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2 Methods to Fix NVIDIA Installer Failed Issue for GeForce Video Cards

Since the recent assembly of several NVIDIA video cards for different systems, I have come across this rather annoying issue where the NVIDIA setup fails to install the drivers on a Windows computer.

It always returned an error that reads “NVIDIA Installer failed” and none of the core components were installed. Consequently that renders the video card pretty much unusable for any intense graphical assignment.

It took me many hours in frustration for trying to diagnose and fix this issue whereas it should have been remedied by NVIDIA or Microsoft themselves. A search from Google and Bing returns flood of this similar problem everywhere.

It does not matter if it’s a GTX 460, GTX 570 or the new GTX 680,etc.. the damn installer just won’t install. You only got one job!

Better yet, Windows also does its best to deny a proper driver to the device, even one that was streamed by Windows Update itself. Great.

Good news is here’s a solution for the problem, before things start to get ugly.

Why this s**t does not install!!?

Also Read Radeon vs. NVIDIA : A Big Comparison Guide

Essential Things To Check

First thing first, be sure Windows is running on the latest Service Pack.

We understand that this is an affair between NVIDIA and Windows and all, but unfortunately the end-users have to deal with all the frustration from trying to make it work. eg: Error Code 28, Driver cannot be installed, No Hardware Specified, System keeps rolling back to Standard VGA Adapter driver after restart, etc…

Some blames NVIDIA for the bug, but who knows ? It could just be Windows.. being Windows.

Windows 7 SP1 - Windows Vista SP2 - Windows XP SP3

  • 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 should not give any issue but it’s worth some attention.
  • Try your video card on 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.

Method I : Manually Update Driver Through Device Manager

This is the most simple fix. Sometimes it works like a charm, other times it doesn’t. Like the first date.

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

Restart PC and go into 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) :

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

Fire up Driver Sweeper and delete everything else that is related to NVIDIA.

Restart the PC after the process is completed.

This process prevents Windows from trying to apply any readily pre-cached, pre-downloaded driver for the video card without asking first.

B. Perform a Clean Installation under Super User Role

  • Download and extract PStools. Cut and Paste 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 to the rest of the setup process.

Restart the PC right after the task is done 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!

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26 Responses

  1. Much appreciated, worked like charm :-)

  2. Zsolt

    I have this problem on win8 x64.
    I followed this and guide and the one here: http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?20144-Found-a-fix-to-Nvidia-Installer-Failed.

    And they don’t work for me. The installer gives the “NVIDIA Installer failed” bug the device manager gives an “data is invalid” error.

    (I hope I wrote the right things because I have a localized version actually)

    • I have couple of friends who were having this issue with Windows 8 and only 1/3 of them could get it to work properly, the rest had to reinstall Windows completely :(

      • Zsolt

        That’s what I did too, eventually…

        Also not only I couldn’t install the Nvidia driver (even windows update couldn’t install the driver) but also the audio card driver, so probably at that point it was inpossible to install a driver…

  3. George

    Thank you so much!!

  4. samipower

    Not works in windows 7 64 bit, I tried both and nothing

  5. Detmer

    Psexec crashes for me I’m so pissed I reinstalled windows maybe like 2 to 3 times why doesn’t NVIDIA fix their drivers :(

  6. C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\
    FileRepository\nvdsp.inf–xxxsomethingxxx
    and
    C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\
    FileRepository\nvoclock–xxxsomethingxxx
    did not exist

    Also, when running that command (psexec -i -s “C:\NVIDIA\DisplayDriver\xxx.xx\windows_version\English\Display.Driver\setup.exe”) the setup never starts

  7. …But, I ran setup.exe without PsExec and the installation succeeded, also seems to be working. Too bad I don’t have nvidia update now though :/.

  8. Russell

    xp service pack 3 crashed my pc twice. Had to do a system recovery. Am reluctant to try again. Could I revert to an older nivedia driver which worked fine before?

  9. Christoph

    Hey i think i need your help.
    Be aware: Im from Germany and my English isnt the best.
    I did everything like in your guide. Now i have to press the Windows Key + R. But nothing happens.I just get beamed to antother data. I dont get a messagebox or something like that.

  10. Graham

    Thank you so much, I’ve been trying for days to install the drivers for my new GT630 card.
    Tried no end of suggestions with no luck.
    Seems to be the use of PStools that did the trick for me. (WINDOWS XP)

  11. THANK YOU! I’ve been trying to get my old GeForce 8400 up and running and could not get the new drivers to install on Windows 7. This was exactly what I needed.

  12. Juan

    Thanks a lot!

  13. Jesse

    Performed every step of method 2 (tried method 1 aswell) and it just won’t work.
    There’s no such folder as: C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\
    FileRepository\

    Only DRVRSTR or something, which seems similar but it doesnt contain the files or the folder “Filerepository”

    I’ve tried about everything and it just won’t install 314.22 for m 9800 GT Geforce card.

    Really desperate now.

    And when I try method 1 is sometimes looks like it works, but on the installation of the update it sometimes says some files can’t be installed, or when it works it tells me to restart my computer and after I did it, nothing changed, still the old version and it switches from showing “VGA monitor” to “9800 GT” almost randomly ….

  14. RamsesFresco

    Dude can you help me? please i am so tired of fixing this issue can you fix it using TeamVIewer please please please

    • My apology but I’m usually not on my PC most of the time so it’s less likely that I could be on TeamViewer. What OS are you installing the driver on? Have you tried an older version of the driver?

  15. Unfortunately not working for me under win7 x64. “Installer failed” was my message before, and after 2nd step I got “Install failed”. Also after reboot it asks “C:\Nvidia\*” are you sure, without any clue what is it about. Anyway, with both yes and no still no luck