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If someone could help me solve this issue I would appreciate it. I have a SONY VGN AR-870 laptop with an NVIDIA 8600m GT video card. When I bought it several years ago it came with Windows Vista installed. I upgraded the operating system to Windows 7 32bit and was unable to download updated drivers for the video card. NVIDIA claimed that I must get the driver from SONY and SONY only made one for Vista. But as far as I knew everything was functioning adequately with the Vista driver.

But I now installed the 64bit Windows 7. And I am unable to install any driver for the video card since the new install wiped out the old driver. In the device manager, the only Display Adapter listed is Standard VGA Graphics Adapter. If I go to NVIDIA to download a driver, when I run the .exe program it tells me that it cannot detect the hardware. If I go to SONY to install the Vista driver, during the installation I get a message that the driver is for a 32bit system and it halts the installation.

I understand that the ideal driver doesn't exist. But I need to find a way to install some driver, whether it is the NVIDIA Windows 64bit driver that is not custom tailored to my laptop, the SONY Vista driver, or some generic driver. Most importantly I need the card so that it will recognize my 1920 x 1080 monitor.

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I just did a search on NVidia's website and found the driver you want. I'm not sure where you looked, but it was right in the main driver finder section: http://www.geforce.com/drivers

Yes, it is true that OEMs can often request model-specific hardware to control the user's experience, but with most video cards, this isn't an issue. ATI and NVidia both offer generic drivers that work for all their recent cards (recent being the last 10 years or so).

The most recent generic GeForce drivers should work just fine with your card.

Go to the link above and go through the model and part tree and find the GeForce 8600m GT card and download the latest driver listed.

UPDATE: How to force an incompatible drive install

  1. Execute the nVidia driver you've already downloaded and take note of where it is extracting the files to. (Probably C:\nVidia\DisplayDriver...)
  2. Open Device Manager, expand Display Adapters, right click on the Standard VGA Adapter, and select Update Driver Software.
  3. Click Browse my computer for driver software and then Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  4. Uncheck "Show compatible hardware" and then click Have Disk.
  5. Navigate to the nVidia driver folder noted earlier and find and open the Display.Driver folder and
  6. Navigate to your specific card in the list and see if it'll let you use this to install.
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  • I do think the driver will work. But I am not able to install any of the NVIDIA drivers by downloading the file and running the .exe program. The installation stops and I receive the message: The graphics driver could not find compatible graphics hardware. I need to find a way for the OS to find the card before I'm able to do that. – CTViking Oct 23 '14 at 21:04
  • The OS has found the card, it just does not recognize it, which is why it is calling it the "Standard VGA Graphics Adapter". It is possible your card has hardware issues preventing it from functioning properly, but so long as you have a good Windows 7 install, it does not sound as though you have a software issue. – music2myear Oct 23 '14 at 21:06
  • I have no reason to believe that Windows wasn't installed perfectly. And the video card was working before the install. So I do I get the computer to recognize it? – CTViking Oct 23 '14 at 21:25
  • Am I correct that your display does not go blank when Windows is loaded? If so, your graphics card is being recognized. However, in order for it to be correctly identified there could be other issues. Have you deleted the graphics card in your Hardware Manager and then tried installing the nVidia drivers? – music2myear Oct 23 '14 at 21:28
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    I should correct my last comment to 'the average user is stuffed' If you know a workround, I'd be most pleased :-) – Tetsujin Oct 24 '14 at 17:50
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Laptop manufactures typically just bundle the existing video driver - after checking it for compatibility etc, without changing it. So if Sony, doesn't have the driver available, that only means they haven't made a 64 bit driver available, not that it doesn't exist.

When the NVidia driver that you downloaded, failed to detect a video driver, that would seem to indicate its the wrong driver for that hardware. Searching for any driver will turn up lots of bad links. So always go directly to the hardware's website (in this case NVidia.com). This looks driver seems like it should work: Windows 7 64 driver for GEForce 8600M GT laptop

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  • I had not tried that specific driver so I gave it a shot and got the same result. During the first phase of installation: System check, the installation ceases with the following message: X NVIDIA Installer cannot continue. This graphics driver could not find compatible graphics hardware. – CTViking Oct 23 '14 at 20:40
  • I suspect that the solution to my problem is going to be a little more involved than downloading a driver and installing it via the typical means. Either I'm going to need to find a backdoor way of installing the SONY driver or doing something to enable my computer to recognize the card so that downloading and installing a driver from NVIDIA will work. – CTViking Oct 23 '14 at 20:52
  • On the linked page, the supported devices page looks promising but the tab "addidtional info" mentions only some Sony Vaio's are supported. Not a good sign. Most installations have these compatibility checks for OS/hardware before copying files. As a last resort, you could unzip the NVidia 64 bit install (.exe can be unzipped with 7zip) and attempt copying the files manually. The sony driver is only 32bit, so that should be incompatible. – jdh Oct 23 '14 at 20:52
  • That did occur to me to manually extract the files and copy them. Into which directories would I copy the files? – CTViking Oct 23 '14 at 21:05
  • The nVidia installer already extracts itself to C:\nVidia\.... Just run the installer, let that folder create itself, copy the folder somewhere else, and close the installer. – music2myear Oct 24 '14 at 13:55

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