nforce3 + ATI Graphics + Vista = Device Failed!
The relentless pace of technology is exciting, but sometimes this fast paced environment leaves its past behind a little prematurely. I was on the receiving end of one such problem this week.
I purchased a new ATI graphics card, the x1950Pro AGP version to work with my existing nforce3 motherboard. It is running an Athlon X2 processor and has 2GB of RAM, so it isn’t an outdated machine by any stretch. I plugged in the new card expecting everything to go smoothly, however it kept failing with a code 43 “Device failed to start” error. Vista recognised the card correctly, however it just would not leave the graphical ‘safe mode’. I initially suspected the card was faulty, however after a bit of googling I managed to find others with the exact same problem.
In fact not only did I find others, I found an acknowledgement from Nvidia themselves of the problem. It was snuck in at the end of one of their website FAQ’s and reads:
There is a known issue with ATI AGP cards with NVIDIA nForce3 and Vista. This is currently being looked into and will likely be resolved with an MCP driver update.
In fact this problem has been known about and acknowledged since the start of this year, and reported on the 7th of February. Still nothing has been done, there is no MCP update and I am still left sitting out in the cold. Nvidia has been infamously slack with their Vista drivers in general, now they are blocking ATI cards too (Nvidia cards work fine)? I think that is a little too convenient and completely unethical to be honest.