From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
I relate this tale primarily because I couldn’t find a clear answer online, and it may well be that others have this problem.
In a nutshell; Windows 8.1 hid my nVidia card from my system. Once I updated Windows 8 to 8.1 (mainly by getting sick of seeing those pestering message every week) the card was… not gone. Just not being used by anything. Naturally this created game issues. Rome II wasn’t having a bar of the Intel card Steam said was my system’s only option. Neither was Civ 5. Other programs were also only seeing the Intel card, including the settings for the intel card.
So the card was there, still visible in Control Panel, working correctly, updated drivers, but no programs could see it. Okay then.
There was no rollback option for the 8.1 upgrade. While I’m sure I saw the computer creating a restore point before the upgrade, there was none. I guess it was created in Windows 8, which was gone now? Something called Windows System Refresh was offering to delete everything I had installed (games, office etc) but wasn’t offering explicitly to roll back to Windows 8. So no help there.
The nVidia control panel was still active as it was there I found the answer. So if this happens to you, do this:
1. Go into your nVidia control panel
2. On the left side, select ‘Manage 3D Settings’
3. On the right, under ‘preferred graphics processor’ select ‘High Performance nVidia processor’
Success! I hope, because this worked for me.
Certainly there was nothing in the laughable intel control panel to make that card not be the default any more. Looks like nVidia came through. Weirdly no other systems settings appear to have been affected, and why that one was, which is as the computer came, I have no idea. Even setting I changed myself in Windows 8 were retained for 8.1, but not this.