I have a 7800 GTX 256 MB card and I'm about to upgrade my drivers for improved Oblivion performance... the directions clearly say to go to Add/Remove Programs and remove the previous NVidia drivers... well, my drivers aren't listed there. My NVidia network driver is, but not my video... nor is it listed under XFX (they made my video card)
Am I going to absolutely screw things up if I don't uninstall my drivers before installing the new ones? Anyone with a similar experience?
Usually nvidia drivers show up in the add/remove software window...but if you are using nvidia drivers and not those from your card manufacturer without extra bells and whistles, i've gotten away with just overwriting the older drivers. I haven't done any programming for twenty years, but i'd think they'd keep the code conventions the same and only add or alter the lines they have to...the new code should just replace the old line for line. It's worked for me more than once...odd that they don't show up though. I guess it depends upon what operating system you are using as to how you can deal with a bad driver, and whether your machine is for work or play...for work - only update a driver when you have to. For play - back your stuff up and go for it...lol. It's not a job...it's an adventure!
I never uninstall the old driver first. The new driver just installs over the old one. You're not modifying lines of code. You're just replacing one file with another of the same name. If a file isn't used anymore, it sitting there can't hurt anything if its not deleted.
One of the 1st things I do after a vid driver update is disable the "nvidia service". I have no idea what it does, but it doesn't effect performance by shutting it down and it's doesn't prevent the nvidia control panel applet from working either.
I started doing this when one of the earlier drivers/service kept my profile from updating whenever shutting down the computer. Stopping this service fixed that problem.
Also, removing the drivers before updating is better than installing over top of the old since you won't have to worry as much about old files being left behind and taking up disk space.
You may not screw things up, but the reason you should uninstall first is that the new install may have problems overwriting open files which make up the driver set. It may also have problems unregistering the older stuff, and leave junk in your registry.
For peace of mind in the long run, make a reasonable effort to uninstall. Check in your programs menu for nvidia (or whomever the manufacturer was) for an uninstall link. Check the manufacturer's website for uninstall instructions/program. Failing all that, then go ahead and install the new drivers over the old, but at least do the following. Go into device manager, double click on display adapter, (nvidia card), pick driver tab, then click the update button. next, choose from list and change it to Standard VGA and reboot. This will at least unload the old drivers.
btw, choosing uninstall in the device manager probably will not work. windows will simply reinstall the old drivers on reboot.