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I bought an HP Victus 15" laptop which came with an NVIDIA RTX 3050 (6 GB dedicated RAM) installed. But it also shipped with Windows 11 which I absolutely refuse to use, so I took out the SSD and swapped in the SSD from my old (now broken - motherboard short) Windows 10 laptop (which also had all my files and installed programs, so this way I wouldn't have to transfer them over). Predictably since the new laptop had all new hardware that didn't match the old drivers, many components did not work initially, but I was able to hunt down updated drivers for most things.

I have never gotten the RTX 3050 to work though. Windows is aware that it exists - it shows up in System Information, Device Manager and Task Manager - but no matter what I'm doing it always displays 0% usage.

  • Yes, I have tried going into NVIDIA Control Panel to set the NVIDIA GPU as the preferred processor. If I do this, multiple programs will simply crash to desktop mid-launch (e.g. Medieval 2 and Civ4) and the GPU will still show 0% usage in Task Manager. Only setting the preferred GPU to the integrated Intel graphics prevents crashing. Even auto-select causes crashes.

  • Yes, I have gone into Windows Settings > Display > Graphics Settings and tried setting the preferred processor for individual apps. This causes the same mid-launch crash/0% usage as before unless everything is specifically set to use Intel graphics.

  • Yes, I have updated the drivers. In fact, I went as far as to use DDU to completely wipe the old drivers for NVIDIA and Intel before reinstalling the recommended drivers directly from Intel and NVIDIA. No, this did not improve anything.

  • Yes, I have checked the laptop manufacturer's website (HP) to see if they have drivers for this laptop. They do not for Windows 10 - only for Windows 11.

  • Yes, I have gone into BIOS to see if there is an option to set the default graphics processor, or at least for dynamic GPU switching. There does not seem to be any such option in HP BIOS.

  • I did try wiping the NVIDIA drivers again and installing the drivers from the Windows 11 SSD (via a USB enclosure) that I removed. Predictably they refused to install due to being the wrong OS version.

  • I have not updated BIOS or the chipset because I don't know how to, I am scared of bricking my laptop - but I also don't know why that would be necessary if they're stored on the motherboard and not in the SSD. I assume the motherboard would have shipped with the correct chipset to interface with the preinstalled hardware.

  • NVIDIA GPU activity says that no displays are connected to the GPU. (And the Civ4 crash message implies it can't get the screen resolution, and indeed, System Information shows the NVIDIA GPU as having no resolution, and NVIDIA Control Panel is missing the option to set one.) My understanding is this is normal for laptops where all GPU activity normally has to go through integrated graphics as the middleman - but it means I'm not entirely sure whether to trust Task Manager and NVIDIA GPU activity when they say it's not being used.

I have no idea what else to try. I thought it would as finding the driver that matched the OS version / hardware model but that has failed me. What else am I supposed to do?

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  • Your driver setup is evidently not okay. Also, your Windows could be outdated, because the decision which GPU to use is now done in Windows and also configured there, not in NVIDIA Control Panel.
    – Daniel B
    Dec 9, 2023 at 22:19
  • @DanielB as I said, I did try to set the preferred GPU through the Windows graphics setting interface, and it did not manage to get the NVIDIA GPU working.
    – Arcaeca
    Dec 9, 2023 at 22:26
  • I assume from the first part of the post that the machine is new. Have you asked HP Support?
    – John
    Dec 9, 2023 at 22:42
  • You should do a clean install of Windows. You cannot trust a copy of Windows installed on different hardware to have its drivers set up correctly.
    – Mokubai
    Dec 10, 2023 at 0:14

1 Answer 1

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What else am I supposed to do?

Try Windows 11.* It is possible that HP hasn't validated this hardware configuration with Windows 10. The relationship between IGP and dGPU and how the hardware manufacturer has set up the hardware to switch between them evolves over time and isn't strictly backwards compatible with earlier OSes.

If you desperately want to use Windows 10, re-install the original SSD and perform a clean installation of Windows 10. Before taking this step, it would be advisable to try the original Windows 11 installation to see if you encounter the same crashing behavior, which could indicate some hardware failure. Expect the same concerns for drivers. For drivers you can't find Windows 10 versions off from the IHVs, try extracting the Windows 11 driver from HP and installing the driver through the Device Manager's ability to scan a particular folder (and subfolders).

While Windows 10 is fares better than previous versions, and Windows 11 fares even better still, Windows isn't designed as a portable OS and doesn't perfectly tolerate moving between non-identical hardware configurations.

*Although I do find it partially distasteful to answer your question this way, you can make a variety of Windows 11 settings changes to bring the behavior closer to what you expect from Windows 10. There are a variety of guides online. You may find that simple changes, like moving the Start Menu to the left, decreasing the spacing between Explorer items (compact view), and changing Explorer to default to This PC does enough to make the Windows 11 experience comfortable enough while also having full access to your hardware.

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