2 Methods to Fix “NVIDIA Installer Failed” for GeForce video cards

So a long time ago, about couple days back, I came across that fantastic log box over after the NVIDIA setup failed to install the drivers on several different high-end systems that I was working on; for no apparent reason. Then, like a true leader of the Dothraki –I relaxed, stretched my fingers and hamstrings then fire up the setup.exe again.

Immediately I came to the same message that read “NVIDIA Installer failed” again –and none of the driver components were installed. See, that totally sucks because if I ever wanted a random generic video card, I’d just use the integrated GPU and call it a great life; rather than burning through a few $300’s for these GTX’s. In a short moment, I was pretty sure that this is karma bitching at me for not letting that guy merge into my lane two days ago.

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However, I quickly recomposed myself and the troubleshooting took places along with many of hours of frustration –where it should have been remedied by NVIDIA or Microsoft themselves in the first place. But who knows, marriage is complicated. Anyway, several searches from Google and Bing return similar problem everywhere. It does not matter if it’s a GTX 460, GTX 570 or the new GTX 980, etc.. the damn installer just won’t install (I think it’s possessed). On the other hand, Windows, being a difficult teenager, wouldn’t even bother to give a second try at the very certified driver that it directly obtained from Windows Update itself. Cute.

Good news is I got a potential solution for that problem --hopefully before you do the exact opposite of Hodor.

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Essential Things To Check

First thing first, be sure Windows is running on the latest Service Pack. Windows 7? Get SP2. Windows 8? Get 8.1. Windows 10? ..Shit. Well, check anyway.

We all know that this is a complicated relationship between NVIDIA and Windows and all but unfortunately you and I are caught up in the crossfire –which should have been a problem of AMD since they came up with the term Crossfire in the first place. But well, NVIDIA holds the honor. Anyway, these are the few forms of the error:

  • Error Code 28
  • Driver cannot be installed
  • ff0

  • No Hardware Specified
  • System keeps rolling back to Standard VGA Adapter driver after restart, etc…

Now before we dive in, let’s get these cautions out of the way.

  • Make sure on-board graphics chipset is deactivated and BIOS is set to use current discrete video card as main.
  • Make sure your motherboard BIOS is running the latest firmware.
  • Hard Drive is not too full. There were many cases when NIVIDA setup could not extract the packet into the Temp folder because the target drive was packed.
  • Antivirus program or Firewall should not give any issue but it’s worth some attention. Disable it just in case. Don’t forget to enable it the next time your browse brazzer the Internet.
  • Try your video card on a different PCIe slot or different computer to see whether the same issue occurs. You may find a way to rule out the possibility that the motherboard or the video card is defective.
  • Run a quick file system check using the command sfc /scannow to make sure the Windows core has not been altered or violated.

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Method I : Manually Update Driver Through Device Manager

This is the most simple fix. Sometimes it works like a charm, other times it’s a miss. Like the first date. Or first dump after tacos.

1. Right click and use Update Driver Software on the Display or Standard VGA Graphics Adapter from your device list.

2. Point to the path of the extracted NVIDIA driver folder (eg. C:\NVIDIA\DisplayDriver\xxx.xx\windows_version\English\Display.Driver). If this folder does not exist, you have never run the installer before.

Restart PC as soon as it’s done.

Proceed to run the NVIDIA installer once again as usual if the video card has been successfully recognized. In case nothing happens or the system still identifies the video card as a generic device, you have to move on to the next step.


Method II  (Follow each step carefully)

A. The complete removal of all NVIDIA driver files from the System

Once again, make sure you are using the latest Service Pack (not minor updates but big ass Service Pack). If you have trouble finding an urge to get this done, watch this piece of wood going super saiyan.

  1. Install Driver Sweeper.
  2. Apply Take Ownership to Registry (this registry hack is pretty useful for other situations, too; such as when you cannot delete a file or do not have access to old porn folder due to permission issue).

Restart PC and get in Safe Mode (press F8 after initial POST).

Delete these following NVIDIA Driver data supplied from Windows Update if existed (right click on the folders and choose Take Ownership if the system does not allow you to remove them) :

  1. C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\nvdsp.inf–xxxsomethingxxx
  2. C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\nv_lh–xxxsomethingxxx
  3. C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\nvoclock–xxxsomethingxxx
  4. C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\
  5. C:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\

Now also fire up Driver Sweeper and delete everything else that is related to NVIDIA. Restart the PC after the process is completed.

This step prevents Windows from trying to apply any pre-cached, pre-downloaded driver for the video card behind our back.

