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NVIDIA drivers for Vista suck (updated to include Win 7 and Server 2008 r2)

By SNGX1275 ยท 44 replies
Apr 17, 2007
  1. This is more of a post complaining than it is asking for help/advice.

    Screen corruption has been a problem with every version of the nVidia driver's I've used, with the possible exception of the default ones Microsoft ships with Vista. I've tried whatever it was just before the 100.65s, then I tried the 100.65s, 101.70s and now 158.18. The problem has not gotten any better throughout all of these revisions.

    This is what you see when Vista asks for your permission to do something. Notice how the continue button isn't even visible initially.

    Now the continue button appears when the mouse is hovered over where you guess the button to be.

    Hardware involved here is a eVGA 7800gs co AGP card. The pictures were taken with 158.18 drivers. The corruption isn't usually capturable with print screen, although after an "episode" with VLC it was and I got a screenie of it shoot me a message if you want to see it, but it contains some text that violates the TOS of this board. Basically everything is not displaying except the taskbar, and a few items I've drug the mouse over.

    That is what happens if you open an app that drops Vista into Classic mode, the app that caused that was Trillian. On the right side of that 2nd pic was my Trillian buddy list AFTER I had minimized it. It shows up all washed out white in that pic because of the horrible lighting conditions for a digital camera shot, but in reality it was displaying the buddy list in a somewhat readable format (text was clear, just parts of the list missing).

    Login screen.

    I don't know what NVIDIA is "fixing" in these continually updated drivers, I glance over their documented changes when I update them, but it seems like they are fixing minor issues and adding features rather than tackling a real problem here.

    There is nothing wrong with the card (runs perfect in XP) and there are no temperature/overheating issues. About the only other thing I can think of is a bios issue and I may start slowly looking into that. But a quick google search reveals there are tons of people having problems with drivers.

    Edit 1: Added 2 more pictures
    Edit 2: Added login screen pic
    Update: Flashed to latest motherboard BIOS, no difference.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Perhaps your trouble is elsewhere. nVidia is universally rated by users (including this forum) as the best for video cards and for drivers. We see no special problems between VISTA and nVidia...
    There are always troubles that crop up because video graphics cards are so fragile, but I would not consider a blanket indictment of nVidia as valid.
    I would be more likely to consider power supply and memory.
  3. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    Perhaps...I'd still think drivers though.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    I can assure you the problem is not power supply or ram related. RAM tests fine with memtest, and I've got a 485W Enermax Noisetaker II power supply. It runs fine in XP.
  5. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

    As for drivers nVIDIA does make great graphics cards and good drivers. Yet recently they have been lacking somewhat. Still Vista is new deal with the initial problems!
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    It is Nvidia drivers and Vista especially in their 8800 cards. This has been a problem posted all over the internet.
  7. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,940   +191

    There was an issue with fan speed control and vista I remember...

    Download something that allows you to monitor the temp of the card in both XP and vista, plus RPM of fan...

    Remember that Vistas desktop is rendered by the card...

    To me it really looks like a overheating issue...

    Got a PCI-E 7900GT myself with no problems in Vista, though it's watercooled :D
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    It doesn't do it in games (C&C3) so I think that removes overheating right there. If not I have more information to back that up:

    Occurs on bootup at the login screen, from a cold boot - See pic above.

    Does fine in the desktop, never a problem until a message box asking for permission pops up.

    Doesn't do it on all message boxes, only vista ones (that wouldn't relate to temp but whatever)

    Goes absolutely ape if an app switches it over to 'classic' mode, so bad its unreadable and often unrecognisable (things don't redraw if you move a window), and occationally vista won't kick out of classic when the app is closed, which is why I don't have a picture of that happening - I really don't want to deal with getting it back in aero and cleaned up if it doesn't do it automatically. If you guys absolutely need proof though I can take pics, even record a video, but you should believe me I have no reason to lie.
  9. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    And why did you get vista again?
  10. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71


