Alright guys, I need your help.
Every time I try and install the latest nVidia drivers on my pc, it'll get to the point where to finalize installation it has to reboot the system, but as soon as it loads back into windows my monitor will go into standby mode. This usually happens after the win7 logo appears; the screen goes black and then 'no signal'. I've basically tried every combination of install I can think of in win7 normally and in safe mode. I've tried a fresh install, an upgrade, a straight installation over, everything.
To make things even more strange and bizarre, the last time I attempted a driver update, each consecutive restart would bring me further and further into windows, the winning move was me being able to open the nVidia control panel and from then on it seemed to work (as far as I can tell).
This time however, no dice at all, back to the original problem I said. Luckily I had a restore point before I went fiddling.
I'm running Win7 Pro
Core2Duo E86008800 GTS ~ 640mb (win7 says it’s got 2gb on it?)
currently with 196.21 drivers.
One final thing, even though the 196.21 drivers seem to 'work' at the moment, if I was to uninstall them and reinstall them, I would end up in this situation as well. I'm seriously fucking confused.
There's a fairly thorough guide about this that you can find here on the EVGA forums. That guide should work out even if you don't have an EVGA card. If you want to ignore step 0 and the part about "NVIDIA_Display_theGryphon" filters in step 5, you'll probably be fine.
You should be able to do the downloading and installation of driver sweeper in Safe Mode, if it comes to that.
If you really get up the creek with the latest stuff, I highly recommend the 186.18 or 186.16 drivers. Those things were rock solid. Hope it works out for you.
When i said fresh install i meant that i used driver cleaner to remove them completely. I'd rather not have to reinstall my OS simply to update my vidja drivers, thats just way too much hassle for the end result.
Really? You don't have to do that driver cleaner malarkey any more?
Correct, the ATI package you download from their site will update the needed files and restart the services. If everything works properly the screen might flicker or go black for a moment as the drivers/services are restarted with the updated files.
Now ATI also uses XML profiles to tell the cards how to best run for specific games. ATI gets these out pretty fast as well. The plan is that we should be able to just download the profiles when we buy a new game. The profile updates are supposed to be released within 24 hours of the game release.
ATI did a great job last generation, this gen they're kicking all kinds of ass.
I've been using ATI cards for over 5 years and I've never had to do that.
I don't know if it works so well on XP, though, might be a Vista/7 thing (considering the driver model changed after XP).
The last ATi card I owned was an X1900XT, so I am way out of the loop. Does ATi's control center allow program-specific settings? (FSAA, force sync, etc.) I could have sworn they didn't, which kind of made me stick with Nvidia, but if it weren't for that, I'd like to make the change...
@Stormwatcher Honestly man, until I moved to 7, I’ve never had issues with nVidia at all, hell I’ve never had issues this whacky or temperamental before. Back in the day they were fantastic but this gen I really can’t explain how useless they’ve become. Suffice to say, I’m going to try out ATI again next upgrade.
Altid, can I hug you? I’m so glad I’m not the only one with this problem.
I still haven't found a way to accomplish this in the ATI driver control pane. The only way to set profiles to assign a hotkey to this profile and enable it that way. Well I can still set the slider manually, if a application doesn't have ingame AA settings.
Nvidias driver control panel has a very nice profile pane. They slimmed it down during a certain driver revision and it is very usable now. (used to be very confusing in the WinXP days when you had a "profile of a profile" option. Now its "select horse and then select your pistol - I mean select program and drag the sliders till your satisfaction. Done.)
Personally I don't had a problem with the drivers of both companies.
To the OP problem: Maybe the refresh rate or resolution is set to something your screen doesn't support.
First solution: Before installing the new drivers install a vnc service and get a second PC, then remote control the first PC after the screen went blank. See if you can connect and then set the desired options back to normal.
Second guess: Install a driver for your screen (basically its just a *.inf file with the list of correct resolution, refresh rates). The CD which came with your screen should be sufficient. Maybe the driver will then pick the correct settings after reboot.
The hotkey profiles work really well on ATI. And you can make a profile then assign a game to be started when you change to that profile. On top of that, you can create a shortcut for the profile. So it's like an autoswitching profile whenever you start that game.
It was starting to make me doubt if my video card itself was going bad.
I've since dropped back to 196.21 (after doing a complete uninstall and using Driver Cleaner), although it's a little soon to tell if regressing the drivers solved the problem (the crashes, while bad, weren't frequent or reproducable enough to tell, only time).
If you're on Windows 7, I'd consider rolling back the drivers out of the 197 series.
This is a real 'Your Mileage May Vary' situation, though. I'm running on Windows 7 and the 197.13 drivers are the best and most stable set I've used since the 186.18 days. And this is after trying the 196.XX drivers, which continuously gave me problems across the board (system crashes, no downclocking, 'recovered from a serious error' issues, and so forth). It seems unfortunately almost random which drivers work best for which people.
Search out what might work best, but just be sure to avoid the 196.75 drivers entirely. Even Nvidia themselves have advised customers not to use those drivers.
