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:

VIA Arena - The Official VIA Support Site

Note: This guide is no longer being updated as I do not have access to a VIA chipset-based system.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:

  • Read your motherboard manual, as it usually contains a description of your motherboard chipset in the Specifications section. Look for the word VIA next to any of the chipset names - this indicates that at least a section your motherboard chipset is manufactured by VIA.
  • Download and use one of the System Specification Tools covered in my free TweakGuides Tweaking Companion.
  • Go to Control Panel>System>Hardware>Device Manager and under the 'System Devices' section look for the chipset name and model numbers listed against items like the 'PCI Bridge', 'Host Controller' and 'Processor to AGP Controller' entries.

  • 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:

  • Any VIA Motherboard with Windows x64 or Windows Server 2003 64-bit: Download and install the latest HyperionPro package.
  • A Recent VIA Motherboard with Windows XP Home/Pro: Download and install the latest HyperionPro package. Note, recent motherboards include the KT4## series, P4X4## series and newer. Also note, if you are not using SATA or RAID functionality, you can download and install the regular Hyperion drivers instead.
  • A Non-Recent VIA Motherboard with Windows XP Home/Pro: You do not need to install any VIA drivers - the default Windows XP drivers are fine. However make sure you have updated to Windows XP SP2.
  • A VIA Motherboard with Windows 95/98/SE/ME: Download and install the 4.43 VIA 4-in-1 package. The newer VIA drivers are not optimized for these older Operating Systems.
  • A VIA Motherboard with Windows 2000: Download and install the latest Hyperion package. The HyperionPro package does not contain the IDE Filter driver required for Win2K.

  • 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:

  • VIA INF Driver: Enables the VIA Power Management function.
  • VIA AGP Driver: Provides service routines to your VGA driver and interface directly to hardware, providing fast graphical access.
  • VIA IDE Filter Driver: Enables the performance enhancing bus mastering functions on ATA-capable Hard Disk Drives and ensures IDE device compatibility, also known as the ATAPI Vendor Support Driver.
  • VIA RAID Driver: Enables SATA/RAID functionality on chipsets which have a RAID controller.
  • VIA PCI IRQ Miniport Driver: Sets the system's PCI IRQ routing sequence (Win98).
  • VIA IDE Bus Master Driver: Enables performance enhancing bus mastering functions (WinNT).

  • 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:

    Hyperion/4in1 Version:

    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:

  • If you have ATA drives, install the VIA IDE Accelerator Driver (Select OS then IDE, RAID & SATA to access the VIA IDE Accelerator Drivers - more details here). Note that some users have reported problems with these.
  • If you have VIA Onboard Audio instead of a separate sound card, install the VIA Audio Drivers (Select your OS then Audio to access the Audio drivers).
  • If you are using an integrated graphics chipset and not a separate graphics card, you will need to install the VIA Graphics Controller Drivers (Select your OS then Integrated Graphics to access the graphics chipset drivers).
  • If you have an integrated Ethernet controller/NIC install the VIA Networking Drivers (Select your OS then Ethernet (Networking/LAN) to access the integrated Ethernet drivers).
  • If you have a RAID drive configuration, install the VIA RAID Drivers (Select your OS then IDE, RAID & SATA to access the RAID drivers).
  • For USB problems, install the VIA USB Drivers (Select your OS then USB to access the USB drivers).
  • Don't install the old 3014 Miniport drivers. They are not necessary for most systems. If your system identifies your IDE drives as SCSI, or you have a long black screen on loadup, then you've installed these drivers. Go into Add/Remove programs and remove them.
  • Don't install the AGP Drivers separately, as the latest version of these is contained in the new Hyperion package and is installed as part of that package. Don't try to install older versions of the AGP Driver over the newer Hyperions.

  • 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.

    Audio Problems

    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.