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Nvidia Can Steal GB's from Your Hard Drive

Nvidia Can Steal GB's from Your Hard Drive By Le Papy - Last updated on Wednesday, October 28, 2015
2505 Views :: 4 Comments :: Article Rating (Total Votes: 1)
Category: Pinnacle Studio 20 & S16-S19 Tutorials / General  -  Previous tutorials
Published on Saturday, October 31, 2015
Created on Sunday, August 30, 2015 8:48 PM
 

There were a few times, I showed in the tutorial Red Giant Installs Itself on Your Hard Drive, how to recover some megabytes on your SSD. I grant you, even on an SSD, it may still not be the most important objective. But today I am speaking to computer users with an Nvidia © graphics card to tell you that I have recovered more than 5 gigabytes on my SSD ... Yes, you read that right: More than 5 Gigabytes!

Step 1: The Graphics Card Driver Upgrade

We always recommend that you do your video editing with the latest graphics card driver. If graphics card manufacturers publish new drivers as often as they do, surely there must be a reason. We often see display issues posted by users on the forums. These incidents are often fixed with an updated driver for the graphics card. So it's not a question of reducing how often you update drivers but still, we must be vigilant about the updating process. Nvidia recommends running it as an administrator with your anti-virus stopped, uninstalling the old driver from the Control Panel, and then restart Windows to delete the old files. If you do not follow these instructions, you must not forget to clean your hard disk to delete old files. As a user of Nvidia cards, I can speak to you only of the latter. I leave it to other cards users to see if other manufacturers suggest the same.

Step 2: Procedure used by Nvidia

We always recommend you visit the manufacturer's website for your card to look for the latest driver. Do not just ask Windows if your driver is up to date because it is much more lax in this respect than the actual manufacturer of your card.

Nvidia website allows you to subscribe, in which case you receive an email when an update becomes available. You can manually search for your driver if you know your card specs or allow Nvidia to scan your PC automatically to detect your card type. I remind you again that Nvidia recommends that you uninstall the old driver from the Control Panel and restart Windows so the old files are removed. If you do not, the installation will be carried out anyway but the old files will not be deleted.

After downloading the file from the manufacturer's site, you have an executable file of the form : XXX.XX-desktop-win7-win8-winvista- 64bit-international-whql.exe.

Double clicking on the executable file launches the installer and the first window offers to unzip the files to a folder on the C: drive which is likely to be your SSD. In this case :

  1. Feel free to replace the letter C with that of another hard drive. Extraction will be done on another drive and it will be better.
  2. Click OK.

This one simple change eliminates more than 250 folders and 600 files totaling over 500 MB for each driver update. Even if it is not on your SSD, don't forget to delete the old unzipped files that will remain in your NVIDIA\DisplayDriver folder if you don't take action.

Decompression proposal on drive C:

Changing the default path

The driver installation window will then open. You were able to edit the installation path of the extraction folder but now that's over and the driver installation will be done automatically on the system disk.

NVIDIA recommends using the Express option. In this case, all components will be installed on your system disk (possibly SSD), even the ones you do not use... and your SSD swells ...

I recommend you use the Custom option to select only the components you want to install.

Installation Options driver

Of course, you can not clear the installation of the graphics driver, but you can uncheck all others if you do not use them .

Note the presence of the check box "Perform a New Installation" which gives you the option to do a clean install.

Custom installation options
  • PhysX system software has not changed, so I unchecked that box.
  • I am not a gamer and I do not use the 3D Vision capabilities. Similarly, I do not participate to the NVIDIA Geforce Experience operation. So I don't install that.
  • I use the HD audio driver (but it has not changed, so I unchecked that box.).
  • I also do not use the driver of the 3D Vision Controller (visible by using the scroll bar).

Still, a few megabytes are saved on my SSD ...

Selecting components to install
Step 3 : We come to 5 gigabytes ...

Each time you install a new version of a driver, the installer copies the driver files to C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository which includes all the drivers installed on your PC. This folder is protected by Windows and you can not edit its contents, even as administrator and even after restarting your computer in safe mode (F8 key).

But every time you install a new Nvidia driver without removing the old driver from the Control Panel and restarting Windows, new files are created and are never deleted. According to the updates, 1-5 folders are copied with the installation options that I have selected. They all begin with nv... and their sizes vary. I didn't follow my own advice and went two years without deleting old drivers from the Control Panel. I deleted some thirty folders and my SSD displayed  5.5 GB more space freed up. If several files have identical names beginning with nv..., only the last set is used.

 

  1. I spotted the following folders:
  • nv_dispi.inf_amd64_neutral_....
  • nv_lh.inf_amd64_neutral_...
  • nvhda.inf_amd64_neutral_...
  • nvraid.inf_amd64_neutral_
  • nvstusb.inf_amd64_neutral_...
  1. At the last update 03/30/2015 a new folder is created and the same beginning name folder from 03/05/2015 is no longer used. It can be deleted to recover precious megabytes.
The store drivers
Step 4 : Deleting Unnecessary folders

As I intimated earlier, you can't delete these folders with the method you normally use. You should understand that you will be overriding some safety systems on your computer and these are delicate procedures that require a lot of attention to detail. I disavow any liability for wrong moves on your part. The ideal situation is to make a backup disk image before the cleaning process so you can recover from any disastrous errors.

