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Apple/NVidia Driver Bug — Question Deleted 703

Posted by kdawson
from the sup-with-that? dept.
Joe Drago writes "I purchased a Mac Pro within the first week that they were available, and immediately upgraded to 3GB of RAM (knowing that OSX loves memory). When playing 3D games (World of Warcraft mainly), the game would Kernel Panic the machine if I had played it for a few hours, or if I swapped in and out of the game a few times, etc. I eventually found out (from an official Blizzard poster) that NVidia has a bug in their drivers that kernel panics a Mac Pro if any memory past the 2GB boundary is addressed in the driver. After waiting months for a resolution to this, I decided to post on Apple's support site. Here is an image of my post.. Within a few hours, they removed it from the site, placing it under 'Posts Removed by Administration.' What's going on here? Is Apple trying to hide this bug, or is there something more serious going on between Apple and NVidia?"
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Apple/NVidia Driver Bug — Question Deleted

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  • Apple Policy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by x_MeRLiN_x (935994) * on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:52PM (#17607796) Homepage
    I don't claim to know anything Apple's forum rules, but could it not be that the question was removed because they thought this was an Nvidia bug and as such not their responsibility to discuss?
    • Re:Apple Policy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TodMinuit (1026042) <todminuit@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:54PM (#17607818)
      So don't remove the post! Reply to it saying that and close the topic.

      A new Apple icon needs to be added to Slashdot, showing a man gagged by an apple.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:02PM (#17607888)

        Is this what you're looking for? [wikipedia.org]

        P.S. I can't believe you got modded troll. Sorry, what I am saying, the world is full of idiots.

      • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob.hotmail@com> on Monday January 15, 2007 @01:19AM (#17609888) Journal
        A new Apple icon needs to be added to Slashdot, showing a man gagged by an apple.

        Good idea! If it's done properly, it could also be re-used as a GIMP icon.

    • Re:Apple Policy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrchaotica (681592) * on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:57PM (#17607840)

      If so, then they should post a reply to that effect -- not delete the whole thread!

    • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:01PM (#17608436) Journal

      Its all about competing with Microsoft to make sure they don't get yet another monopoly, this time on Evil ...

      Two years ago, it was Sun's turn to be evil ... last year it was google's ; Novell tried last month, but they pretty much failed it, so Apple got the nod.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:02PM (#17608920)
      nVidia doesn't do Apple drivers. They may have their engineers help write them, but they don't support or distribute them. Apple is solely responsible for supporting the hardware they ship with their systems because they want it that way. You go to nVidia's site you'll find drivers for Windows of all varieties, Linux 32 and 64-bit, FreeBSD, and even Solaris, but no OS-X. So when you have problems with nVidias on OS-X, it's Apple that you need to talk to.
      • by RatPh!nk (216977) <ratpH1nk AT gMail DOT com> on Monday January 15, 2007 @12:14AM (#17609426)

        You are incorrect, ATI and nVidia do write the code for the drivers that are included in the OS. I searched around the net, and I couldn't find any convincing evidence, but as a former employee, trust me. ATI/nVidia write the drivers, Apple does most of the Q&A. If you file a bugreport on a driver it will end up as being readable by ATI/nVidia, they have access to that category of bugs.

        • Doesn't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday January 15, 2007 @04:47AM (#17611024)
          Apple has chosen to take responsibility for sole distribution and release and thus support. That's what I mean by nVidia doesn't "do" Apple drivers. For other platforms, they distribute them directly, and they support them. However that's not the case for OS-X. Thus the proper channel to go through is Apple.

          Also you'll have to excuse me if I don't trust you because of a random claim you make on the net. If I had a nickel for the number of people on the net claiming to have insider information on something and being full of it... Regardless the point is that telling the person it's not Apple's problem is wrong. It's similar to buying a Dell computer and the harddrive breaks. You don't call Maxtor or WD or whoever made it, you call Dell. They are supporting the whole package.
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:52PM (#17607802) Homepage
    I eventually found out (from an official Blizzard poster) that NVidia has a bug in their drivers that kernel panics a Mac Pro if any memory past the 2GB boundary is addressed in the driver. After waiting months for a resolution to this, I decided to post on Apple's support site. Here is an image of my post.. Within a few hours, they removed it from the site, placing it under 'Posts Removed by Administration.'

