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How do I cleanly remove drivers?


lnong

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Following some suggestions for fixing my problems, I am going to uninstall my 175.63 drivers and install an older set 174.XX.

My question is do I need to use some free uninstalling tool to cleanly remove the Nvidia drivers before installing a new version? Or can I just remove it using the Add/Remove progs in Control Panel?

I remember while back ppl were suggesting the use of software like "Detonator Destroyer" and stuff like that...

Are they still necessary?

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use driver sweep. worked very well for other users.

sometimes uninstalling still leaves fragments.

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uninstall driver via control panel add remove programs.

reboot into safe mode

run driver sweeper

reboot

install driver

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Uninstalling Drivers Cleanly

This is a short guide on how to unistall drivers "cleanly".

I recommend you always uninstall the video driver before installing a new one to avoid problems detailed below.

Removing drivers in the conventional way does not remove the old drivers fully and hence can conflict with the newer drivers.

This can casue complications such as instability in games and annoying erros from poor performance to graphical glitches.

If you want to make sure you uninstall the old driver cleanly follow this guide.

Driver Cleaners

There are three driver cleaning software. Two are freeware but one you have to purchase.

Driver Sweeper: Free updated to v1.5, works with vista

Driver Cleaner Pro: Free but outdated, not 100% reliable for Vista

DriverCleaner.net: Costs $9.99 (at time of typing), vista and XP compatible.

I recommend DriverCleaner.net or the updated Driver Sweeper

Once you have found the drivers you want to install:

Step 1

Click Start --> Control Panel --> Add or Remove Programs ---> and select Nvidia Drivers

Select yes when prompted and select to reboot right away.

Step 2

If installing for Vista x64 read this otherwise continue.

On reboot Tap F8 (or whatever you use) to get into advance boot options and select Safe Mode.

A option will come up to install driver for vga device select no.

In vista a generic VGA driver will install, go to device manager to unistall that.

Use your desired app to remove your driver, be sure to read the userguide of your chosen cleaner

Once done, reboot and install your driver based on the "Have Disk Method" for VISTA | XP

Thats all there is to it, simple but effective.

Important Notes

As stated before its best to unistall a driver before installing a new one on top of your existing drivers.

Also XP and Vista has a driver 'roll back' feature, due to the complexity of drivers and its nature I don't recommend you use it.

Fully uninstall a driver before installing a new one is best for maximum stability and to avoid issues such as driver crashes (as oppose to using the 'roll back' feature)

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Guest
Uninstalling Drivers Cleanly...

While trying to delete old Nvidia drivers my computer hyperactively reinstalled the them, even in safe mode and even after using Driver Sweeper. Is there any way to prevent this?

Thanks for the writeup!

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Just pinned my old thread where your questions are probably answered: Uninstalling? :) Sorry for the inconvienence. :)

Thanks Dox for the nice post above. Is a bit more modern than mine.

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  • 3 months later...
Following some suggestions for fixing my problems, I am going to uninstall my 175.63 drivers and install an older set 174.XX.

My question is do I need to use some free uninstalling tool to cleanly remove the Nvidia drivers before installing a new version? Or can I just remove it using the Add/Remove progs in Control Panel?

I remember while back ppl were suggesting the use of software like "Detonator Destroyer" and stuff like that...

Are they still necessary?

But is the Sweeper free to download and use ?, and actually "work" for free ?

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sweeper is free yea

anyways since i cant seem to start my own topic i wanted to ask something that is bothering me like crazyyy

so few days ago i started playing far cry 2 on medium and stuff,then when i went to youtube i saw this guy who had the same laptop as me(acer aspire 5920G)

with 1 GB more ram than me (i have 2 he had 3) but with 1.9 gb processor speed where i have 2.0..and he played the game on high/very high without lag or anything so he told me to get 179.13 driver versions.Now i thought i allready had pretty updated drivers but that seemed to be the 169 one,so with joy and stuff i started to install the drivers the way it was told on lv2go,but when starting the game i get rendering issues,or more specifically flickering textures,and even more specific flashing colored pixels and circles glowing and flickering and stripes doing the same,so i tried messing with the settings of far cry 2 which was no use,then i heard it could damage my video card if i played while having these issues(not that it was playable at all because it was total crap),so i stopped and tried to throw away all of my drivers and do a fresh install of the 179.13 driver that the guy recommended.Well the install didnt go so fresh because nothing had changed,so moving on i tried the same thing with driversweeper(and yes i did all the computer restarting,safe mode,virus scan off,no internet) and with drivercleaner pro the day after(today),but to no avail.i even tried installing the drivers in a couple different ways,via the install of the driver and via the videocard.

but again NO use,im pretty angry at my computer right now because it keeps feeling like it cleans up everything but the problem ingame remains.

The drivers are installed corectly it says in the driver info on my video card but in games like far cry 2 and ive even tested it one fallout 3 having the same problems.

so what else can i do?im out of options right now,ive had to message the guy on youtube like 20 times...and hes clueless aswell

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But is the Sweeper free to download and use ?, and actually "work" for free ?
According to Dox it is. The point is: make use of ANY driver cleanup tool that you feel comfortable with. The main thing is that you manage to somehow remove all the remnants of those previous driver installations -- otherwise you're looking for trouble! You don't drive your car with 1 winter and 3 summer tires do you? Clean up.

