Windows 8.1 will not use installed NVIDIA GeForce driver on my laptop ?


Jul 16, 2023
Laptop Model: ASUS N56JN

I spent all day trying to figure out why I can't display to a Vizio TV over HDMI. We tested with a friend's laptop, so it's not the cable or the TV itself.

The TV is tuned to HDMI 2 and yet with the laptop on, it says "no input".
My computer does *NOT* show a 2nd display in "Screen Resolution" nor Device Manager.
(However, it *IS* shown in "Sound".)
I have read many problems and many solutions.
Some of the more obvious are:
a) The order you boot/plug things in.
b) One article said other peripherals may mess up detection, unplug external drives, etc.
c) For some people, an update of Windows 8.1 (other windows, too) REPLACED with MS generic driver!
This is otherwise a "fresh install" that WAS working fine, once I got drivers installed.
Apparently, a Windows Update overwrote my driver with the Generic PnP Monitor, too (I didn't know it).

Wiped entire hard disk with dd in Linux.
(NECESSARY because many BIOS are UEFI/MBR blend which screws with Windows
if you used ANYTHING other Windows install to create partitions. Mis-detects partition types!)
Did custom partitions and CLEAN install of Windows 8.1 Home x64 (where NO INTERNET).
IMMEDIATELY enabled Airplane Mode. I never use "connect automatically" anyway.
DISABLED Windows Update.
(In past on other computer, an update corrupted dicrionary in MS IME, input method editor
to switch between English and typing complex languages with standard keyboard.)
DISABLED Bluetooth.
(Windows downloads/updloads to ANY device in range WITHOUT ANYONE'S PERMISSION!)
Set restore point. (DID NOT REBOOT b/c computer would have unfixable issues without drivers!)
Downloaded all ASUS drivers for N56JN for Windows 8.1 x64 on public computer to USB.
Transferred drivers to external drive, where I permanently save EVERYTHING.
Installed new Intel Chipset driver, Intel IME (hardware toolkit, no relation to MS input method editor).
Installed all other drivers. Created restore point.
Rebooted, verified OK.
Used computer as usual for a few weeks, installed MUCH software, made restore points, deleted old.

Tried changing order of plugging things in and booting.
Tried using "Detect" in Screen Resolution and in Add a Device (from Control Panel).
Tried using "Scan for new hardware" in Device Manager.
(Note: my GeForce 840M *CARD* shows up, just NOT a 2nd display.)
Someone came over with THEIR laptop and it works instantly (my HDMI cord/theirs both work).
Tried with TV + ASUS ON, ALL PLUGGED IN, then UNplug *TV POWER CORD*,
wait 10 seconds, plug TV in and turn it on ... no dice.
Tried rebooting WITHOUT external drive attached (read peripherals can mess with detection)
and tried all steps above again.
Tried "Show hidden devices" in Device Manager. (UNCONNECTED devices greyed out as should be.)
Read that Win 7 STILL won't show UNCONNECTED PnP devices with that...
... added the REG key for it, though Win 8.1 shouldn't need it. (Made no difference).
... VERIFIED *other* UNCONNECTED PnP devices I've used are there.
(I *DO* see my USB stick, all parititions on the external HDD, when not plugged in.
Disovered that Windows 8.1 (and other Windows) have OVERWRITTEN vendor drivers
on other people with the MS GENERIC one.
Sure enough, IOBit Uninstaller does NOT show the NVIDIA driver. It was there 2 weeks ago!
Triple-checked ASUS website for EVEN NEWER drivers (none).
Checked NVIDIA website, has MANY NEWER GeForce drivers.
Installed NEWEST GameReady driver for Win 7/8, 472.12.
Installed NEWEST SecurityUpdate driver for Win 7/8, 474.30.
Verified IOBit Uninstaller DOES show the NVIDIA driver + utility were installed.
Right-clicking on card + properties shows the NVIDIA driver being used.
However, I STILL only see "Generic PnP Monitor" in Monitors, which uses MS GENERIC.
Looked at "Details" in IOBit Uninstaller for *path*, verified files/folders/executables are there:
"C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\Installer2\Display.Driver.(49..." [LONG CHAR-STRING]
Tried right-clicking device AGAIN and BROWSING to THAT PATH SPECIFICALLY:
Windows says "The best driver for your device is already installed."

