Windows 8 not recognizing NVIDIA graphics adapter

I just installed 64-bit Windows 8 Pro OEM (clean install) and it won't properly recognize my graphics adapter.  When I installed Win8, it automatically installed the BasicDisplay.sys driver dated 6/21/2006! 6.2.9200.16384 (win8_rtm.120725-1247).

The graphics adapter is based on the GeForce 9400GT chipset, and worked fine in Windows XP. The motherboard is an MSI G41M-P33 Combo with Intel CoreDuo 6600 CPU.  The PC is a generic box, bought locally and its mobo failed recently, so I replaced it with the G41M.  As MS doesn't let you re-activate with a different mobo, I installed Win8, which works except for OpenGL, which happens to be needed by the software I want to test in Win 8.  Other than that the graphics look OK.

Via the Control Panel, I can see that the Adapter is recognized as NVIDIA, but the driver remains stuck at Microsoft Basic Display Adapter no matter what I try.

Display > Screen Resolution > Advanced Settings > Adapter shows:
Adapter Type: Microsoft Basic Display Adapter
Chip Type: NVIDIA
DAC Type: NVIDIA Corporation
Bios Information: G27 Board - p381n17
Total Available Graphics Memory: 256 MB
Dedicated Video Memory: 0 MB  (In fact the adapter has 512MB on-board video memory.)
System Video Memory: 0 MB
Shared System Memory: 256 MB

What I have tried so far:
1.  I have updated the BIOS and all mobo drivers, but that didn't solve the problem.  Verified up to date with both Driver Reviver and MSI (mobo maker) Live Update 5.  Both showed need to update several at start and none after updates made.

2. At the NVIDIA site, the "Option 2: Automatically find drivers for my NVIDIA products." function said "The NVIDIA Smart Scan was unable to evaluate your system hardware. Please use Option 1 to manually find drivers for your NVIDIA products."

3. So I downloaded 306.97-desktop-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-international-whql.exe, which lists 9400 GT under supported products, but when I run it, it says:
"NVIDIA Installer cannot continue
This graphics driver could not find compatible graphics hardware."

I also tried the following, with the same result:
306.97-desktop-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-english-whql.exe
304.79-desktop-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-english-beta.exe
296.17-desktop-win8-32bit-english-preview.exe

4. I connected the display to the on-board Intel graphics (G41), removed the NVIDIA card and rebooted.  Again it installs the MS Basic Display Adapter, and can't properly run my s/w that needs OpenGL.  

5. Shut down PC and pulled out power cord. 
Held start button to discharge all capacitors in power supply.
Removed and re-inserted NVIDIA adapter in PCI-E slot.
Made sure properly seated.
Connected the monitor to the card, screwed plug to socket.
Reconnected power cord. Started and checked in BIOS that Primary Graphics Adapter was set to PCI-E.
Started Windows.
Uninstalled MS Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager.  Screen blanks, reappears.  No Graphics adapter visible in Device Manager.
Restarted PC.  MS Basic Display Adapter Visible again in Device Manager.
Clicked in Device Manager > View > Show hidden devices.
No other graphics adapter appears.
Rebooted.
Tried Scan for Hardware changes.
Tried right-click on MS Basic Display Adapter > Properties > Driver > Update Driver... Search automatically.  It replied that it had determined driver was up to date.

6. Checked that there were no graphic driver-related entries in Programs and Features that I could delete (none)

7. Did a Windows Update.

8. Ran GPU-Z which shows (main items):
Microsoft Basic Display Adapter
GPU G72
BIOS 5.72.22.76.88
Device ID 10DE - 01D5
DDR2  Bus Width 32 Bit
Memory size 64MB
Driver Version nvlddmkm 6.2.9200.16384 (ForceWare 0.00) / Win8 64
NVIDIA SLI Unknown
in the drop-down at the foot, "Microsoft Basic Display Adapter" is the only option

I'm out of ideas for new things to try and would be really grateful of suggestions.
Thanks!
 

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Last updated November 3, 2018 Views 69,739 Applies to:

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Hi

Thanks for contacting Microsoft Community.

 

Before going to the display driver issue, I want to tell you that you can activate Windows on different motherboards. All you need to do is to inform Microsoft that the MB needs a replacement and so request for a license transfer and you can activate Windows.

 

Coming to the display driver issue, perform the following steps:

Go to start->type devmgmt.msc and press enter. In the Device Manager window, expand Display Adaptors, you'll find NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT. Double click it, the propertoies window will open. In the properties window, go to Drivers tab and click Uninstall. Click Yes if a warning pops and also check Also delete driver software for the device, if prompted. Now the device will be uninstalled and the driver will also be removed. Now, open 306.97-desktop-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-international-whql.exe and proceed with the installation. It'll install the latest driver for the device. After installation, restart your PC. If it does not solve the issue, unistall the driver as mentioned above, restart the PC and then try installing the drivers, and againg restart the PC.

 

Reply if the issue is not solved.

Balaji Kundalam

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Hi

Thanks for contacting Microsoft Community.

 

Before going to the display driver issue, I want to tell you that you can activate Windows on different motherboards. All you need to do is to inform Microsoft that the MB needs a replacement and so request for a license transfer and you can activate Windows.

