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Thread: Installing or updating Video Drivers

  1. #1

    Default Installing or updating Video Drivers

    I'm often asked for help in installing or updating video drivers and if there is a preferred method for doing either. The answer to the second question is a definite "yes".

    Follow this method and you will likely never have a problem with video drivers that is a result of a faulty installation. This method will work equally well with nVidia or ATI drivers.

    To begin, before you even think of updating video drivers, download and install DriverCleaner. The software used to be free but now costs $9.99. That very small cost is money very well spent. DriverCleaner needs .Net Framework to run, so make sure your system has it installed. Once DriverCleaner is installed, make sure it is updated completely; start it and click on <Tools><Live Update>. Take that step repeatedly until you get the "there are no new updates available" statement from the program. Now, with that task performed, let's get to the driver updating.

    First, download and save to some safe place (where you can find it) the new driver installer you are going to use.

    Second, if you are running a third-party video driver tuner utility (Riva-Tuner, for example), disable it. I use Riva-Tuner, and to disable it I simply go to its properties tab and uncheck "start automatically with Windows". That is all you need to do; you don't need to uninstall the utility. Just make sure that, upon the next reboot, the utility is not automatically loaded.

    Third, uninstall your video drivers using the Add/Remove Software utility in Windows. DO NOT REBOOT when the uninstall process completes; you will see a nag dialog telling you that your machine needs to be rebooted. It does, but not just yet. Close the dialog and ignore the reboot for the time being.

    Fourth, navigate to your Windows\Temp folder and delete its contents All of it. There may be a file or two there that can't be deleted because they are in use that's okay, leave them there.

    Fifth, navigate to your User's Temp folder and delete the contents. The location of this file depends on the version of Windows you are using. In WinXP the folder is found in \Documents and Settings\<User>\Local Settings\Temp (if I remember correctly -- I no longer use XP). In Vista and Windows 7 the folder is hidden in \Users\<User>\AppData\Local\Temp. Delete all the files there, too. If one or more can't be deleted because they are in use, that's fine.

    Sixth, empty your Recycle Bin.

    Seventh, now, reboot into SAFE mode. At the safe mode desktop, start DriverCleaner. If this is the first time you have used DriverCleaner, and if you are using WinXP, click on <Tools><Cab Cleaner> and clean every .cab file listed there. Typically this task takes quite a while; the .cab files are quite large and DriverCleaner is removing native Windows drivers so WinXP doesn't reload them upon the next reboot. If you have recently added a Service Pack since your last .cab cleaning with DriverCleaner you should repeat this process, otherwise it needs to be done only once. A Vista or Windows 7 installation won't display any .cab files so this step is unnecessary.

    Eighth, once the .cab files are cleaned, on the DriverCleaner screen tick the "Select multiple cleaning filters" box, then click the down arrow on the "Cleaning Selection" drop-down box. Locate the entries for your particular video card drivers and, one at a time, highlight them and click on "Add". As you do so the entry will be moved to the right list box. List ALL your video drivers, including the control panel. There are often three or four, or more such drivers, depending upon your installation. Be careful to NOT select for deletion drivers that are not video drivers. Optionally, click on "Show Details" to watch what DriverCleaner does as it is working. Once that selection is done, click <Start> and DriverCleaner will do its job.

    Ninth, when DriverCleaner is finished, close it and reboot into Windows.

    Tenth, at the desktop, after your system has finished its startup processes, you should see a base screen in a large, original installation screen resolution. Screen refreshes will be very slow because there are NO accelerated video drivers installed at this point. Install them now. When the installation finishes you will be prompted to reboot. Before you do that you can safely reset your video utility to start upon Windows boot.

    Finally, now again at the desktop, re-apply (if necessary) your particular driver settings you use, which will no doubt have been erased from the registry upon you old driver uninstall.

    This process should work without failure every time, if followed correctly. It isn't the easiest thing to do, but it is successful.

