Question What is the "right way" to upgrade a video card

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,368
2
81
#1
Per the subject... Current gaming desktop has Win 7 loaded on a 1TB SSD. Another 1TB SSD will be installed with Win 10 at the same time I upgrade the video card from GTX 970 to GTX 1080 Ti. Win 10 will be the primary Boot OS with choice to Win 7 via Easy BCD. As far as upgrading the video card, I assume I simply just load the newest video driver into Win 10 OS just like any other system build and use the existing driver on Win 7. What's going to happen on the Win 7 OS? Will the updated video card be transparent to Win 7 OS, or will it know there's been a HW update and will that screw everything up?
 
May 19, 2011
12,485
491
126
#2
I'd start by downloading (but not installing) the new graphics driver from the GPU manufacturer's website. Next, uninstall the old graphics card driver from Control Panel > Programs & Features, shut down, then put in the new graphics card, switch on, then install the new graphics card driver.

A replacement graphics card will not "screw everything up", not unless there's some really bizarre set of circumstances that come together in a perfect storm.

The change won't be transparent, Windows will see a change in hardware, boot in VGA mode, you install the new driver, it most likely asks to reboot, then in theory it's all rainbows and sunshine from there.
 

ZGR

Golden Member
Oct 26, 2012
1,825
41
126
#3
Here's what I do:

1. Download Latest Driver, place in folder of choice. Do not run. https://www.geforce.com/drivers
2. Download DDU, place in folder of choice. Do not run. https://www.wagnardsoft.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1368
3. Reboot into safe mode, run DDU and remove drivers using the program. Shut down PC (DDU has a shutdown button)
4. Take out old card, put in new card.
5. Install driver.

Regarding Windows 7, I would do steps 1, 2, and 3 twice; once for each Windows installation. Whatever Windows you do last, is when I would shut down and take out the 970 to put in the 1080 ti. You are going to install the Nvidia driver twice; Windows 10 and 7.

DDU guide: https://www.wagnardsoft.com/content/ddu-guide-tutorial
 

mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
1,243
8
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#5
from GTX 970 to GTX 1080 Ti
From Nvidia to NVidia. NVidia has "universal" drivers that function with several GPU models.

You can update driver on Win 7 now. It will work with both cards.
Currently: https://www.nvidia.com/Download/driverResults.aspx/141167/en-us
Supported products (of 417.35) include both 970 and 1080 Ti.


The Win 10 has same version driver (but probably different binary). You should be able to install Win 10 on system that has the 1080 Ti and then add the NVidia driver (unless MS does that for you too).
 
Oct 10, 1999
24,881
385
126
#6
Switching from AMD to Nvidia, or Nvidia to AMD, one thing that always seems to give me trouble is HDMI audio ... (i have my PC connected to AV reciever, then to my display and sound.)

Going AMD to AMD, or NVIDIA to NVIDIA is more or less seamless/easy usually.
 

Harry_Wild

Senior member
Dec 14, 2012
334
30
91
#7
How about going from on board IGP, HD4600 to Nvidia 1050 TI? What are the “right” steps to follow. I just purchase this discrete card again since I did not install the drivers for it and both ran at about the same speed I guess? The Nvidia drivers are suppose to make this discrete card run that much faster is the conclusion from the members here. I was fearful of contamination of the driver and did not install.
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,818
557
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#8
How about going from on board IGP, HD4600 to Nvidia 1050 TI? What are the “right” steps to follow. I just purchase this discrete card again since I did not install the drivers for it and both ran at about the same speed I guess?
Shut down PC, install new video card, plug video cable into new card, boot PC and go into BIOS and set PCIe GPU to be default (or leave on auto if you like), save, and go into Windows. If using Windows 10, it will download and install drivers (usually not the newest version). If you want newest version, download new drivers from Nvidia.
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,368
2
81
#9
Thanks so much for the guidance. One key thing I was wondering about but forgot to ask in the OP was DDU. It seems as though most never take this additional step...

The fact that I'm installing a new SSD with a new OS and a new video card essentially makes this a new build... Once I get that going, then it's just a matter of re configuring the other Win 7 OS...
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,818
557
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#10
Thanks so much for the guidance. One key thing I was wondering about but forgot to ask in the OP was DDU. It seems as though most never take this additional step...
I haven't used a 3rd party uninstaller for quiet some time. Whenever I update my Nvidia drivers, under advanced, it gives the option of doing a "clean install". So it first uninstalls everything, and does a clean install. I've never had a problem with this method.
 

Harry_Wild

Senior member
Dec 14, 2012
334
30
91
#11
Shut down PC, install new video card, plug video cable into new card, boot PC and go into BIOS and set PCIe GPU to be default (or leave on auto if you like), save, and go into Windows. If using Windows 10, it will download and install drivers (usually not the newest version). If you want newest version, download new drivers from Nvidia.
So I did use the Nvidia drivers after all when I was running GTX 1050 TI?
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,818
557
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#12
So I did use the Nvidia drivers after all when I was running GTX 1050 TI?
Probably. Windows 10 would have automatically installed them after you logged into Windows after installing the card.
 

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