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  • HOW TO: Modify and install Nvidia drivers for mobile graphics chipsets in Windows 7 when all else fails

    Posted on August 18th, 2009 By Andreas Stenhall + 77 comments

    When I installed Windows 7 RTM on my Sony VAIO laptop I discovered the same problem as when beta testing WindowsVista some years ago. The problem is that drivers for the video card for Nvidia mobile graphics chipsets is missing which means running with the feature lacking and slow Standard VGA driver.

    In all releases of Windows 7 up to RTM there has been a driver available via Windows Update for the Nvidia mobile card but this driver seems to be pulled from Windows Update (and Microsoft Update Catalog). If you did not already know it Nvidia offers drivers for many of its mobile graphics chipsets on www.nvidia.com, but unfortunately these drivers do specifically not work on SonyVAIO machines.

    The solution to install the Nvidia driver anyway is to download and unpack the driver from www.nvidia.com and then modify one of the INF files to make it support your video card. May I mention that this solution is not support in any way, but the important thing is that it works.

    In my case I looked up the hardware ID for my Nvidia GeForce 8400M GT in device manager and found out that is has the hardware ID “PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0426&SUBSYS_9005104D”. Then I went to C:\NVIDIA\DisplayDriver\186.03\International\Display (the path might differ when using a newer driver) which is where the files are unpacked when you run the downloaded driver. Then I opened nvam.inf and added the below two lines where there are similar rows in the INF file.

    Note that the “0426” part in the beginning of the first and second line is derived from “DEV_0426” part in the hardwareID which is unique depending on what graphics card it is. In my example the lines I am adding looks like:

    NVIDIA_DEV.0426.01 = "NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT (Sony Vaio FZ38M)"
    %NVIDIA_DEV.0426.01% = Section012, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0426&SUBSYS_9005104D

    If you look in the INF file it will be quite obvious how to proceed. Then run setup.exe or install the driver manually. It should work like a charm ;)

     

    77 responses to “HOW TO: Modify and install Nvidia drivers for mobile graphics chipsets in Windows 7 when all else fails”

    1. @andreas: yes.I ran AIDA32 to search for the NVIDIA and could not found any but the 945.

    2. Andreas Stenhall

      @hieu: That sounds really strange, might I suggest that you contact Sony to get supprt on this issue?

    3. Andreas Stenhall

      could you please help me im running a clean installation of Windows 7 Ultimate om my Sony Vaio VGN-FE31H but can not install the offical driver

      i’m trying to understand all the lines and .inf files but i just dont i cant even find the file!

      i have a Go 7400 card and i was wondering if you could send me the modifyd .inf file and tell me where to put it my ID’s are

      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_01D8&SUBSYS_81EF104D&REV_A1
      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_01D8&SUBSYS_81EF104D
      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_01D8&CC_030000
      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_01D8&CC_0300

      You would save my life xD

    4. […] were actually from 2009. How to clean out the WindowsInstaller folder along with the guide on how to install Nvidia drivers on laptops when all else fails were the most popular ones. The guide on how to troubleshoot blue screens of death is as always […]

    5. Thank you Andreas Stenhall !!!
      It works :-)

    6. This is an old thread a but a good resource for people needing to update their mobile gfx drivers due to an ‘inability’ by the manufacturers of the laptop to just do the paperwork…so cheers for starting this topic.

      I have additions specifically for the SONY VAIO VGN-AR61ZU which sorely needed an update due to games like WoW and Rift gfx changes.

