Installing the latest Intel HD Graphics Driver on Microsoft Surface Pro, Pro 2 and Pro 3

The Microsoft Surface Pro, Pro 2 and Pro 3 fetch all needed device drivers from Windows Update. This is a very neat thing because you don’t have to bother with searching and manually installing them.

The only problem I see there is that the graphics drivers for the Intel HD Graphics chipset are not up to date with the most recent upstream driver from Intel. As I occasionally play games (also my Surface is plugged in to A/C the most of the time I am using it) I want the best GPU performance possible (read: latest driver). The Microsoft-provided Intel GPU driver is a customized version – mainly to to optimize the battery life and ‘fit’ the device more nicely. It is probably not a good idea to follow this post if you mainly use the Surface on battery power. Feel free to read on if you have your reasons to install the latest driver.

If you have downloaded the most recent GPU driver from Intels Download Center and try to install it, you will most likely get an error that reads something like “The driver being installed is not validated for this computer. Please obtain the appropriate driver from the computer manufacturer.”.

There are numerous of threads in the internet which suggest to disable Driver Signature Enforcement but this is a bad and hackish thing.

Update: Lee points out that is is now possible to download the zipped driver directly from Intel Download Center, no more need to use 7-Zip.

The driver can be installed much easier:

  1. Obtain Lastest Intel HD Graphics Driver (.zip) from Intel Download Center
    1. Selsect “Graphics”, “Laptop graphics driver” and the chipset (for example the Surface Pro 1 uses a 3rd gen HD4000)
    2. Select your Operating System and download the driver
  2. Install 7-Zip
  3. Right click the downloaded .exe and select “Extract to …”
  4. Right click the bottom left corner on your desktop and select “Device Manager”
  5. Open “Display adapters”, right click the graphics card and hit “Update Driver Software…”
  6. Select the “Browser my computer for driver software”
  7. Select “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”
  8. Click “Have Disk…” and browser to the extracted Intel Driver Software!
  9. In the subfolder “Graphics” open the .inf file
  10. Now click “Ok” and continue installing the driver by hitting “Next”…

Once the driver was installed this way, you can upgrade to the next version just by running the Intel Driver installer Exe.
This may be needed after the first time, if the right-click-menu on the desktop shows “Unable to load resource”, where the Intel Control Center menu entries should be.

Enjoy your updated graphics drivers and the now available Intel Control Panel.