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B. Perform a Clean Installation under Super User Role

  • Download and extract PStools.
  • Move the PsExec.exe file into your C:\Windows\System32\ folder.
  • Press Windows key + R and type the following command into the message box. Be sure to replace the path accordingly to your own reference  :

psexec -i -s “C:\NVIDIA\DisplayDriver\xxx.xx\windows_version\English\Display.Driver\setup.exe”

  • After the License Agreement screen, choose Custom instead of Express installation.
  • Now you can check Perform a Clean Installation and uncheck NVIDIA Update.

Continue on until the setup process completes. Restart the PC and you should have your video card working properly upon the next load.

Leave us a comment whether this has or has not solved your issue. Some of our readers are like, geniuses, and have pretty good advice that works for them so it may work for you. So be sure to go throught the comment section below for more solutions.

If nothing works, perhaps it’s about time to buy one of them AMD R9 300-series instead.

Worst comes to worst, please proceed to Method III below :

Method III

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Leave a Reply

174 Comments on "2 Methods to Fix “NVIDIA Installer Failed” for GeForce video cards"


September 24, 2016 12:37 pm

Nvidia auto updates killed my GTX 1070.

September 23, 2016 1:16 pm

method 3 is best for suure

CrazyKrauti
September 22, 2016 5:35 am

After method 3 didnt work very well, i tried the Driver Sweeper + Clean install method and it worked perfectly!
Thanks a lot, dude!
greetings from bavaria

September 22, 2016 12:48 am

i tried method 3, it worked perfectly!

Joey
September 17, 2016 6:11 pm

Couldn’t complete all steps from method 2 (even take ownership didn’t allow me to erase nv.. folders, totalcmd launched with elevated right as well) but guess driver sweeperdid the trick. I launched nvidia installation again and TADA! a few hours’ horror is over! THANKS from Poland!

Eppere
September 13, 2016 6:16 pm

Guess it’s time for method three. If only I could just put it together and go. But, no, that would be too simple.

Akram
September 10, 2016 1:26 pm

Sorry about the previous reply. if anyone still encountering this issue, try to remove geforce Experience and download it from nvidia website and install it. when finished, download the driver by the geforce experience and install it. I hope that will help u

Akram
September 10, 2016 1:23 pm

gggggggggggggggggg

Nima
August 31, 2016 9:35 am

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you …

Wes Sawyer
August 31, 2016 1:46 am

Holy mother of all that is gaming!! Finally was I able to install the proper drivers for my card!! Great job!

Dan
August 23, 2016 6:28 pm

Driver Sweeper + Clean install worked with following adjustments (not sure whether they were all needed)

I created a separate admin user and logged in to that user
in start menu type “cmd”, right click on it and start it in Admin mode, within the console type the mentioned psexec command, however my setup file was not in” ….\windows_version\English\Display.Driver\setup.exe” but in “….\windows_version\English\setup.exe”

Thanks mate, cost me hours to get it solved until I found your post!

Olio
August 17, 2016 6:37 am

Driver Sweeper + Clean install worked.

suh dude
August 8, 2016 2:48 am

thx dude i really appreciate it
p.s ur a nigga

August 8, 2016 2:47 am

thx bro

Arlindo Bastos Filho
July 10, 2016 5:05 pm

You MUST to Uninstall Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable using files vcredist_x64_13.exe (64 bits) AND vcredist_x86_13.exe (32 bits). Do a searching for these files on your PC.

NVidia Setup fail at this moment because another process is using same instalation.

Nvidia Setup will reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 again for you.

Do a clean installation too.

It Worked for me.

Remiel
July 6, 2016 4:47 am

Actually, I just uninstalled GeForce Experience and nothing else Nvidia, then reinstalled GeForce Experience, and everything worked fine

July 2, 2016 10:57 pm

tried both options did not work windows still kicked nvidia update out of the way so it could down load its own

me
June 26, 2016 4:38 pm

Didnt even understand what the pstools did, but followed instructions and got drivers back. Thank you for this fix

K K
June 24, 2016 12:17 pm

I fffing love u man, i do not know how method 1 worked but it did!

June 19, 2016 11:21 am
Method number two worked for me like a charm, thanks! For whoever wants to know, there was only one Nvidia entry that I deleted in Safe Mode, but that appears to have been sufficient. It’s a relief to see that there’s an easy fix for this weird problem – I’ve been experiencing this with my last two laptops and since February this year I’ve been running with the same driver rather than updating it, which always resulted in knocking out the graphics card and giving me a Code 28 error. To get the last driver to run I had to… Read more »
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