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PB/DOS Issue Surfaces After Window XP Updates For NVIDIA Drivers

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  • PB/DOS Issue Surfaces After Window XP Updates For NVIDIA Drivers

    I have a subset of my commercial users who recently had their Windows XP drivers from NVIDIA automatically updated via the Windows Update feature. Most such users report that two or three successive NVIDIA driver updates have been released in 2003.

    After the NVIDIA updates, NTVDM (or something) is often screwing up the palettes in PB/DOS full-screen apps that get minimized when 32-bit GUI apps come into focus. After the user closes the 32-bit app, clicking on the PB/DOS app in the Taskbar restores a palette that is different than was in effect when the PB/DOS app was minimized.

    Curiously, users have found workarounds that undo this glitch. After the screwed up palette appears, they can use CTRL+ESC and the Start Menu to launch a "friendly" 32-bit GUI app (which minimizes the screwed up PB/DOS app). "Magically," when they close the 32-bit app and restore the PB/DOS app, the full-screen palette is restored back to original status. What is actually a good choice as a "friendly" GUI app for this workaround seems to vary by user.

    Has anyone else encountered this problem?

    As a practical matter, it is almost impossible to convince "users" to reject Windows Updates.

    If you know more about this, please respond.

    Jim C.

    [This message has been edited by Jim Cody (edited October 12, 2003).]
    Jim C.

  • #2
    I'm reaching the limit of my knowledge here but...

    I thought palettes were only used on the lower color depths.
    In true color mode there are no palettes so how could an
    application mess up the palette.

    Does a change to true color mode solve the problem?

    Every day I try to learn one thing new,
    but new things to learn are increasing exponentially.
    At this rate I’m becoming an idiot faster and faster !!!
    George W. Bleck
    Lead Computer Systems Engineer
    KeySpan Corporation
    My Email
    <b>George W. Bleck</b>
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    • #3
      i noticed just the other day how slow my computer programs ran in
      full screen mode, i have a hp with nvidia avanta card in my computer
      it runs slowly in pure dos mode too. i did some windows updates a short
      while back to windows nt 2000 sp4 from sp3. do you think these updates
      are somehow changing the nvidia video boards internal bios or do you think the windows is
      changing how it writes to these cards. but the card does run fast in a windowed dos box
      quiet fast.

      p purvis


      • #4
        Let them download the drivers that Nvidia self deploy's. they are
        allways better and newer then the ones that Microsoft spreads. Especially when they
        are OEM products, it is important to download the drivers from the actual vendor.


        You gotta run, and don't loop back.
        You gotta run, and don't loop back.


        • #5
          Thanks so far for the replies, but let me point out...

          By palette, I meant the simple default palette that PB/DOS apps show in full-screen text mode, which is one of 16 foreground colors with one of 8 background colors.

          When this is getting mysteriously altered after the NVIDIA updates, one or more of the 16 default colors get changed, often making the foreground over background characters practically unreadable when a PB/DOS app is restored from the Taskbar.

          What seems strange is way the glitch can be undone by invoking a GUI app to minimize the PB/DOS screen, closing the GUI app, then clicking on the PB/DOS app in the Taskbar (which restores it back to original colors).

          If XP users revert to a restore point prior to the NVIDIA updates (early 2003), the whole problem goes away.

          However, it is simply NOT practical to tell users to revert or turn off Windows Update, or avoid drivers automatically selected by Windows Update. When all other sources (vendors) encourage users to keep their systems updated, you are a voice in the wilderness to advise against this.

          Jim C.

          [This message has been edited by Jim Cody (edited October 15, 2003).]
          Jim C.


          • #6
            Sounds like you need to talk to NVIDIA.

            Tom Hanlin
            PowerBASIC Staff


            • #7

              Yeah, I thought the issue might have the most traction here.

              I will try NVIDIA, but I am not optimistic about reaching anyone with a consuming interest in an obscure legacy problem. Only a subset of XP/NVIDIA users experience the problem, and the curious way it can be undone offers a lot of wiggle space for finger pointing.

              Jim C.
              Jim C.