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Jacki Silverfall

How do you update a graphics driver?

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It's pretty simple, really, not much different from downloading and installing a new Second Life viewer.

1.  Go to your video card manufacturer's web site.  Look in their Support section.  There should be some information on the steps they recommend to do an update.  Print them out, then follow them exactly.

2.  On the same site, you will find the latest driver for your card.  Right click it, download it, and Save it as a file on your computer (don't run it directly from the website).

3.  Double click the downloaded file to run it and follow the installation steps.  You'll probably be asked to restart your computer.

Caveats:  Some card manufacturers recommend that you first uninstall the old drivers before installing the new one.  (That's why I said, read their recommended procedure).  If that's the case, go to the Windows Control Panel/Devices, find your graphics card, click the Information button, and uninstall from there.

When your driver is uninstalled, Windows will default to using a generic driver, and your screen resolution will probably go to h*ll.  Don't worry, this will soon be fixed when you install the new driver.  Even after installing the new driver, your screen resolution may not be optimal, your shortcuts that you keep on your desktop could be in strange places, and if you use dual monitors, only one may be working.  Again, don't worry.  You will correct all of these by right clicking your screen and opening the Control Panel for your graphics card.  There you can set up multiple monitors, select your desired screen resolution, and change other settings.

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It's pretty simple, really, not much different from downloading and installing a new Second Life viewer.

1.  Go to your video card manufacturer's web site.  Look in their Support section.  There should be some information on the steps they recommend to do an update.  Print them out, then follow them exactly.

2.  On the same site, you will find the latest driver for your card.  Right click it, download it, and Save it as a file on your computer (don't run it directly from the website).

3.  Double click the downloaded file to run it and follow the installation steps.  You'll probably be asked to restart your computer.

Caveats:  Some card manufacturers recommend that you first uninstall the old drivers before installing the new one.  (That's why I said, read their recommended procedure).  If that's the case, go to the Windows Control Panel/Devices, find your graphics card, click the Information button, and uninstall from there.

When your driver is uninstalled, Windows will default to using a generic driver, and your screen resolution will probably go to h*ll.  Don't worry, this will soon be fixed when you install the new driver.  Even after installing the new driver, your screen resolution may not be optimal, your shortcuts that you keep on your desktop could be in strange places, and if you use dual monitors, only one may be working.  Again, don't worry.  You will correct all of these by right clicking your screen and opening the Control Panel for your graphics card.  There you can set up multiple monitors, select your desired screen resolution, and change other settings.

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  1. Download the latest graphics driver from the chipset manufacturer (ATI, Nvidia, or Intel), not the maker of your graphics card or computer. Save the file where you can easily find it, but do not install it yet.
  2. Run Windows Update and make sure your system is fully patched.
  3. Reboot your computer and enter Safe Mode by pressing F8 at the Windows logo screen.
  4. Uninstall your old video driver. On Windows XP use Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager (steps will be different on other operating systems). Then open Display Adapters, right-click and choose Uninstall.
  5. Reboot your computer.
  6. If Windows displays a message that it found new hardware, do not let it automatically install drivers. Instead, run the installation program that you downloaded in step 1.
  7. Reboot your computer

You should now have a clean version of your video driver.

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I recommend you follow Rolig's instructions since that is never going to get you a driver update corrupted due to a driver being over written.  However, nVidia has changed their recommended way to install (or update) you driver.  The older way nVidia recommended is what Rolig suggested......uninstall then reinstall the new driver.  For whatever reason, nVidia no longer recommends the uninstallation first anymore:

http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2900/session/L3RpbWUvMTMyOTg4NTM0Mi9zaWQvRFBERU5pUms%3D

Uninstalling a driver won't harm anything but will lessen the likihood of a corrupted or borked driver update.  Which is the way I, too, recommend to always uninstall the older driver first.  It takes a few extra minutes and it does scramble your desktop icons but if you get a corrupted driver due to something not getting over written properly or some stray bits of data mixed with the driver software, you'll be in for some very confusing issues.  Most centering on the fact that you just updated the driver and now it's worse.........and that problem may be the way the driver was updated.  You lessen the probability of that happening with the extra 3 minutes or so it takes to uninstall the old and restart over just running the update on top of the old driver.  9 times out of 10 there will be no problems.  But if you have an experience like I had a few years ago with a bad update due to an over written driver file being borked you'll never take that chance again............I spent almost two weeks fighting that problem one time until a geek friend helped me.  He scolded me for a long time about proper driver updates.........I paid attention and through, possibly, 100's of driver updates I've never had the problem again.

 

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