    Macs "just work". Everyone knows that. Obviously the "problem" is your fault, and/or you're a troll.
  • by TitusC3v5 (608284) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:55PM (#17607822) Homepage
    [This comment has been deleted.]
  • by bcmm (768152) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:56PM (#17607832)
    The complaint is reasonable and mostly well put, but perhaps the speculation at then end annoyed them enough to make them remove it?

    It still comes across as a bit unreasonable to remove it, however. But it's Apple. They don't expect you to upgrade things on your own.
  • Forum rules? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ParraCida (1018494) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:57PM (#17607844)
    Seems more like a complaint/accusation masked as a question, rather than a serious question and might have been removed for that reason.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by belmolis (702863)

      He may have expressed irritation, but he still asked a perfectly valid question. He's entitled to know if Apple agrees that there is a driver bug or thinks that something else is going on, and if it is a driver bug, are they working on it and when can the fix be expected.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by timeOday (582209)
      Seems more like a complaint/accusation masked as a question, rather than a serious question and might have been removed for that reason.
      Give me a break. What is this, Jeapordy?
  • A screen grab? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:58PM (#17607846)
    How often do people take screen grabs of their posts to a forum?

    Was their expectation of it being removed? I find that more confusing then the fact that it was deleted.
    • Re:A screen grab? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:05PM (#17607916)
      Maybe he had it in his cache.
      • Re:A screen grab? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:07PM (#17608480) Journal

        The screen grab wasn't of his original question, but of his question after they deleted all but the subject line.

        It was only after the question was deleted that he began questioning Apple's motives.

        My take on it is that nobody would buy a 3-gig box if they can't properly use the extra gig of ram, and this could hurt sales, as well as give people justification for post-xmas returns (and then buying the 2-gig machine at a post-xmas price).

    • Re:A screen grab? (Score:5, Informative)

      by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:49PM (#17608330)

      How often do people take screen grabs of their posts to a forum? Was their expectation of it being removed?

      Apple routinely deletes posts discussing known defects; it's very well known among Apple-using techies. Apple has done it in almost every case where there have been hardware defects of any kind. A classic example would be the iBook motherboard failures. I would imagine they do it to a)keep other owners from finding out and demanding fixes as well, b)keeping the press from finding out, and c)to defend themselves in any lawsuits which can claim "well, people reported it on your forums, so you must have known about it!" So...yes.

      Web forums and mailing lists fuck with a classic PR/customer service move: deny all knowledge. I had a problem with speakers in my car, which in some cases had caused smoke or fire in this particular model. We called the car company, and each member of the forum, over a period of several weeks, was told "we have no knowledge of any other reports of problems with this model." They lied straight through their teeth. We later found out that over ten years before, a vehicle had completely burned to the ground because of the same defect, and company reps came out, looked at the car, purchased it back off the owner no questions asked, etc. They knew about the defect for over a decade and a half, and only after lots of bitching to NHSTA, did we get them to do anything about it. Oh, and dealing with NHSTA was another barrel of monkeys. Call their 800 number, and you get an operator who cannot do a single thing except ask for your address and send you the forms to report a problem. Once you do, they completely prevent you from speaking to the investigator at NHSTA to communicate further details et al.

      • Exactly! (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I recently bought a mac pro along with the Parallels software so I could run windows as well. Sorry, no go. Parallels wouldn't work on the mac pro. No way will you ever convince me that Apple didn't know that one of their biggest selling points was a dud. Caused kernel panics. It works on the mac book pro but not the tower. Took the parallels software back and the apple rep had never heard about any problems with it.

        Next I found that the keyboard has the worst key-bounce since the Shadio Rack Mod I. A bi
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:58PM (#17607854)
    Wow, I'm kind of surprised this popped up on slashdot (I figured it would get mentioned in a blog, at most, and forgotten about). I'm one of the admins on that forum, and can confirm that yes, we've been asked to nuke anything regarding nVidia, at least in certain contexts. One recent addition to our arrangement with them (to provide kernel drivers) involves some very restrictive IP deals that upper management has interpreted to mean we shouldn't even acknowledge certain kinds of bugs in a very specific area. It's my understanding that there are some serious showstopper bugs inherent to nvidia's platform independent core code that they really do not want releasing. Most of us think this is utter BS (and management being paranoid), fwiw.

