Monday, June 13, 2011

Installing new nVidia driver in Windows XP

My Dell E520 has an nVidia GeForce 7300 LE graphics card.
I rarely, if ever, use Windows XP so I don't particularly keep it in tip-top condition.
Nevertheless, when I did a bit of fiddling around a few days ago, I noticed that the video driver seemed a little old.
To find what driver you have right-click on the My Computer icon (on the Desktop or in the Start menu), choose Manage and then Device Manager.
Next expand the Display adapters and double click on the name of the card when a window with a driver tab will open.
My driver was called
Now, this window also offers to update the driver but I didn't choose this as every time I've used it in the past, it's told me no driver can be found. I think it just looks in the CD drive and doesn't go to the website.
Anyway, I went to this website and, after specifying the card and the OS, I downloaded the driver called 275.33-desktop-winxo-32bit-english-whql.exe
However, nVidia recommend uninstalling the old driver before attempting a new install.
This is easily done with Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs.
However, after the uninstall you need to reboot which means you'll be restarting without a graphics driver. This means that you'll see a Desktop in 640x480 resolution so things will be less conveniently accessed.
Therefore make sure your new driver in available where you can easily find it. I put mine on the Desktop.
Installation just requires you to double click the .exe file downloaded earlier.
After install, your old screen resolution should once more be available.
Strangely, when I rechecked in the Device Manager for the name of the driver, it came up as which seems to be the same as the 275.33 driver that I installed as the last 5 figures of the longer name coincide with the five in the downloaded file.
In addition, the nVidia Control Panel tells me that I have the 275,33 installed and no update is available right now.

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