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 nvidia driver version swapping 
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:13 pm
Posts: 367
OK, hi guys,

I thought I might never post about nvidia driver version swapping but I finally decided to go ahead and do it even though it's a few years late. Yeah, sorry I couldn't post this sooner but anyway, what I want to talk about is how to do driver swapping in case anyone wants to experiment with other drivers because the way I describe only uses 2 reboots while I would expect a newbie to do 3 reboots.

Basically, if you already have your s3d driver combo installed and you want to try a different combo, you should disable stereo3d, then...

uninstall the stereo driver, don't reboot,
uninstall the main video driver, reboot,
install the new main video driver, don't reboot,
install the stereo driver, reboot.

If you're just changing the stereo driver, say from 162.50 to 162.15, then you might be able to get away with not rebooting at all. Just use the Windows "Add/Remove Programs" function and remove the old one and then run the setup from the new one and test it out.


The "Have Disk" method:
I forgot where I first read about this method. Maybe it was from laptopvideo2go or something but anyway, this is how I do it. I like to unpack the main video driver into a folder and put it under C:\NVIDIA\###.##, then I don't run the setup. I do this before I uninstall the current driver and browse to that folder after reboot. Here's the process in too much detail...

after the first reboot, wait for Windows to detect the "new" videocard:

"Welcome to the Found New Hardware Wizard"
"Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for software?"
Choose "NO", then "Next".

"This wizard helps you install software for:"
" Video Controller (VGA Compatible)"
Choose "Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)", then "Next".

"Please choose your search and installation options."
Choose "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install.", then "Next".

"Hardware Type"
Choose "Display Adapter", then "Next".

"Select the device driver you want to install for this hardware"
Choose "Have Disk...", then "Browse" to the folder with the driver version you want and select "nv4_disp.inf" and "Open", then "OK".

"Select the device driver you want to install for this hardware"
(same as before but now your card should be listed with the "Show compatible hardware" checkbox marked.)
Hit "Next", then you may need to hit "Continue Anyway".

The Screen should blacken for a second, possibly with a resolution change, then hit "Finish".

Next install the stereo 3d driver. Just browse to the folder with the stereo driver version you want and run the setup. Then restart.

Basically, don't let windows do any kind of automatic search and instead, just browse to the folder where your desired version is located and unpacked.


Checking if the new driver supports your card:
If you want, you can take a look inside the new nv4_disp.inf and use the search function to find your card. If you do this beforehand, it can help you avoid an awkward situation where you're all set to try your new driver and it doesn't support your card and you find that out during the attempted install. In my case I would search for "7800" and see if there's a 7800GTX in there. If you can't find your card in there, I would suggest trying a different driver unless it's a laptop in which case I would recommend trying to find a new inf file for that driver from

Hmmm, I think that's it. Maybe someday I'll talk more about driver swapping under win98se since there are some tricks to use there. Probably, I'm the only one who cares about that stuff though.


--- iondrive ---

PS: I normally don't feel the need to use anything like driver-sweeper or cleaner but there may be times when you might need to if things get bad.

PPS: of course, if you are installing an older driver after a having a newer one, you should choose "overwrite newer file" if you get a popup with that message/option.

Wed May 12, 2010 3:46 am
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