    And yes, there are enough forum admins that I'm not too scared about 'leaking' like this. Note that I'm keeping the exact details secret :p
    • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:46PM (#17608292) Homepage
      This sounds rather plausible... at least we all *want* to believe it.

      But frankly, with all the other nonsense that goes on surrounding Apple, their products and all that, it just fits. I find that Apple is so incredibly arrogant about the way they refuse to fix problems (for example, the 128GB limit bug for some older G4 machines and before) I see Apple eventually going the way that Sony will be going -- relying on the ignorance of uninformed people who buy their brand because of the recognition and prior reputation.

      EVENTUALLY, enough sales people at Best Buy and the like will tell people what's wrong with Sony and Apple and the word will get out.
    • by this great guy (922511) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:42PM (#17609218)

      In a recent Slashdot article [slashdot.org] about an effort to write an open source driver for Nvidia cards, people such as mgemmons were asking "What is wrong with the proprietary driver?" [slashdot.org] Well, what a perfect example you have there: Nvidia is actively trying to hide serious bugs/limitations present in their drivers ! WTF ! This sort of vendor behavior is precisely one of the reasons why some of us would like open source drivers.

  • Driver support (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:00PM (#17607872)
    Apple and nVidia have both said, in public, many times, that in the specific case of Apple NV cards, the drivers are handled by Apple.
  • by d474 (695126) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:01PM (#17607884)
    Apple Guy: Hi, I'm an Apple.
    PC Guy: Hi, I'm a PC.
    Apple Guy: *itching crotch*
    PC Guy: Got a problem there?
    Apple Guy: No, I'm fine. (*cockroaches fall to floor from pant leg*)
    PC Guy: Having a little problem with that "Nvidia card"? (chuckles)
    Apple Guy: *walks off set*
    PC Guy: Don't mind him, he's just trying to support more than 2GB of RAM...
  • Apple's Bugs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Liquid-Gecka (319494) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:03PM (#17607896)
    This is what I would expect. When I bugged apple about their broken NFS support on servers they told us that engineers would get back to us. They never did. So I started asking on forums and mailing lists to see if I could get an answer and as soon as I brought it up the thread would get killed or the post would be deleted. Then when we had issues with MPICH it as the same dang thing. Eventually they admitted that MPICH2 works much nicer on Mac OS than MPICH 1 due to some network implementations stuff. Every time I brought it up on the forums though the thread would get killed. (For the curious, the problem that we where having was that an Apple server running NFS would always seem to forget about the last file in a directory when it cached the directory contents. so running "mkdir a; cd a; touch 1 2 3 4 5 6 ; cd .. ; rm -rf a" would fail one out of four times when being done over NFS. If you waited a half an hour then ran rm -rf a it would work great. This issue didn't happen when Mac OS systems mounted Linux NFS shares, but happened every time a Linux or Mac OS system mounted a NFS share off of a Mac OS based system. This was still happening to all of our PPC based systems as of last summer when we finally switched them over to PPC Linux, which made the problem go away) I guess what I am saying is that it is not surprising. Apple has always nuked threads that made them look bad so why not this one?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I dont know why apple fanboys have to keep modding this to -1 as flamebait its INFORMATIVE and FACTUAL :

      Its WORSE than you think! The Apple bugs are now rampant.

      Apple, like all software companies large and small, maintains an internal employee BugBase or bug database.

      Other companies also include feature requests in such databases with acknowledgement from engineers.

      It was a shining example from apple until a couple years ago some managers at Apple decided to irrationally ban thousands of Apple employees fro
    • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:24AM (#17611524) Journal

      That's been my experience. When Windows fails, it's usually some strange registry corruption or chunk of spyware, taking down the entire system, and generally, you won't be able to fix it -- or it will be simpler and cheaper to reinstall the OS.

      When Linux fails, either it's something in hardware (Linux seems to be more sensitive to bad RAM than Windows, which I consider to be a Good Thing), or it's something easily fixable -- not even by a kernel hacker, but by a competent admin with a little shell scripting ability. Even Gentoo isn't usually that hard to fix.

