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Microsoft data shows NVIDIA caused bulk of Vista crashes

When Windows Vista first hit market, some driver issues were to be expected as hardware manufacturers moved existing components to the new OS from Windows XP. As is natural for new items, the enthusiast community was among the first to embrace the new operating system.

The incompatibilities were part due to Vista incorporating Microsoft’s DirectX 10 promising better graphics and physics in PC games. At the time, the high-end G80 graphics cards were some of the most popular graphics cards on the market including the NVIDIA 8800 GTS, GTX, and Ultra.

NVIDIA had driver problems with of Vista and DirectX 10 from the get go and delayed their first driver from a December 2006 release to a January 2007 release. Even once the driver hit market, there were wide spread reports of crashes because of NVIDIA drivers.

The problem with reports of buggy drivers is that no one can really tell if the drivers are actually at fault, or if the computer experiencing the driver crash has some other underlying problem contributing to the crash.

As part of the ongoing Vista Capable class action lawsuit, Microsoft released data on exactly what drivers caused the bulk of logged Windows Vista crashes. The number one culprit of Vista crashes related to driver failure was NVIDIA at 28.8%. Microsoft only broke logged crashes out for a few companies including NVIDIA, Intel (8.8%) and ATI (9.3%). Microsoft’s data shows that it was responsible for 17.9% of logged crashes.

The main early adopters of Vista were PC enthusiasts; the hardware of choice for PC enthusiasts at the time was NVIDIA G80 GPUs so it would be natural that more crashes would be logged as caused by a NVIDIA driver. Ars Technica also points out that the Microsoft data doesn’t specify if the crashes logged are from multiple machines or a group of particularly error prone computers experiencing multiple crashes.

DailyTech reported on the original suit being filed in April 2007. The suit alleged that Microsoft knowingly deceived customers with Windows Vista. The suit was given class action status in February 2008.



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Pretty odd
By i4mt3hwin on 3/26/2008 4:10:48 PM , Rating: -1
On my gaming system I run dual 8800GTX's in SLI configuration and have been using SP1 since one of the early leaked betas. I haven't run into any issues involving nvidia driver updates or anything.

My most common issue has been with sound (Creative X-Fi) and second with a weird control panel bug that makes the icons disappear. Other then that Vista has been pretty stable for me.




RE: Pretty odd
By GreenEnvt on 3/26/2008 4:12:14 PM , Rating: 5
The issue wasn't with SP1, but Vista itself back at launch time.

It should be noted, Microsoft wasn't placing any blame here or pointing figures, they just released stats on number of crash reports submitted.


RE: Pretty odd
By ChronoReverse on 3/26/2008 4:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
I hope people notice that. This isn't Microsoft accusing Nvidia, but rather the raw numbers that MS was subpoenaed for that seems to indicate that.

AFAIK it's pretty accurate too since Nvidia had really bad Vista drivers up to autumn 2007


RE: Pretty odd
By Xodus Maximus on 3/26/2008 5:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
wasn't placing any blame here or pointing fingers ,they just released stats on number of crash reports submitted

I assume you meant fingers, if not I suppose you can call them "pointy figures" too ;)

You make a very good point, when NVidia drives crash they do it "gracefully" so an error report gets created (if you left that feature turned on). My crash experience with my ATI cards have been outright "Blue Screen of Death" on my 3850 and occasional "Green Screen of Annoyance" while watching videos on my X200.

I am betting that these do not get reported, so these stats are truly worthless...


RE: Pretty odd
By ChronoReverse on 3/26/2008 5:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you've turned it off, BSOD's can be tracked and sent to MS.

As for your BSOD's which version of the catalysts are you using? So far the 8.3's have been solid on my Vista 64 SP1 installation with my stock 3850.


RE: Pretty odd
By Xodus Maximus on 3/26/2008 9:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
I never remember getting the "Click here to send report to MS" option after any of the blue screens, not once, maybe a report is generated behind the scenes, but my firewall would have caught it and it never did. That was my point, no report after a BSOD equals incomplete statistics. Oh, and I never turned off the reporting feature...

quote:
which version of the catalysts are you using?

I actually had to reboot into Vista (32bit no SP1) on my main system with the 3850 to find out, apparently its Catalyst 8.1, and on the same system XP has 8.2, so I'm really behind the times...but my card runs absolutely fine except when it gets too hot at about 60C, then in both OS's it does a BSOD, regardless of drivers, recently my fix was to wire an unused Rosewill fan speed controller to the 3850's fan, now when it gets to hot I manually turn it up.

Thanks, I will try 8.3 and hope that the driver will have a more graceful handling of whatever is happening with my card(though it hasn't happened in a while), rather than a BSOD, but im not holding my breath ;)


RE: Pretty odd
By killerroach on 3/26/2008 4:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
Consider yourself lucky, then... I like Vista, and even I had just about had it with the state of nVidia's drivers, especially at the beginning (I beta-tested the OS on a 6600, have had an 8800GTS more recently).


RE: Pretty odd
By Locutus465 on 3/26/2008 5:11:40 PM , Rating: 2
I can personally confirm that the early nvidia drivers were crap, but they got better. Now they function very well, at least for every PC game I've tried.


RE: Pretty odd
By darkpaw on 3/26/2008 6:55:52 PM , Rating: 3
They've fixed, most of the issues, but not all.

Early nvidia drivers blue screened constantly. It is the only thing I've seen BSoD Vista. The current drivers still have some issues like Sins of a Solar Empire. Lots of UI lock ups and an occasional hard lock.


RE: Pretty odd
By Locutus465 on 3/27/2008 9:58:01 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, well fortunetly I have yet to see a single Vista blue screen. The main issues I had was with games running, all of mine run now. The only PC games I play these days are

Oblivion
Quake 4
Doom 3
F.E.A.R
Half life 2 + episode 1
Some Crysis demo, but slow on my system

Everything else is Wii-60
Holdem poker
Mahjong Titans


RE: Pretty odd
By MonkeyPaw on 3/26/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pretty odd
By MonkeyPaw on 3/26/2008 8:20:28 PM , Rating: 1
This is strange, I just posted the above comment seconds ago and it's already rated at "1." Is something broken?


RE: Pretty odd
By Etsp on 3/27/2008 12:17:52 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing is broken, you simply replied to a comment that was rated at -1. The default rating on replies to these types of comments are 1. I am assuming this is to prevent flame wars, thought it's not entirely effective >.>


"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen














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