Today I noticed a new optional package on Windows Update with the name NVIDIA driver update for NVIDIA Quadro NVS 150M and I made the mistake of installing it to my Windows 8.1 computer.
When the message displayed that Windows started to download the 300MB installer I naively thought, that it is no problem, because Windows will use only the few-megabyte really useful files and drop the rest. On the contrary, a few minutes later I lost 12 GB free disk space from my C: drive. Losing 12 GB free disk space on an SSD drive is always frustrating, but when it is your last 12 GB, it is especially painful.
WinDirStat clearly showed that the C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository folder consumes the majority of my disk space. This folder contained a number of 300MB folder which name started with “nv”. I could peek into the driver store using DISM from the command line:
dism /online /get-drivers /format:table
But I prefer to use the free DriverStore Explorer from CodePlex which displays a nice GUI (this is my driver store after the cleanup):
If there would have been only a single NVIDIA driver in this list I would have clicked the Delete Package button, but in my case this list contained at least 30 NVIDIA items. So which can I safely delete?
In Windows 8.1 the Disk Cleanup utility has an option to delete unneeded device driver packages, so I tried it:
Unfortunately it could reclaim exactly zero bytes disk space, which didn’t really help.
The Program and Windows window showed that I installed the 327.02 version from Windows Update, so I went to the NVIDIA Drivers Download page where I happily saw that a newer, 331.65 version is already available. Although this package is also over 200MB in size, the manual installation may give me more control.
After successfully downloading the latest version, I uninstalled the old one, and using the Next-Next-Finish installation wizard I installed the new driver. In this way I not only had the option to install nView or now, but by checking the Perform a clean installation checkbox I could clean up all the remaining parts of the previous version:
The installation was quick and seamless, and I not only got my free disk space back, but I also have a more up-to-date driver (this is WHQL tested as well).
I think this was my last attempt to install an NVIDIA driver from Windows Update.