Nvidia cards are the most popular video cards on the market. Whether you have a card from 10-series, 16-series, 20-series, or the new 30-series – it can be a mess to properly reinstall it after a problem. But don’t you worry. Here’s a step-by-step guide for reinstalling Nvidia graphics cards the right way.
Assuming your card ran into a problem or is not being recognized properly, reseating it and reinstalling the drivers (or one of them) might fix the issue for you.
This guide is for completely reinstalling Nvidia graphics cards – both the hardware and the software. If you only wish to do one then only follow those steps.
Safety first! We will start by disconnecting the power.
- Turn off the PC.
- Turn off the PSU and unplug the power cable.
- Keep the power button pressed for 10 seconds – this will drain any remaining electrical charge still running around in the boards.
- Open the case and locate the graphics card.
- Snap the card lock open. The card lock is built right into the PCIe slot. It’s similar to snapping the RAM lock open, just on one side.
- Carefully take out the graphics card and while you are at it, clean the PCIe slot with a light brush.
- You can also optionally clean the video card’s fans and heatsink fins.
- Reseat the graphics card into the PCIe slot properly and snap the lock back on.
Boot up your PC. Go to the device manager to see if the graphics card is recognized (right-click the Start button > Device Manager > double-click the Display adapters section). There are three possibilities at this point:
- It’s recognized. In this case, you don’t need to do anything else for now.
- Your Nvidia card is not listed under Display adapters. In this case, you need to double-check (after turning the PC off) whether the 8-pin or 6-pin PCI power cable is properly attached or not.
- It’s shown but with an error. In this case, maybe the drivers are at fault.
Let’s now perform a clean install to solve all problems. Given your card is working, driver fixes can sort out nearly any problem.
Tip: If your graphics card’s fans keep spinning non-stop since the point the PC boots, the card is either getting insufficient power or not being read properly because of faulty drivers. The GPU’s fans only spin when it’s under load, such as while gaming.
- Go to Device Manager, double-click the video card, and click Uninstall drivers.
- Go to the Nvidia driver website.
- Choose the correct product.
- The type will be GeForce most probably. There are multiple types of Nvidia graphics cards.
- In series, choose the 10-, 16-, 20-, or 30-series. Choose notebook equivalents for a laptop GPU.
- Select the right product/video card model.
- Choose your OS version.
- Game Ready Drivers are for gamers and Studio drivers are for media creation. Select accordingly and click Search.
- Download the driver that comes on the next screen.
Once you have downloaded the latest version of the drivers on your PC, run the installer and when prompted, choose “Perform a clean install”. A clean install removes all previous copies of drivers and driver software.
Wait for the installation to finish, reboot your PC, and voila! You have successfully clean-reinstalled your Nvidia graphics.