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 Post subject: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:01 pm 
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I have an occasional problem where my Graphics card (EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti) driver crashes and then recovers a few seconds later. I found a new driver at the EVGA site and tried to load it; the installer simply said the installation failed. I then used the windows driver update procedure (Control Panel -> Device Manager -> select video adapter -> driver update, follow steps to select the mfg's disk). Driver update found the driver, but failed to install it; no error code.

I tried the installation again using nVidia's installer, selecting "clean install". No dice.

I tried removing the driver and installing. No luck. I tried using a program called 'Driver Fusion' and it said it could not remove the driver (although it claimed it's premium version could do so, I never tried that).

I tried a different GeForce card, thinking perhaps the card had failed. Nope. I connected the card and tried to load its drivers, and they would not load.

Somewhere in here I damaged my old driver, and could not reload it, either. To get my system back I had to use my backup program's recovery disk and restore an old full backup of my OS drive.

The Internet hasn't been really helpful in solving this problem; I may be using the wrong keywords. If anyone has seen this problem and knows how to fix it, I'd love to read about it. I think the problem might be that somehow, Windows has decided I should not be permitted to install drivers, despite the fact that I am an Administrator and really ought to be permitted to do whatever I like! :)

I am considering whether to reload the system, as appears to be necessary with Windows boxes every few years. But I'd rather not go throug that trouble if I can avoid it.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:20 am 
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Will it roll back?

Alternatively, I would go to nVidia's site and install an earlier driver. Although before that I would probably remove any possible vestiges with Display Driver Uninstaller or equivalent.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:34 am 
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It did not rollback. I had tried that, but forgot to list it. I also tried using Windows' "System Restore" tool (having dropped a restore point before making the attempt to upgrade the driver. I tried a lot of things...

The driver at the nVidia site (I used their detection tool, and it correctly identified my card) is the one I'd previously been unable to install. Maybe I'll give it another shot, but I'm a little gun shy at this point.

I discovered that Windows/System32/DriverStore/... are owned by something called 'TrustedInstaller' and not by my administrator's group. I don't know why Microsoft would *ever* consider it a good idea to deny me permission to do anything I want to my computer, but that might be what they did. I am going to try setting the ownership of these files back where I want it (to me), before trying to reinstall and see if that helps. Part of the problem is the nVidia installer tool just says "Failed". It gives me no idea why it failed, which makes troubleshooting more challenging.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:00 pm 
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After fixing the ownership and permissions on those directories, I tried the driver installation again. No luck.

It acted like it was installing, then without warning the screen went black. I left it alone for about ten minutes, then hit the power switch (which on my machine is configured to shut down the computer). I heard the normal shut down sound but still couldn't see anything. Rebooted, and not only did the new driver fail, but the old driver was once again broken; the video adapter was configured as a basic Intel adapter of some kind.

So, back to my recovery disk, and I've restored my system again.

I've sadly concluded that I can't upgrade the nVidia drivers without doing a system rebuild, and maybe not even then.


Last edited by Commander Balok on Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:43 pm 
Smithfield
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Commander Balok wrote:
I've concluded that nVidia does not know how to write installer programs. (Who writes an installer that just blacks the screen without a warning?

Just because you are one case where there is a problem doesn't mean the company as a whole sucks a the job you're having issues with. I've had no trouble with the installer NVIDIA uses and I'm pretty certain millions of other people can say the same thing.

Also the installer blacks out the screen because it's telling Windows to either stop using the current display driver so it can overwrite whats there or switch to an updated one. Windows nor the video card can magically continue to provide a GUI feedback when it has to switch drivers (unless you'd like a stuck screen).

Quote:
Who writes an installer that doesn't report the precise problem it encountered; either on the screen or even better in a log file?

Because an error message with a bunch of addresses and error codes that are of no use to anyone isn't probably any better. That or the installer was never given anything useful by the OS to report back.

Quote:
Who writes an installer that asks ME where to put the driver files - it should know where they go, and its default choice should not be C:\NVIDIA\... on a Windows machine).

Uh, that's where the installer lives. Not where the drivers go. The installation process is: unpack installer (because it's compressed), launch installer, install drivers

Quote:
At this point, I don't think much of nVidia. They might make good graphics chipsets, but if they can't figure out how to get them working on a pretty generic machine, that's a problem.

