# Tag Archives: nvidia

Anything related to NVIDIA

# Upgrading dd-wrt for Windows 7, problems and a possible fix?

As noted in my earlier post I had issues with my network interface card (NIC) dropping my connection whimsically.

So finding some posts about possible firmware issues with Linksys routers and disconnects I proceeded to update my router’s firmware from dd-wrt v23 to v24 pre-sp2. This actually caused me some problems. I followed the information presented in the stickies on the dd-wrt forum, which means that prior to updating the firmware I did the 30/30/30 reset to get the factory defaults going again, then proceeded with uploading the new firmware (v24 pre-sp2 build 13064) and once that was done do the 30/30/30 reset again.

And that’s where 2-2,5 hours of frustrating would kick in. After the router had rebooted I couldn’t ping the default 192.168.1.1 address. I was getting a destination unreachable message. So alarm bells started to ring in my head, thinking I had bricked my router in some way. But the strange thing was that it looked like it rebooted correctly, no strange flashing LEDs, or not being responsive to cables being plugged in and taken out. Of course, with the router down I had no Internet connectivity to do some troubleshooting browsing. But thankfully I could use my Android mobile phone for that. I retried various reset routines but to no avail. Of course I started to despair a bit more, thinking I would have to buy a new router. I then noticed that the WLAN LED was lit up. Since my Android phone supports WiFi I figured I should see if it shows up. ‘Lo and behold, it had a network with the SSID ‘dd-wrt’ and sure enough, I could connect to it. Next was trying to router’s web interface and that worked too! Of course that enthusiasm was quickly dampened when I discovered that you cannot do a firmware upgrade over the wireless link. I also couldn’t find any way online on how to override this precautionary lockout, so it was back to square one.

And then I stumbled over a post which mentioned that Linksys routers with the original firmware sometimes have their wired LAN ports revert to 10 Mbit/half-duplex settings. After picking up my jaw from the floor I wondered if it could be so easy. Sure enough, after changing the settings for my NIC in the configuration window, I could ping 192.168.1.1 and load up the administration interface in my browser.

Then I tried my World of Warcraft (WoW) patch download again (which is essentially a BitTorrent client) and stream Bohemian Rhapsody by the Muppets at HD quality from YouTube only to have my NIC go silent on me again. So, after the few hours of futzing with the router and its upgrade I was no closer to a proper solution. Although I did conclude it was, in fact, the Windows 7 box acting up since my WiFi connection as well as the Unix box on another LAN port could still use the network as it should.

Then the morning after I was looking around several Google results again and came to a post on the Windows7Forums.com website where someone had troubles with a wireless connection from Windows 7. I use a wired connection, so aside from the symptoms it’s not quite similar. It then documents the ‘roll back driver’ solution, which I had previously tried. But it became interesting when I found Sage’s post at the bottom which reads:

“I think I’ve found the solution to this problem. It was revealed recently (A week or two ago) that there is a bug in the NVIDIA chipsets when using 64-bit addressing. This ends up affecting a whole host of things on machines, including this nefarious “Random internet disconnect” problem. I posted this solution over at a couple other W7 forums and others with NVIDIA chipsets and 64-bit machines have all found it to succeed in fixing this frustrating issue.

What it more or less comes down to is applying this hotfix: You encounter problems when you move data over USB from a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer that has an NVIDIA USB EHCI chipset and at least 4GB of RAM

Ignore the fact that it mentions this fix to be solely for USB hardware issues. It is a fix for the NVIDIA chipset on 64-bit Windows 7 and has been practically a miracle fix for people with the USB harddrive disconnect problem, the random internet drop problem, and the internet-disconnect-on-wake-from-sleep problems that have all been plaguing Windows 7 64-Bit users since the RC.”

Funnily enough my Windows 7 is 64-bits and I also have an NVIDIA nForce chipset. Looking at the hotfix page shows it really is only updated USB driver files. Figuring it cannot possibly be worse than my situation now I installed the hotfix are being emailed the location to download it from. A reboot later I was downloading my WoW patch with the downloader while streaming the Muppets again and haven’t seen it drop dead yet. So initial tests show it might very well be the solution, but I need to stress test it some more.

# Windows 7 and the case of the dropped network traffic

So the good news of Windows 7 is that they removed the TCP half-open limits.

The bad news is that quite a fair number of people have problems with their network interface card (NIC) dropping dead on them as soon as they push their system to sustained high throughput, think of leeching newsgroups, using torrents, but also downloading ISOs (BSD or Linux releases) or even watching YouTube clips and downloading a driver.

The suggested ‘fixes’ have been ranging from absurd to interesting.

