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Clean Install NVIDIA Drivers

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Allowing Windows Update to install video drivers for you can sometimes result in a corrupted/conflicting NVIDIA driver install.  This article will show you how to completely remove and reinstall up-to-date drivers.

Follow these steps in order!

I verified each step using Device Manager to see which video devices and drivers were being detected by Windows - this is a good due-diligence part, and helps convince yourself that what you're doing actually helped.

Download Current NVIDIA DriverEdit

  1. Go to Latest Drivers and download the latest driver from NVIDIA's site
  2. Store the driver in a safe place so  you know where it is for later

Disable Windows Update Device Installation (Important!)Edit

If you don't have windows update disabled, windows will automatically pull down another driver for you to use after you've uninstalled what's there.  We want to prevent this from happening so the system is in a known state when we install the new ones.

A lot of people would recommend you do this on any machine, as Windows Update has a dicey past with driver installations.

  1. From Start screen, begin typing "Change Device Installation Settings", and select it
  2. Select "No, let me choose what to do"
  3. Select "Never install driver software from Windows Update
  4. Save Changes

Uninstall NVIDIA DriversEdit

There are numerous ways to get this done.  If you do not have an icon for NVIDIA Uninstall, just use the uninstall from programs and features.

  1. From Start screen, begin typing "Uninstall a program", and select it
  2. Choose the first NVIDIA item, and Uninstall - we will reboot when all NVIDIA drivers have been uninstalled
  3. Repeat for any remaining NVIDIA entries.
  4. Reboot your machine - this will allow any remnants of NVIDIA drivers to be removed
  5. When the machine is back up, return to "Uninstall a program" and verify there are no NVIDIA items there
  6. For good measure, check Device Manager to ensure that Windows is not using an NVIDIA driver
  7. If it IS using an NVIDIA Driver, repeat the uninstall process above, and REBOOT

Install Current NVIDIA DriversEdit

This part is pretty straight-forward...

  1. Find the driver file that you downloaded earlier, and run it
  2. When prompted, select the options you would like to Install - to keep things lean (as I'm not a gamer), I ONLY choose NVIDIA graphics driver and NVIDIA HD Audio Driver (this is for HDMI-out support), but you can choose all of them if you like
  3. For good measure, REBOOT again
  4. Verify through Device Manager that the version of the driver you just installed is what the NVIDIA video device is using

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