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Old 09-22-03, 11:16 PM   #1
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Default NVIDIA Drivers, Lockups, Andy and what not

Ok.. since nice posts asking Andy for details or fixes doesn't seem to do it... Here is what I have to say about the NVIDIA drivers and what should be done...

-NVIDIA drivers are buggy as hell. They hard lock at random, they mess up with the nforce2 audio badly (even with ALSA drivers), tv-out is broken for most geforce 4's because it hard locks on reboot.

-Linux is my main OS for work, college projects and home desktop. I use it because it is stable and has all the tools I need.

-I use Linux because it's more stable and has more tools.

-Oh, did I point out I like Linux because it is stable.

So, thank you NVIDIA for making my home desktop machine a fscking unstable mess.

One year ago I bought this card because of its Linux driver support. My card has locked up this machine hard on every reboot with the tv-out plugged-in since then. I use TV-out damnit. My sound doesn't work properly with your drivers loaded. Everything is ****ed up.

Oh yeah, did I mention Andy answered me 6 months ago about this problem and said he would duplicate it 'today if possible'. It has not yet been duped it seems.

NVIDIA, frankly, your Linux support is crap. Here is what we need:
- Drivers That Work (TM).
- Drivers that won't screw up sound
- Drivers that won't screw up anything else
- Easy installation (you got that part half-done)
- Some program, write it in Java if you want, GTK, I don't care, that can take a machine running X with the 'nv' drivers and configure it to a machine that runs the accelerated drivers without the user touching the command prompt. You know.. stuff you can do in Windows 95.

-While you're at it. Why can't you take the driver options from a config file somewhere instead of <option> tags inside X config files... some file that could be read by a nifty, cool looking X application of yours (OpenGL anyone?). This program could surely configure tv-out, horiz/vert sync, monitors, etc and possibly apply the changes without restarting X. You know. Kind of stuff you could also do in Windows 95.

It pains me to see that you get all this support from the Linux community (free ads on Slashdot every 2 weeks?) and that you can't even put 2 guys to work on a decent driver.

Yes, I would appreciate if anyone from NVIDIA would reply to this and tell me where I'm wrong or mistaken, if I am.
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Old 09-23-03, 03:54 AM   #2
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Good afternoon,

Your probably not going to like what I have to say. But you may find some useful information once you realize that I'm trying to help your situation. So read on...

1: Your post isn't so much asking for help, as it is whining. You reference an old post, but do not provide a link. You do not specify your hardware or application profile. You do not provide repro steps. This type of post gets you nowhere and is a waste of all of our time (including yours).

2: The 4496 drivers work well for most people. The majority of the problems that I have seen are the result of an unsupported or misconfigured AGP driver. There may be some application specific problems to be encountered (direct rendering/dblbuffer in mplayer can bring down X if mplayer eats itself).

3: I appologize that I connot help with TVOut. In a month, I will be in the same boat as you, and might have time to look into it further.

4: The NV options 'are' in an easily readable text file that can have a GUI developed for it. It is called the XF86config file. Write a GUI. It's easy. The other options (AF and AA) need to be set in your shell. One of the nice features of this is that you can simply modify the startup scripts of your games and have independant AA/AF settings for each game. Not too shabby if you ask me, and a GUI isn't really necessary. If you don't want to specify the settings in the.sh game files, modify the .bash_profile in your homedir. Once again, it is plain text, and a GUI can easily be written.

Perhaps someone else here would be nice enough to write one for you (if you asked).

Thank you for your time,
Frank Russo
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Old 09-23-03, 06:43 AM   #3
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Default Read this...

Ok... it's sure guills don't necessary gived all the wanted info like the card bios rev and the serial number of the resistance b12f located between the proc and the cmos battery on the motherboard. It's sure he don't writed up his age sex and favorite ice cream. But damn, not all people can say all that crap... Some users just don't know what is a revision, a slot, a computer!!! The driver should take a system snapshot and save it on the same directory of the driver. Then the newbie will send the .txt when asking for help. And for the wires lockup bug, do we need to say revision 666, wire plugged in video in of a samsung vhs, line out to the tv, (The tv is plugged in the 110V AC) hahhahah crap! Just make a FAQ or something with a search engine or somthing.... I do do it and i'm a dumb. So I really think nvidia can do somthing clean. That's my opinion.

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Old 09-23-03, 07:37 AM   #4
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In fact, I know all that crap. The problem is, I've posted my vbios revision, specs, steps to reproduce and everything on those forums many times already.

You want some information.. here it is:

The mains thread I'm referring to is http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...threadid=15603

I am one of the main posters there, and this is where Andy has replied to us many times (He's a NVIDIA guy, if you don't know). This is also where I first discussed a fix for the TV-out bug. This thread was started ~ 6 months after my original thread discussing the same problem, but it's had 50 replies and 2000+ reads so I continue to reference this one.

The specs of the first poster were:
The problem occurs with other 1.0-4XXX drivers as well and I haven't been able to compile earlier drivers.

I'm running RedHat 9 on 1200 MHz amd duron. Motherboard is Soltek SL-75KAV and graphics card Geforce4 Ti4200.

== /proc/driver/nvidia/cards/0 ===
Model: GeForce4 Ti 4200 with AGP8X
IRQ: 10
Video BIOS:
Card Type: AGP

Andy's response was:
If it's limited to RH, then it might be the Xserver snap they have. Have you tried vanilla XFree 4.3.0 or later?


Andy Mecham
NVIDIA Corporation

We found out it is not a kernel or X problem since I had then tried it on over 20 different kernels or so.