      When OS X fails, it's going to be some annoying little thing. You'll contact Apple about it, they'll get back to you -- sometime this century -- and in the meantime, it'll piss you off enough to want to install Linux, or even Windows (if you're lucky enough to have an Intel Mac -- mine's PPC).

      My bug is simple and stupid, and very annoying. My Powerbook has f1 through f10 or so mapped to hardware functions, which is actually quite nice, and I don't know if I'd easily get used to using the fn key to trigger those functions. That is, just hitting f1 would adjust monitor brightness (I think), whereas the alternative is having fn+f1 do that. But it also means that in order to pass it through to apps, or even the OS (other than hardware controls), I have to hit fn... So, to tell Expose to show me all windows, it's fn+f9.

      Well, of course that was annoying as hell, and I often used Expose to peek in case something got lost -- my virtual desktops being buggy (still waiting on Spaces), often I'll accidentally move a window to another desktop and have it somehow bury itself under everything. Also, Adium has a habit of opening popup windows of any kind under what you're doing, which is nice, but a few kind of popups in particular don't trigger any notification (no growl, no sound, no duck bouncing in the tray), so the only way to see them is to hit Expose and check under your windows every few minutes to see if, say, someone had invited you to a chat, or sent you a file, or whatever.

      So I mapped Expose to cmd+semicolon. Which is very nice on Dvorak, as the semicolon is where Z is on QWERTY -- looking on your keyboard, they are right next to each other (for PC people, that "Windows" key is the cmd key). The only problem is, the OS forgets this mapping every reboot. And, this being a Powerbook, I often just let it sleep -- for weeks at a time -- until an upgrade forces me to reboot, or I feel like showing off the Ubuntu livecd (or trying to get Linux to work again), or whatever. So it's not like this is part of my morning ritual -- boot computer, login, remap Expose. No, this is pretty random, and every time, it annoys the hell out of me.

      Well, I submitted a detailed report on this issue. I would paste it here, but after digging up the original email, it seems that Apple places bug reports under a blanket non-disclosure agreement -- so certainly I may not paste their response here. However, I do know how to make a detailed and helpful report.

      Their response: It's a known issue, currently being worked on by engineering. On the website, the bug's state is: Dupe. The website also confirms: I submitted this bug on July 25th, 20006. Their reply -- the email basically telling me it was a dupe, and that they're working on it -- came on September 22nd, 2006. As far as I know, the issue has not been resolved.

      Frankly, I'm not surprised that Apple has been deleting bug discussion -- I don't know if they actually use their bug database for anything other than reassuring consumers that they know what's going on, but I now know that their standard response to bugs (or any flaw or deficiency) is to bury their head in the sand and pretend it never happened... until they fix the problem, and then claim it was always a good idea, and always what they were planning. Remember how they toted the G5's "Intel-crushing" performance (or was it "Pentium-crushing"? Whatever), before they suddenly switched to Intel, and now they're all a

  • Oh fer cryin'... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:13PM (#17608002)
    Has this person never heard of Hanlon's Law [wikipedia.org] (with Hawthorne's Collary - "Because the latter is easily the most common element in the universe") ?

    Either that, or the tinfoil hat's beginning to cut off circulation.

  • Possible reason (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dtfinch (661405) * on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:21PM (#17608058) Journal
    "Using your Mac Pro" might not have been the appropriate section to post your topic in.
  • by vandan (151516) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:22PM (#17608070) Homepage
    The post was clearly redundant, as the bug will be fixed in the future, and the release date back-dated :)
  • by dr.badass (25287) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:33PM (#17608174) Homepage
    I read your post, and I'm struggling to figure out just what the hell your question is. You ask "who is fixing this bug?" but in a place where nobody that could actually provide the answer will be looking. You've clearly already made up your mind that there is some sort of "power struggle" or conspiracy going on, so what, if anything, could someone tell you that would satisfy you? I don't know what the criteria for removal is on those forums, but I suspect yours was removed because it was pointless and inflammatory, not because of any conspiracy. That you feel that having one forum post removed is a crisis worth submitting to Slashdot reeks of paranoia.

    Why don't you try Apple's bug reporting site instead of the Discussion forums? You know, the place where you actually report bugs?

