Corrupted Windows 10 graphics driver won’t allow me to log in

I have a Windows 10 x64 machine with 2 x 4K monitors and an NVIDIA Titan X GPU.

The problem started when I booted up the machine today and noticed that the resolution on monitor 2 was wrong (everything was too large).

I went into Settings and it indicated that the maximum resolution of monitor 2 was 1920 x 780 instead of the proper 3140 x 2160 of the other monitor.

I decided it might be a graphics driver issue so I went into the Control Panel and uninstalled the NVIDIA driver and rebooted. At this point, both monitors displayed at the correct resolution using the default Windows driver.

I then tried to reinstall the NVIDIA driver but it seemed to take a very long time and eventually I did a “hard boot”.

Bad idea.

Now, when I boot the machine, the usual process of the Windows logo and the spinning dots appears on the right monitor but then when it would normally switch over to the left monitor and allow me to log in, the left monitor remains black and the booting animation on the right monitor freezes (whereas normally this monitor would go black until I had logged in).

It seems that the OS is working as I can hear a couple of normal notifications that happen as the OS boots but I am unable to log in or do anything as the left monitor remains black.

That’s where things are now. It looks like the graphics driver did not install correctly and that’s causing the problem.

I’ve tried various recovery options like booting from my original Windows DVD but I can only get to the option of keeping my files but losing all applications and settings (which is not acceptable).

Reinstalling Windows and all apps would take at lest one week and I simply don’t have that much time.

Given that it seems to be just a problem with the graphics driver, can anyone suggest a way to fix things with the least impact and downtime?


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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Start up, Win+R, msconfig.exe, Boot tab, select Safe Mode and then restart in Safe Mode. Try uninstalling the driver and then restart. Windows should install the driver again but perhaps not use your settings.

You can do a non-destructive Windows 10 Repair Install and Keep Everything.

Go to the Media Creation Link

Windows 10 is running, so click on the Download button (not Upgrade Button, select Open (Run) but NOT Save. Allow the program to run. Allow drivers to update. Then select Keep Everything.
KhaiPiAuthor Commented:
I don't think I explained things adequately: I cannot "get into Windows" to run msconfig or anything else. All I have is a frozen boot animation on the right monitor and a totally blank left monitor.

I can't open any browser or download anything either.

Basically, I can't do anything at all.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I see farther down you cannot see the video.

Restart and try pressing F8 to start in safe mode. Press F8 repeatedly
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also, if you boot with a bootable USB Key (Windows 10 ISO) can you see the video?
RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
Try System Restore:

 1.Boot from a Windows 10 Media (DVD/USB)          //  or force your PC to turn off by pressing and holding Power Button, do it three times until Windows leads you to Trubleshooting page (step 4).
 2.Once you get the welcome screen of installation with the option “Install now”
 3.Click on Repair your computer
 4.On the next page click on Advanced Options
 5.Now click on Troubleshoot
 6.Lastly click on System Restore and follow the on screen instructions and select a day before the issue happened.
 7.This may take some minutes to repair. Once completed try to boot your PC normally.
KhaiPiAuthor Commented:
@John - I've managed to boot into Safe Mode with Networking and in the Control Panel there is no NVIDIA driver listed as being installed (but it may be partially installed).

So I downloaded the latest driver and tried to run it but it complained about not being able to write to the C: drive. I selected a download location on the D: drive instead and it unpacked the driver.

But when I then ran the driver install it just says "Unknown Error" and quits.

I tried uninstalling something else from the Control Panel but it failed saying the "Task Scheduler must be running" only to find that this service won't run in Safe Mode!

Now what? I need to install the graphics driver but it may be in a corrupted state.
KhaiPiAuthor Commented:
@Ramin - System Restore is not configured on this machine (for a long and complex reason)...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
In Safe Mode, open Device Manager and Remove the Driver in Device Manager.

Then restart and see if Windows reinstalls it (it should).
RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
If uninstalling the display driver from Device Manager didn't fix the issue then:

Make sure your Display Card is properly sited  in PCIe slot.

The final fix is to Backup everything and reinstall windows.
KhaiPiAuthor Commented:
OK, I finally got to boot in Safe Mode (sadly F8 doesn't work on modern hardware) and removed the display adapter via Device Manager.

I can now boot normally with both screens active and at their correct resolutions.

However, repeated attempts to install the latest NVIDIA drivers fail. It checks for compatibility, says all is fine and then spends a few minutes trying to install but eventually fails without giving a reason.

So I'm glad I can access my computer "fully" but I definitely need to get the graphics driver installed.

Any ideas?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
First, good news that you can see the display.

Now, since you removed the driver from Device Manager, can you now remove the driver properly from Programs and Features.

Even if you cannot, locate the Video driver for your machine and try installing it again.

From earlier here, it may be a good idea now to do a non-destructive Windows 10 Repair Install.

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KhaiPiAuthor Commented:
The graphics driver is not listed in Control Panel but I know that the NVIDIA Control Panel is still installed as I can run it.

As I said, I downloaded the latest driver for my graphics card but it simply won't install.

Any suggestions other than the repair option? It seems I just need to get the graphics driver to install.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try running DISM from an admin command prompt.

dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

Repair install is a good tool. When you keep everything, your computer comes out like you originally had it.
fred hakimRetired ITCommented:
Dumb question...  but if the monitors are running Ok and at the proper resolutions, why do you need the latest nvidea drivers?   Unless you have some issue or some needed capability that is not available using the windows driver, I would stick with what is working.  

If you in fact must have Nvidea's for some reason, then post your Windows 10 version information on their forum and report the problems.  


Windows 10 is constantly updating and some recent larges ones, like the creators update have wreaked havoc with some drivers for hardware developers.   Those geforce folks may have a better handle on those issues if any.
RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
Create a Restore point.

Try "Display Driver Uninstaller" tool to uninstall NVidia drivers:

Restart your PC.

install Display Drivers.
KhaiPiAuthor Commented:
Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions.

I tried them all but in the end it was John Hurst's suggestion of using the Repair Tool that solved the problem.

I was not aware of this tool and it took a *long* time to run but when it completed I was able to install the latest NVIDIA driver and my machine is back to exactly how it was prior to the first issues occurring.

Well, almost - the only thing that "changed" was the text of my screen saver!

I am so relieved and thank you most sincerely. I am able to work again and the system is stable. I was so dreading having to go down the "reinstall Windows" route that seems to be the default resolution for any Windows problems.

Thanks again,

KhaiPiAuthor Commented:
Thanks again. If I could award you 10,000 points I would!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you very much. 10,000 points would be nice, but we cannot do that. Good Answers are the reward in here. Thanks again.
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