Fix: NVIDIA Driver Fails with NVIDIA Installer Failed Error

-When trying to install drivers for an NVIDIA GPU, either for the first time or to update drivers that are already on the computer, if the installation of the drivers should fail, the user is met with the “NVIDIA Installer failed” screen that depicts which of the components included in the driver package failed to be installed and provides the option to close the installer. A computer will not be able to make use of its GPU until or unless the correct drivers for the respective GPU are installed, which is what makes this issue an extremely serious one.

The people who have been seeing the “NVIDIA Installer failed” issue the most are Windows 10 users as Windows 10 seems to have a pretty rocky relationship with the drivers for NVIDIA’s GPUs. Thankfully, though, there is a lot that can be done to try and deal with the “NVIDIA Installer failed” problem and get the drivers to install successfully. The following are the most effective methods that you can use to try and get rid of the “NVIDIA Installer failed” issue and successfully install the drivers for an NVIDIA GPU.

Nvidia Installer Failed Error

What to do to Fix NVIDIA Installer Failed Error?

Method 1: Perform a Custom installation of the drivers

First of all, we will be performing a custom installation of the Nvidia Drivers to fix this issue. For that:

  1. Right-click on the NVIDIA Installer now click “Run as administrator”
  2. Go through the Installer until you get to the Installation options screen and are asked to choose between an Express (Recommended) installation and a Custom (Advanced)
  3. Select the Custom (Advanced) installation option and click on Next.
  4. On the next screen, make sure that all of the driver components on the list provided to you are selected, select the Perform a clean installation option by checking the checkbox beside it and then click on Next.
  5. Go through with the rest of the Installer, and it should successfully install the drivers for your NVIDIA GPU.

This method has proven to be especially effective in the case of users running into the “NVIDIA Installer failed” problem when booting their computers up for the first time following an upgrade to Windows 10. What happens in cases like this is that when Windows 10 is booted up for the first time, it spends 5-15 minutes trying to download and install the right drivers for the GPU, and trying to install NVIDIA drivers during this period causes a clash, leading to the “NVIDIA Installer failed” screen. In such cases, the NVIDIA drivers can be successfully installed by simply restarting the Windows 10 computer and performing a custom installation of the drivers as described in the steps listed above.

Method 2: Temporarily turn off any and all third-party security programs

If you are using any third-party security programs (such as antivirus programs, anti-malware programs or Firewall programs), they may be blocking the NVIDIA Installer, causing you to run into the “NVIDIA Installer failed” screen every single time you run the Installer. Therefore, in this step, we will be disabling the Third-party antiviruses.

  1. Turn off each and every single one of the third-party security programs that you have on your computer.
  2. In order to do so, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Task Manager, navigate to the Processes tab and, one by one, locate each and every single running process associated with a third-party security program on your computer.
  3. Click on it to select it and click on End task to shut it down.
  4. Run the NVIDIA Installer. Be sure to perform a Custom install of the drivers (as described in Method 1), and the NVIDIA drivers should be installed successfully.

Method 3: Delete some NVIDIA files and kill all NVIDIA processes

Locate and delete as many of the following NVIDIA files as are on the computer:

The nvdsp.inf file in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository
The nv_lh file in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository
The nvoclock file in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository
All of the files in C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\
All of the files in C:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\
All of the files in C:\Program Files (x64)\NVIDIA Corporation\
  1. Restart the computer.
  2. When the computer boots up and you are logged in to it, press Ctrl + Alt + Del to launch the Task Manager.
    Opening Task Manager
  3. Navigate to the Processes
  4. One by one, locate every single process pertaining to NVIDIA software, click on it to select it and then click on End task to force close it.
  5. Run the NVIDIA Installer. Be sure to perform a Custom install (as described in Method 1), and the installation will hopefully be a success.

Method 4: Reinstall Windows 10 from scratch

If all else fails, your only remaining option is to reinstall Windows 10 and hope that the “NVIDIA Installer failed” issue goes away with your current installation of Windows 10 and doesn’t affect the next one. If you don’t know how to clean install Windows 10, you can use this guide. However, before you clean install Windows 10, be sure to do everything you can to backup any and all important data/files on the affected computer.