    Seriously, though, there are so many people experiencing issues with Vista it is a wonder more people don't wait until SP1 comes out. Of course, when it comes to Laptops or PC builders like HP, Dell, etc., the average consumer has no choice.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    Lets not clutter this thread with anti Vista talk, we have Meeting Spot and a thread in there for such talk. But for a quick answer - why not? I've got an Athlon 64 box dual booting XP and Ubuntu, a G3 Tower running Panther (10.3.9), a Pentium D box as a dedicated media center running XP Media Center Edition, a Powerbook G4 running Tiger (10.4.9), and a K62 running Windows 2000.
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Have you tried the latest drivers yet, SNGX? There are reports of them fixing these display corruption issues. A lot of other issues still remain though. Just read the Release Notes. There are so many issues, mainly with games, that are still not fixed.
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    Yes, I'm on the ones released the 17th. Tried whatever was before the 100.65, the 100.65, 101.70, and 158.18 (april 17th release). If anything it was worse with 101.70 and 158.18 than earlier, but even the early ones weren't flawless. I'm also doing a control panel uninstall of the drivers and rebooting before installing newer. Although this last one had a built in uninstaller/reboot install with it.
  14. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,940   +191

    Try that latest beta drivers off guru3d.com

    though it sounds wierd that you would have this problem through so many driver releases

    Maybe it's another driver causing it... Got your mobo drivers and stuff installed?
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    Yes, running the latest chipset drivers from motherboard manufacturer's site. Latest bios too.

    Guru3d doesn't have any newer drivers than the 158.18 release that came out yesterday from nvidia. I've been watching this problem pretty seriously since the 100.65s and since then there have only been 2 releases the 101.70 and 158.18 (no idea why the huge jump in numbers - its not even a 8 series only set).
  16. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    What if you keep Vista in "classic" desktop mode?
  17. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    I believe it is horrible all the time, but I don't know if I've selected classic before the forced classic switch. I'll troubleshoot more in about 3-5 hours when I get off work. But there are leaked 165.01 drivers out I've discovered ->

    Windows XP 165.01 only: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=62SSG7NR
    Windows Vista 32 165.01 only: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=KFE5BZP8
    Windows Vista 64 165.01 only: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=1ST1ON40
    All in 1 file: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=2HI42FPE

    I can't vouch for the safety of those so download at your own risk. I'll be giving them a shot after work.

    Edit - Real life got in the way of playing with toys, I'll test it another day.

    Edit 3: Mict - Switching to classic manually still causes the exact same corruption, so bad I literally have to guess where things are to get it back.
  18. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Does XP and Vista show the same kind of driver in Device Manager's "System Devices" section for AGP controller?

    When the card worked (possibly) with the Microsoft's own driver, was VIA's chipset driver installed at that point?

    I don't think it would hurt to try to change the AGP driver to Microsoft's own.
  19. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    1. Don't know. Will check.

    2. Don't think so.

    3. Will give that a shot.
  20. luvr

    luvr TS Enthusiast Posts: 59

    Well, it's everyone's right to choose to run or not run Vista, isn't it?
    Personally, I wouldn't know why I would even consider trying Vista; I'm just not interested.
    But--Your Mileage May Vary.

    Now, as you have probably figured out by now, I won't be of much help with any Vista issues, so I'll just shut up now. ;)
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    Please direct all complaints directed towards Vista to another thread, this isn't the place for that.

    The problem is now "fixed", how I was able to fix it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me right now, but in years of dealing with problems in Windows odd things like this tend to happen.

    I first updated to the 165s, this was done without uninstalling the 158.18 drivers. I had no intention of not removing the 158s, I went under the assumption that since the 158s had a built in uninstaller for the older drivers that the 165s would as well, they did not. Once rebooted the 165s seemed possibly slightly better, the corruption went from nearly completely unusable in Classic to only slightly better than nearly completely unusable. From here on out I was keeping it in Classic mode and struggling to read the text (often times having to move the window and read the 'ghost' to make out the text).

