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

So a long time ago before Trump was elected, which was approximately about last week, I came across that fantastic error message you see above. It popped out right after the NVIDIA setup failed to install the drivers on several different high-end systems that I was working on for no apparent reason. So, like a true leader of the Dothraki and as a Skyrim player –I relaxed, took three deep breaths, stretched my fingers and hamstrings then fired up setup.exe again.

I immediately got same log that read “NVIDIA Installer failed” again –and none of the NVIDIA 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 sudden flashback, I was pretty sure that this is karma being a bitch at me for not letting that guy merge into my lane on i-95 last week.

However, I quickly recomposed myself. 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. 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, GTX 1050 etc.. the damn installer just won’t install. At this point, 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. Such a phase.

Fortunately, we probably can fix that --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.

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 30s video.


  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.

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 400-series instead. Or you could still try Method III.

Method III

#NVIDIAplz
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Leave a Reply

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

John B

THANK YOU! This was the second time that NVIDIA’s driver installs completely failed and left me with a 640×480 desktop. I don’t know what the hell their problem is, but they really need to clean up their act, no pun intended. Method 2 worked great even under Windows 10. I think I’m not going to bother updating drivers as regularly as I used to. NVIDIA might have finally made a case for “if it ain’t broke…”

Jach

Method 2 worked for me, except I couldn’t use F8 so I used msconfig to activate and deactivate Safe Mode and PSTools did nothing at all but the Setup.exe worked fine without it.

Thank you very much this.

RoulioZ

There is A SOLUTION that will ALWAYS WORK! Download PSTools from Windows, and unzip them on your desktop, launch the console command, type “psexec -i -d -s setup.exe” (or the full path to the nividia installer like “psexec -i -d -s c:\windows\desktop\nvidia\setup.exe”). PSExec will bypass any Windows rules or rights from files to registry, this will overwrite the old drivers. Works like a charm :-)

Taylor

It didn’t work for me. Installer still fails.

jaffer

Thanks // method 2

Firm

Thanks to op for me it was method 2 that worked.
I also have comodo but disabling it did nothing.

Jeff

Same problem. So I stopped running Comodo and Avira, then it reinstalled fine. Rebooted all good now.

Kimmo

After installing an update from microsoft update I got message “You don’t have NVIDIA graphic chipset”.
First in the device manager I mouse right clicked ‘disable’ to the “unknown” displai adapter.
I tried Jeffs (sep 8 2015) way and exit from Comodo and choose the clean install from custom option.
After couple restarts nvidia geforce appeared in the device meneger, then I mouse right click it and choose “scan for hardware changes”. After that it asked to restart computer and started working again.

GamerX

The same. Was trying to get a solution for more than a week. Comodo was giving problems. Win 7 64bit, geforce 750 and 570.

oh. yes. just disabled all antivirus, and done

Geoff

Got mine to work by using your method 1: Manually Update Driver Through Device Manager.

Thanks!

John

Thanks! Method 1 worked perfectly!

Mike

Used your Method 1 after trying all sorts of other methods for over a week. IT WORKED!!! THANK YOU!!!

Alex

For me the problem was the antivirus & firewall (Comodo). Once I disabled it, everything went fine.
OS: Windows 7 64bit
Driver: 355.60-desktop-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-international-whql
Best,
Alex

PietjePuk

It was indeed Comodo, silly because I only had the firewall enabled. Thanks for your reply.

Anonymous

Same. Comodo was the issue. Thank you so much!

Bert

Same here! Shut down Comodo completely and it went fine! Thanks :)

Christoffer

Your awesome! Got mine to work by using yor method 1: Manually Update Driver Through Device Manager.
Thanks alot!

Hugo

The best method is here! But thanks!!

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1422776

I followed your Method I and got it all working, finally after 1 week trying. After having successfully installed the Graphics driver I tried to run the installation program as recommended, but that set my PC back to initial mode, so I ran Method I again, and after that manually installed the HD Audio drivers from Device Manager. Worked beautifully!

