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Years and years ago, Nvidia made you figure out what driver you needed by hand. Later, they created a Java applet(?) that would figure it out for you. a few years ago, they created the geForce Experience. Which was a desktop app that kept it up to date for you, as well as had optimization settings for various games.

Recently, I updated GeForce experience, and now it requires I log in to get the latest driver. I don't want to have this much information tied to my graphics card, and I can't figure out how to get past requiring to log in.

I went back to the NVidia site, and there is a java applet available, but I now don't trust java being installed in my browser, so I'm wondering if there's anything else I can do to automatically update my drivers.

I'm going to do the NVidia lookup manual, but it feels like I'm living in the past and that there's got to be a better way.

Anything?

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    @zx485 no, the require lazy users to use java or their app... which seems a fair trade off for not bothering to check a web page yourself. – djsmiley2k Feb 26 '17 at 4:07
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    The java is a fall back for not providing your email address and still wanting 'automatic' detection, which, you stated is also provided by windows update. – djsmiley2k Feb 26 '17 at 4:17
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    Java's needed cause your web browser dosen't need that sort of deep access to your system all the time. Beats activeX. Just a little. – Journeyman Geek Feb 26 '17 at 6:34
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    @JourneymanGeek: Sure, but the support software can easily pass the card information (Vendor and Product ID basically) as query parameters in a URL, passed to the default browser. There's no need for either the web browser to do it or the support software to ask for an e-mail. – Ben Voigt Feb 26 '17 at 6:36
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    The auto detection / desktop app are the easier ways, but you don't want them. And is it really that hard to remember you have an nvidia 9xx card and pick your OS? – Andy Feb 26 '17 at 23:07
35

Log in to GeForce experience using your favourite spam email address, with info as true / alternative to true as you feel comfortable with. Now you can get driver updates, and need not be worried about what NVIDIA knows about you. You could tell them as much as you tell Superuser, and it will work fine.

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    But be aware that special email addresses for this purpose are usually taken like nvidiasucks@ and nvidialeavemealone@ are unlikely to bo available :) – Džuris Feb 26 '17 at 8:37
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    @Džuris Would be nice if there were a throw-away email service, @StopItNvidia.org. – Nat Feb 26 '17 at 11:16
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    @Nat google.com/search?q=throw+away+email – Amziraro Feb 26 '17 at 12:06
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    There is a throwaway email service: guerrillamail.com Works from Tor too, though it does include the source IP address as part of the email to prevent abuse. – YetAnotherRandomUser Feb 26 '17 at 18:26
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    bugmenot.com/view/nvidia.com – Mehrdad Feb 27 '17 at 4:46
5

I'm pretty sure you can use Steam itself to update your Video drivers. I don't know if it'll work with NVIDIA but I guess it's worth a try.

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Note here I'm using Linux and this option is not functional in my case (Although I don't really need it as my OS have a repo with nvidia drivers and so I can update everything in my linux at once via a single command).

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    On Windows systems this just links straight to the NVIDIA download page. – nshct Feb 27 '17 at 13:55
4

To automatically update? You're going to have to follow their restrictions however you can easily check the site yourself and download the newest driver.

How often do you expect them to update the driver? After all I'd only expect an update for an existing product if it's broken in some way.

Link for Nvidia download page is the link if you just want to manually specify the driver.

You could always script something together to load up the correct page and check the version of the driver they are offering, if you really wanted to put that much work in?

  • 5
    "After all I'd only expect an update for an existing product if it's broken in some way." - NVidia tend to update their graphics drivers for every new game that is released, even if the "update" is only a new set of configuration settings for that specific game. Whether a particular user actually needs that level of updating is a different matter, of course. If you just want to keep more-or-less up to date, Windows Update will get you there eventually without going to the NVidia website directly. – alephzero Feb 26 '17 at 7:05
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    @alephzero Exaclty that. I only update (manually as I don't want that Geforce Experience bloatware/malvertizing thingy) when I install a new game or when I need to troubleshoot an issue with one of my existing games. That happens maybe 3 times a year. Occasionally WindowsUpdate pushes a new driver too. In my experience with the Geforce Experience installed the driver-update via WindowsUpdate may actually fail to install properly. (Or the other way around: Geforce Experience messes up an update if the current driver came from WindowsUpdate.) So I find I;m better of without Geforce Experience. – Tonny Feb 26 '17 at 13:53
  • @alephzero In the case of Nvidia, the updated drivers, even if it's only for one game, can make a huge amount of difference. There was an interview with a developer where he said that on their own, they were only able to get around 45FPS at 1080p, but the work Nvidia did to their driver allowed them to get to 1080p/60FPS consistent on driver optimizations alone. – SGR Feb 27 '17 at 13:01
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    This. "Geforce experience" is not a required part of the update, and if one takes the time to hit the "custom" install button, one can uncheck this option. Regarding "optimizations," they typically auto-detect the executable and disable features or even downgrade quality. For workarounds, this is useful, but both AMD and nVidia have been caught gaming benchmark applications etc. in the past. Driver versions can also break games and if it was an auto-update, the person may be left wondering why. – Yorik Feb 28 '17 at 21:20
2