As an Administrator, you will need to assign the ownership of the folder in order to delete it otherwise access will be denied to you by Windows. Then you can change the ACL (Access Control List) of the folder in question in order to remove it. Commands are launched from a "Command Prompt" window.

To open a "Command Prompt" window from the Windows command interpreter:

  1. Look for the cmd.exe program by entering the letters cmd.
  2. Click cmd.exe

Opening a Windows command interpreter window

When opening the "Command Prompt" window in Windows command interpreter:

  1. Make sure you are listed as administrator.
  2. By clicking on the text/icon at the top left, you can change the window properties.
Paramétrage de la fenêtre de l'interpréteur de commandes

 

  1. Open the folder to delete in Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the path to that folder in the explorer title bar.
  3. Select "Copy as Text".

Comme le chemin du dossier à supprimer est assez long, je vous conseille de l'enregistrer dans le presse-papier.

Copy the folder path to delete in the clipboard

From the command prompt,

  1. Type in the TAKEOWN command, one space, and the /f parameter to specify the name of the file or folder.
  2. After the /f parameter, leave a space and right click and paste the path of the folder contents from the clipboard.
Entering the command takeown

Your command prompt window then appears as follows:

  1. The TAKEOWN command and its parameter.
  2. The full path of the folder to be deleted.
  3. Add a space and then the /r (recursive to take control of all the files in the folder) and /d o (for an execution report and agreement to take ownership of files).
  4. Run the command with the "Enter" key.
Details of the command line takeown

Since you added the /d parameter, a report is made available to you for the folder and each item in the folder.

Since you also added the o parameter, you are now the owner of all files and folders in the folder to delete. Note your user name, you'll need it ...

Result of the command

Now that you own the file, you must change the permissions of these files: ACL (Access Control List). This is the ICACLS command that will allow you to do so.

  1. Enter the ICACLS command.
  2. After the command, leave one space and right click, then paste the path of the folder contents from the clipboard.
Entering the command icacls

Your command prompt window then appears as follows:

  1. The ICACLS command.
  2. The full path of the folder to be deleted.
  3. Add a space and then the /grant (special rights user) parameter, one space, your user name followed immediately by :f.
  4. Run the command with the "Enter" key.
Details of the command line ICACLS
A report is provided. The folder was successfully processed. Now that you are the "game master", you can delete the folder and its contents with no interference from Windows. Report execution
Step 5 : Bonus

If you have many folders to delete you can create a batch file that might look like this:


@ECHO OFF
CLS
REM Removing a Windows protected folder in  C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository

ECHO.
SET /p FOLDER="FOLDER TO DELETE ? :  "
IF NOT EXIST "C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\%FOLDER%" GOTO ABNORMALEND

REM Appropriating the file
TAKEOWN /f  "C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\%FOLDER%"  /r /d o     

REM Modify the access control lists
ICACLS "C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\%FOLDER%" /grant Put your_user_name here:f

REM Deleting Folder Contents
DEL "C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\%FOLDER%"
PAUSE
GOTO END

:ABNORMALEND
ECHO.
ECHO                 FOLDER NOT FOUND
ECHO.
PAUSE

:END
SET FOLDER
EXIT /B


You can copy the text above and paste it into Notepad, insert your_user_name where indicated and save the file with a .bat extension.

When the batch program asks you the name of the folder to be deleted, specify only the folder name (without its full path) with copy / paste the folder name to delete.

After running the batch file, the folder contents have been emptied, you can manually delete the folder itself.

It's a bit long to explain but very easy to make ... and it pays off handsomely : 5.5 GB on a SSD, it all adds up! surprise

{Thanks to Loosecannon for the fine tuning}

{Screen Captures were made with the help of Snagit 12 by TechSmith}

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Comments
Bernd Gaykema By # Bernd Gaykema @ Saturday, October 31, 2015 8:03 PM
Hi,
It would be very helpful if your screen shots should show the English version of Windows.

Thanks.

Le Papy By # Le Papy @ Sunday, November 1, 2015 8:05 AM
Hi,
it's easy to criticize, but hard to act...
We are French volunteers to make live this website and we are working within our means. Do you have a proposal?
Regards,

Grant By # Grant @ Monday, November 9, 2015 9:51 PM
Having problem with the following line:
TAKEOWN /f "C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\%FOLDER%" /r /d o

It refuses to take the o - indicates that it is an invalid command.

What can I change?

Le Papy By # Le Papy @ Monday, November 9, 2015 10:22 PM
Hello Grant,
o=OUI in French... I suppose that is Y (Yes) in English.
Try changing the o with Y (or y) and tell me if it works, I will modify the English version of the tutorial.
Regards,

 
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