Things I have done so far:

• rolled back the driver from NVIDIA to Microsoft’s stock driver, did NOT help
• disabled power management features, did NOT help
• disabled autotuninglevel (netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled), still in testing

Things to try still:

• disable all Quality of Service (QoS) stuff
• disable Gigabit related features

# Slow Terminal with xfce, alpha channel issues

I recently switched to using xfce on my FreeBSD desktop. Window Maker is nice but it was starting to feel a bit dated. Thus far I like xfce, but I had one problem with Terminal. Whenever I tried to resize it or switch desktops to one with Terminal open in it I could see it painstakingly render the window. Xterm and aterm didn’t exhibit this behaviour, my 3d was accelerated, and other screen drawing didn’t show problems either (do note I am using NVIDIA’s binary driver for my GeForce 8800, the nv driver from X.org is unusable at this point).

Someone pointed me at the environment variable XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1. Once added to .zshenv, properly exported on my shell and an X restart later I find Terminal to zoom along as expected. It turns out that the NVIDIA driver doesn’t properly accelerate alpha channels.

# Switching GPUs on the fly

According to a what older article at LaptopLogic NVIDIA has an idea to make the system use its integrated simpler GPU for handling day-to-day desktop graphics, while switching to the stronger and more featureful (and often more power-consuming and warmer) GPU when needed for 3D work or gaming.

Interesting idea, but with SoC designs coming from Imagination Technologies, Falanx, and other designers that reduce a GPU’s power-consumption and warmth build-up you can wonder if such a design is interesting enough to work out.

# OpenGL fully supported on Vista

In a SIGGraph 2006 presentation by NVIDIA it shows that Microsoft has revisited its stance on how they will support OpenGL within Windows Vista. You may recall when I first wrote about this last year that Microsoft’s initial plan was to layer OpenGL through DirectX.

This time last year…

• The plan for OpenGL on Windows Vista was to layer OpenGL over Direct3D in order to obtain the Aeroglass experience

The situation today…

• OpenGL accelerated ICD now fully supported under Windows Vista
• OpenGL works fully with the Aeroglass compositing desktop
• Performance and stability will rival Windows XP by driver release

So it seems some complaining still works given sufficient pressure.

# Graphics market in a bit of turbulence

With recent news of AMD acquiring ATI there was some incorrect reporting that AMD would be dropping the ATI brand in favour of tacking Radeon on its own brand name of AMD. According to Ars Technica the name drop was a miscommunication that spread like fire through the blogosphere as well as online news. This is both the advantage and disadvantage of the quick turn-around time of the online media. One would think that serious technical journalists, however, would verify this with AMD and/or ATI themselves before reporting.

In related news Intel revealed a website where they are offering source code for their 965 IGP. And it becomes even more interesting when put into perspective with an article from InfoWorld where it is said that AMD is strongly considering releasing open source at least a part of the ATI graphics drivers. One can only wonder how NVIDIA will react to these developments.

# Multi-GPU rendering, err, only got one

I recently installed the latest ForceWare drivers from NVIDIA, 91.31. Works great, the new control panel is also quite a nice addition.

However, my machine is a single GPU machine and every time on a fresh boot I am greeted by a popup balloon from the tasktray stating that: “[…] SLI multi-GPU rendering has been disabled.”

Of course having only one GPU that makes, but it is kind of annoying.

I encountered the following article over at NVIDIA’s customer help. The fix, for now, is to incorporate a registry change. In a newer driver this will apparently be fixed (apparently it is in the beta driver). The registry change, however, disables all balloon notifications, which is a bit drastic in my opinion.

# Colours/colors and codecs

After installing the latest K-Lite Codec pack and NVIDIA drivers I found that some video files had weird colours.

After some futzing around I found the issue.

Go to the NVIDIA tray icon, select color correction, at ‘Apply color changes to’ select ‘All’. Then at ‘Color profile’ select ‘Advanced mode’ and then ‘Restore Defaults’, select ‘Apply’. This fixed my colour problem. Apparently the new NVIDIA drivers/control panel do something with the gamma, which isn’t shown in the panel.

Caused me a few days of head breaking, especially since it only was for some codecs/applications.

# Gaara – 我愛羅

Of course, some people might recognise the title. Sabaku no Gaara (砂瀑の我愛羅) being a character from the anime series. The name means: Gaara of the Desert. The name Gaara (我愛羅) itself is a combination of: ga-a(i)-ra, meaning: I, love, demon. In general you could read it as: “I love myself, I am a demon.”

The kanji ‘ai’:

For some reason I love this Kanji. Consists of 13 strokes.

DragonFly is pushing along nicely, Emiel a.k.a. coolvibe has managed to get into contact with the NVIDIA guys and is now even getting prerelease drivers! Way cool. Thanks to all the people supporting DragonFly in any way, your enthousiasm is what keeps us moving along.

One of my plans for DragonFly’s support is bootable images for ISO 9660 and diskettes which do various reporting on BIOSes and the like. This should provide clues into the wonderful world of whacked implementations.

I also started work on the bdb (BSD-licensed debugger) in order to support my own work as well as DragonFly.