Maybe that's the way it's SUPPOSED to be, but then why isn't the TV detected?

I've also read that SOME BIOS have a setting to switch to/from HDMI, I don't.
It makes NO SENSE that HDMI won't work on a laptop that has it,
except if ASUS never put a needed driver on the website.

Did you try extend or clone monitor within windows using hotkeys? press "windows" + "P" (p twice and hit enter)

might work with hotkeys FN + F8 to switch between internal and external monitor

iobit uninstaller could be a problem too, wouldn´t use it

did you install the intel chipset and graphics drivers as well?

intel management engine installed?

BIOS version V2.42.0 is flashed?

Did you install the 840m driver for windows 8.1 64bit version 474.44?

try ubuntu live on an USB pen drive and try there again

if this won´t work, the HDMI of this laptop might just be faulty

did you try the VGA output?
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Jul 16, 2023
Thank you helpstar for your reply.

  1. Why would IOBit Uninstaller cause a problem? Is there something specific you've heard of or encountered?
  2. I installed everything on the ASUS page, including the exact versions you mentioned (I found that 474.44 from an external link on a search engine back to ASUS.)
  3. The TV does not have a VGA port.
I am considering the HDMI port could be faulty, but have 2 concerns (beyond finances):
  • So many people have had varied problems with 2nd monitor/TV over HDMI I am hesitant to assume it's faulty. I did get a Windows Update when I downloaded Visual C++ etc, and my original driver was removed (though I didn't notice it right away). Unforunately, I have never had occassion to use the HDMI before, so I can't say it if it ever worked.
  • Should I see an HDMI controller or similar in Device Manager?

As for using Linux to install BIOS, it seems there have not been any updates since v205. More's the pity.
I think my only option at this point is a USB-to-HDMI or DVI-to-HDMI adapter.


Jul 16, 2023
I will try those key-combos first, but I don't see a 2nd display so it probably won't work ...
point 1: yes, because it can delete system files, it can be problematic
point 3: you could try an old monitor or beamer to have a look if the external connectors even work

"Should I see an HDMI controller or similar in Device Manager?"

install ubuntu to an USB pen drive and boot from it, try HDMI. You won´t have to install ubuntu/linux, just boot from the stick


Jul 16, 2023
I used an Ubuntu 20.4 LTS DVD I already had .... it seems my laptop will now boot other DVDs since whatever BIOS changes I've made + presence of Windows bootloader? (I turned off secure boot to fix Windows but I tried that before). This is getting a little OT, but FYI I could only boot dban and then nothing, because all OSes were freezing and leaving crap in RAM. R.I.P LInux would not boot either, until I first ran Memtest86 directly from the boot menu .... which it seems Windows 8.1 build 9600 will also do, though I haven't tested it.

Anyway, Ubuntu does not see a 2nd display, either (I checked "Settings > Display"). I don't have other monitors to test with and can't buy one for a long time. I assume my HDMI is faulty (for now) and my friend will keep bringing over his DVD player.

Thank you, for your advice. I've tested everything I am able at this point.

FWIW, I have never experienced IOBit Uninstaller deleting anything without my permission, and the driver appears to be installed. (It was freshly installed when I was trying to use the TV as a display.) That program has saved my bacon more times than I can count ... gets rid of uninstalltion "leftovers" with few exceptions (but then the "Details" from the installation tells me where to find everything, so I can write the paths down first and double-check after). I made many restore points re-doing this computer --- every few software packages --- but I eventually want to delete interim points or there are too many, especially in the first week. (Some packages I used frequently, immediately, where others may cause errors that pop up later --- especially when several interpreters/toolkits may or may not work with each other.) Also great when testing software that will make changes to hardware config. Windows will not let you delete selected restore points, you must delete them all. I can view the order all software was installed except for '.msi's (unless they subsequently ran '.exe's). I see stuff installed by another program's installer (like QuickTime or an updated Windows Installer). That helps me decide what resotre points to delete.