I'd advise against automatically updating the graphic card driver. It's not really crucial that you have the latest driver version. On the contrary, quite regularly, a new version does more harm than good.

I'd suggest bookmarking a page like Guru3D downloads and checking it once in a while.

Don't install a version that has been released less than a few days agos, and screen the user comments, if a version is broken you'll see a handful of rants.

2

If you can find an older version of the GeForce Experience installer then that can work. You need to set it up to not check for program updates, and if it ever requests to run a setup file then deny it and rename/remove the setup file. In my case, that setup file is located in this directory:

C:\ProgramData\NVIDIA Corporation\GeForce Experience\Update

It's a bit of a hassle initially, but I'm willing to put up with it over making fake info. The version I have right now is 2.11.4.0, and I've saved the installer just in case I need to reinstall. I've only ever had to rename the setup file twice, and I've been running it like this ever since the new GeForce Experience update went live.

Edit: I've found a link from Nvidia's site for the older version: http://us.download.nvidia.com/GFE/GFEClient/2.11.4.0/GeForce_Experience_v2.11.4.0.exe

  • I'm doing the same thing. Whenever GeForce Experience wants to update, I press cancel and then delete the setup file. Works like a charm. – Tim Pohlmann Feb 27 '17 at 15:31
  • I've lost my older installer. Does NVidia make available older versions of geforce experience? – McKay Feb 27 '17 at 20:05
  • @McKay You'll have to get it from a third party old software site. I can always upload my version, but I don't know if there's a valid hash I can compare against to prove it's not modified. – ozdrgnaDiies Feb 27 '17 at 23:59
  • @McKay I lied, I found a link from the original website. I've updated the answer with it. – ozdrgnaDiies Feb 28 '17 at 0:03
1

Windows Update is capable of delivering driver updates. They're optional, so I believe you'll have direct it to download and install them, unless you're on Windows 10, in which case you can configure it to install driver updates automatically.

Windows Update only delivers drivers that are WHQL certified, so a driver may not be available when it's first published. However, it appears that almost every single driver presently available on Nvidia's site is WHQL-certified, so evidently, they all eventually passed the program.

However, I suggest that it's a bad idea to update video drivers automatically. Nvidia has something of a history of publishing bad drivers. I suggest double-checking for any reports of terrible things happening before you install a new version.

Examples:

Those last 3 were instances of permanent damage. Of course they're most likely covered by warranty, but with any driver you also risk new crashes and performance problems, so you should be prepared to test your favorite games and roll back the driver if it isn't suitable.

  • +1 for not automatically updating. I keep a list of somewhat stable versions for my drivers to revert to in case an update screws things up (and yes, BSODs can be common if the update is screwed enough). – user366447 Feb 27 '17 at 16:07
  • Not completely sure, but aren't Win10 driver updates only for WHQL versions? There's usually a number of "game-ready" releases in between (most of which won't be useful, but some might). – Bob Feb 28 '17 at 8:32
  • @Bob - That is correct. I'll add that. That said, checking Nvidia's download page, it seems that for the past 9 months at least, every release (on the site) has been WHQL certified. I remember that they used to publish more beta versions. I wonder what happened to that. – Corrodias Feb 28 '17 at 19:36
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0

Note that if you need the OpenCL feature, Microsoft almost always takes it out of the version they offer. It's seldom used in games, though.

One way to get a version with OpenCL is to go to this site:

http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us

Use Option 1 to describe the computer you want it for, as if you were downloading it for later transfer to some other computer. Tell your browser to save the file it downloads; save the name of that file so you can run it when you are ready to install it.

If you want one of the older drivers, go down the page and click on the underlined Beta and Older Drivers instead.

This way you give them just enough information about the computer that will download it that they can send it to you, and just enough information about the computer you want to install it on that they can choose the correct version to send you.

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