Print 64 comment(s) - last by afkrotch.. on Mar 31 at 1:26 PM

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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Thats It!
By mikefarinha on 3/26/2008 4:15:49 PM , Rating: 4
Thats it, I'm buying a Mac!

Thats it, I'm *upgrading* to XP!

Thats it, I'm downloading Linux!

Did I forget anything?

RE: Thats It!
By mmntech on 3/26/2008 4:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
Done, done, and done. Linux and the latest ATI drivers don't seem to get along though. I can't get my HD 3850 working properly.

I'm sure Vista works fine for a lot of people but I'm going to wait for it to mature first until I get it. XP gave me a lot of headaches but now it runs rock stable and Vista has nothing to offer me other than DX10.

RE: Thats It!
By HeelyJoe on 3/26/2008 4:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
Did you use Envy to install the drivers? If not, try that.

RE: Thats It!
By howarchaic on 3/26/2008 4:38:25 PM , Rating: 3
Aren't ATI's drivers going opensores?

RE: Thats It!
By freaqie on 3/26/2008 4:50:47 PM , Rating: 2
not really there are omega drivers though

RE: Thats It!
By zshift on 3/26/2008 5:43:43 PM , Rating: 3
i thought omega drivers were for windows only though

RE: Thats It!
By sc3252 on 3/26/08, Rating: -1
RE: Thats It!
By afkrotch on 3/31/2008 1:26:46 PM , Rating: 1
Releasing some of your information and not all of it, is hardly open source. Even then, it's someone else making the drivers, so can you really say that it's AMD/ATI's drivers?

I'm going with, they aren't open source.

RE: Thats It!
By EntreHoras on 3/26/2008 5:00:23 PM , Rating: 5


OMG no thanks!!!

RE: Thats It!
By smitty3268 on 3/26/2008 10:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
They're releasing specs and helping developers create a new open source driver, but they aren't actually releasing their own drivers as open source. So the open ones are still at an early stage with only 2D working. Hopefully they'll be in pretty good shape by the end of the year.

RE: Thats It!
By Golgatha on 3/27/2008 9:22:18 AM , Rating: 4
ATI got the Herpes from AMD when they merged?

Re: opensores

RE: Thats It!
By eye smite on 3/26/2008 6:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
Download DirectX 10 for Windows XP from Alky Project

if that helps people who want dx10 and keep windows xp

RE: Thats It!
By Noliving on 3/26/2008 6:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad the alky project has been dead for over 6 months. The last update on the news from that group was in august of last year. All they released was an alpha version of a program that allowed windowsvista only games to run on xp like halo2 and shadowrun.

RE: Thats It!
By Noliving on 3/26/2008 6:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
Oh wait I lied, there was an update in january 2008:

Here is the update:

RE: Thats It!
By 9nails on 3/26/2008 7:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
Realistically, Vista only has one good year on it left before Windows 7 is ready to be released. I'm sure like "Windows 98 SE", Windows 7 will be that mature and stable version of Windows Vista with all the promises working properly that you're looking for. I'd say skip this generation of Windows Vista and check back again in a year for the latest news on Windows 7.

RE: Thats It!
By Duwelon on 3/26/2008 8:45:35 PM , Rating: 4
Vista rocks for me. I'm running one of my PC's on XP still but for me getting any new PC without Vista is silly. A decent computer with 2 gigs of RAM with Aero absolutely flies. Vista may take up more resources than XP, but it puts them to very good use.

My only complaints at all with Vista right now, is because i'm willfully running 64 bit and some things just flat up refuse to install.

RE: Thats It!
By JustTom on 3/30/2008 7:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
If MS hits its target date for Win7 as accurately as it did for Vista I am figuring on getting it during the second Clinton presidency. That would be Chelsea not Hillary...

RE: Thats It!
By Complex Pants on 3/26/2008 4:25:17 PM , Rating: 5
You forgot MSDOS.

That never crashed one me.

RE: Thats It!
By DarkElfa on 3/26/2008 4:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I had many, many blue screens all related to the Nvidia Drivers for my 8800GTX. Other than that, I never have had one single error or crash from anything else.

RE: Thats It!
By ChronoReverse on 3/26/2008 4:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
I've gotten many multicoloured coloured screens (corrupted video) of death in MSDOS when games and such crashed.

RE: Thats It!
By Tim Thorpe on 3/26/2008 5:19:05 PM , Rating: 2
I've got a bad driver on an HP laptop with no clean driver remove utility for Vista 64 every time I play a netflix stream vista BSOD's because of an NVIDIA driver crash. Completely locks up the computer and I have to do a cold restart to get it working again loosing anything unsaved. Of course the UDA doesn't apply to laptops so NVIDIAs latest drivers that might (or might not) fix the problem can't be installed.