Should you really blame NVIDIA, who has no idea what your hardware or software configuration is? I mean, who the hell grants themselves unlimited rights to a SYSTEM folder? Do you really want to run as root the entire time?

For all I know, your registry could be hosed. Something corrupted a system file. Etc. etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:57 pm 
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I should not have voiced my opinion of nVidia, as that is not really germane to this thread. I have removed it.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:12 pm 
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More info about your hardware might help. I'm kind of going into scattergun mode here. If you're running active anti-virus try turning it off for the driver install. Did you run the driver uninstaller that FascistNation pointed towards? Disable WIndows automatic driver install http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2500967)Try installing in safe mode. Run a registry cleaner (CCleaner if you don't already have it). Run sfc /scannow or a repair install (I don't hold a lot of hope for those, like I said, I'm spitballing). I'm curious as to why the video adapter was shown as Intel. You have some kind of on-board graphics? Can it be disabled? (in BIOS or otherwise?) (See, this is why we need the hardware). I think I'm out of shot for now.
Nastyman has a nice, orderly, usually unnecessary, process for installing new graphics drivers. I think it goes something like this: Disable anti-virus. Uninstall drivers. Run CCleaner (the cleaner portion). Re-boot (maybe try Safe Mode here). Disable anti-virus. Clean install driver. Re-boot again, maybe.

I know it's frustrating, but like LatiosXT said, this usually goes off without a hitch, so something is wrong (he said obviously and unhelpfully). So, we can try to figure out what's wrong (or at least try to do something that fixes or avoids it without ever knowing), or you can try a clean OS re-install and cross your fingers that it works.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:42 am 
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I'm certain the problem is with my computer; as my attempt to install a different video card (by a different company, still using an nVidia chipset, but a different one) also failed. I just can't tell from the installer's unhelpful messages what it is unhappy about.

I did try turning off my antivirus software, that did not help.

I also told the nVidia tool to do a 'clean install' (if one selects the Custom option this is a checkbox).

I tried doing a rollback when the driver install failed the first time. It claimed to have done that, and had me reboot, but on reboot the driver was still hosed.

A repair install (booting from the Windows install disc) indicated no problems.

sfc /scannow reported no integrity violations (it is called Windows Resource Protection on my Win7 box).

I tried a different driver cleaner than the one mentioned by FascistNation (Driver Fusion). It tried to remove the driver, told me it could not finish the job, but if I was willing to pay money for the "Pro" version of it, that it could finish the job. That had a bad odor to it, although I'd seen its predecessor Driver Sweeper recommended a few places.

I believe now that I was confused. The Intel HD Graphics 3000, I have since learned, is the onboard graphics driver. Without a device driver, Device Manager wasn't seeing the card at all - no entry present under Display Adapters, and so I jumped to an incorrect conclusion. I've been pretty lucky over the years with graphics adapters, so my troubleshooting experience is sparse. There is no way to disable this adapter in the BIOS that I can find. It has its own DVI connector to which nothing is (or ever has been) connected.

Two of my friends assure me that you "have to rebuild a Windows box every few years or they get unreliable" but that does not match my experience.

At this point, I think my plan is to tolerate the occasional driver failures (the screen goes black for 3-4 seconds and then a small window appears that tells me the nVidia driver failed and then recovered), because I think the fix is going to be reinstalling the operating system.

I have a vague memory, from a year or so ago, of letting Windows update install a new driver. The date on the driver is more recent than when I built the machine, which tells me it got updated at some point. I've since done some reading that tells me it is not a good idea to let Windows update do driver updates, although the few threads I found that say this do not explain why. My understanding was that the driver makers supply the drivers that Windows provides via its updater.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:51 am 
Smithfield
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What power supply are you using and how old is it?

Are your chipset drivers up to date too? And did you update BIOS at all?


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:05 am 
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LatiosXT wrote:
What power supply are you using and how old is it?

An XFX, PRO750W XXX Edition (that's what the tiny booklet that came with it has for the model number). It was purchased new in early 2012 when I built the computer and as far as I know is in good working order. That is, there are no "strange reboots" or similar problems.

