Nvidia’s latest GPU driver is causing installation headaches for some GTX 1060 owners

Nvidia released its 397.31 'Game Ready' driver package yesterday with optimizations for BattleTech and Frostpunk, but unfortunately it's not installing correctly for some users. Even worse, those affected by what appears to be a buggy driver release say they're getting caught in an installation loop whereby after restarting their PC, they're prompted to reinstall the driver, only to have it fail again.

Almost all of the complaints on Nvidia's community forum have come from GeForce GTX 1060 owners, though one of the users says he's running into an installation issue with this EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW graphics cards. It's not clear if his issue is the same or an unrelated one.

"397.31 was offered through Geforce experience. After install it asked for a restart (which it has not on previous installs of drivers via Geforce experience). After restart i lost my second screen and open hardware monitor showed no GFX info. A pop up tells me to force reinstall driver; this did not work and kept doing same thing—restart, force reinstall. Next i tried a clean install. Still same problem so went to Nvidia drivers and re downloaded 391.35, problem solved. I guess the new driver has issues," one of the users complained.

Several others chimed in saying they're experiencing the same issue, with various symptoms. For example, one user claims he lost function of his speaker via his monitor HDMI input after attempting to install the 397.31 driver release.

Rolling back to a previous driver doesn't always seem to work, either. "I have the exact same issue with the new driver and my GTX 1060 6GB. Even uninstalling the new and going back to the old driver didn't work for me. Had to use DDU to clean everything and I'm now back on 391.35 which works fine. Does Nvidia do any testing before release?," another user said.

DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) is a free software tool by Wagnardsoft that aims to completely uninstall display drivers when switching from one GPU brand to another, or in other cases where you might want to do that. It's recommended that it be run in Safe Mode. A couple of users in the forum thread say they were able to fix the problem by using DDU and installing the previous 391.35 driver release afterwards.

It's not clear how widespread this issue is. However, the GeForce GTX 1060 is a popular graphics card. As Hexus points out, it's the most widely used GPU on Steam, according to the latest Steam hardware survey. As of this writing, Nvidia has not responded to the thread. Regardless of what Nvidia GPU you're using, you might want to sit this one out and stick with 391.35.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).