| Articles |
|Nvidia in no rush to stamp out dangerous driver bug |
| It took four months for Nvidia to fix a critical bug in their drivers.
Published on February 8th, 2006 |
Back on the 20th of October last year Nvidia Corporation introduced a
new feature in their ForceWare 81.85 graphics card drivers. They called
it "Direct Access", and it was designed to enable users to
control their monitors directly from the ForceWare control panel
instead of the actual controls on their monitor. While it is nice
to see Nvidia incorporating new features into their software, it turned
out that there is an "evil side" to this Direct Access
feature. Some monitors (the LG series for example) were not
compatible with Direct Access, and many users experienced the following
* Monitor configuration loss
* Black screen
* Some users even claimed that the feature actually damaged their monitor!
The affected users experienced these issues every time they launched the ForceWare control panel or on Windows start-up.
Black screen? Ouch!
The unofficial workaround was to delete the Direct Access files
themselves, namely nvmccs.dll and nvmccsrs.dll. Only now in February,
four months later, has Nvidia Corporation decided to remove this
feature from their ForceWare driver altogether. The question remains:
why did it take them so long to fix the problem? After all they
have AEG helping them monitor internet forums to discover issues such
as these right (interestingly enough the problem does not apply to
30" LCD screens, cough cough)? Why doesn't Nvidia
employ a large number of beta testers (like ATi does) to ensure that
critical issues like this do not occur? We tried to grab an
official response from Nvidia's PR, but it seems that it's
easier to talk with George W. Bush than anyone from Nvidia. Let's
hope that the Nvidia software department learns from ATi and starts
using more beta testers before they release future drivers.
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