Nvidia driver refuses to load for card in primary PCI-Express slot

Posted on 2010-01-05
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
I am having an odd problem with my Nvidia drivers. My system specs are:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5
RAM:         12 GB
Processor:   Intel Core i7 965 @ 3.2 GHz
OS:          Windows 7 64-bit
Video cards: NVidia GTX 280 x3 SLI

Originally I was running Vista x64 and then upgraded to Windows 7 in October.  Everything was running fine in triple-SLI after the upgrade and it's been stable.  However, I just tried to upgrade my video driver from 191.07 to 195.62 (the newest WHQL version).  The driver installed *but* my display reverted to VGA mode and a little balloon popped up in the system tray that said, "Device driver software was not installed successfully."  When I looked in the device manager it showed two cards as GTX 280s and running fine, but the third card (in video slot #1) was in VGA mode with the detail message, "The device is not configured correctly (Code 1)".  Then I tried uninstalling 195.62 and re-installing the previously-working 191.07 but the same error occurred!  

So then I tried removing all three video cards and just reinstalling *one* card, in PCI-EX slot #1.  Same error after bootup: "Device driver software was not installed successfully." Next I tried just one card in PCI-EX slot #2 and it booted up and worked fine (no need to reinstall the driver, either)!  [This was using driver version 195.62.]   So then I added a second card in PCI-EX slot #3 and that also worked fine (in SLI mode as well).  But nothing I've tried can get a video card working in PCI-EX slot #1 anymore.  I even tried an old 8800 GTX card by itself in slot #1 and the same error occurred.  

After a lot of digging through the event logs I found this event in Application Log:

Level: Information  Source: Windows Error Reporting  Event ID: 1001  Date: 1.5.2010  1:28:28 PM   Task Category: None

Fault bucket , type 0
Event Name: PnPDriverInstallError
Response: Not available
Cab Id: 0

Problem signature:
P1: x64
P2: C0000142
P3: nv_disp.inf
P4: af50922585d03da3583308f06d1d75a7b320336e
P5: Section003

Attached files:

These files may be available here:

Analysis symbol:
Rechecking for solution: 0
Report Id: 1e2cc5ae-fa28-11de-96fc-001fd0ae7c1d
Report Status: 4


Detail XML values:
- System
  - Provider
   [ Name]  Windows Error Reporting
  - EventID 1001
   [ Qualifiers]  0
   Level 4
   Task 0
   Keywords 0x80000000000000
  - TimeCreated
   [ SystemTime]  2010-01-05T18:28:28.000000000Z
   EventRecordID 24111
   Channel Application
   Computer sookie

- EventData
   Not available

Here is the detail file mentioned in the event in the 'C:\Users\dougb\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WER\ReportQueue\NonCritical_x64_ca23d0e1e31e1ccf43fe0a83aa620fd318b1352_0cc441d4' directory:

Sig[1].Name=Win32 error
Sig[2].Name=Inf name
Sig[3].Name=Driver Package hash
Sig[4].Name=DDInstall section name
DynamicSig[1].Name=OS Version
DynamicSig[2].Name=Locale ID
FriendlyEventName=Could not install driver software for device
AppName=Driver software installation

I've done a lot of hardware troubleshooting over the years, but for the life of me I can't figure out why the driver now just refuses to load for any card plugged into PCI-EX slot #1.  [I didn't notice anything particularly helpful in the event log.]  Currently I am running just fine with two cards in SLI mode in slots #2 and #3 using the latest 195.62 driver, but the driver just *refuses* to load for any card plugged into slot #1 even with no other cards in the system (I tried a different GTX 280 as well as an 8800 GTX, still no dice).  Any ideas???  I'm stumped on this one.
Question by:dbeachy1
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Have you tried updating the BIOS?
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    That is odd... :)   Either dumb luck and bad timing that there is a hardware failure on the motherboard, or I would try  a bios update on the motherboard. I know, it was running fine before, but I would still look at a bios update. I don't see any way it could be video card related.

    I don't know how hard this would be for you, but I'd be interested in what would happen if you put a spare hard drive in and did a fresh windows install. Just in case the newer driver screwed something up.

    best of luck.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Oh, and you could just run 2x 280 cards cause.... Jebuz that is still a lot of graphic power ;)
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    LVL 62

    Expert Comment

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    Suspect this is a driver bug between 195.62, GA-EX58-UD5 and your 3-way setup. Can you 'downgrade' to 191.07 and just try a single card in PCI-EX #1?
    If it runs recommend you stick with 191.07 and reconfigure the cards and then file a report with nVidia. There are a few 3-way bugs that have cropped up in beta tests with the GX260/280's and the Vista/W7 drivers (including a 3D-Mark one that still isn't resolved.)
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    author....some feedback please....

    Author Comment

    Stand by, it's been less than a day since I posted this and my troubleshooting steps from last night aren't finished yet.  I'm at work now so I'll post an update tonight when I finish my next troubleshooting steps.  <input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"><!--Session data--><input onclick="jsCall();" id="jsProxy" type="hidden">

    Accepted Solution

    Some good news here: I have all three video cards working fine now, but the solution was to run a Windows 7 Upgrade on my system to basically "upgrade itself".  Before that I did check my BIOS version and it is up-to-date except for some minor CPU temperature reporting fixes, so I opted not to upgrade it.  In addition, here is what I did leading up to the upgrade/repair install:

    1. Removed all GTX 280 cards except one in the primary video slot.
    2. Uninstalled all Nvidia drivers.
    3. Ran 'Driver Cleaner .NET' to completely remove any remaining Nvida driver files and registry keys.  [Note: some of the files and registry keys were owned by an internal 'Trusted Installer' account, so I had to manually take ownership of those files and registry keys before I could delete them.]
    4. Once everything was clean I tried installing the previously-working 191.07 video driver, but no dice: setup exited immediately with "The system has not been modified."
    5. I then tried installing the new 195.62 version, but the same error occurred: setup exited immediately with "The system has not been modified."  No messages in the event log.  The Nvidia setup absolutely refused to install the driver, so my guess is that the same obscure permission or file problem that made manual driver installation fail also made the installer exit immediately without an error message.  [I have to say I am not impressed with Nvidia's and Microsoft's complete lack of error reporting in their installers.]
    6. Next I decided to try PurpleWine's idea of testing it with a clean Windows 7 install to a new hard disk.  That way I could test without trashing my existing installation unnecessarily.  After the clean installation to a new drive the latest 195.62 driver installed just fine, so that was a clue that some obscure software or permission problem was the root cause.  And it was good to know that doing a reinstall would fix the problem.
    7. At that point I didn't know what else to try except a clean install, but I really hate reinstalling all my programs and data.  So instead I decided to try an upgrade (repair) install first: I hooked up my original drives again, did a full backup, and then ran a Windows 7 *upgrade install* so the system would "upgrade itself".  As I understand it, this is similar to a clean install in that the registry and system files are recreated, but all your existing program settings are copied to the new registry so you don't need to reinstall all your applications and data.  I also had to reinstall all my drivers (which is what I wanted!)
    8. After the upgrade install finished I installed the latest 195.62 drivers and they worked like a charm this time.  Then I plugged in my other two cards, connected the triple-SLI bridge, and voila!  Triple-SLI is working again.

    So to sum up, it required an upgrade install to fix it (of course, a full reinstall would have fixed it, too).  It still frustrates me, though, that trying to troubleshoot why a driver simply refuses to install is extremely difficult if not impossible.  At least I didn't have to do a full reinstall.

    Anyway, thanks to all for the advice!  

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