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How To: Reinstall Video Drivers (Quick Guide)

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by erocker, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    ***Updated 6/15/2011

    This works with XP, Vista and Windows 7 with both Nvidia and AMD. Make sure that your motherboard/chipset drivers are updated. If you just added a 2nd card to your system you may need to update your motherboard/chipset drivers again. If you are using CrossFire, have both cards installed with both crossfire bridges installed from the start. This guide is for those of you having driver issues either due to a bad install, swapping in different video cards or what have you. If you have any kind of input, recommendations or suggestions please leave a post in the thread.
    :toast:


    Section A Control Panel


    1. Uninstall any video card overclocking programs that are tied to your drivers. (Rivatuner, ATi Tool, etc.)

    2. Uninstall video drivers. Generally this is done through the control panel (add/remove programs for XP, Programs and Features for Vista and Windows 7) in Windows. For AMD it's called "AMD Catalyst Install Manager". For Nvidia it's usually labeled as "Nvidia Display Drivers" you want to uninstall. Restart. When restarted don't allow windows to install any drivers for your cards yet, just cancel out. For AMD, remove the latest CAP from the Control Panel as well... It will most likely ask you to restart again, do so. Re-check in add/remove programs - Programs and Features for any remaining AMD/Nvidia display associated drivers.


    Section B Registry

    See Fig. X
    1. Click Start->Run. Type: regedit

    2. In the registry editor Click File->Export. Save to your desktop (Now you have a backup of your registry.)

    3. Expand the folder "HKEY_CURRENT_USER" (by clicking the "+" sign), then expand the folder "Software".

    4. Find and delete any files/folders pertaining to your old video drivers in the Windows folder and Program Files folder(s) BE CAREFUL NOT TO DELETE ANY CHIPSET FILES OR FOLDERS.

    5. Follow steps 4 and 5 for the folder "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Click File->Exit and you are done.


    Section C Windows

    See Fig. Z
    1. Delete the ATi/Nvidia folder on your system drive in the "Program Files" folder or wherever you saved it.

    2. Go to the drive that Windows is stored on and double-click on the Windows folder.

    3. Delete everything possible in the Temp and Prefetch folders.

    4. In Vista/7: Start-->Search-->For Files and Folders. Type ATI in the search box, go to advanced and be sure to tick the box to search unindexed drives (if indexing is off). Two ATi folders should pop up under C:\Users\"yourname"\appdata. Delete both.

    Or, you can find the folders manually. These files can be located, but first you need to make sure that you have "Show Hidden Files/Folders" selected under "Folder Options" in the Control Panel. Once done, go to: My Documents-

    >AppData->Local and delete the ATi folder. You may find another folder to delete in: My Documents->AppData->Roaming.

    5. Run Driver Sweeper *It's now called "Driver Fusion". It works the same.

    6. Empty the Recycle Bin. Restart.


    Install New Drivers


    *If you are running an AMD chipset/CPU be sure to reinstall your SB (chipset) drivers as well.

    -Have fun! :)

    ***Always make sure that DirectX is up to date here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...FamilyID=2da43d38-db71-4c1b-bc6a-9b6652cd92a3

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
    reny900, SaiZo, andrewsmc and 91 others say thanks.
  2. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Bump on this thread, since I've noticed a lot of questions on this lately.
    nt300, Lionheart and mllcat27 say thanks.
  3. Azazel

    Azazel New Member

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    thanks...

    :p

    i see you got your old ava back
  4. Paulieg

    Paulieg The Mad Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice thread, Eric. I'm wondering though, what kind of damage have you heard happening when using driver cleaner? I've used it for about 5 years without a problem.
  5. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Most of the time mess ups with DC happen with user error. Though I've seen a driver cleaner or two take out a couple necessary Windows files before, resulting in random errors here and there. I just prefer knowing what's being deleted on my machine and not have a third-party program do it for me. :)
  6. jbunch07

    jbunch07 New Member

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    nice one erocker!
    there has been allot of talk about this subject lately this is a great guideline!
  7. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to do this! This is a thread we'll all be linking....

    I don't know how many people realize HOW imperitive it is to thoroughly clean the video drivers before instlling new ones.

    One of the biggest clues that there are reminants of old drivers is if upon reinstall, it restores the screen res you had on a previous install and not the default 800x600. If you've experienced this, you haven't cleaned everything.

    Another thing to note is how these latest Cats don't require C++ anymore, so if you have the latest Cats and something seems off, look in the "Add/Remove" and look and see if you have multiple C++ installs. Uninstall them and reinstall a current version IF you need it for another program.

    Again, congrats on a wonderful and useful write-up!

    Sticky?
  8. HP_dudeman New Member

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    i havent had any problems with uninstalling video drivers without prefetch/temp or anything. just a simple uninstall thru add/remove programs works fine
  9. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I can believe that. Though for some this isn't the case.
  10. nflesher87

    nflesher87 Staff

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    you can never be too thorough with uninstalling drivers ;)
    I don't think I ever got to thank you for that PM a while back on this e, so there you go :)
    I actually have come to like using Driver Cleaner Pro as I do believe it automates what you described plus more, not to mention being quite simple to use
  11. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Especially if, for whatever reason, there was a problem with the drivers and they aren't working correctly.
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  12. jbunch07

    jbunch07 New Member

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    this should be stickied!
  13. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    great guide man! also ccleaner does a nice automated job for step 3
  14. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Meh. I've never had any problems just uninstalling the old ones and then installing the new ones.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  15. oli_ramsay

    oli_ramsay

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    +1
  16. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    +2 but maybe in the general software as this can relate to many non-graphic things as well.
  17. HTC

    HTC

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    Signed!
  18. LifeOnMars

    LifeOnMars New Member

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    I've just followed all of the steps....and it keeps booting up in the same res 1280 x 1024 which is my monitors native res...what am i missing? Also, unsure as to what i can and can't delete in my temp and prefetch folders...any idea please?
  19. Hayder_Master

    Hayder_Master

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    everyone i give you something very useful , one click to clean all temp folders and Prefetch folders, like ccleaner but with 1kb size no installation and very fast

    View attachment delXP.zip
  20. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    Prefetch is an element of XP that is used to help "speed up" the opening of regularly used programs/files. You can delete eveything from it with no ill effects.

    Temp folder is just that...temporary. Delete with impunity.
  21. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    In prefetch delete everything except the Readyboost folder at the top. For the temp folder I delete everything except my anti-virus folder.:)
    LifeOnMars says thanks.
  22. psyko12

    psyko12

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    Your quick guide helped me most of the time, especially with 177.66's heh, I managed to get em running fine with RivaTuner with your guide, 1st install was bad then tried this and *viola* it worked :toast:
    erocker says thanks.
  23. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Small update for Vista users.:)
    *will check with XP tomorrow...
    psyko12 says thanks.
  24. psyko12

    psyko12

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    Ty for the heads up on the un-indexed search. Does that apply to nvid too? :D
  25. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm.... No Nvidia card to try out anymore, but I don't think so. The update is for deleting profiles and settings in CCC which automatically get deleted for Nvidia.:)

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