Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Sep 2007 19:58 UTC, submitted by Adam S
Windows "Before I launch into my tirade, I need to make a confession. I like Vista. I use it daily, but I also use it with the full knowledge that it's a pre-service pack 1 OS from the boys in Redmond. That necessarily means it will have glitches, bugs, and annoyances. That's a given. I'm willing to put up with all those headaches. But there were several things I was really looking forward to in Vista that are simply missing in action or broken. These are features I'd really hope would improve my productivity and make life a little easier."
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RE[3]: re
by makfu on Wed 19th Sep 2007 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: re"
makfu
Member since:
2005-12-18

"This reboot after installation thing is more like a general measure. Software vendors do this because after something was installed, there may be not yet properly registered DLLs, or old stuff in RAM. Or not. Either way, better safe than sorry - and there you have your "recommended", sometimes even "necessary" reboot."

This is exactly the case, and it pertains to registration of the control panel updates, not the driver itself. You can safely ignore the reboot request when install Nvdia's current drivers (if you check in the device manager after installing the driver, you will see the new driver is in fact loaded). Furthermore, a logout and logon will even resolve the control panel registration issue.

As for the video driver restart and user versus kernel mode components, the user mode driver is essentially a sandwiched library (between the DX libs and the DXGK) of device specific functions which are then batched down (to kernel mode) to the DXGK and subsequently passed, in a controlled manner, to the miniport. The user mode driver is a memory mapped DLL in the user mode address space of the process and if the driver fails, the process dies, not the system.

However, even the kernel mode miniport is now dynamically restartable and there is a watchdog timer that periodically checks to make sure that the driver is still making progress and the GPU hasn't hung. If that is the case, it attempts what is known as a Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) wherein reinitializes the driver, resetting the GPU (this is the behavior where you get the pop-up in the system tray notifying you about a driver recovery).

One interesting side note is that sometimes a driver data structure used by the kernel mode miniport can become corrupt, forcing the system into a frequently recurring TDR cycle. In this instance, rolling back the driver and then reinstalling the current driver (without rebooting) will save you a forced reboot as that sequence completely unloads and reloads the driver.

-Mak

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