Issues Launching Vulkan

Hi there! I’m having some issues with Vulkan on my rig and I’ve reached my wit’s end.
I’ve uninstalled + reinstalled the SDK and runtime multiple times, as well as doing a clean wipe and reinstall of the Vulkan configurator as well, but I simply can’t get any game that runs with Vulkan to launch. I have to run the apps via DirectX or OpenGL.

The error that I always get via the configurator is that it cannot find a loader, but I can’t seem to remedy this in any way.

Does anyone have any idea what I can try next to fix it? Cheers!

Have you installed the drivers for your GPU? What GPU are you using?

Hi! Thank you for your response! I’ve installed the most recent GeForce drivers from Nvidia. I currently have version 535.98 installed via GeForce Experience. I have an Nvidia RTX 3090. I’m going to attempt rolling back drivers to a much earlier version as this issue seems to have shown up only this year with the newer batch of drivers. Will report back.

Are there Vulkan-specific drivers that I can install to help remedy the issue?

Games have nothing to do with SDK. SDKs are for programmers only.

But while you have it installed, you could use VIA to get details.

I’ve gone ahead and searched for the VIA, but it’s nowhere to be found in the SDK directory. I’m assuming this might be part of the problem? Is there any way that I can download the VIA by itself?

\VulkanSDK\1.3.250.0\Bin\vkvia.exe

Just ran it. Here’s the message I received :

VIA_ERROR: Vulkan Loader, Layer, or Driver ran out of memory.

I’ve gone ahead and verified that the system has more than ample amounts of memory, yet the issue remains. I’m not sure what else to try tbh.

Yea, something clearly rotten in your system.

Unless you keep to 640k, then memory amount is not the problem. It is some kind of initialization error.

Check if you have multiple drivers installed, and actually disable iGPU in bios (setting may have some exotic name like “multimonitor” or “Virtua Somethingorother”. I am assuming this is desktop?

Actually uninstall drivers. And everything else you might have installed in desperation. Ideally probably without internet, so Windows Update does not do some nonsense (you want to uninstall all the way to the basic failsafe VESA drivers). Don’t install SDK back if you do not intend to develop. Check for leftovers. All vulkan*.dll should be gone from C:\Windows\System32 and SysWOW64. Search for Vulkan related *.jsons. Check registry for VulkanDriverName. And check HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Khronos\Vulkan\Drivers and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Khronos\Vulkan\Drivers – these are legacy locations, and definitely shouldn’t exist.

Another thing that can cause problem is 3rd party software that injects itself to other apps (that includes screencap software, Steam, but even things you would not expect like mouse software). This is either through the mechanism of Implicit Vulkan Layers, or through generic win32 hooks. Layers installed with the drivers should be discoverable in the json file pointed to by VulkanImplicitLayers in registry (those shoul be gone if the drivers are uninstalled). Rest should be listed in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Khronos\Vulkan\ImplicitLayers and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Khronos\Vulkan\ImplicitLayers to give you an idea what to try to uninstall. As for dll injection, something like Process Explorer could be used to see which dlls are loaded in running app. Things that are not vulkan-1.dll or NVidia or Microsoft would be candidates to check out to which software suit they belong to (and trying to uninstall them).

Installing latest driver package from nvidia.com should be all that is needed to run Vulkan apps.

In case you haven’t already tried this, when installing the NVIDIA Graphics Drivers, have you selected the “Clean Install” button. It’s easy to try. Before you resort to manually uninstalling packages.

If you end up going that route though… For display driver uninstallation help, I’ve read good things about DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller). That said, I haven’t used it personally.

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