      Using your guide, unpack the driver files, back up a copy of the NVAM.INF file found in the unpacked folder;

      266.58_notebook_winvista_win7_32bit_international_whql\Display.Driver

      The folder is named as such as these are the latest drivers for my card namely GeForce 8600M GT;

      Card information and type is found in HardwareDeviceID under Windows Device Manager;

      DEV_0407&SUBSYS_9016104D “NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT”

      using this info having looked at the following segments of the NVAM.INF file, for the closest matches;

      …at the top of the file, I found

      [Manufacturer]
      %NVIDIA_A% = NVIDIA_SetA_Devices,NTx86.6.0,NTx86.6.1

      [NVIDIA_SetA_Devices.NTx86.6.0]
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0405.01% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0405&SUBSYS_15D21043
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0405.02% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0405&SUBSYS_16341043
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0407.01% = Section003, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0407&SUBSYS_15881043
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0407.02% = Section005, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0407&SUBSYS_16181043
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0407.03% = Section007, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0407&SUBSYS_16321043
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0407.04% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0407&SUBSYS_17A21043
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0408.01% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0408&SUBSYS_19021043
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0409.01% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0409&SUBSYS_15841043
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0409.02% = Section005, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0409&SUBSYS_16191043
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0409.03% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0409&SUBSYS_18321043

      …at the bottom of the file

      [Strings]
      DiskID1 = “NVIDIA Windows Vista / Windows 7 (32 bit) Driver Library Installation Disk 1”
      NVIDIA = “NVIDIA”
      NVIDIA_A = “NVIDIA”
      NVIDIA_DEV.0405.01 = “NVIDIA GeForce 9500M GS”
      NVIDIA_DEV.0405.02 = “NVIDIA GeForce 9500M GS ”
      NVIDIA_DEV.0407.01 = “NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT”
      NVIDIA_DEV.0407.02 = “NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT ”
      NVIDIA_DEV.0407.03 = “NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT ”
      NVIDIA_DEV.0407.04 = “NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT ”
      NVIDIA_DEV.0408.01 = “NVIDIA GeForce 9650M GS”
      NVIDIA_DEV.0409.01 = “NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT”

      After looking through this, I added the following lines in between the other lines of the file closest to my driver information;

      …to the top part of the file;

      %NVIDIA_DEV.0407.05% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0407&SUBSYS_9016104D

      …to the bottom part of the file;

      NVIDIA_DEV.0407.05 = “NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT (Sony VAIO)”

      So I ended up with;

      …top part of file

      %NVIDIA_DEV.0407.04% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0407&SUBSYS_17A21043
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0407.05% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0407&SUBSYS_9016104D
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0408.01% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0408&SUBSYS_19021043

      …bottom part of file

      NVIDIA_DEV.0407.04 = “NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT ”
      NVIDIA_DEV.0407.05 = “NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT (Sony VAIO)”
      NVIDIA_DEV.0408.01 = “NVIDIA GeForce 9650M GS”

      Save the file and run the SETTUP.EXE, the computer doesnt even require a restart.

      TY NVIDIA and Sony…you suck.

      Happy days
      Red5hark

    7. hi andreas can you help me my video card is nvidia geforce 8400m gt gpu and my unit is sony vaio VGN-FZ71B i have a driver here in my laptop the version is 270.61 but is not work !?
      i follow your inst. but noy work !? can u help me plssss

    8. Great article, thanks a lot!

    9. I concur with Red5hark. I found the instructions to be spot on, and concisely written.

      By adding the appropriate lines in the appropriate spots in the nVidia NVAM.INF file, I was able to update my new Sony Vaio VPCL2190X from version 266.18 to version 280.26. I also executed the same procedure on an older VGN AR670 that has been a soldier for me and was running 185.68. Both machines are doing better now.

      Thanks very much for posting this information on the internet.

      Best,

      John

    10. Sony has also blocked out the “Device Settings” functionality from the nVidia Control Panel.

      I offer these instructions (cribbed from TweakGuides.com) as a way to obtain the “Device Settings” options–or at least some of them.

      1. Install nVidia System Tools (available at the nVidia website).
      2. Run RegEdit.
      3. Go to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak
      4. Right click in the open space under the various keys and create a new keyword titled coolbits.
      5. Set its value to 3.

      You should now have the Device Settings dialogue available under Performance. You should be careful with it; I suspect Sony disabled it from the standpoint of “wanting to protect the consumer from themselves.”

      Best,

      John

    11. Hi.
      I have a Sony Vaio VGN-Sz340P with the NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400 Graphics. I couldn’t find my id, so i can’t update my NVIDIA driver
      Please help me, i hava the windown XP 32bit.
      i need 2 lines for adding to NVAM.INF.
      Thanks so much!!!