Method 5: Perform Self Installation of Drivers

If the installer failed to install the drivers on your computer, we can try to install them ourselves. First of all, it is important that you completely uninstall the previous installations of the driver. After that, follow the guide below.

  1. Navigate to this website and configure the options to select the exact make and model of your GPU Driver.
  2. After downloading, run the installer and select the location to extract the drivers.
  3. Copy the selected location to your clipboard and remember it.
  4. After extraction, let the installer run in the background and navigate to the location that we selected previously.
  5. After this, copy and paste the extracted folder to the desktop.
  6. Now, press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt and type in “devmgmt.msc” and press “Enter”.
    Running the Device Manager
  7. In the device manager, expand the display adapter tab and right-click on the default display driver.
  8. Select the “Update Driver” option to initiate the updating process for the driver.
  9. Click on the “Browse my computer for driver software” option and select the “Let me Pick from a list” option below.
    Browser for the driver manually
    Browser for the driver manually
  10. Select the “Have Disk” option and paste the address of the copied folder in the “browse” bar.
  11. Click on “ok” and wait for the driver to install.
  12. In the next window, select the make and model of your device and click on install.
  13. After it installs, open the folder that we copied in the first place and navigate to the following location.
  14. Now, you will need to find out your manufacturer’s inf file. Some common manufacturer inf files are listed below.
    Acer= nvaci.inf
    Apple= nvaoi.inf
    Asus= nvami.inf
    HP=nvbli.inf or nvhmi.inf
  15. Open this file with the Notepad and scroll down to the set of lines below the “Manufacturer” option.
  16. The Heading above the row should be similar to “[Nvidia_Devices.NTamd64.10.0…14310]“.
  17. Copy the “%Nvidia_Dev……..Section002” part of the first row and create a new line under the first row.
  18. Paste the row over here and navigate back to the device manager without closing this file.
  19. Right-click on the Nvidia driver under the display adapter heading and select the “Properties” option.
    Selecting properties
  20. Click on the “Details” tab and select the “Dropdown”.
  21. Click on the “Hardware IDs” in the “Properties” dropdown and copy the entry that contains “SUBSYS” but doesn’t contain “REV”.
    Copying the correct Hardware ID
  22. Paste this hardware id in front of the new row that we created in a similar format as the previous and the next rows.
  23. Now copy the same number that we are copying from our hardware ID in the image below.
    Copying the GPUID number
  24. Paste the number in the place of the GPUID number as indicated in the image below.
    Pasting the GPUID number
  25. Now navigate to the last entry of the same column that we are editing and note down the section number there.
  26. Replace the section number of the new entry that we are making with a the number next to the last section number that we noted. For example, if the last section number was “Section052” we will replace it with “Section053”.
  27. Now copy the indicated portion of our entry and scroll down to the “String” section of the notepad.
  28. Navigate to the end of the list in the string section and create a new line to paste the portion that we copied.
  29. Add your Nvidia GPU model in the same format as above and save your changes to the file.
  30. Now navigate back to the main folder and double click on the “Setup.exe” file.
  31. The driver should install just fine now.

Method 6: Using DDU

The Display Driver Uninstaller is an independent tool that is used by a lot of people to troubleshoot both their AMD and Nvidia Drivers. The Uninstaller gets rid of every trace of the driver for you and that allows you to proceed with a clean installation. In order to do so:

  1. Click here to download the DDU application.
  2. Once downloaded, keep it in a folder on your desktop.
  3. Press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt and type in “regedit” in the prompt.
    Open Regedit
  4. Now, navigate to the following locations and delete the keys from the right pane.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\NVIDIA Corporation\Logging
  5. It is possible that these keys might not exist and if so, skip over to the next steps.
  6. Press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt and type in “msconfig”.
    Opening System configuration through Run
  7. Press “Enter” and click on the “Boot” tab.
  8. Check the “Safe Boot” option and then click on “Minimal”.
    Safe boot in MSCONFIG
  9. Click on “Apply” and then “OK”.
  10. Select the “Restart” button on the screen that pops up.
  11. Once restarted, log into your account and back up any important files.
  12. Launch the DDU app that we downloaded in the seconds step after extracting it.
  13. Click on the “Select Device Type” dropdown and select “GPU” from there.
  14. In the “Select Device” dropdown, select “Nvidia”.
  15. Select the “Clean and Restart” option and the program will automatically remove your graphics driver and all of its remnants.
    Cleaning and Restart using DDU
  16. Now, after the computer is restarted, download the driver for your GPU from the Nvidia website and try to run the installer.
  17. Check to see if the issue persists.

