The Hunt For Vista Drivers

Nathan Edwards

Some time ago I purchased a Dell E1705 laptop with almost all the options. I was very happy with the laptop and its GeForce 7900 GS. It allowed me to play just about any game on the market. Everything was great until I upgraded my machine to Vista, but I can’t find any Vista drivers for my 7900 GS.

I’ve been waiting for more than a year now, and there’s still nothing from nVidia or Dell. So I was wondering: Do you know how I can get my card to work right? I would even take homemade drivers at this point if I knew where to find some!

—Chris Lingle


A solution to your predicament is quite simple. Go to Dell’s website ( www.dell.com ) and click the Drivers & Downloads link. Next, choose the Inspiron E1705 from the provided list; you’ll then be taken to the official downloads page for your laptop. Select your operating system and click the Video tab at the bottom of the screen. A list of drivers will pop up, including a December 2007 release of Nvidia drivers for GeForce Go 7800 and GeForce Go 7900 GS cards.

If you’re running 64-bit Vista, the Doctor is sad to inform you that you’re hosed. Dell doesn’t have a driver for your card for that version of the OS. We recommend the following solution only as a last-ditch approach because following these instructions will void your card’s warranty.

That said, third parties will often create customized videocard drivers based off the latest Catalyst or Forceware releases.  NGO ( www.ngohq.com ) is one of the more popular brands of customized drivers. At the site, you can download one of their driver packages. It’ll come with support for both Vista 32-bit and Vista 64-bit, GeForce 2- to 8-series cards, and all GeForce Go cards.

The Doctor still maintains that you’re best off using the Dell-approved drivers—unless, you truly have no other alternative.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at doctor@maximumpc.com for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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