    12. @Andreas: i finish install succesfully nvidia driver for my laptop with your instructions. Then i check it in manage/decice Manager/Display adapter.
      But, it only has 2 lines with the same content “Mobile Intel(R) 945GM Express Chipset Family”
      I tried to remove one of them and restart, reinstalling nvidia but nothing change
      By the way, i also can’t switch my laptop to SPEED mode(by button switch – the lights of SPEED mode does not show up, of STAMINA mode still on)
      Now i can’t do anything with my laptop :( it’s so terrible with me
      Hopes u’ll answer as soon as possible
      Thanks so so so much.
      Best
      Neo (sorry about my English – cause i’m vietnamese)

    13. Hi Andreas,

      thank you so much for this perfect description.

      The standard VGA driver worked fine for my, till I noticed that it cannot be used when you want to use an external monitor or projector.

      I searched the web for hours till I finally found this site.

      Greetings from Munich,

      RigasW

    14. Dear All,

      I have a Sony Vaio VGN-FE11S laptop with NVIDIA Ge Force 7400 graphics and Windows XP.

      I would like to install a new hard drive and Windows 7. I understand from the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor download that I need to perform a custom installation of the 32-bit version of the operating system.

      We have been able to install Windows 7 on a newly installed hard drive and download what we believe to be the current NVIDIA Ge Force 7400 driver from the NVIDIA website. However when we try and install this driver Windows 7 says it is not supported.

      Can anyone help with set by step advice or point us in the direction of a dedicated driver?

      Many thanks,

      Paul

    15. Andreas Stenhall

      @Paul: First check Windows Update if it offer you a driver for your video card. If not and if Sony does not provide a Windows 7 or Windows Vista driver for the 32-bit version then you can follow the steps in the guide above. Basically what you do is lookup the HardwareID and then add a couple of lines in the INF file, as described in the post above.

    16. I have SonyVaio vpc-cw16FG, could you please help me Andreas how to update the NVIDIA Driver (Geforce GT 230M), I downloaded the latest one wich is 296.10,I have the Windows7 Home Perimum x64, If you could post clear advice for me here please, step by step, i will be very pleased, this are my hrdware ids ;
      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0A2A&SUBSYS_905E104D&REV_A2
      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0A2A&SUBSYS_905E104D
      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0A2A&CC_030000
      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0A2A&CC_0300
      Please help me,I don’t understand all post.
      i need 2 lines for adding to NVAM.INF
      Thanks a Lot andreas

    17. Hi Andreas,wonder if you can help, just like Ken, way back I can’t see where I need to modify the text in the latest driver file. Is there any chance you could help me out.

      Like many others I have upgraded my VGN-AW21S to windows 7 x64 only to find out how lax sony’s support is. Would really appreciate the help. John

    18. Hello,

      i am glad i finally found solution to this problem. But i am not sure if i know how exactly edit that file.

      Here are the specs:

      Sony VAIO – VGC-LV2SJ

      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0649&SUBSYS_9043104D&REV_A1
      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0649&SUBSYS_9043104D
      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0649&CC_030000
      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0649&CC_0300

      Thank you for help! :)

    19. Forgot the GPU is NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT…

    20. THANK YOU VERY VERY VERY MUCH YOU SOLVED MY ISSUE, I AM VERY GREATFUL.
      I JUST REGISTERED HERE TO EXPRESS MY OUT MOST GRATITUDE.
      MAY YOU HAVE A HAPPY LIFE.

      WITH ALL THANKS AND REGARDS.

    21. Sony Vaio VPCCW21FX using old 2009 drivers from sony.
      Got this updated 306.23 thru your guides, Wonderful!!!
      Thank you so much.
      Windows index is now 5.9 from previously 4.7 for gaming graphics.

      Hope the best for you,,

    22. Here are my suggested changes for the 64-bit Windows 8 drivers on Sony Vaio Z (VGN-Z17GN) with a NVIDIA GeForce 9200M GS card. Windows 8 reports the HardwareId as “PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_06E5&SUBSYS_9025104D”.

