NVidia driver problems with Lion on 2010 MacBook Pros

If you own a 2010 MacBook Pro with NVidia graphics, you may want to listen up if you plan to upgrade to Lion. Apple's Arrandale-equipped 15" and 17" MacBook Pros with switchable NVidia GT 330M graphics have been affected by a set of bad drivers. The NVidia graphics drivers that shipped with OS X 10.7 are causing kernel panics and system freezes that render the 2010 MacBook Pros unusable. Apple's support engineers are actively investigating the issue, according to Ars Technica. There are no easy solutions though, leaving most users no choice but to roll back to Snow Leopard. 

However, for those who are like to do things by themselves, there are two solutions that may work. The first solution involves using the gfxCardStatus utility to disable NVidia graphics or disable sleep. AppleCare support technicians have offered a solution that may work as well. Navigate to ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/ and delete all files containing "windowserver". To get to the Library on Lion, hold down the Option key in the Finder's Go menu, and use the Go to Folder command.

Symptoms of the problem include kernel panics, inability to wake from sleep, and black screens. Switching the NVidia graphics on and connecting a external display are some situations that cause problems. In addition, running games or graphics-intensive applications cause the problems as well. During beta testing of Lion, the issue was known but never fixed, leaving users frustrated with Apple.

 

 

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42 Comments

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I think that Apple should stop labeling the Windows machines with BSOD icons and start putting the kernel poanic icons for Macbooks. For the clarity.

I have a 2010 MacBook Pro with the NVidia card, no problems here. intact, apart from Microsoft Office / Communicator 2011 issues (now fixed) everything on Lion has been fine.

ahhell said,
How is **** like this not caught before release?

"During beta testing of Lion, the issue was known but never fixed, leaving users frustrated with Apple."
xD...

ahhell said,
How is **** like this not caught before release?

"During beta testing of Lion, the issue was known but never fixed, leaving users frustrated with Apple."
xD...

Apples hardware is closely regulated so I'm wondering how this can even be a problem? I would understand if they had to support an endless number of configurations but they only have to support at the most a few hundred.

This is just sloppy.

TheReasonIFailed said,
Apples hardware is closely regulated so I'm wondering how this can even be a problem? I would understand if they had to support an endless number of configurations but they only have to support at the most a few hundred.

This is just sloppy.

Exactly. They come out with a new model each year and they have what, 6 different lines of PCs they sell? With $60+ billion in cash reserves, they can't hire a couple more engineers to test/fix this kind of stuff before they release?

Enron said,

Exactly. They come out with a new model each year and they have what, 6 different lines of PCs they sell? With $60+ billion in cash reserves, they can't hire a couple more engineers to test/fix this kind of stuff before they release?

They did make a promise to release by end of July, and they cut it pretty close.

TheReasonIFailed said,
Apples hardware is closely regulated so I'm wondering how this can even be a problem? I would understand if they had to support an endless number of configurations but they only have to support at the most a few hundred.

This is just sloppy.

Exactly! The reason I pay a "premium" to use Apple products is to avoid issues like this.

NVidia driver problems with Lion on 2010 MacBook Pros
or
Apple driver problems with Lion on 2010 MacBook Pros

Since Apple is who supply with the hardware, software and drivers.

This doesn't only affect the 2010 MacBook Pros. I have a 2009 model which also has NVIDIA graphics (9600GT + 9400M) and it also freezes and I've experienced two kernel panics since upgrading to Lion. This is the first time my MacBook Pro has crashed since I bought it.

The problem happens mostly on the 9600GT with constant user interface freezes. When I switch to the 9400M the freezes are much fewer and farer between so I've kept it on that. Hope they fix it soon it's so annoying.

God, I hope Apple releases a Lion update next week. Even the 3000HD drivers suck - I have a noticeable performance hit with Civ 5 since SL->Lion.

I've had these problems. No kernel panics, but plenty of sleep/unsleep problems. Bit of a pain, glad they're finally admitting to the problems.

