Question Windows refuses to use Nvidia card in laptop (GT540M)

Sep 16, 2019
I have a laptop with a GT540M,
I noticed when trying to run games, they would always state that the only GPU available is Intel HD graphics 3000.
I've tried setting everything to use the Nvidia card in the nvidia 3d settings control panel, but this doesn't help.
After lots of googling, the suggestions being made were often just "change the display adapter in the bios"
My BIOS has no option to change which card is in use though.

I've tried going into device manager, where I can see both Intel HD Graphics 3000, and Nvidia GT540M,

I disabled the HD graphics 3000, hoping it would then realise, "Oh yeah, there's actually a graphics card in here, guess i'll revert to that one then"
But nope, checked what display adapter my laptop was using after disabling that, and it had reverted to "Microsoft basic display adapter". Argh.
It's there, why isn't there a simple option to change your display adapter in windows, seems like such an obvious thing.....

Anyway, if anyone knows of a workaround, would be greatly appreciated


Windows updates and using reference drivers can cause the dual graphics switch to break.

Uninstall the graphics card drivers, run DDU to wipe them. Download the drivers from the laptop vendor site, including checking for BIOS and chipset drivers. Install the Intel graphics drivers, then the nVidia ones, see if the graphics swap works.