LatiosXT wrote:
Are your chipset drivers up to date too? And did you update BIOS at all?

I have never updated them since building the machine. I do not update drivers just because a new version has come out. I do so only to solve problems; I have found that less likely to lead to frustration. Nor have I updated the BIOS, same reason. I was able to install the nVidia drivers from the disc that came with the card, with the same chipset and BIOS versions back in '12. When my attempt to upgrade the driver failed, one thing I tried was to reinstall the old driver from the same disc, and that failed. Given that it succeeded once and is now failing with the same BIOS and chipset drivers, I am led towards believing those things are not the problem. I'm almost certain this is some kind of Windows problem. But what kind, I don't know. As I said above, maybe the kind where I have to rebuild the machine from the install disc and then turn off Windows' ability to update my hardware.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:13 am 
Smithfield
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My initial guess was the PSU is starting to act up and your video card is being the victim. Just out of curiosity, why are you vehemently opposed to reinstalling Windows? And I should apologize for the bluntness of my first post here, but I really don't like it when people start making accusations like that.

Well one more thing I can throw out is to do a repair install, rather than a reinstall. That should at least take care of the possibility of system file corruption or whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:23 am 
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LatiosXT wrote:
My initial guess was the PSU is starting to act up and your video card is being the victim. Just out of curiosity, why are you vehemently opposed to reinstalling Windows? And I should apologize for the bluntness of my first post here, but I really don't like it when people start making accusations like that.

I'm not opposed to it for philosophical reasons or anything. It just takes a big chunk of time to reinstall it and put all my apps back. And I use my computer for work (among other things).

I'd guess if the PSU is failing then "driver failures" will happen more and more frequently?

LatiosXT wrote:
Well one more thing I can throw out is to do a repair install, rather than a reinstall. That should at least take care of the possibility of system file corruption or whatever.

If you mean a Windows repair install, I tried that. It found no problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:22 am 
Smithfield
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A failing PSU can cause intermittent hardware problems. I had one give me the click of death of an HDD that was running perfectly fine the day before.

If you want to save some time reinstalling, save your %APPDATA% folder somewhere before you reinstall. This has all of your program settings and data it saves.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:36 am 
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...just my two cents worth...

Download the latest driver.

Download Ccleaner and install it.

Uninstall the Nvidia driver, say no to restart.

Delete the Nvidia folder and empty the recycle bin.

Run the registry section of Ccleaner, save the registry when prompted then Fix All.

Reboot the system and install the new driver you downloaded.

It should be good to go now. I have used this method every time I install a new video driver and never failed me yet.

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:50 am 
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Thanks for the help, but...

... I think I am going to leave it alone for now. It works, now, except for the occasional driver restarts. Every time I have tried to install a new driver the computer has refused to allow it, and I had to "fix" it by restoring a full backup of my system drive. If the problem grows more annoying I may try this, or I may rebuild the system, but at this point I feel like I am trying to kill a fly with a hand grenade, and it's just not worth the aggravation.

My brother, who has a card using an nVidia chipset, has an nVidia driver update in the list of offerings Windows presents to him. He says it has been there for months. I haven't got that update. That could be because it's specific to his chipset, or it could be because I let Windows install it. I've found a lot of anecdotal accounts of people for whom that did not work well, and some of them say they fixed their problems by getting the manufacturer's installer from its site. Of course the accounts of the people who had no problem never got published, so there's no real way to tell from anecdotes whether Microsoft's updater does reliable work or not. But... as a precaution I'm going to say prefer the manufacturer's site.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't update nVidia drivers on Win7 64 bit system
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:31 am 
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I NEVER let Microsoft install any drivers at all. I go to the manufactures website of each component in my pc and download the latest driver for that device or chipset. I uninstall the old driver, run the registry section of Ccleaner then install the new driver for chipset, sound, etra. I use the procedure for installing video drivers in my first post.

If this windows install is more than two years old, I would nuke and pave the system since it is giving you so much grief.

As soon as windows first comes alive after the install, install the chipset drivers, video drivers, Ethernet drivers and sound drivers. Then update windows fully! Windows updates take the longest time of the whole proceedure! After all is said and done the pc should run great. When you are done if the pc is running great in the future, don't fix it!!! :lol:

Nasty


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