results. I was able to make two parts and crash.

Turn off the graphics card overclock

If you tried to overclock your graphics card, overwatch will crash. In fact, the game itself will show you a different error if it crashes and your graphics card is Overclocked.

Small problem, some graphics cards are already overclocked (like those of EVGA or GIGABYTE). The solution is to try to downclocker them up to the default frequency of the same model.

Example: If you have an EVGA GTX FTW 980, its base frequency is 1279 MHz, off the 980 GTX reference has a base frequency of 1126 MHz.

By lowering the frequency of the graphics card to its reference frequency, the game no longer displayed the error message about overclock but it crashed anyway.

Downclocker the graphics card

This seems to be the most viable solution on the forums. I even found someone who has the same Lenovo y510p and who tried to downclocker his graphics card. By lowering from-60 MHz the graphics heart and from-400 MHz memory, it reports that the game has not crashed since.

I tried this method, I prepared a profile on MSI Afterburner and I tried to play some parts. Even if the game has not crashed, I feel that I need more time to test this configuration.

Change/add key "TdrLevel" and "TdrDelay"

I was able to find this solution on a few sites, forums and YouTube, from what users say, TDR is the value of waiting time before resetting the driver. I tried it without results. I'm not going to explain how to follow this step because it involves changes in your Windows registry and I strongly advise against it.

Reinstall Windows

This solution seemed to me the most coherent, if there is a problem, it is probably by reinstalling Windows 10 that I will be able to solve it. Unfortunately for me it did not work, the game was very stable at first but it chained the crashes then in a phenomenal way.

The solutions I could try without forums

I tried a few solutions to see if I could overcome this problem. These small trials then allowed me to draw some conclusions.

Decrease graphics settings

Simple, I changed the graphics settings to the minimum (you also have to click on "Advanced" and change the settings to the minimum possible).

Play in windowed and windowed mode without borders

I tried this and I had a result for interesting. Almost at the end of my game, I had a bug that I never had in full screen mode. Everything went black except the interface of the game (icons, HUD etc…) below a screenshot that I found on the Internet (I could not take a screenshot on my side).

By having this bug, I have more or less corollé two things, the error "your rendering device has been lost" and this bug seem to be related. It is possible that in full screen mode, this happens and the game crashes while in windowed mode the display bug but the game continues. Indeed, if you have noticed, when you have this error message, the game continues to walk, the audio in-game is still functional!

Playing with the Intel integrated graphics card

If you are in the mood to play 30FPS in low quality and disgusting resolution, you can try forcing the Intel graphics card to load the game's rendering. To be done:

  • For nVIDIA:
    • Go to the "NVIDIA Control Panel".
    • Choose "manage 3D settings".
    • Go to the "program settings" tab.
    • In the drop-down list, search for "overwatch (overwatch. exe)" or click the "add" button and search for "overwatch", otherwise browse and choose "overwatch. exe" in the installation directory.
    • Once this is done, choose from the second "built-in charts" drop-down list.
  • For AMD:
    • Open the AMD Catalyst Control Center Panel.
    • Under ' Gamig ' locate ' application profiles '.
    • Choose overwatch and force Intel integrated graphics.

PS: having no graphics card AMD, I can not give you the precise steps.

By playing overwatch with the integrated Intel graphics card, I never had the error "your rendering device was lost". However, the gaming experience is terrible.

A lead to solve the problem?

For now I can't find what's causing the problem and I've been looking for weeks. The only lead I had was that the problem probably came from systems with two graphics cards. I quickly dropped this track when I saw that several users with a single graphics card were suffering from the same problem.

Many talk about overheating and downclock to alleviate this problem. This is what I am currently doing, I sacrificed a little performance on my GT 750M (knowing that already she has trouble with overwatch) to be able to play. I still haven't tried to play in competitive mode because it will be signing my death stop.

If you have a solution that you want to add to this list or if you want to share your feedback, I would be delighted to answer you in the comments.

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