    Edit: DriverCleaner also installs a companion program called DriverVersion Check.net. That program will check your current drivers and compare them against a database of latest drivers to see if what you have is "up to date". DriverVersion Check is not 100% accurate; it checks against WHQL drivers only. Many "new" drivers have not yet been "certified", but still work well nonetheless. However, even with that shortcoming, DriverVersion Check is a useful tool, if for no other reason than that it can tell you what version you are running now, just in case you have forgotten.
    Pers

    Ahh, isn't he such an Angel?
    How could you possibly shoot at him?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Installing or updating Video Drivers

    Question XO, doesn't Vista do the same thing when you go to Device Manager/Display Adapter/right click on properties for you video card and click on update drivers? Don't know about cleaning out the old crap but for installing new drivers its worked for me every time with out fail. TC

  3. #3

    Default Re: Installing or updating Video Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by 352ndtoo-cool
    Question XO, doesn't Vista do the same thing when you go to Device Manager/Display Adapter/right click on properties for you video card and click on update drivers? Don't know about cleaning out the old crap but for installing new drivers its worked for me every time with out fail. TC
    TC,

    No, merely updating drivers (whether in XP or in Vista), does not do the same thing. Updating drivers removes registry entries (some of them) and overwrites existing driver files, but very often (read, almost always) leaves remnants of older drivers on your system to potentially wreck havoc. In my experience, a reported "I can't get this version of the new drivers to work on my system" can be attributed directly to the kind of driver installation you are describing.

    Using a tool like DriverCleaner (there are others available, by the way, but DC works best in my experience) removes all traces of the older drivers from your system and, if used correctly, also removes all traces of default drivers too, so whatever new drivers you install are there all by themselves, free of any opportunity of an unintentional contribution by older versions to create conflicts.
    Pers

    Ahh, isn't he such an Angel?
    How could you possibly shoot at him?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Installing or updating Video Drivers

    Great stuff Pers. I'm going to save this to my troubleshooting file. Thank you.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Installing or updating Video Drivers

    Persecutor to the rescue again! I had installed the 9.3 CATS but was getting map loading errors. (You need to turn off the Catalyst AI, an apparently know bug I didn't know about in the 9.XX drivers). I had been getting graphic anomalies with the old 8.9 drivers and thought the newer drivers would help my 4870 card. Instead I got loading errors and still had anomalies.

    To make a L-O-N-G story short, I followed Pers install instructions and voila! A beautiful install of the 8.9 display drivers. I didn't install the CCC though. Instead I installed ATI Tray Tools. Smaller footprint, not a resource hog and very, very flexible. You even get a built in Framerate counter in the upper right hand corner of the screen if you like.

    Anyway Persecutor, thanks for the great install guide. Yes, it does take a little more time but the results are worth it, believe me.

    (insert bowing emoticon here)
    If you can read this, thank a teacher.&nbsp; If you can read it in English, thank a veteran.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Installing or updating Video Drivers

    Glad the method worked for you, Beebop!
    Pers

    Ahh, isn't he such an Angel?
    How could you possibly shoot at him?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Installing or updating Video Drivers

    Yes, I can also attest to the excellent instructions here by Pers. Although, when he says "Make sure you ONLY delete VIDEO drivers, he means it!!!!! I accidentally deleted some file that enables me to connect to the internet. Kind of a useful tool. RESTORE!!!! but that was my fault. The instructions are flawless! Thank you Pers.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Installing or updating Video Drivers

    Excellent instructions and worked to perfection.

    In fact, Driver Cleaner was so good that it also removed my downloaded NEW ATI driver install package as well. So, when Pers says "download and save to some safe place" - he means it. I suggest that if you have another drive (other than C that you put it there with a shortcut back to the desktop. While I haven't tested that, I'm fairly certain that Driver Cleaner will not go hunting on other drives for anything "ati*" associated.

    Thanks Pers!
    "War has a grim purpose and is extremely complex. Sophisticated planning and doctrine are present at every level. Yet at the point of fire battle is the essence of chaos and violence."

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