Feeds

Nvidia drivers named as lead Vista crash cause in 2007

Lawsuit documents spill beans

The Power of One Infographic

Nvidia, not Microsoft, is apparently responsible for the drivers that caused the most Windows Vista crashes last year. That's if documents posted as part of a lawsuit probing PCs' ability to run the new OS are anything to go by.

The files in question are a batch of Microsoft emails, available to read in a single PDF here. Website Ars Technica had a look and discovered one - number 131 on page 47 - that claims Nvidia drivers were recorded as causing Vista crashes in 479,326 of the 1,663,327 crash logs filed with Microsoft.

That's 28.8 per cent of the total - over ten per cent more than the 17.9 per cent of Vista crashes that could be laid at the door of Microsoft's own software. AMD comes fourth, with its ATI drivers causing 9.3 per cent of the logged crashes. Intel follows in fifth place with 8.8 per cent.

Vista Crashes by Organisation, 2007

Vista Crashes by Organisation

Source: Microsoft

No, we haven't ignored the third biggest contributor, accounting for 17 per cent of crashes, but it's a collective entity combining all the incidents for which Microsoft doesn't know whose drivers caused the new OS to hang.

Pretty much everyone who writes driver software is present on the list but after Intel, the percentages very rapidly tail off to below one percentage point.

The data was collected in 2007, and so far as anyone can tell from the document's PDF form, it aggregates data taken throughout the year. Later, more stable drivers might well be masked by the effect of early, bug-ridden drivers, and, as Ars points out, it's not known whether incidents from the same machine count as one data point or have all been included on the list.

These are presumably not all of the incidents of this kind that took place in 2007, only the ones where the users submitted the information to Microsoft. Nvidia user may be more keen to do so than owners of ATI-branded cards.

Whatever, the data does suggest that the many complaints aired in online forums by frustrated users about Nvidia's drivers - and, let's not forget, other vendors' products too - were not without justification.

Unlike many organisations, Nvidia - AMD too - regularly update their drivers, so it's unlikely the early glitches persist into more recent driver releases. But the data makes for a fascinating glimpse into the history of the OS' roll-out.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.