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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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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.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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