Update: NVIDIA GeForce 306.23 WHQL Drivers/Windows
There's alot of additions to SLI profiles, performance improvements, control panel game enhancements, etc.
Release notes in PDF
I have an GeForce GTS 250 display adapter and downloaded and installed the NVIDIA 306.23 driver. It seemed to work well until I started Just Cause 2. Initially it looked good until I started my latest Checkpoint at which time my screen went very dark. It was possible to vaguely make out some images but it was impossible to proceed. There was also a buzzing noise. F4 didn't exit Just Cause 2, and the three finger salute didn't work so I had to hit the reset button. Once back in Win 7,
I was able to roll back my driver, which restored normal function with Just Cause 2. I am running Win 7 64 bit with 8.0 BG RAM. Can the NVIDIA 306.23 driver be adjusted to provide normal operation over all?
It's definitely not the latest but for the 200 series cards, the 197.45 drivers work really good, you might give them a try.
Thanks for the quick response. That may be the driver that I rolled back to, which continues to work well, so I guess that I'll stick with it for the time being. I'm just curious as to why the new, recommended driver screwed up only Just Cause 2 while everything else seemed to work great. I also have a request in to NVIDIA tech support and will report back with their response if/when it comes.
Originally Posted by Alakazam
Driver updates can be a merry go round. Install a driver update to fix one game, and have it break another if it hasn't been tested. You probably had no need whatsoever to update the driver for that older card. The fact that their latest drivers still support your card doesn't mean there will be any improvements for it.
It's also possible that things just wigged out on you that time. You didn't try it a second time. It also sometimes helps to redo a game's graphics settings. But don't bother, because you are probably better off with an older driver anyway, especially seeing as Just Cause 2 is your main game right now that you are playing.
Now, I know that I have told you this before, but I'll remind you that for something as complex as Nvidia drivers, you shouldn't use device manager to "roll back". Don't fool around with the Nvidia drivers. You should uninstall your version, reboot and then reinstall the desired one (have it ready, so it's easy to find if your screen is in low res, VGA mode). That's how you roll back display drivers. You'll be sorry, when you have to redo Windows because of a dumb assed video driver that won't install properly until you do.
Note that the driver rollback isn't going to roll back all other components of the Nvidia software, like some of the dlls and the Control Center and stuff. If I were you, I'd get the version you want to install from Nvidia, have it ready, uninstall your current one completely (the normal way, using Programs and Features should suffice) reboot even if it doesn't tell you to and then install.
Thanks Grogan. I wasn't aware of the "Roll Back" discrepancies. I'm dual booting Win 7 32 bit/Win 7 64 bit and had tried the NVIDIA 306.23 driver on both platforms with the same results. This time I will properly uninstall/reinstall the fully functioning Nvidia driver that I had been running previously.
Thanks Alakazam; driver version 197.45 installed and running well. I had been running ver. 301.42 which seemed to be OK, but I decided to completely uninstall 301.42 per Grogan's suggestion because there might be some leftovers from my previous driver installs. I decided to try reinstalling ver 301.42 to see how well it performed, but even though it had worked previously, it was determined to be incompatible with my current system now. So, per recommendation by Alakazam, I installed version 197.45. Why was 301.42 incompatible when it had been working previously? Do driver updates install over previous drivers successfully? BTW, no response from NVIDIA re the 306.23 driver so far.
The newer drivers are supposed to do all the work but I've never trusted them so what I do is use Driver Fusion (used to be Driver Sweeper) when I change drivers.
1. Uninstall current drivers including PhysX via add/remove panel
2. Reboot into safe mode and run Driver Fusion
3. Reboot and Install new video drivers
4. Install latest PhysX drivers
5. Reboot and that should be it
Now this is my humble opinion but I've never had a snafu doing it that way using the Fusion software.
Thanks again. I have downloaded Driver Fusion and have copied your post and sent it to myself as an email. I'm not familiar with PhysX drivers; I don't see them my list of Programs and Features /Add Remove. More info?
Edit: I just checked and learned that PhysX drivers are just another set of NVIDIA drivers. I don't have any at this time.
Last edited by bobbo; 09-18-2012 at 09:39 PM.
Is PhysX not bundled with the Nvidia driver anymore?
If you have any games that use PhysX, the game installer will install it (regardless of if you have it or not. It's such that file versioning and naming prevents overwriting newer components). Some games use the PhysX engine, but only the software implementation, or fall back to software mode when unsupported by hardware.
Just Cause 2 does not use PhysX at all, but uses the Havok physics engine.
If you have not got PhysX installed, or did not have it installed previously, then do not worry about it.
BTW, I'm dual booting Win7 32 bit and Win 7 64 bit. Driver version 197.45 is working great in the 64 bit platform, but since it's designed for 64 bit, it won't work on the 32 bit side. I attempted to install a 32 bit driver, ver. 301.42, over but it doesn't complete, probably because it doesn't want to overwrite NVIDIA 306.23.
I had used a program called Geek to uninstall the current drivers, but it only removed them from the list and it seems that I still have the NVIDIA 306.23 display drivers installed. Geek had worked once before and removed all evidence of the NVIDIA drivers, but there was a new version which I downloaded and ran, but this time it only removed the driver names. Can I still use Fusion? When I start Fusion, and select NVIDIA, it lists 32 entries. Do I need to remove all 32?
My options seem to be to restore an image of the 32 bit Win 7, or to try my luck with Fusion. I think that if I uninstall my GeForce GTS 250 display adapter, Win 7 will just reinstall ver. 306.23
Recommendations on how to correct this can of worms?
Yes that's correct, if you remove the adapter from device manager windows would only redetect it and apply the currently installed display driver component. (Which won't do you any good)
So now... if you no longer have an uninstall in Programs and Features, and you cannot complete an install using the Nvidia installer (which, while inadvisable, SHOULD remove the old driver during the process) it seems that a third party utility like Driver Fusion would be your best bet to avoid a re-image.
Note that I don't like those programs because they remove ALL Nvidia/ATI driver references, including the Microsoft supplied drivers, but it's probably your best bet here. Under normal circumstances there is no reason to do that, but circumstances are no longer normal.
OK, I'll give it a shot with Driver Fusion. If that doesn't work, I'll try restoring an image that had the working 301.42 driver.
Ran Driver Fusion in Safe Mode and restarted. Attempted to install ver. 301.42, which failed. Attempted to install a different 32 bit NVIDIA driver, i.e. ver 296.10 which also failed. Last resort was to restore an Acronis TI image which was successful and is running ver 301.42. Everything seems to be running properly, including Just Cause 2. Am I ever going to mess with display drivers again,.... probably. That is after I have forgotten the can of worms we have just discussed in this thread. I'm just an accident waiting to happen. Thanks to Grogan and Alakazam for their valuable input.
Yeah, when display drivers are really buggered up and won't uninstall or reinstall I have not found those "Driver Cleaner" type programs to solve the problem either. (I've not used specifically THAT one, but I have used its predecessor "Driver Sweeper" and others, for example "Driver Cleaner")
Don't forget the can of worms... tattoo it on the back of your eyelids: "Uninstall Nvidia or ATI/AMD display drivers correctly and reboot, even if not prompted to (I'm looking at YOU, Nvidia) before attempting to install any other version"
Right! From this time on, that display driver is untouchable. I will remember, I will remember, I will remember.