VIA Hyperion FAQ
Author: Koroush Ghazi
Last Modified: April 2006
VIA 4.43 4-in-1s, Hyperion 4.56 and HyperionPro 5.08b
The following information is primarily sourced from:
Note: This guide is no longer being updated as I do not have access to a VIA chipset-based system. Apologies to VIA users.
What Are The VIA 4-in-1/Hyperion/HyperionPro Drivers?
These are all driver packages for your VIA chipset-based motherboard. They enhance overall system performance and stability. Originally, VIA motherboard drivers came in a package called the VIA 4-in-1 Drivers. Then in late 2002 the VIA Hyperion Drivers were introduced, which are essentially the same package of drivers with a new name. The VIA Hyperions are also referred to as the 'VIA Hyperion 4-in-1s' to reflect the fact that they continue on the 4-in-1 driver package updates. Recently, the VIA HyperionPro package has been released which continues the Hyperion drivers, and is targeted more at the latest VIA chipsets and 64-bit Operating Systems.
How Do I Identify My Motherboard Chipset?
While most motherboards are manufactured by a major company like ASUS, ABit or GigaByte, the actual chipset these companies use as the basis for the motherboard is usually made by a chipset manufacturer like VIA or Intel for example. If you are uncertain of what type of motherboard you are running, and which particular chipset model it is, there are several things you can do:
For the most part you don't need to memorize these numbers or use them specifically, the important thing is to note whether the chipset is manufactured by VIA, and the generic model number for the chipset (e.g. KT400).
Which Driver Package Should I Install?
To download the main VIA motherboard drivers, go to the VIA Arena download page, select your Operating System, and then 'Chipset or Platform Driver'. Next, as mentioned above, there are three driver packages available for VIA-based systems: the legacy 4-in-1 Drivers, the recent Hyperion Drivers and the newer HyperionPro Drivers. Which you install depends on the age of your VIA motherboard, and the type of Operating System you are running:
If you prefer to locate and download another version of the 4-in-1s or Hyperions, go to Guru3D.
What Are the Components of the VIA Driver Package?
The VIA Driver package for your system contains several components - hence they were originally called 4-in-1 drivers: they contained 4 separate drivers in one package. The latest Hyperion/HyperionPro package automatically detects your operating system and will install only what is necessary. The main drivers in the various VIA Driver packages have the following function:
Do I Have To Install The Latest VIA Drivers?
The short answer is no, you don't have to install the latest drivers unless you have a very recent VIA chipset (like the KT4##, K8T8##, P4X4## or newer) - in which case yes you should definitely upgrade, both for added performance, greater stability and compatibility. If you're using Windows XP, it already has an older default version of the main VIA drivers built in and will install them when it detects your VIA motherboard. This XP default version should work just fine with all but the latest VIA motherboards. However if you are experiencing difficulties on your VIA-based system, each newer version of the Hyperion drivers may contain fixes for particular applications and games.
How Do I Install The Hyperions Correctly?
This is incredibly simple. Download the appropriate driver package into an empty folder. Run the executable and follow the prompts. For most users select 'Quick install' option and it will not prompt you for which drivers to install/uninstall - it will simply install the correct drivers for your system. For advanced users select 'Normal Install' and manually choose which drivers you want to install/uninstall. Once the drivers are installed, reboot your machine as requested and the drivers are now updated. That's it. There's no trickery required. It is very important that you don't run the Hyperion package in Win2K Compatibility Mode or in Safe Mode, as this can result in the wrong drivers being installed for your system.
If you get an error like "Windows can't run 16bit program" when trying to run the driver package then don't panic. Simply reboot your machine and the package should run fine the next time you try. This is not a compatibility problem, just a problem with the temp files when the package first unzips itself.
How Do I Check The VIA Driver Versions On My System?
If you want to check whether the components of the VIA driver package have installed correctly, and which versions of the VIA drivers you are running and/or to manually update individual devices, do the following:
To check which version of the Hyperions/4in1s you have installed, go to Start>Run and type "Regedit" (without quotes). Expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key (click the + next to it). Expand the SOFTWARE Key and scroll down to the Via4in1Driver folder and click on it. You should see an entry called "4in1 Version" with the version number next to it (e.g. 4.56). The Viamach entry refers to the INF Driver version.
Individual Device Checking/Updating
To check and/or update individual devices, go into Control Panel>System>Hardware>Device Manager, then open the relevant sub-section. For example, to check your AGP Driver, go to the System Devices subsection, and double-click on the 'VIA CPU to AGP Controller' (or similar) item, then under the Driver tab you can see the Driver Provider, the Driver Version, and the Driver Date. If these don't appear to be very recent (e.g. the Provider is listed as Microsoft), then you can update each device manually by doing the following:
1. Manually unzip the VIA Driver package. Even if the package is an .exe file, you can extract the contents using Winzip. Simply run Winzip, choose Open and point it to the driver's .exe file, and extract the contents to an empty folder.
2. Go to the relevant device in Device Manager (see above) then choose Update Driver>'Install from a list or specific location'>'Don't search, I will choose the driver to install'>'Have Disk' and manually point Windows to the folder where you unzipped the package. You may have to find a subfolder with the correct driver .inf file (e.g. the IDEWinXP Folder).
3. Reboot as requested and check the driver version. It should be updated now.
What About Other VIA Drivers?
You should install the relevant 4-in-1/Hyperion/HyperionPro package to begin with. However if your system has other VIA components and/or you're still experiencing problems, try the ollowing:
Installing Windows on SATA Drives/Setting up SATA RAID
If you're trying to install Windows on your VIA chipset which has a Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive and/or if you are trying to set up a SATA RAID array, follow this brief VIA SATA Guide from VIA.
A common problem on older VIA chipsets is audio problems such as crackling and hissing. If you're experiencing such problems with audio or poor audio performance, try the Latency Patch v0.19 or beta version 0.20. You can download this directly from the patch author: George E Breese's Website. George also has a Creative SoundBlaster Live!/Audigy soundcard patch which should reduce any audio crackling with these cards on a VIA chipset. Check it out here.
General System Optimization
Finally, it is strongly recommended that you check out my comprehensive and free TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for all the information you need to optimize your system, because in almost every case I've seen, what people think are problems caused by VIA Drivers are actually general system optimization issues, so make sure you follow the guide first before blaming the drivers.
Keep coming back as I update this guide for new versions of the VIA Drivers.