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

During the recent assembly of several different high-end systems with NVIDIA video cards I came across this beautiful dialog box above, where the NVIDIA setup failed to install the drivers on a Windows PC. Seriously look at it. Look at that annoying bastard. Well, it always returned an error that reads “NVIDIA Installer failed” and none of the driver components went through. See, that totally sucks because if I wanted a generic, no-driver video card I’d just use the integrated GPU and call it a day rather than dropping over $300 for a GTX.

So the troubleshooting took places and many of hours of frustration (where it should have been remedied by NVIDIA or Microsoft themselves in the first place). Several searches from Google and Bing returns 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, some one calls Sam and Dean). And to make it worse, Windows don’t even bother to take a second look at the very own driver it obtained via Windows Update itself. Great.

Good news is, here’s a potential solution for that problem –hopefully just right before you got so mad you turned a super saiyan.

Essential Things To Check

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

Everybody understands that this is a complicated relationship between NVIDIA and Windows and all, but unfortunately we’re caught up in the middle. Like an unloved child. This is what often seen: 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.

  • 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. 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.

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 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:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\
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 readily cached, pre-downloaded driver for the video card behind our back.

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. Also check them comments, too. Some of our readers have pretty good advice that works for them so it may work for you. Cross your fingers and toes. If nothing works, post in our forum see if any miracle occurs.

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