    At this point I had the idea to check and see if Rollback contained several versions (I'd seen elsewhere once in Vista where it showed what drivers were installed when) and to see if maybe I could roll back to whatever came before the 100.65s. Turns out when I clicked Rollback Driver it did what it does in XP and just went to the previous, which was the 158.18s. The corruption was still there, so before even exiting device manager I clicked uninstall driver.

    Once at the login for Vista after uninstalling, it was at some horrible resolution, but the colors looked ok and the login screen had no corruption. Once at the desktop I immediately went to change the resolution, only to find out it wouldn't scale up to 1680x1050, 1440x900 or something similar was shown, so I picked it. Now with the display slightly better I decided to see what driver version Vista was using. It properly identified my card in Device Manager (so why wasn't I getting 1680x1050 like the first boot after installing Vista?) and said I was using 97.46? Then I clicked on Update Driver (from within device manager) because I'd resigned myself to having to install a newer version since I apparently removed something important that Vista wasn't going to replace. I let it connect online and to my suprise it said I was up to date.

    Discouraged and and running out of lunch hour I just clicked ok and was prepared to head back to work, but then Vista said it needed to reboot for changes to be made, wtf?! The shutdown screen looked like it dropped to 8 bit color so that was a little concerning, but when Vista came back up all looked good, I was still at the 1440 resolution so I went to see if I could get it changed to 1680x1050, and sure enough I could.

    I'm still in Windows Classic theme at this point, still corruption free. Expecting corruption to hit in full force at any minute I enabled the 2nd monitor (extend desktop onto this monitor) and all went well there. After closing out of that I decided to jump into Aero. That also went smoothly. Now for the big test I went back to classic. No corruption! So I jumped back into Aero and decided I'd launch Trillian which for some reason (quicktime alternative install?) only recently decided to bump Vista out of Aero. When an app forces Vista into Classic it doesn't drop to the full Windows Classic theme, instead it drops into a Vista like theme just without Aero enabled. Once again no corruption!

    So I think the problem is "fixed". Now what I have to deal with is running the old 97.46? drivers. All of these nvidia updates are fixing a multitude of issues, so now I wonder how long it will be before things start crashing like everyone else that has had problems are seeing. I'm scared to update again for fear of causing the problem all over again.

    My gut feeling is somehow files were still getting left behind from previous drivers, despite following nvidia's removal instructions, and that they were the root cause. I think that if I install the 158.18 drivers that I'll still be corruption free, I'm not sure I want to risk that at this point though. Maybe if things start crashing on me I will. Hopefully setting a restore point while things are working would allow me to get a corruption free desktop back if the new drivers cause problems again.
  22. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Does that mean the title of this thread needs to be changed? ;)
  23. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    No, I don't think so, because it definately is/was a driver issue.
  24. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,975   +9

    Nice fix SNGX :D !
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    For a little update/confirmation that it is a driver issue.

    I decided yesterday to create a restore point before mucking around with this again, hoping it would be a little more serious (since I'm not convinced rollback drivers did anything). Then I redownloaded the 158.18 drivers, and installed them. Now during this process the screens go blank (apparently on removal of the existing drivers) and then they come back, right monitor doesn't come back again indicating that it has wiped out the old drivers. But it comes back on the left monitor at a high enough resolution that it is using a driver of some sort (other than what happens if you boot in VGA mode).
    At this point I didn't think to much, clicked restart when it told me I needed to. Now it it goes to the logging out screen, and the corruption is back, now I'm not sure its worse than before, but its definately there. It reboots and the login screen looks great, haven't seen that before if the drivers were messed up. But then I typed my password in and couldn't even see the characters. I'm back to the old problem again.

    I can't have this, so I try to restore, and it worked. So I'm pretty pleased with how the restore worked. NVIDIA needs to get their act together on this, I won't say its inexcusable just yet because XP had infinite loop errors up until at least SP1 with NVIDIA cards. I haven't tried gaming yet, been busy with other things, but even when the corruption was bad it never interfered with C&C3, that game was corruption free.
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