Its very frustrating, the entire Vista experiance is frustrating and SP1 doesn't fix any of it.

RE: Thats It!
By zshift on 3/26/2008 6:08:43 PM , Rating: 3
heres my fix, and it works for my laptop:

NOTE: I have done this for both ati and nvidia, the process is similar. this isn't a guaranteed method by any means and may hinder or better performance as the method uses desktop drivers for mobile gpus, so power consumption may also be affected. I've just been doing this to try and fix issues ive had with old proprietary drivers and its worked every time FOR ME, but I've only done this on 2 computers. If you understand and read through the INF file you will eventually understand how the drivers are installed and may be able to resolve performance, power usage etc., but this guide will not show you how to do that, this is simply a "quick fix"

right click on "computer" in start menu, then click manage. in the left pane click on device manager, press the + on the "display adapters" item, right click on the nvidia ***** (whatever you have) and hit properties. click on the details tab and select hardware ids from the drop down box (should be first or second). it should say something like "PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_****..." where *** * is a 4 digit hex code representing your graphics chip model. write that 4 digit number down.

now go to nvidia's website and download the latest driver for your graphics chip (nvidia 8 series for example) and pick any card in the list because the driver you download should include drivers for all cards of the same series. after its downloaded, run the installer once and make note of where it decompresses. it WILL give you an error saying a suitable driver could not be found or whatever. after this go to where the files decompressed and look for "nv_disp.inf". scroll down to a section where there are many lines that look similar to this:

%NVIDIA_C61.DEV_03D5.1% = nv_NV3x, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_03D5
%NVIDIA_C68.DEV_053A.1% = nv_NV3x, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_053A
%NVIDIA_C68.DEV_053B.1% = nv_NV3x, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_053B

the three digits after the %NVIDIA_ are the nvidia codenames for the gpu (like g80 and g92). do a quick google search with the 4 digit device code and the press name of the graphics chip (like 8600M GT) and see which gpu it falls under. now copy any line that has the same gpu and replace all DEV_**** parts in the line with DEV_(four digit code for you specific gpu) and add this to the end of the list. scroll down to the very bottom of the file now. this next part is optional but recommended. do a similar process with copying the line and replacing the dev code, but in the quotes you can either add the proper name of the graphics chip, or you can make up your own, like "billy bob's insanely BSODing gpu". again add this file to the end of the list. now save the file ( and make sure u save a copy of the original, save any important documents, and create a registry backup while your at it) and run the installer one more time, but make sure you don't overwrite ANY files. the installer should install a compatible driver and the many BSODs associated wit a buggy driver should now go away.

any comments please email me at (note i hate AOL, i only use this as a public email to give out, NOT as primary email....GO GMAIL (with imap!)).

RE: Thats It!
By BikeDude on 3/26/2008 7:17:46 PM , Rating: 4
..or just go to where an already modified .inf file can be found.

RE: Thats It!
By Locutus465 on 3/26/2008 5:33:30 PM , Rating: 5
Really? You must not have been a gamer back in the DOS days... I got to see all kinds of intersting messed up screens after DOS crashed in the middle of network play... Yes, my friends and I used to have lan parties using DOS!!! Duke Nukem, Red Alert and Redneck Rampage were the bomb!

RE: Thats It!
By Ammohunt on 3/26/2008 6:14:00 PM , Rating: 1
I upgraded to Vista Ultimate the otehr night..Its been 3 days and i am still fighting with it just to keep it running longer then a day. It is EXTREMELY sensitive to software that gets installed. If it doesn't like it it completely barfs! and crashes.

RE: Thats It!
By Duwelon on 3/26/2008 8:49:00 PM , Rating: 5
Sounds like your system is just unstable in terms of the hardware or drivers.

RE: Thats It!
By BradCube on 3/31/2008 3:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I am running Vista Home Premium 64-bit and my computer hasn't been turned off in 5 days. I don't feel like it has slowed down at all and I haven't had any crashes :)

RE: Thats It!
By stromgald on 3/31/2008 12:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I have two computers with Vista now. The laptop has been more stable than with XP. The other machine had terrible problems, but it was mostly because it didn't have a Vista supported BIOS. Since flashing to the newer BIOS this year, it's also been stable.

The only compliants I have with Vista involve a lack of drivers (not completely MSFT's fault), and the extra RAM requirement (which is typical of any new software).

RE: Thats It!
By stromgald on 3/31/2008 12:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and they both run nVidia graphics.

RE: Thats It!
By Operandi on 3/26/2008 7:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
Did I forget anything?

Just one....

Thats it, I'm *upgrading* to ATI.

RE: Thats It!
By srue on 3/27/2008 10:28:18 AM , Rating: 2
You forgot apostrophes, but that's it.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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