GWKB1076 : Window-Eyes is not picky about what graphic adapter you use.

Product: Window-Eyes
Author: Raul Gallegos
Date Added: 07/17/2007
Last Modified: 07/17/2007

There have been recent concerns regarding graphic adapters and Window-Eyes on new computers. Let me say that bottom line, Window-Eyes does not have any problems with one particular graphic adapter over another. This means that you can get a new computer and it does not matter which graphic adapter you go with.

So, why the concern? Why does Window-Eyes not work on some computers after installing it? The problem is the graphic adapter drivers. A driver is what Windows uses to communicate with installed devices. Many times when you install Windows for the first time, you will be using generic graphic adapter drivers. These generic drivers are there to get the average user up and running. Window-Eyes may not work with these because they do not provide all the functionality needed. In other cases, you may purchase a new computer and it comes with Windows and all the supported hardware drivers already loaded. Again, the drivers used may be generic ones or may simply be outdated. Your first task should be to obtain and install the latest graphic adapter drivers. The reason we suggest the latest drivers is because earlier ones or generic ones may have problems which will cause nothing but headaches.

Take ATI Radeon for example. One of their driver versions earlier in 2007 was causing major problems with Window-Eyes. Users reported problems ranging from not being able to install Window-Eyes, to getting blue screens of death. This had the unfortunate
Side-effect of making it seem that Window-Eyes was being picky about what graphic adapters were being used when in fact this was not the case. We contacted ATI about some of these problems, and they were able to confirm that there were some problems. These problems were fixed and newer drivers were made available. However, just because newer drivers were available, it did not mean that everyone got the updates magically. People still had to make sure to update their drivers in case they were using the ones with some problems.

I'm not singling out ATI by any means, but just using them as an example. This type of problem can easily happen with Intel, Nvidia, or just about any graphic adapter manufacturer.
Computer manufacturers like Dell and HP are known for using ATI graphic adapters in their machines, and so there were a lot of computers which were sold and which included the graphic adapter drivers with problems. Because of this example, it's always a good idea to update drivers for all your components when you receive a new computer. Just because it's new, it does not always mean that the newest drivers are being used. This is a common misconception with purchasing new computers. When we tell people to get the newest drivers, the first thing we hear is how it's a new computer and why should someone bother when it already has the latest.

The problem with updating drivers is that some sites are harder to use than others. I have not personally gone to ATI's web site to see how complex it is, but from what I've read from other users, it's not very easy finding the correct drivers for your card. Nvidia on the other hand, you click downloads, you then go to the list box and choose graphic adapters, then you choose the series of card you have, and then you download the driver install file.

To summarize, getting a pre-installed computer like Dell or HP is not a bad thing, as long as you are aware that they will not ship with the latest drivers in most cases. Also, when updating drivers, you need to be aware that in most cases, the manufacturer of the component will have the latest drivers with bug fixes. This is not the manufacturer of the PC, but the manufacturer of the component such as Nvidia and ATI for graphic adapters, or Creative and Turtle Beach for sound cards.

I hope this helps clear up any misgivings when it comes to getting a new computer.