Modern operating systems (<cough> Windows 7) run the graphics driver in user space. Thus avoiding crashing the whole system when something goes wrong, by simply restarting the driver.

floopydoodle said,
Modern operating systems (<cough> Windows 7) run the graphics driver in user space. Thus avoiding crashing the whole system when something goes wrong, by simply restarting the driver.

Don't confuse Apple fanboys with such facts and details. "Hurr durr, user-space? Apple is teh best OS ever!!1"

"During beta testing of Lion, the issue was known but never fixed, leaving users frustrated with Apple."
Duuhhhh. Is this news for anyone anymore? Apple doesn't give a **** about its fanatics, they just want your money.

TDT said,
"During beta testing of Lion, the issue was known but never fixed, leaving users frustrated with Apple."
Duuhhhh. Is this news for anyone anymore? Apple doesn't give a **** about its fanatics, they just want your money.

Reminds me of Yahoo Messenger beta testing. whats the point??

DomZ said,

Which is why Apple always scores so highly in customer service/tech support surveys/ratings...

Just like the dictator's party in a dictator country always scores 99.9% in elections =)

RealFduch said,

Just like the dictator's party in a dictator country always scores 99.9% in elections =)

Except nobody is forcing people to say they are satisfied. I'm one of those people, actually.
My magsafe charger stopped working (for whatever reason) the other night. Booked a genius appointment for the next day, walked in and 15 minutes later came back out with a new charger with no questions asked. He even told me that, as I made a student purchase, I'm covered by 3 year warranty so I shouldn't bother with Applecare.

You can hate on Apple all you want, but for me I've never had anything but first class service from them. I have a custom built Win7 machine, too, so not a fanboy

Dead'Soul said,
If there is a NVIDIA chip installed, blame them! Lots of headache with nvidia chipset with Vista. Now on Lion!

LOL yes, is why I switched to ATI thanks to Nvidia on Vista!
Maybe Lion really is "Apple's Vista"

[object Object]

It wasn't just a Nvidia's Beta driver, in a common day... And you installed the driver voluntarily.

Edited by Pro Deo et Patria, Aug 6 2011, 9:53am :

Dead'Soul said,
If there is a NVIDIA chip installed, blame them! Lots of headache with nvidia chipset with Vista. Now on Lion!

In a supposedly so protected ecosystem like Apple's, you've to blame both, not only Nvidia.

It wasn't just a Nvidia's Beta driver, in a common day... and you installed the driver voluntarily...

Dead'Soul said,
If there is a NVIDIA chip installed, blame them! Lots of headache with nvidia chipset with Vista. Now on Lion!

I've had two nvidia graphics cards cause windows 7 to Bsod and Ubuntu to just quit.

Dead'Soul said,
If there is a NVIDIA chip installed, blame them! Lots of headache with nvidia chipset with Vista. Now on Lion!

nVidia writes the driver and Apple tests it. so it's 100% Apple's fault. There are no drivers for Lion on the nVidia website yet. This tells us that Apple is slacking.

Dead'Soul said,
If there is a NVIDIA chip installed, blame them! Lots of headache with nvidia chipset with Vista. Now on Lion!

Isn't Apple's whole USP is "we are better because we make both hardware & software" ?

jesseinsf said,

nVidia writes the driver and Apple tests it. so it's 100% Apple's fault. There are no drivers for Lion on the nVidia website yet. This tells us that Apple is slacking.

This is the truth, its APPLE's kernel, not nVidia's. Read into what an operating system is if you think otherwise. The layer of software that is OSX Lion is meant to connects the user-land to the hardware. If there is an issue along the pipeline, commercially it is Apple's fault, even if it is indirectly nVidia's fault. Please, Apple isn't always right

I've had Lion installed since the 1st Developer Preview and I can honestly say I haven't experienced any of issues mentioned.

Had a kernel panic yesterday on my Mid 2010 Mac Mini.

Upon reboot, it looked like it was caused by nVIDIA graphics.

Doesn't happen all of the time though!

IakobosJ said,
Had a kernel panic yesterday on my Mid 2010 Mac Mini.

Upon reboot, it looked like it was caused by nVIDIA graphics.

Doesn't happen all of the time though!

Sad Man!! Hope Apple releases an updated driver soon.....