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Nvidia Drivers culprit for lion's share of early Vista issues

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#1
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=11261

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.
Again, further proof that it's not so much the OS as the support (or lack thereof) provided by 3'rd party vendors.

Another prime example would be Creative with their ridiculous Soundblaster Audigy issues and subsequent wrapper. Don't see Asus needing a wrapper to use their identical hardware under Vista.
 

KenJackson

Linux Guy
Political User
#2
The article doesn't specify, but it would be interesting to see the data broken down a different way: 32-bit vs. 64-bit computers.

If it should turn out that a large percentage of those crashes were were on 64-bit platforms, we would have to give a lot of credit to Eric S. Raymond and Rob Landley for their 2006 paper, World Domination 201.
Windows brings to the table a pile of 32 bit binary-only drivers provided to them long ago by vendors. Microsoft doesn't have the source code, nor any in-house expertise in this area. They don't even have most of the hardware to test against. At best these drivers will run on a 64 bit system under an emulation layer, and if they break Microsoft has no means to update them. Users will get screwed, especially with respect to older hardware no longer supported by a manufacturer.
The paper compares how well Windows, OS X and Linux are prepared for the transition to 64-bit computing. They say for Linux, "In almost all cases, moving a driver to 64 bits is just a recompile."
 

j79zlr

Glaanies script monkey
Political User
#3
The only problems I've had with 64-bit linux are the proprietary programs like Adobe Reader, Flash & Java. Even Openoffice compiles and runs perfectly fine under 64-bit. IF they can get a 250MB+ source code program to work with 64-bit why the hell can't I get a native 64-bit flash plugin!!!
 

KenJackson

Linux Guy
Political User
#4
The problem is that Adobe/Macromedia Flash is not open source.

But help is on the way. In time, the Gnash player will replace the proprietary one and all will be well.
 

Perris Calderon

Administrator
Staff member
Political User
#5
well, my laptop has nvidia drivers, though since my motherboard was replaced this has been totally stable, not one freeze or bluescreen when I used to get them all the time

though I am pretty sure my issue was the wireless card
 

j79zlr

Glaanies script monkey
Political User
#6
The problem is that Adobe/Macromedia Flash is not open source.

But help is on the way. In time, the Gnash player will replace the proprietary one and all will be well.
I know that. I've had limited success with using icedtea for fedora on gentoo to solve the java problem. The problem with gnash or swfdec is that they just don't work reliably.

Back to the topic, there are so many broken drivers for two reasons. #1 MS changed API's very late in the game prior to Vista's launch and #2 MS is incapable of actually writing a comprehensive specification.

Personally I think its funny that all of the MS fanboi's who point to the lack of driver support on linux [which is a very outdated myth] are now claiming but, but, but its the third parties fault. As the fanboi's used to point out with alarming regularity with regards to linux, it doesn't matter whose fault it is, the end user just wants [insert device here] to work. Period.

My scanner still doesn't have Vista drivers. Is that MS fault, probably not, but it doesn't matter, it doesn't work, that is all that matters. There are plenty of users who get Vista and some gadget they have doesn't work. They don't care whose at fault, they just want it to work, and it does with XP. That is the main issue that Vista is facing.

As far as the lawsuit, MS knew about the bait and switch they were marketing. Their internal emails that have been leaked show even the top execs were experiencing serious issues with Vista.
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#7
well, my laptop has nvidia drivers, though since my motherboard was replaced this has been totally stable, not one freeze or bluescreen when I used to get them all the time

though I am pretty sure my issue was the wireless card
This has to do with the original release of Vista and the drivers of that time. The first several months of Nvidia drivers were pretty crap under Vista. Reading any Nvidia forums (i.e. NvNews) is ample proof.

Now, they are good, I should know, I am using an Nvidia card.
 
#8
Neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the assertions stated above, for consideration:

200 years ago Sam Clemmens said:
"There are 3 kinds of lies, lies, damn lies and statistics."

These are words to live by. Question any statistic presented.

"logged Windows VISTA crashes"

logged by who
what were logging criteria
what was the logging methodology
what filtering was applied to accepting logs
what was probability of serious crashes (kernel vs driver) being lost instead of logged
etc
etc
etc

We just finished a statistical analysis at work I showed to be flawed by +100%/-50% variance in "logged data", but management likes it so it gets presented to the customer.

PS SP1 half way works, isn't it time to quit debating VISTA?
-If your laptop is over 18 months old it is approaching end of economic life.
-The desktop lawsuits may still have some merit.
But since VISTA adds no economic value to a PC (it actually decreases economic value by requiring paid software upgrades on many applications) there is little ground for lawsuits. Except for the prosecuting and defense lawyers and judges and journalists who all get paid no matter who wins.
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#9
Lee, did you bother reading the link? All the information you are asking about is presented under the tidbit saying it was released by Microsoft using their error logging tool (which is part of Vista).

This is information being presented as data for a class action lawsuit and as can be seen from information furnished by Microsoft previously (re: Intel), they have been forthcoming with the data collected and the emails presented.
 

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