Driver Install Failed – Nvidia Graphics Card – A Workaround!
If you’re attempting to install or upgrade an Nvidia graphics card driver, you may experience the following error message, “Driver Install Failed” at about 20% through the installation progress and you’re machine can be left with either a non working or old graphics card driver, this usually happens after a 2nd black screen during the installation process. The following workaround allows you to successfully install the graphics card driver after receiving this error and this method is also well worth trying if you’re experiencing any other graphics card / driver related problems. I used this workaround successfully straight after receiving this error message without reloading Windows afterwards, but it should work no matter what.
The only loss by using this workaround is your Nvidia Control Panel will be set back to the default settings including your individual program settings if any. If you don’t want this, then until I find a better solution you could try a system restore, but you’ll be reverted back to the graphics card driver before your failed installation attempt.
Remember that it’s always good practice to install the very latest graphics card drivers available, especially if you play the modern 3D games as later drivers fix numerous problems and can also significantly improve performance in some games. I tend to install the latest Beta driver if one is available that is newer than the latest official drivers, I recommend this if you play the very latest 3D games as they can include the very latest fixes and improvements. Even though Beta drivers aren’t officially fully tested, I’ve never had any problems as yet, although if you want to be extra safe only install the latest stable release that’s available.
Workaround for “Driver Install Failed”:
1….Skip this step if you already have the Nvidia graphics card drivers you need available. If you need to download the latest Nvidia drivers they can be found at http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx by selecting your particular graphics card from the list.
2….Download and install Driver Sweeper or if already installed check that you have the very latest version. When de-installing Nvidia drivers it leave behind numerous files and registry entries that can sometimes cause problems when installing another driver, Driver Sweeper removes all remnants so that you can perform a truly clean graphics card driver installation. The software also supports Amd/Ati drivers as well as Nvidia drivers and can be used in the same way. Please visit http://www.guru3d.com/category/driversweeper for full details and to download the latest version. Don’t run the software until step you get to step 4.
3….Go into Control Panel, then Add / Remove Programs or Programs & Features (depending on the version of Windows). Now uninstall all Nvidia graphics card related programs if they exist, if any including the Nvidia graphics card driver, Nvidia 3D Vision drivers, Nvidia HD Audio driver, Nvidia Physx driver and Nvidia Update. If you have an Nvidia chipset, you should leave these drivers well alone. You may be asked to reload, DON’T at this stage or Windows may try to automatically install an old driver.
4….Run driver sweeper and tick the checkbox against “Nvidia – Display” and “Nvidia – PhysX” ONLY! Click Analyse and it will display a list of all the leftover remnants it finds, it can be quite a long list. Now click clean, wait as it can take a few minutes and then reload Windows.
5….When Windows reloads you will probably have to cope in VGA or SVGA mode and the screen resolution will probably be much lower than you’re used to, but don’t worry about this, just reinstall your Nvidia graphics card drivers in the usual way and it should complete successfully. Finally reload as advised.
6….Everything should now be installed, but unfortunately your settings will be reset, so you might want to right click your desktop to go into your Nvidia Control Panel to set-up as desired.
Unfortunately once you receive this error you normally have to run through this workaround with each new Nvidia graphics card driver that you choose to upgrade, I hope to find a better solution and a full fix in future rather than just a workaround like this one.
Finally, GOOD LUCK!
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