      You will notice there are a bunch more numbers in the latest drivers (306.97 as at 26-Oct-12).
      – As in the post we need the 06E5 part of DEV_06E5 and this is the same.
      – What we also need is the 9025 part of the SUBSYS_9025104D.

      So my entry reads as follows:
      NVIDIA_DEV.06E5.9025.1043 = “NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS (Vaio Z)”

      The other thing I needed to do was add references to more locations where ever I found a similar id (eg, 06E8).
      %NVIDIA_DEV.06E5.9025.1043% = Section021, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_06E5&SUBSYS_9025104D
      %NVIDIA_DEV.06E5.9025.1043% = Section020, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_06E5&SUBSYS_9025104D
      %NVIDIA_DEV.06E5.9025.1043% = Section019, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_06E5&SUBSYS_9025104D

      During install I received as error but it still works.

    23. […] card in Device Manager, and add those lines to the appropriate INF file, then run setup again. The Experience Blog explains how to do this in detail. It’s for Windows 7, but it works like a charm in Windows 8 […]

    24. […] even the most basic settings.  So once more I took a look.  This time, I found this blog post on THE EXPERIENCE BLOG.  Quite clearly here it indicated that you can force a driver to install by editing the INF files […]

    25. Help please???? I have a d820 that I have recently installed win 7 x64. I have the Nvidia chipset. I am assuming that the hardware is Nvidia_Quadro_NVS_120m. As this is the only driver available from dell, for the Nvidia chipset. I have tried to update the drivers with many different methods, with no success. From all the forums I have read, it seems that the Geforce_GO_7400 applies to my chipset??? If not, I have not found anything else on the Quadro series. I recently tried modifying the drivers manually, as well as with Mobility Monitor. My computer seemed to recognize the drivers as Geforce_Go_7200 yet it failed to finish the set-up process. When tried manually, the process would finish and then boot a BLACK screen!! Any, any help would be greatly appreciated. Maybe someone could give me a link to a “modified version” of the package :) ?? My hardware id is:

      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_01D8&SUBSYS_01CC1028

      Thanks

    26. Hi Andreas
      I have the same problem with vaio using Gforce 8600M GS, is not among the many answers that have been contributing, you could suggest me how to solve it, and modify the files nvram.inf several drivers for laptops nvidia offering to win 7 and not installed correctly, if it is recognized in the device manager, but somehow does not finish properly installed

      this is the id:

      PCI \ VEN_10DE & DEV_0425 & SUBSYS_9005104D & REV_A1
      PCI \ VEN_10DE & DEV_0425 & SUBSYS_9005104D
      PCI \ VEN_10DE & DEV_0425 & CC_030000
      PCI \ VEN_10DE & DEV_0425 & CC_0300

      thanks

    27. Hallo,

      As kiwiant said, following works and I want to share my example.

      1. Get all information from your graphic card via device manager or tool like AIDA64.

      F.e:
      Graphic card device name: “NVIDEA GeForce 8600M GS (Sony) Video Adapter”
      Hardware ID: PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0425&SUBSYS_9005104D&REV_A1

      2. Download driver from nvidea web page
      Driver: 341.81-notebook-win8-win7-64bit-international.exe

      3. Edit nvami.inf (YOURFOLDER\nvidea\Display.Driver\nvami.inf)

      I add following lines below the three sections
      _________________________________________
      [NVIDIA_SetA_Devices.NTamd64.6.0]
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0425.9005.104D% = Section009, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0425&SUBSYS_9005104D

      [NVIDIA_SetA_Devices.NTamd64.6.1]
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0425.9005.104D% = Section010, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0425&SUBSYS_9005104D

      [NVIDIA_SetA_Devices.NTamd64.6.2]
      %NVIDIA_DEV.0425.9005.104D% = Section011, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0425&SUBSYS_9005104D

      [Strings]
      NVIDIA_DEV.06E5.9025.1043 = “NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS (Sony) Video Adapter”
      ________________________________________

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