If you're having graphics card problems, try a clean driver install

PCWorld|April 2020

If you're having graphics card problems, try a clean driver install
Many graphics card problems can be fixed by performing a clean install of your GPU drivers.

If you’re suffering from software bugs or other problems with your graphics card, one of the first things to try is performing a clean installation of your drivers. That point was driven home for PC gamers recently when AMD, in a post (go.pcworld.com/whql) announcing WHQL certification for its bug-squashing new Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.2.2 driver (go.pcworld.com/ r202), told gamers to factory-reset the software if they encounter futher issues.

It’s a great reminder. Performing a clean install won’t fix GPU issues all the time, but it’ll sure fix them a lot of the time.

Modern graphics card drivers are complicated beasts, sinking hooks deep into your computer. Considering that both AMD and Nvidia’s drivers weigh in at roughly half a gigabyte, they’re some of the more complex software on your PC. They build atop your existing installation, and that’s generally a good thing! It keeps your existing settings intact. But express-installing drivers can cause issues sometimes. Performing a clean install starts over from scratch, potentially eradicating conflicts that can manifest as bugs or performance issues. I even do it every now and again on my personal rig, just for general system health.


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April 2020