Graphics,  Tutorial

Clean re-install of graphics drivers with Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU)

It can happen that graphics drivers get so badly corrupted, that the installation routine of the software isn’t able to repair them. In that case it’s a good idea to do a clean re-install of the drivers.

A great tool that can help you with this is DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller)

Note: These instructions in this post are for NVIIDA Cards but the steps are the same for AMD or Intel Graphics Cards.
All you have to change is the manufacturer in step 19.

It’s best to print this instructions or have them open on a second device, as you need to reboot your computer.

  1. Download the newest drivers for your graphics cards from the manufacturer site:
  2. Download the newest version of DDU from here.
    Click on the DDU symbol of the newest version:

    Scroll down and click on: “Click here for Downloade & Support
    Scroll down more and click on: “Official Download Here
  3. Take your device offline
    (This means, cut the Internet connection for the device you want to clean install the drivers on).
  4. Go to your Download folder
  5. Doubleclick on the file “DDU vXX.X.X.X.exe” (X = Number of the version)
  6. You will see this dialog

    Make sure to note where you extract the files to. It’s easiest to copy the path to your clipboard (highlight with your mouse > CTRL+C)
    (Path will vary from your own system
  7. Click on “Extract
  8. Open Windows Explorer > Enter the copied path in the address bar (ctl-+V) and press ENTER
  9. Open the folder “DDU vXX.X.X.X“.
  10. Double Click on “Display Driver Uninstaller.exe
  11. You will now see this window:
  12. Click on “OK” > then click on “Options” in the main menu.
  13. Check the box next to “Enable Safe Mode dialog” > Close.

    As you can see, the tool suggests to test Safe Mode first.
    The reason for this that Windows doesn’t load any drivers in safe mode, which may lead to the keyboard layout being changed to US-English. Many special characters are in different places on the US-Keyboard than on other layouts. So if you used any special characters in your Windows password, your password will be wrong.
    It’s therefore good to test safe mode first.
    Here a link to the Microsoft page on how to manually do a safe boot.
    You can skip this step if you’re not using any special characters or if you’re using an US-Englisch layout keyboard.
  14. After safe mode manually, open the “DDU vXX.X.X.X” folder again.
    If you skipped that step, close the DDU (click on the X)
  15. Double click on “Display Driver Uninstaller.exe” again.
    You will now see this window:
  16. Choose “Safe Mode (Recommended)” from the drop-down menu > Click on “Reboot to Safe Mode.
    (as you can see, you will now need your Windows User Account Password, the PIN is not enough).
  17. Windows will now boot in safe mode
    This window will pop-up
  18. Step 1: Choose “GPU” in the first drop-down-Menu
  19. Step 2: Choose “NVIDIA” in the second drop-down-Menu
    (if you have an AMD or Intel card, choose accordingly).
  20. Step 3: Click on “Clean and restart – Highly recommended
  21. DDU will now remove the drivers completely and reboot your computer in normal mode.
  22. Close all unneeded background programs and deactivate the real-time protection of your virus scanner.
  23. Install the drivers you have downloaded in step 1
  24. Reboot your Computer > Reactivate your internet connection > Done