Windows will not boot after bad video driver install

Last night I installed a new video card in my machine to try some new DirectX features. Well, the worst that could happen, did happen to my machine. It refused to restart after device drivers were installed. I tired everything I could but it will not move. Machine will not go into safe mode either so I could install device drivers. Finally I had to take brute force approach. Since there is always a default device driver present on board as well as in windows, trick is to get rid of the new driver. To accomplish this, following things you will need to know.

  • What is name of the driver files that got installed? That is not hard to find from manufacturer's site. Or you can use another machine and pop-up in CD and look at the files contained in the CD using windows explorer.
  • And you will need access to another machine.

Here are steps you can try

  • Remove your hard drive from bad machine.
  • Goto another machine. Take out its hard drive and change jumper settings to make it master hard drive. You will find the settings instructions right on the drive itself.
  • Change jumper settings on drive from bad machine to make it slave and put this drive into second machine.
  • Start your second machine.
  • You should be able to see hard drive from bad machine in windows explorer.
  • Goto Windows > System32 > Drivers folder and delete the device driver files for new video card or for that matter for any device that may cause your machine not to boot. Be very careful on this step. Make sure that you are deleting these files from slave drive which you inserted in good machine from bad machine. Otherwise you may accidentally delete drivers from your good machine's operating system.
  • Take this drive put now. Also take out drive of good machine as well and reset its jumpers to make it stand alone hard drive (assuming you only have one drive in your machine). And reset jumpers on hard drive of bad machine to make it stand alone as well.
  • Put the drive in your bad machine and fire it up. Hopefully it will boot and you will be able to interact it with standard 800x600 resolution default display driver.
  • Get a new video card or device driver for your new video card and install it.

Hopefully these steps will help you resolve your bad device driver issues as well.




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