Method 7: Deleting Temp Folder

A lot of users reported that they were able to fix the problem after deleting Nvidia’s temp folder in the user documents but this folder is often limited from ownership and it is given to trusted installer. Therefore, first, we will be changing its ownership and then we will delete it from our computer. For that:

  1. Press “Windows’ + “R” to open the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “%temp%” and press “Enter”.
    Accessing the temp folder
  3. Locate and right-click on the “Nvidia” folder and select “Properties”.
  4. Click on “Security” and then select “Advanced”.
    Click on Advanced Button in the Security Tab
  5. In advanced settings, click on the “Change” button in front of the “Owner” info.
  6. Type in your username in the “Enter the Object Name” field and select “Check Name”.
    Check Names of Your Computer
  7. Click on “Apply” and then on the next window, check the “Replace Owner” button.
  8. Select “Apply” and then “OK”.
  9. Delete the folder after changing its ownership and check to see if the issue persists.

Method 8: Install from Executable

In some cases, as weird workaround, users are able to install these drivers from the files that the executable extracts before failing with the installation. Therefore, first we will try to install the drivers normally and then try to install from the files extracted by the installer. For that:

  1. Try to install the drivers normally after downloading from the Nvidia Website.
  2. After the driver fails, press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt.
  3. Type in “devmgmt.msc” and press “Enter” to open the device manager.
    Type devmgmt.msc and Press Enter to Open Device Manager
  4. Expand the “Display Adapter” tab and right-click on the “Microsoft Basic Visual Adapter” entry.
  5. Select the “Update” option and then select “Browse my computer for driver software” button.
    click on Browse my computer for driver software
    click on Browse my computer for driver software
  6. Browse to the location where the installer started installing the driver. It is usually something like “C:\NVIDIA\DisplayDriver\*driver version”.
  7. Click on “next” and follow the on-screen prompts to install the driver.
  8. Check to see if the issue persists.

 Method 9: Restarting Services

In some cases, updating Windows seems to solve the issue for most people but we will be using a special method to update Windows in this step. In order to do so, first we will stop certain services and remove already downloaded updates, then, we will download the updates again and install them on our computers. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press “Shift” + “Ctrl” + “Enter” to provide administrative privileges.
    Type “cmd” into the Run dialog
  3. Type in the following commands in the command prompt to disable the Windows Update Services.
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop cryptSvc
    net stop bits
    net stop msiserver
  4. After that, we will be renaming the Windows update folder so that a new update is initiated.
  5. In order to do so, in the same command prompt window, type in the following commands one by one and execute them.
    ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
    ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
  6. After having renamed the folders using the above commands, we will restart the services again using the commands below.
    net start wuauserv
    net start cryptSvc
    net start bits
    net start msiserver
  7. Press “Windows” + “I” buttons to open settings and click on “Update and Security”.
  8. Click on the “Windows Update” option on the left pane and select “Check for Updates”.
    Check For Updates in Windows Update
  9. Check to see if the issue persists after updating your computer.

Note: Also, try to manually run Geforce Experience on startup and then try to install the drivers. If that doesn’t work, be sure to turn off all Nvidia applications before trying an update. In the end, try to perform an SFC scan to fix any Windows corruption issues.

If none of the methods shown above have helped you at all, you can try to install the driver by booting into safe mode. Simply boot into safe mode and Install the driver then check to see if the issue persists. It’s also worth mentioning that if you are using a laptop, you should install the drivers provided by your Laptop manufacturer as they are modified and custom drivers. They might be a little bit older drivers but you should be able to install them on your Laptop without any problem.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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Fix: NVIDIA Driver Fails with NVIDIA Installer Failed Error

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