...I just checked, and apparently I am using those drivers.
I'd be harsher on myself for this oversight, but then again, Nvidia did release these drivers.
ATI's is so simple and functional. 10.3 means 2010, march. There you go, now you always know what driver it is.
Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm picky. I haven't given up on ATi, not by a long shot, but I still need figure out what would be an step up from two 8800GTs (which, I have to admit, are pretty good in SLI). Not to mention I wanted to upgrade from a core duo to a quad core.
But you need a shortcut to start the game anyway.
Unless you open file manager and double click the .exe everytime
Actually, I don't.
A lot of my games still rely on discs (I play many older games), so an autorun menu handles that.
Also, I use the Game Explorer in Windows 7 if that doesn't happen, because I find it aesthetically pleasing. Then again, you could probably modify the shortcuts in that to use the ATi things. I do not like the hotkey system, because a lot of the settings are very much program specific, and there's not one that applies to many different games for me personally.
you can, you know, create a folder and drop the shortcuts in it. I also play a lot of old games, and make a point of cracking them when possible, because I hate swapping disks.
Anyway, ATI added downloadable game profiles, with specific game enhancements. Dunno if it's the same thing as per-game user settings.
ATI has really good hardware and software lately, it would be a waste to not get one of their cards because of the profiles.
Except I already have that, since I use the WGE. So I don't need, you know, a folder with shortcuts in it. I don't bother "Cracking" games, in part because I'm highly suspicious of a lot of cracked executables. Though the WGEE is pretty flexible, you might still be able to make the necessary command prompt changes.
Can you change the downloadable game profiles? That makes a big difference.
Don't get me wrong, I'd like to switch back to ATi, but first, I need to find something that would be an upgrade within my budget. That's true for buying a new Nvidia card as well (though I think I'd save a lot of money with ATi).
Not knowing which piece of hardware to get and whether or not its in my budget is a silly reason?
Because I've repeatedly said that's the primary reason. The 3D specific settings is something I've already said I think I could overcome, I'm just not sure.
If it is, my loss, I guess. Money is tight right now.
I meant that worrying about shortcuts is a bad reason not to get the best Bang/Buck product.
Of course money is a great reason to not buy things.
edit: being flat broke I do that all the time.
But--to kick the dead horse--I don't know what a good replacement for my 8800GT SLI would be, and even then, I'm not sure if I have enough money to make that leap (especially if I want a new CPU).
And depending on your current CPU, the video card would be a more efficient and cheaper upgrade.
Plus, upgrading my CPU to a quad core of the same speed will very likely be cheaper. Though I'd be surprised if a single 5770 would give me better benchmarks than two 8800GT together. Maybe I'm getting the number models confused.
For your CPU upgrade to be an actual upgrade, you'd have to get this CPU or better. A C2Q with less Clock than your current CPU would be a downgrade for many, many current games.
That's $320 on Newegg. Core iX series CPU would require that you also buy a new motherboard.
A single Radeon HD5850 is a hell lot faster than your 2 8800s, and it costs $310 on newegg. You would get a much bigger performance gain on all current games, and also have access to DX11, eyefinity and stuff like that.
I won't get a boost in any of my older games, but right now, I'm pretty confident that my CPU is a bigger bottleneck than my GPU for the newer games I play presently.
Still, a HD850 is a pretty attractive option. DirectX 11 support is still in its infancy, last I checked. I'll have to see if I have enough space in my case also.
EDIT: In retrospect, despite years of shouting from the advocates, Quad Core support hasn't really gone very far either. I suppose I should just consider it as not really needing an upgrade that badly anyway (8800GT SLI get through things pretty well, two years later).
As it stands, I'm getting more frames than I know what to do with with my current GPU setup (with the exception of Crysis and Crysis Warhead, which I'm not terribly fond of). The Quad Core is attractive considering the video conversion I do, but it's an expensive measure just to not have to be as patient. Thinking about it, that's a nice problem to have, heh. Of course, I don't really run games at 1080p that often, and the two games that I really enjoy that do suffer from some slow down are probably FSX (which I know uses quad core) and Arma 2, which I'm not clear on, but unlike FSX, will benefit more from a better GPU.
EDIT: Also, Napoleon Total War--but only in naval battles, at full capacity, but I think those might be engine limitations, heh.
I'm not sure an HD5850 would fit either. I'd have to do some measurements. It's a good place to start though, assuming it does fit. Very reasonably priced.
And the size thing is indeed important. New cards are humongous.
I think Nvidia's big cards are particularly bad about that. ATi's card have been getting smaller faster (though those might not be the ones I need).
Arma 2 uses quad-core? I wasn't entirely clear on that (there are times--mostly when there's a lot of stuff going on) when my framerate chokes down, so it makes sense.
You should hunt for some benchmarks, compare the jump from C2D 3GHz (I have that same CPU) to C2Q 3GHz, and then the jump from 8800GT SLI to a 5850. On Tom's Hardware charts, the 5850 is about 20% faster than the dual 8800s, I think.