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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 ;)

  • Error 30 when injecting Nvidia driver into Windows 7 image using DISM

    Posted on July 30th, 2009 By Andreas Stenhall + 1 comment

    So I’ve started the preparations for deploying Windows 7 RTM in my home and I discovered an intriguing problem when injecting the latest Nvidia Geforce graphics driver into my offline Windows 7 image using DISM (deployment image servicing and management tool). The error was:

    C:\Windows\system32>dism /image:e:\tempwim /add-driver /driver:”e:\Documents\Windows 7\Drivers\x64″ /recurse

    Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool

    Searching for driver packages to install…
    Found 1 driver package(s) to install.

    Installing 1 of 1 – e:\Documents\Windows 7\Drivers\x64\Nvidia Forceware v190.38 WHQL (Nvidia.com)\NV_DISP.INF: Error – An error occurred. The driver package could not be installed.
    For more information, check for log files in the <windir>\inf folder of the target image.

    Error: 30

    The command completed with errors. For more information, refer to the log file.

    The DISM log file can be found at C:\Windows\Logs\DISM\dism.log 

    The problem was that the Nvidia driver wasn’t totally unpacked as it requested files not there. To solve this one has to extract all the files from the Nvidia driver, the most easy was to do this is to put all the files from the original Nvidia installation and then run “expand *.* c:\target” to unpack all files in the driver. After doing this you will have no problems injecting the driver into your Windows 7 wim image.

    Note that the problem exist for both the Microsoft Update Catalog driver as well as the one which is available directly from Nvidia. Also note that this problem does not exist if you’re using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010.

    EDIT: Corrected the command from “extract” to “expand”. Thanks for the comment!

  • Drivers for old Soundblaster cards in Windows 7 and Windows Vista

    Posted on June 22nd, 2009 By Andreas Stenhall + 3 comments

    A problem when Windows Vista was released some years ago was the fact that Creative wasn’t too “creative” to create drivers for older Soundblaster cards. This is where the kX Project comes in as it provides drivers for most older Soundblaster audio cards in newer operating systems.

    But why on earth do I mention this now that Vista has ben out for a few years? Well the reason is that I’ve heard of users (some of which totally skipped Vista) that are testing Windows 7 on older machines and does not find a driver for their Creative Soundblaster audio card.

    If you are looking for a Windows Vista och Windows 7 driver for your Soundblaster range of audio card go to http://www.kxproject.com.

    EDIT: URL updated.