While working on a co-worker’s computer today, I came across a curious problem. The computer in question was being upgraded to Windows 7, and was configured to support four monitors via two Matrox G450 PCI video cards. These cards have been around quite awhile and have been supported from Windows 2000 through Server 2008 R2, so I figured I would have no issue installing the new OS.
When all was said and done, Windows could not locate the drivers for the video cards on the installation DVD, nor could it install them via Windows Update. So, I did what any normal person would do, and headed straight for Matrox’s web site.
Much to my dismay they did not seem to have any drivers listed for these cards for Windows 7. The closest I could come to the proper drivers was this set of WHQL drivers meant for Windows Server 2008 x64 and Server 2008 R2. When I tried installing the drivers, my video cards were detected properly, but the installer simply could not finish the job. Each time I tried, the installer would fail.
I went through the standard procedure of attempting to update the driver via the Device Manager, only to be told that no better driver could be found. Even when I selected to locate the driver myself and picked the folder where the Matrox installer had extracted all of its files, I simply could not install the driver.
I returned to the Device Manager and selected to update my drivers once again. I chose to locate the driver on my own, but instead of simply picking the folder this time around, I clicked “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”. From that dialog window, I clicked the “Have Disk” button and again browsed to the folder where the Matrox installer extracted its files. I looked through the list of .inf files in the directory and one caught my eye – it was named W7G4G5.inf. I opened the file in a text editor to take a look around, and after poking around for a few moments, I knew I had the file I wanted. The file’s name signified that it was meant for all G4XX and G5XX Matrox cards running under Windows 7.
I selected the file and clicked OK. The Windows Hardware wizard presented a box asking me to pick between the Matrox G450 PCI card and the Matrox G450 PCI card. Decisions, decisions. In the end, I picked the first card in the list and let Windows do its thing. Everything installed properly and I was on my way.
The whole process is actually quite simple, but for the uninitiated, it can be a daunting problem. I imagine that most people would end up digging around online looking for a driver pack that does not exist, so hopefully this saves somebody a bit of hair pulling and a lot of time. I really have no idea why the installer comes packaged with the proper Windows 7 drivers, but is unable to actually install the software. Either way, it’s an easy fix.