Here is a quick and simple method to remove unwanted drivers from your system using the built in tools provided by Windows 7.
I can not verify if these steps are available in Vista. These options are not
available within XP. I have verified this on my laptop running XP Pro.
Now these steps I am providing are going to show how to uninstall a Video Driver and install a new nVidia Driver.
First you need to click on the Start Menu and Right Click
Here select the Manage
option. Once you do it will bring up the Computer Management Screen:
Here you use the left panel and select Device Manager
Now select the driver you wish to remove. I have opted to show you the Display Adapter since the nVidia drivers also have an option within their driver install that needs to be seen. So I select Display Adapter and Right Clicked
to get the context menu options:
Now once you make the selection a window will pop up and it will have a check box that you should
check. It is not necessary to do so. But if you are trying to install a new driver while completely removing the old driver, this option should be checked. The reason being, especially with display drivers, is once the driver is uninstalled you will be prompted to restart. Once you do if you do not
remove the old drivers completely, they will be reinstalled right away. This defeating the purpose of trying to install a clean driver. Here is what the check box and uninstall prompt looks like:
Notice I already have the box checked. Click Okay and have Windows 7 remove the driver from your system completely. It will ask you to restart once it has finished. Do not install the new drivers at this point!
Restart your machine. Once you restart you will notice that Windows has a minimal resolution and color scheme. This is good! This is what you want to see. Now make sure you stop Windows from downloading and auto installing drivers after the restart. The Found New Hardware Wizard will come up and attempt to do this step for you. Kill it!
You may notice that you dont have the option to completely kill the task right away. There is an option to stop Windows from checking online for new drivers, but nothing to stop the Wizard from checking your system. This is fine. Since you took the extra step above and removed the driver software as well, it wont find anything.
Now here you can vary what you
do. I personally download the drivers before I start this whole process. You can download the drivers before you start the process or you can download them at this point of the process. This is your choice to make when you download them. I find it easier to already have them so I can get things done much quicker when I am in the process of installing new drivers.
For anyone with nVidia cards visit this site here
to download the proper drivers.
Now the reason I have singled out nVidia drivers is for 2 reasons.
1. I dont own an ATi based card to test and see if they have this option with
2. There is something within the nVidia drivers that helps you with installing a clean set of drivers.
Start the installation of the drivers. First you see this:
Click Agree and continue with the install process.
Now this next screen that looks like this:
Make sure to check Custom
! Then click Next. The reason is explained below.
Right below the box that shows what will be installed is a check box. I have highlighted it Yellow to try and make it stand out more for this tutorial.
It doesn't appear this way normally! Check this box!
This forces the nVidia drivers to perform a clean install of the drivers. This will also remove the old drivers from the system. Since that was already done above this will remove any drivers that Windows attempted to install with the Found New Hardware Wizard if you were not able to stop it from installing drivers.
You could try to just use this method to install a clean set of drivers for nVidia without going through all the trouble of removing the drivers from the Device Manager first. I have not attempted this to confirm if it works the same way or not.
Click on Install and it will now install the new drivers and software for you. It will prompt you for a restart afterwards. Do so as requested.
Once you restart you will see that you have full resolution and color back. Just have to setup the Display to your liking.
In total there are 10 steps roughly and it takes about 10 minutes to complete the whole process. The time will vary depending on your hardware. For me it was 10 minutes. This may not be the case for you!