Magnus Itland (itlandm) wrote,
Magnus Itland

Adventures in Windows Vista, part (n++)

Guest starring: NVIDIA, Google and The LORD.

Trine the tri-core computer is also the City of Heroes machine for my imaginary female companion, and it works beautifully except for one thing: A few times a night, the screen will suddenly go black and the busy wheel will start spinning (the new, improved hourglass cursor). This is the screen driver that has stopped working and been restored, as Vista wil inform one once one has pressed the Start button. Unfortunately this restoration, while not ending in a blue screen of death, still ends the game. This may happen after a few minutes or a few hours, or anywhere inbetween.

So to put an end to this, I took it upon myself to install the latest driver for the video card. Asking the ever helpful Google what driver to get, I was directed to a program called Driver Genius Professional, which will take care of these things. It will go through the entire machine and take note of all outdated drivers of any kind, find the latest stable version and download it to a specified spot for your installation pleasuer. As the name implies, it also costs money. I bought it. The LORD was not pleased. Anyway, the program worked as promised, far as I can see, so that was not the problem.

After the program had downloaded various drivers, most of which did not seem related to the problem at hand, I installed the new video card drivers. Well, sort of. The install program ran for a while, then exited while leaving the hard disk spinning. I rebooted and tried again. And tried again. Eventually The LORD said unto me: "You seem to have forgotten that you need to uninstall the old drivers first." Right. I had forgotten that, and the install program made no mention of it, nor did the ever helpful Vista, which had recommended that I installed the 32-bits version instead, then refused to let me install the 32-bits version, as well it should.

In the control panel there was no longer the choice I had used to uninstall things under XP. Go Google! Here I found this very useful little article on how to (un)install Nvidia drivers. It does in fact also mention how to uninstall them. It neglects to mention another itty bitty detail though. Namely that after the mandatory reboot following the uninstall, some computer monitors will say "unsupported screen mode" or words to that effect when the machine boots up again. Among those monitors, unfortunately, was mine.

Now by God's mercy and my mother's packrat genes, thoughtfully preserved in my DNA, I had a CRT at hand. (I would not have been shocked to death if the bottom of our oldest freezer at home had held mammoth steak, and some of the canned food may yet sustain the cockroaches if they develop sentience and start paleontologizing our failed branch of evolution.) If I had not had that CRT, however, I would have been ill equipped to locate and click my way through the install program.

So after uninstalling, installing, uninstalling and installing the new driver, I was informed that the install program had not been able to finish. A look at the drivers running, however, told me that they are indeed the newly downloaded version. So all is well that ends well. Unfortunately, this does not apply to Windows Vista. For the Vista-specific bug, which I had undertaken all this to squash, still remains. The game still stops randomly because the display driver ceased to function and was restored.
Tags: operating systems, software
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