 

Coming to the display driver issue, perform the following steps:

Go to start->type devmgmt.msc and press enter. In the Device Manager window, expand Display Adaptors, you'll find NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT. Double click it, the propertoies window will open. In the properties window, go to Drivers tab and click Uninstall. Click Yes if a warning pops and also check Also delete driver software for the device, if prompted. Now the device will be uninstalled and the driver will also be removed. Now, open 306.97-desktop-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-international-whql.exe and proceed with the installation. It'll install the latest driver for the device. After installation, restart your PC. If it does not solve the issue, unistall the driver as mentioned above, restart the PC and then try installing the drivers, and againg restart the PC.

 

Reply if the issue is not solved.

Thanks for your reply.

On the first point, I tried to reactivate online, but failed, and the activation process gave me a Microsoft phone number to call.  When I called that, I was told by someone at Microsoft that a mobo replacement prevented me from reactivating the XP license.  I had never heard that before.

On the second, no, NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT never appears in Device Manager. Microsoft Basic Display Adapter is the only entry under Display Adapters.

In 5. above, I mentioned:
"Uninstalled MS Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager.  Screen blanks, reappears.  No Graphics adapter visible in Device Manager.
Restarted PC.  MS Basic Display Adapter Visible again in Device Manager.
Clicked in Device Manager > View > Show hidden devices.
No other graphics adapter appears."

Any other suggestions, please?

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Does your motherboard has any other type of display adaptor like nVidia, on-board (of course, can be low performance adaptor than the card)? If so, you may have to try installing driver for that device first, and then try with nVidia drivers. It should detect the card in this case.

 

Reply if the issue is not solved.

Balaji Kundalam

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Thanks Balaji.

There is an on-board Intel Express graphics adapter, which I had previously disabled in the BIOS.  On your suggestion, I enabled it again, so the PCI-e adapter (NVIDIA) adapter is disabled.

After rebooting, Display > Screen Resolution > Advanced settings shows:
Adapter Type: Intel(R) G41 Express Chipset (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.1)
Chip type: Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family
DAC Type: Internal
Adapter String: Intel(R) GMA 4500
BIOS Information: Intel Video BIOS
Total Available Graphics Memory: 814MB
Dedicated Video Memory: 64MB
System Video Memory: 0MB
Shared System Memory: 750MB

And Display > Screen Resolution > Advanced settings > Adapter Type > Properties > Driver shows:
Driver Provider: Intel Corporation
Driver Date: 3/24/2012
Driver Version: 8.15.10.2702

"Search Automatically for updated driver software" says "The best driver software for your device is already installed".  I tried letting it search c: and subfolders as well, with the same result.

After that, under Display adapters, Device Manager shows Intel(R) G41 Express Chipset (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.1) and Selecting View > Show hidden devices shows Microsoft Basic Display Adapter as well, grayed out.

There are no other graphics adapters and no yellow question mark devices.

Next, I rebooted and switched BIOS back to PCI-e.  The result is as before:
Under Display adapters, Device Manager shows Microsoft Basic Display Adapter and trying to update it shows it's up to date (it's still the 2006 driver).  Why is it using a 2006 driver on Windows 8?

Then in Device Manager, I did Show hidden devices and this time Intel(R) G41 Express Chipset (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.1) is visible, grayed out.

I tried Scan for hardware changes on the Display Adapter. No message appeared.

I right clicked on the Intel G41 adapter and the MS Basic Microsoft Basic Display Adapter and selected Uninstall for each.  Display Adapters disappeared in Device Manager.  I did Action > Scan for hardware changes and Display Adapters plus MS Basic Microsoft Basic Display Adapter re-appeared in Device Manager, but not the Intel device.

So it's back to the original state.

I noticed that when using the on-board graphics, the exact model of the monitor (Philips 170S) is recognized.  When using the NVIDIA card it just reports the monitor as a generic PnP monitor.  

And the Intel graphics driver does not support OpenGL, either.  Under WinXP and Win7, Intel Express on-board graphics usually supports OpenGL.

Something else: Just to eliminate one other possibility, I tested the NVIDIA graphics card in another PC - one running Win7 - and found it's working normally.   

Thanks,
Roy

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Have you installed the necessary chipset drivers for the motherboard? Try installing the drivers and then try again.
Balaji Kundalam

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I believe so Balaji, please refer to my item 1 in OP.

Thanks,
Roy

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Have you visited the manufacturer's website for any kind of patches for Windows 8? It may not be shown in the updates.
Balaji Kundalam

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I have now looked for separate patches but cannot find any, so I have raised a technical support ticket with MSi to see if they can help.  

I've described the whole problem as above, and have asked about separate Windows 8 patches explicitly.

Meanwhile, just for the record, I also tried clearing the CMOS and re-setting BIOS values to see if that made a difference, but it didn't. 

I'll note their reply here.

Thanks.
Roy

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At least yours appears to be able to see the graphics adapter!  Mine doesn't recognize it as NVIDIA in Device Manager, and even NVIDIA's own driver installer can't see it.

But crazy? Yup, me too!

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