Incompatible display driver error when starting Premiere Elements

When you start Adobe Premiere Elements 9 on Windows, you receive the following error:

"We have detected an incompatible display driver. To get a better and faster playback performance, please update your display driver."

Solution 1: Download and install the Adobe Premiere Elements 9.01 update

In the Adobe Premiere Elements 9 Editor, choose Help > Updates. Follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the 9.01 update.

Solution 2: Download and install the latest version of the video card driver from the manufacturer website

See the following documents for additional recommendations on the process.

Solution 3: Delete the BadDrivers.txt file

The BadDrivers.txt file is in the following folders:

  • For Windows XP:


    C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data/Adobe/Premiere Elements/9.0/BadDrivers.txt
  • For Windows Vista or 7:


    C:/ProgramData\Adobe/Premiere Elements/9.0/BadDrivers.txt  

If you continue to get the error after deleting the BadDrivers.txt file or the file doesn't exist, then Adobe Premiere Elements can't take advantage of added GPU-related functionality. 

Solution 4: Disable Aero

See the following document for instructions on the process:

Disable Windows Aero | Windows 7, Vista

Additional information

If Adobe Premiere Elements 9 detects a compatible GPU card, it tries to use the card for faster and smoother playback. If the driver version installed on the machine is not compatible with Adobe Premiere Elements 9, then a warning message appears. Added GPU functionality is disabled and information about the driver version is stored in BadDrivers.txt file. Adobe Premiere Elements 9 runs in pure software mode to avoid any further crashes or problems until an updated version of the driver is detected.

This issue often happens when a driver promises to support some GPU capabilities, but doesn't actually support them.

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