Welcome to the forum BramNL! You've really managed to open up a whole jar of worms. First off, anyone CAN open new threads. You just have to drop down to the thread level here in the appropriate part of the forum and hit one of the "Start Topic" buttons (one at the top of the section and one at the very bottom).

As for your performance 'difference' from your youtube friend with the same laptop model: There are just too many variables out there for you to compare sensibly. You may be running different resolutions, AA settings, have more background programs (for instance 'services') running, a worse setup in general, perhaps even a different graphic card or clocking speeds, internet connection speed, and perhaps a different level of the DirectX package installed? The list is sheer endless! My guess as to your 'flickering, glowing and flashing' is namely the latter. Update to the latest DirectX version available, usually updated every several months directly from M$.

With regard to your installation problems -- please just follow our FAQs down to the letter, don't make any shortcuts and DO BY ALL MEANS REPLACE the original INF(s) from the installation with the one you want to use. And please use the 'Have disk method' as it avoids the problems with any setup.exe involved. If you think the problem is somehow related to the games, post the problem over in the gaming section.

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ok i by the way allready used the have disk method,it seems the problem couldve been directx but im not sure because i allready had 9c installed and now i installed it again and opened far cry 2 and after like 1 minute of still being pissed about the flickering textures,they went away...so i closed the game and checked if this was the same for fallout 3,and yea i dissappeared after a minute just like far cry 2,strangely all the problems got back like 5 minutes later and it doesnt seem to go away again :)

im gonna play some more to see if it goes away somehow

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OK Bram, I apologize if my buzz about DirectX wasn't all that clear to you. I didn't want to get you to install version 9.0C, but rather the newest update to DirectX. For what its worth you can find the details over here: nVision > News, FAQ & NVIDIA Drivers > News > Direct X November Update. That might help, and as I said update your DirectX frequently if you're on the cutting edge of those new games. :)

We've managed to nicely deviate from the thread topic!

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ok so 2 hours and gaming later,fallout 3 still has all the flickering and stuff and it wont go away still

far cry 2 still has the flickering but i have to wait for it to have a lagspike then alt tab away and back for it to be gone...(!?!)

the lagspike turns up after 5 minutes maybe shorter maybe longer,its not exact either

so this is really weird,why cant anyone else have this problem so its easier to fix :)

and im sorry we are offtopic but i promise you get to throw all of it away once im done :)

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, I wanted to ask, if you remove your previous drives with the clean-up program and everything, so that they are totaly gone, are you still able to restore your system (in this case restoring the old drivers) from "control panel -> system -> system protection -> system restore"? As for me this is like a back of plan when everything goes wrong.

Also I wanted to ask what does the "search terms" mean in filtering drivers. I think I managed to understand and find the right numbers to insert, but now it gives me only three possibilities; 156.09, 176.27, 176.60.

Does this mean those are the most suitable drivers for my video card (8600m GT)?

Thanks in advance.

jabbb

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When I check my computer via have disk method and search the computer for suitable gfx drivers, I found 44 suitable drivers - seems that Vista is eager to keep everything in backups - but I don't remember exactly when I sweeped the last time. But I think Driver Sweeper doesn't touch to Windows/System32/DriverStore/FileRepository/ (5.6 GB ATM...)

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So in other words I should be able to restore also the video card settings.

What I've read about the windows vista restore system it differs from the previous versions, as it actually takes shadowcopy of your currently working system, where as the older versions saved all the important files in folders.

Now I don't know if in reality the shadowcopy also stores files as it would make more sense. Otherwise from where the system would be able to restore all the old drivers and settings if it wouldn't had cache them when it created restore point.

But one thing for sure, if before installing the new drivers I uninstall the older drivers, I won't be able to use the "roll back" funciont no?

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Could someone respond to my questions please. I still haven't updated my drivers as I'm afraid to do something wrong.

Especially if someone could respond to this question, for which I haven't found an answer yet.

"Also I wanted to ask what does the "search terms" mean in filtering drivers. I think I managed to understand and find the right numbers to insert, but now it gives me only three possibilities; 156.09, 176.27, 176.60.

Does this mean those are the most suitable drivers for my video card (8600m GT)?"

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Usually the latest drivers are the best for current cards; I've never used that search option - it's probably not up to date. 180.84 or 181.00 are the latest.

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Thanks zipper.

You have any idea about the other question?

If windows "system restore" can restore the older drivers if you've deleted them with "driver sweeper"?

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I'm not sure but I suspect they get wiped out - sometimes earlier I couldn't restore when I wanted and I had done cleaning. ATM I'll keep just one restore point most of time, don't need older ones as I take total backups every now and then and do frequent backups of important personal files. On my backup media I have 27 older drivers just now, if ever needed...

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Alright thanks man, so I try to install the new driver over the older one, so at least if the new driver won't work I still can roll back to the older one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is there any way to boot into safe mode without being the system administrator? I'd like to run driver cleaner pro and driver sweeper before I update to 185.20 driver. Thanks.

Also, it seems like my Dell Latitude D830 with Quadro NVS 135M reinstalls the drivers when I restart after uninstalling.

Edited by rack04
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