20 April 2009

tutorial | upgrade or downgrade your graphics card drivers

I read somewhere (on plurk probably) that most people wouldn't know how to upgrade or downgrade their graphics card. And that got me thinking that would be nice to write a blog post about it. Not everyone has to know to do it but a little more knowledge won't hurt a bit.
Before you do anything to your computer make sure you have a backup of your current driver and the latest driver. And, if you decide to this, you are doing it at your own risk and this blog does not take any responsibility for any damage you may cause to your computer.
Most graphics card come with a CD with drivers. The first you should do when getting a new computer is to install ALL of the CDs to have the most updated drivers... until the moment the CD was burned. That means that even if you install the driver from the CD, you can still be installing an old driver.
For the latest driver, you should download directly from the manufacturer website, in my case, NVIDIA (or EVGA as my graphics is actually an EVGA with a NVIDIA chipset):

Or you can use the guru3D website to find older drivers or other cool stuff. Another extremely handy is the Driver Sweep that you can find the same website. But, remember that:
The software available from Guru3d.com/HardwareGuru.com are provided "as is" with NO TECHNICAL SUPPORT. All software is to be used at your own risk; this site does not take any responsibility for any damage in whatever form or context.

Where to start...?
You will find your graphics card drivers (if you have a NVIDIA) in three different places in your computer (if you have XP):
1. Device Manager (Start » Settings » Control Panel » System » Hardware tab > Device Manager)

2. Add and Remove Programs (Start » Settings » Control Panel » Add and Remove Programs)

3. installed in your computer:

Usually, I first remove the driver from the Device Manager, then from the Add and Remove Programs (both items that have NVIDIA name) and then delete the NVIDIA folder from my computer. Now, it's time to make sure you aren't going to have any conflicting drivers and for that you may want to use the Driver Sweep:

After all of this, you will need to restart your computer. After the restart you will have HUGE icons and the Found New Hardware wizard. Don't do the wizard, instead you should install the new or old driver and restart again.

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