My specs, from the same thread:
Athlon XP 2000+
512 megs DDR-333 (crucial)
Asus A7N8X-DLX
Asus Geforce4-Ti4200 AGP8X

vbios version
128 megs memory

Steps to reproduce:
I can run UT2003 at 1280x1024x32 for hours without crashing.. system is pretty stable. If I boot with tv-out cable plugged in and start X, even ctrl-alt-f1 will hard lock the computer. ctrl-alt-backspace too as well as a normal log off. It's been doing that for as long as I remember (a year?) with all drivers I've tried. I've tried RH back to version 8 and right now I'm under Gentoo 1.4.

Following this discussion, many people replied with things like:
I also get problems (garbled black&white screen) when e.g. trying to shut down the PC.

Disconnecting the TV-out cable, solves it for me also.

I have a NForce motherboard (MSI K7N420Pro) and I am using the built-in graphics.

I am using Mandrake 9.1.


So it is definitly a problem and it is duplicable.

Andy followed:
I need to reproduce this before anything else can happen. I'll get to it today if at all possible.


Andy Mecham
NVIDIA Corporation

Then we waited.. and finally harassed him to get this reply:
Sorry, i'm working on it. Please harass me.


Andy Mecham
NVIDIA Corporation

and this:
But do u have a clue 'bout what the cause might be?

Not as of yet.

We haven't heard of him since. I've seen countless posts refering to the same problem, and answered a few with the solution of unplugging the TV-out. This has worked in all cases I think.

As you realize, this has been going on for a while, and this is why my last post sounded like whining. You would whine too if you had been posting to a forum for a YEAR to get a supported product's drivers fixed.
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Old 09-23-03, 09:37 PM   #5
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it is really interesting to read a thread that is heating up a bit
this forum gets a little staid
i'm going to stay out of it for the most part but the complaint seems legit

btw quoting Russo:
"The 4496 drivers work well for most people"

how would nvidia know that the driver set works for most? this reminds me too much of Richard Nixon's "silent majority" argument. Remember that one! i do!

the 4496 didn't work right for me and my setup is very standard and clean
but the workaround that i have to use points to a couple suspect code areas (see my previous post about the BlankSOD workaround) i am happy that i got the drivers to work but it is pretty silly that i have to startx from the shell...don't you think

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Old 09-23-03, 10:03 PM   #6
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Yeah.. "works well for most people" isn't such a valid argument. I have a setup with an Asus nforce2 mobo, Asus Geforce4 and Corsair RAM that has this problem. How much more not-cheapo and standard can you go. It still has problem. From what I've read, I've seen people with all kinds of mobos having the same problems but it seems limited to gf4's for the most part.

It's probably something broken in the vbios or driver that's hard to find but easy to fix. And they're not looking hard enough.

NVIDIA, you already lost the edge to ATI in the performance section, I think it's time to start working on your support to keep your sales up You haven't lost a sale yet but it's coming.
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Old 09-23-03, 11:07 PM   #7
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I guess I just have a different perspective. I work on machines that contain cards from both camps (ATI and NV). Under linux, I have not found ATI's driver to be as stable and full featured as Nvidia's. On all of the ATI setups that I have worked with, dual monitors do not function correctly. TVOut is extremely poor (doesn't cause lockups though). Quake based games are almost unplayable (no hw mouse). NWN locks up (important for me!). The NV drivers have been a dream to work with in comparison.

What I would suggest is to keep posting, provide details, and to keep pounding on the walls untill you get the results that you desire. Be polite, corteous, and stay on topic. To date, I have never seen any company (S3, ATI, CLogic, Matrox) offer the level of linux support that we have received here on this forum.

Perhaps you could start a grassroots thread that compiles bugs found in this forum, validates their existance (number of users affected and such) and deliver it to Nvidia. Or make a FAQ of it, or just do it to keep the problems visible above the normal forum noise. Remember that were running linux here, and a bit of the support (test and bug reporting) still falls on us, even with binary drivers.

I hope that this makes my position clear. Keep fighting, just change your tactics a bit.

Thank you for your time,
Frank Russo
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Old 07-28-04, 03:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: NVIDIA Drivers, Lockups, Andy and what not

My 4200 is still not working. I'm getting tired of having very poor support for this card.
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Old 07-28-04, 05:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: NVIDIA Drivers, Lockups, Andy and what not

How about getting a proper chipset in linux like VIA nForce=
AthlonXP 2600+ / nForce2 Asus A7N8X-X / PNY GeForce FX5900 Ultra / 1024Mb Samsung Ram /nForce Sound / Hansol 920D Plus 19" monitor / Lite-On 32x12x40 / 2x Maxtor HD 40Gb/80Gb / nVidia 7174 driver / Gnome 2.10.1 / Kernel / Slackware 10.0
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Old 07-28-04, 10:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Read this...

Originally Posted by xtrax
Some users just don't know what is a revision, a slot, a computer!!! The driver should take a system snapshot and save it on the same directory of the driver. Then the newbie will send the .txt when asking for help.
That, the driver can now do (6106). From the driver download page:
Added a shell script "nvidia-bug-report.sh" that gathers system configuration information into a log file; the resulting log file (nvidia-bug-report.log) should be included when reporting bugs to NVIDIA.
"..the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." (Edmond Burke)
nVIDIA video driver RPMs for Fedora :: see yum repo at livna.org.
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Old 07-29-04, 08:42 AM   #11
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Default Re: NVIDIA Drivers, Lockups, Andy and what not

Don't cry, it will be okay. You could also get a radeon card and experience their awesome support <grin>
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