  • Easy Answers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GarfBond (565331) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @09:58PM (#17608412)
    How about this: the forum post deletions are the result of an overzealous moderator, and as a result, your post to slashdot is the result is an overzealous conspiracy theory?

    Dumb bug on someone's part, but you're looking for a conspiracy where there is likely none.
  • BBB (Score:4, Informative)

    by zoftie (195518) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:34PM (#17608694) Homepage
    File a complaint with BBB, after a while they can't delete history with BBB, you can always post their dealings with customers too, out to dry on the web.

    http://bbb.com/ [bbb.com]
  • Use "Use"net (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:01PM (#17608906)
    I've always thought that the proliferation of forums was in many respects doing everyone a disservice and in general a step backwards for the Internet community as a whole.

    First and foremost messages can be easily lost forever due to software or hardware failures, they can be censored by individuals who want them gone (Nazi Moderation). They also tend to not exist after a finite amount of time due to companies closing up shop or local retention limits. With usenet messages are propogated throughout the planet to thousands of separate stores.

    Second using a browser even with all the modern trinkets and features still stinks compared to a real editor/news client.

    Third to get answers that people take the time to post publically as a service to others tend to expose you to mounds and mounds of crap due to the proliferation of sites that exist to make money from google adwords.

    Fourth categorization and search is much easier with a common protocol vs ad hoc web applications.

    Fith access performance and just plain getting crap done factor was generally much higher in the good ole days before PHPBB and similiar technologies.

    I know the above is one sided and there are lots of advantages to local systems.

    Anyway I remember posting a message to one of the most popular soft phone forums a while back basically saying how stupid they were for allowing hyperlinking to SIP uris that just dial phone numbers without any kind of user say or any way to disable it short of registry hacks. A rediculous, stupid and obvious security problem. My post disappeared 20 minutes later but eventually after many months and lots of counseling I got over it and still use their software :) I figured at least they were smart enough to realize they were being stupid.

  • by martyb (196687) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:04PM (#17608940)

    (Couldn't access the article's screen capture - site's bandwidth exceeded.)

    I did some googling around, and it appears that Mac Pro systems have been known to Kernel Panic in a number of cases after a memory upgrade. Have you considered that you might have TWO (intermittent) problems?

    According to this [xlr8yourmac.com]http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/Mac_Pro/mac_pro _ram.html [xlr8yourmac.com] upgrade memory should have larger heatsinks than standard heatsinked FB-Dimms. It has links to: memory test utilities, ECC correction reports, and most notably:

    FYI - Page 2 [anandtech.com] of PC site Anandtech's Mac Pro upgrades article has comments on using standard heatsink FB-Dimms (which some readers previously reported worked ok so far at least, although others have noted ECC error corrections)

    "We had no problems running all of our benchmarks with the standard (flat heatsink) Crucial FB-DIMMs; however, if we ran a memory stress test for even just a short period of time the modules quickly reported correctable ECC errors. (Apple system profiler memory status section) Apple's original modules did not generate any ECC errors, so it looks like the additional cooling is necessary under the most extreme situations." (emphasis added)

    Questions:

    1. What brand of memory did you upgrade with? Apple? Crucial? Kingston? Other?
    2. Did your memory have the standard-sized or larger-sized heat sinks?
    3. What memory stress tests have you run?
    4. Were any ECC errors reported?
    5. What was the distribution of memory in your system? (which boards of what size and manufacture in which risers?)
    6. If you pull the original memory and use just the upgrade memory, does the problem still exist?

    Hope this helps!

  • by laing (303349) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:16PM (#17609044)
    I identified a serious flaw in all USR "Sportster" and "Courier" modems (only the ones with flashable firmware). It was reproducable (at least to me) and caused a dropped connection under certain conditions. After making it past the tier 1 support folks, I got in touch with the product engineering group. I gave them enough info that they took me seriously but they claimed that they could not reproduce the problem. They sent me a brand new computer with modem so I could configure it like mine. I did so and they dialed into it and saw the problem. I sent the system back and kept in touch with them until they fell off the face of the earth about 2 weeks after I returned their computer. I have all of the e-mail threads to document this.

    USR apparently did not want to deal with the product liablity. It would have bankrupted them to fix all of the modems. Instead they quietly dropped the product line and completely ignored me. I solved my problem by buying a bunch of modems from another manufacturer.

    JSL

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