Jul 16, 2023
Update: To solve the problem insofar as being able to watch movies with a friend, I bought an axGear USB 3.0/2.0 HDMI HDTV Adapter Cable External Graphics Audio Card Converter (adapter with own graphics card and driver). It was $12 before shipping so I can't complain much. It does the bare basics; my desktop is automatically duplicated to the TV. (However, there is lag/skippy video and the video gets behind the audio when playing a DVD ... this doesn't happen with a movie I tested on my external SDD, but it could be high-quality/large video is more subject to the issue. I assume the converter does no buffering.)

This doesn't solve the underlying issues, obviously (besides the likely additional issue that my HDMI maybe doesn't work):
  1. Windows Update may overwrite drivers (that actually happened to me).
  2. Windows 8.1 and up refuses to actually use unsigned drivers (whereas in 7 it would ask you), and the hardware will have a yellow triangle with exclamation point in Device Manager.
I could revert to the old driver, which otherwise worked fine, but it did not allow me to use the TV as a monitor, either. More to the point, the 474.44 SecurityUpdate Driver for GeForce 840M has security patches!

Some reasearch shows I can temporarily turn off integrity checks to get the driver installed, and that works, but it opens a security hole. Also, as soon as you turn integrity checks back on, Windows refuses to use the driver again and you see the yellow exclamation point again. (It doesn't uninstall the driver, it just refuses to use it.)

FYI for those who don't know, you can run cmd.exe as Administrator and turn off integrity checks like so:
bcdedit -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON

And you can turn checks back on like so:
bcdedit -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF

There appears to be no way to tell Windows to skip integrity checks just for a specific device or driver.

However, it seems you can create your own certificate, install said certificate information to 2 registry keys, sign a folder of files that comprise the driver, and then install it and you will have no further issue, even once your certificate expires. So much better than leaving a security hole open on your computer!

The process (1) is a little long and varies from Windows 8.1 to 10+, but it is not hard to understand. So now I have 3 questions:

Can I sign an executable installer? (Probably not, but please don't laugh. Instructions assumed you extracted files from some archive.)
Can I extract all driver files from an executable installer?
Does anyone actually know a way to tell Windows 8.1 to skip integrity checks just for a specific driver?

(1) How to Sign an Unsigned Device Driver in Windows (Windows OS Hub):

(Wow! I haven't used forums in too long ... that is cool!)
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Jul 16, 2023
What the heck is up with major manufacturers failing to sign their drivers, anyhow?


Jul 16, 2023
Bottom line, even though the drivers clearly DO have signatures (you can see in "Properties"), Windows won't allow them! It thinks they are UNsigned. I wasted several days and a whole lot of disk space downloading matching WDK + SDK (you must have the same version, but the "current" ones on the main page do not match), as well as some other signing tools and updates to Visual Studio --- just so I could try to sign the driver myself. I created a personal certificate, installed it in the required certificate stores (viewable by certlm.msc), extracted the entire contents of the Nvidia installer with 7-zip, found the directory with the actual driver (the one with the proper config file and a bunch of '.sys' files, which is a long alphanumeric string inside curly braces), and tried to sign the driver. Utimately, I was able to create and install a certificiate, but when it gets to the sign-the-driver step, it fails with something like "cannot find a certificate that matches all the criteria". Searching for this message online turns up no answers, just more people with the same problem.

I did discover that some movies (ripped to ISO) saved to my backup drive will play over the USB-to-HDMI device without skips. The biggest issue is playing off DVD --- wherever the device is picking up the stream, it does not then buffer it (watching on the computer itself there are no skips). So to watch something on a TV or other screen, I must be able to rip to ISO, even if I don't want to keep it and just delete it after to avoid filling my drive. I haven't tested MKV format yet ... I'm still not done re-doing this computer with Windows 8.1 ... I always do "testing" software last so I can use IObit Uninstaller to roll things back without issues.

Maybe I will investigate driver-signing again later, but I don't want to waste more time now, going down the rabbit hole.
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