Bg

I use Windows 8.1 and have a Galaxy 760 card and was trying to upgrade to 344.11 and kept getting
the ‘Nvidia installer failed’ message. After reading forum after forum and running DriverSweeper,
going into the registery and deleteing anything that referenced Nvidia, trying to install older

versions even the one I was using previously, ‘Run as Administrator’, installing the driver

through the ‘Device Manager’, the driver in Windows update wouldn’t install either . Nothing

worked so after several days of reading forums and trying everything I could think of I was about

ready to yank the card out and throw it in the trash and go buy an Radeon. What finally worked

for me was I thought I would go into Run/msconfig and see what programs were running and possibly

preventing the driver from installing. I noticed on the ‘General Tab’ ‘Selective startup’ was

selected so I thought I would try ‘Normal startup’ and after rebooting I was able to install the

driver with no problems. Hopefully this will help someone.

Maarten

Dude I love you

Veritas

Holy shit, you’re my hero man lol =]

Dave

Hi,

I’ve tried to use this guide, although I never get the chance to select Clean Install – the install fails after checking system compatibility.

I’m using Windows 7 and a 570 GTX.
Thoughts?

Alex

To be able to select a Clean install first you have to select Advanced install mode when installing the driver downloaded from Nvidia site ;)

NVHater

How smart. And how do you select that when the setup program just starts and then tells you there is a problem and only offers you to close the setup window? As I said, really smart answer… NOT

Zaid

I installed NFS The RUN, It said your driver is old but my device manager doesn’t not agrees.
now followed your process.

1.uncheck NVIDIA Update….is not available in the installer
2.using psexec -i -s setup never starts
3.installed without using psexec -i -s

Everything is fucked up now, previous version was atleast showing the 1080p resolution, now its maximum to 1024×768. Please help
Winows 7 x64
Sony VAIO VPCZ117GG
NVIDIA GeForce 330M
Also there is another Display which says Intel HD Graphics accelerator(Whats that?)

A simple workaround just works for me:
1. After the installation failed, go to C:\NVIDIA\DisplayDriver\xxx.xx
2. Copy the xxx.xx folder to somewhere else (for me it’s E:\Drivers\xxx.xx)
3. Run the setup.exe from this (xxx.xx\Win8_WinVista_Win7_64\International\setup.exe)
–> Then it just works, the installer asks for Express or Custom installation –> choose Custom installation & tick “Perform a clean installation”.

If you’re tired searching through the internet & find no solution works for you computer, this is worth a try.
I’m having this problem for months, my computer have a discrete NVIDIA VGA card with Optimus technology, then installing only the graphic display driver for the discrete card is not enough, you have to install all other softwares in the NVIDIA driver installation package in order to enable the Optimus technology or divert an application to run on your discrete VGA card. Hope this help!

Anon E Moose

Dude I freaking love you!!!!

This worked for me in the face of all else failing! I didn’t even think to try it. Maybe I would have eventually, but watching that installer move on to the audio driver was a great feeling. Been struggling to update drivers forever now, you sir have done me a very great service

Ron Chan

It worked to my case very well. Thank you so much!!

Craig

Thankyou so much. Helped resolve the issue. Was driving me nuts.

Ning

Thank you so much for this guide! Helped me alot!

Sundaram

The manual installation method work right out for me, thanks!

jared

ok so i finally got it i have windows 7 64bit and what i did was delete all the registry from regedit on run and then i deleted nvida corporations and C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\nv_lh–xxxsomethingxxx and then use driver sweep and then also check reset windows installation to default and it should work

Stu

I actually got help from nvidia to fix this. I did try #2 first, but no luck. After that , I was told to try booting safe mode, refresh the device manager, and poof-my nvidia 660 popped up. After this I could install the latest driver with no issue (in safe mode)

Man Sobbing with Happiness

Woah, same.

Could it have been just to get to the safe mode?
Or perhaps, deleting all the application traces helped?

Anyhow, thanks uploader and commentor.

MONEY SHARAN

PLZ………….HELP ME I TRIED METHOD 2 BUT THEN ALSO NVIDIA DRVERS FAILED …………I M TOO DISSAPOINTED PLZ HELP………………………….

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

RamsesFresco

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

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 ….

Juan

Thanks a lot!

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.

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)

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.

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?

…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 :/.

isn’t NVIDIA installer the best troll of all times :) ?

Alex

In same situation here but what setup.exe ? I am a begginer in this domain . Can you explain me what you did exactly?

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

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 :(

when running the psexec command, try typing the setup.exe’s folder path without the ” “

samipower

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

George

Thank you so much!!

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…

Much appreciated, worked like charm :-)

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