Troubleshoot Failed Display Driver Installations on Windows 10/8/7

When Microsoft released Windows 8 for TechNet and MSDN users, I thought of installing it on my 3-year-old Sony VIAO laptop. So I download the Windows 8 Enterprise since Windows 8 Pro was not available for me. I had to try out Hyper-V and other admin function which were not available on Windows 8.

Failed Display Driver Installations

I downloaded the ISO image and use the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool and burn the ISO image to a USB. Like I always say, I prefer to do a Clean Install rather than doing an upgrade. So I backed up everything to my server and started the installation process. The installation process was just like Windows 7, it went very smooth without any issues – in fact smoother! Once the installation is complete, Windows 8 will offer you a short animated tutorial – which was a new experience!

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Once I reached the desktop, I checked to see if my drivers had got installed. Everything had got installed but they were pretty basic. I know for a fact that my laptop screen looked a lot nicer before, but the basic drivers now had messed it up. But my Sound and Bluetooth drivers had been installed.

So I decided to install all the drivers from scratch, since most of the OEM drivers and generic drives offered by Microsoft, are at times, different. Well here my nightmare with my ATI Display driver installation.

I downloaded the ATI display drivers from the OEM website. Even if it’s dated 2010, I know for a fact it works fine, since it was working on Windows 8 Release Preview.

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I went to Device Manager and uninstalled the generic drivers.

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I installed my drivers downloaded from the OEM site, but it got stuck at detecting my display device. I waited for around 20 minutes, but nothing changed – it was at the same screen. I figured it must have hung up. So I opened Task Manager and ended the installation. I restarted the install but it still did not work. The same thing happened – it was just stuck at that point itself!

I then opened Program Compatibility Troubleshooter and ran the program again.

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Sadly, I ended up with the same result. So I decided that I needed to do a full driver cleanup. So I followed this guide how to uninstall the ATI Display driver. There are other ways just to force Windows to recognize the drivers, but I badly need ATI CCC to works, because I connect my Laptop to a HDTV and the scaling is all messed up. But with ATI CCC I can adjust it properly.

Then I installed the chipset, sound and other necessary drivers but none of the drivers worked. I had to change the compatibility to Windows 7.

So in case you’re trying to install drivers on Windows 8 make sure you install them in compatibility mode, so as avoid any failed installation. If that fails then try the manual method:

  • Extract the driver installation to a specific folder
  • Open Device Manager
  • Select the device you want to install the driver and click on update driver
  • Then select “Browse my computer for driver software
  • Browse and select the extracted folder and check on the box “include subfolders
  • Then click next it should just pick the inf files alone and install it
  • If that also didn’t work then select “Let me pick the list of device drivers on my computer
  • Then click next
  • Click on “Have Disk” then manually browse to extracted folder and select the inf.

This way you can force the system to accept the drivers.

If this too fails, there is nothing much we can do other than waiting the manufacture to release a compatible driver.

It took me almost a day and half, to complete the whole install, setup, etc. But it really worth every time I spend because I learned a lot of new things new technique to make thing works. I have seen a lot of complaints about Windows 8 RTM, but I for one just love it. Lots of new customizations – both visual and under the hood.  The new Windows 8 UI still need some work because when you install an application, it may place MANY shortcuts (Microsoft Office for example) on the start screen, requiring you to delete many of them manually, to avoid cluttering up your start screen. Maybe there should be a better way to group them rather than spreading them all over the place. But considering Windows UI is new there is a lot of room for improvement. People just need to give it a chance. It’s about time for a change of scene.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one’s and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.