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My nvidia support saga

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Maybe you've read the resent posts about problems people have been having with updating their graphics cards. I too had this problem, because nvidia would rather sell more NEW cards than provide support for their existing customers current cards. This is my story.


Radu made a new client for us to test, and being the curious EL addict I am, I had to try it. Low and behold, it crashed as soon as I logged in. Why? I needed to update my graphics driver. I went to the nvidia homepage to do just that, and discovered (eventually) that I had to get the driver from my laptop manufacturer (HP). This is because laptop graphics cards have to be specially made to deal with power management and other issues. When I went to the HP website, I found that the latest driver update for my graphics card (GeForce GO 7600) was dated 2006-05-15. When I tried using this "new" driver, I had the same trouble with the new EL test client.


My next step was to contact HP, through the use of their live-chat system. The agent who helped me was very nice, but the gist of what he said was, I have no idea... nvidia provides HP with drivers, HP modifies them for its laptops and then publishes the drivers to its customers. He could not explain why there has been no update for my card in almost two years.


So, I thought that perhaps nvidia hadn't provided a driver for HP to modify! I went back to the nvidia home page and found a place to "ask them a question."

When does nVidia intend to update the driver for the GeForce GO 7600 card to support OpenGL version 2.1.2, etc, as the regular GeForce series now does?

I have already contacted my Laptop maker (HP) and they do not seem to have any control over this issue.

They responded quite quickly, which rather surprised me considering Radu has been unable to get a response from them and he is a developer!

Please be informed that, OpenGL is an Application Programming Interface. The GeForce Go 7600 GPU is designed to support only OpenGL 2.0. I am sorry to say that, drivers cannot be developed to make the GeForce Go 7600 graphics card support OpenGL 2.1.2. In order to support OpenGL 2.1.2, you need to upgrade to a higher-end graphics card.

By this point, thanks to Gen_Axis I had found a way to make the latest nvidia driver work on my laptop! wheeee! However, knowing what I now knew, and given nvidia's response above, I realized I couldnt let the issue drop. So I called them on their bullshit!

Having done my own research and experimentation I found that with slight modifications I was in fact able to install and use the latest nvidia driver (nVIDIA ForceWare X 174.16 for Windows XP/2K 32bit) on my system. This driver supports OpenGL 2.1.2 and allows me to use the programs that my previous driver caused to crash.

I recognise that nvidia's desire is to sell more of its product, but it is ridiculous to stop providing drivers for a two year old graphics card. Especially when it is clear that your latest driver do work with my system.

Please provide some explanation for this situation.

Uhoh! Someone just had a minor heart attack! How do I know? This is what they sent me :devlish:

Your case is being escalated to our Level 2 Tech Support group. The Level 2 agents will review the case notes and may attempt to recreate your issue or find a workaround solution if possible.

Almost right away I got another song and dance, now from the "Level 2 Tech Support group"!!

NVIDIA always provides reference driver updates to Notebook and Laptop computer partners. The driver updates are then packaged and distributed by the partners, often with their custom power management and other features and settings specific to their design. NVIDIA does not control the software release schedule of various notebook and laptop providers.

NVIDIA is NOT allowed to directly distribute drivers for the vast majority of Notebook and Laptop computers.

The only way to get updates for NVIDIA based laptop or notebook graphics cards is though the notebook provider which is HP in this case.

Ahh... back to the beginning :icon13:

But I can't let them get away with this! Someone is Just Trying to Make Money off of my ignorance and my trust that all things computer become quickly obsolete. My latest email to nvidia:

You said "NVIDIA always provides reference driver updates to Notebook and Laptop computer partners." By reference driver, I think you mean the driver which will run any and all NVIDIA chip/card, of course excepting any modifications needed by the laptop manufacturers for power management, etc., is this correct?

Can you confirm for me that NVIDIA has provided the most resent reference driver to HP (Canada), what driver version that was, and the date is was provided to HP? I need this information in order to correspond with HP to find out why there has been no driver update for my card in the past year and a half or so.

Can you also confirm for me that, baring any modification for power management, etc., my graphics card (GeForce GO 7600) is compatible with the newest NVIDIA driver? If this is not the case, can you explain why, especially in reference to the information in link I provided previously (http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=9243)?

Is there any technical reason (that is, in the hardware or software of the chip NVIDIA provided to HP to make the card that is currently in my laptop) that the newest driver might be incompatible with the GeForce GO 7600 card, which could explain why there has been no driver update for this card from HP?

Again, I am just trying to be certain that all my future correspondence on this issue should be with HP only.


And we will see what happens next in the saga...


Why am I posting all this? Well, first off to provide you all with some twisted entertainment :P Secondly, to vent my frustration, and give you all a place to vent yours! And lastly, to get advice on wording and technical information (which honestly, I don't understand) that would make my questions even more Un-ignorable. Eventually I will have to go back to HP with all of this, and I want as much correct evidence as possible to expose their ultimate bullshit!


Power to the consumer! :)

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Next Episode...


NVIDIA's reponse is to pass the buck!

Yes, that's correct. Direct customers such as HP and even users have access to the NVIDIA reference driver. Reference drivers are published on NVIDIA.COM. However, the reference driver does not officially work on mobile platforms nor is tested or certified by NVIDIA. The company is barred legally from releasing drivers for OEM projects even if it wanted too. The 3rd party web site was provided because users have figured out how to modify reference drivers in order to at least get them to install on laptops. There is no legal basis to stop this so that is a viable option for you but it is not supported by HP or NVIDIA. I'm sorry but we have no information on why HP hasn't updated their drivers.


Coming soon, will I be able to get HP to explain why they haven't updated the driver? Will I even be able to contact them?? Stay tuned...

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BTW what computer do you have?


HP Pavilion dv8000 (EX177AV)

Microsoft Windows XP Professional

version 5.1.2600

Genuine Intel® CPU, T2600 @ 2.16GHz

version x86 Family 6 Model 14 Stepping 8

current speed 2160 MHz

cache size 2048 KB



Maximum capacity 2.00 GB

Installed memory 2.00 GB

Memory Slot 1 1.00 GB

Memory Slot 2 1.00 GB


hard drive

total capacity: 92.15 GB


NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600


Now you know as much as me, prolly more ;)

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gj Winga!


pwn em up! ;)


Wait till u start dealing with HP support... they are like 50 times worse than what you've experienced with nVidia, be ready :P

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