Does Vista Run Second Life?


Not to make this blog be “All-Vista-All-The-Time”, but I wanted to chime in about some issues that have surfaced around running Second Life on Vista systems.

I first heard that there might be a problem when the Second Life Insider reported that one of their readers received video card error messages when trying to run Second Life after installing Vista. It appears that some people can run SL on Vista just fine, but some cannot. Further digging into the topic indicates that success depends on your video card and whether or not it supports OpenGL. If you are a Second Life resident moving to Vista, you may want to look into updating the drivers for your video card.

Systems Dell ships today with Vista and nVidia graphics solutions have the native 3D rendering support required for Second Life. Including the XPS 710 desktops and XPS 1710 notebooks that you can configure within Second Life for purchase in real life. ATI’s OpenGL ICD has just recently been made available, so while it may not be shipping installed on Dell systems today, we have added the ATI drivers with OpenGL ICD support to our Drivers & Downloads site.

Now it appears that help is on the way from Linden Lab, as well. Steve Linden blogs that changes coming with the First Look Viewer will enable Linden to debug problems with running Second Life under Windows Vista. No exact ETA on that, but it’s reassuring to know they’re working on it.


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13 thoughts on “Does Vista Run Second Life?

  1. Instead of making this blog a Vista-All-The-Time blog, it seems that it is becoming a Second-Life-ALL-The-Time blog. I’m not sure about other people, but I personally don’t think that Second Life is very interesting, and would rather not hear about it all the time on this Blog. Maybe talking more about your horrible repair center would be better?

  2. Very well thought out CR, being that there is only 6 posts about second life in over 600 total posts….I would hardly call your comments based on fact

  3. I believe this is more relevant purely on the driver issues. What is going on with nVidia and their driver releases for Vista? I currently own (proudly) an XPS 600 and XPS 700. I have two nVidia GeFroce 7800 GTX’s running in SLI and I just purchased (from Dell) an nVidia GeFroce 8800 GTS (640). Ever since I installed Vista on my XPS 700 I have been receiving intermittant blue screens of death. After updating my ForceWare drivers I got another BSOD. I can’t even shut the computer down properly or even restart it – it hangs with no video output and never shuts down.

    Is this because of the nVidia drivers for Vista? I’ve ruled out everything but the board itself (590) and the GPUs. Also, I find it very interesting that you can’t order up an XPS 710 (any flavor) with Vista installed, only XP. Is there something you guys aren’t telling us? If you have info on incompatibility, please tell us! I just forked over $500 for the new card and I’m a little nervous. Has nVidia worked out the issues related to the DirextX 10 issue? Is this thing going to work properly and not crash on me like my computer has been? Please, do you guys have any information on these driver issues?

  4. It doesn’t really matter if it runs or not since Dell still hasn’t shipped their “express upgrades”.

  5. Tom Mc – Sorry to hear about the black screen.  I’ve looked into it and
    verified that the issue is an ATI OpenGL driver bug.  Looks like Linden
    Labs has noted
     the same as well. 

    Our Dell team will work with ATI to receive and qualify a fix in the
    next few weeks, after which time we’ll promote it to our Drivers &

  6. Another boring SL user whinning about Vista…Following the Dell suggestion I did upgrade the ATI driver and that stopped the generic driver message. Now I can not get past the black screen sign on page.  Now I get a message that SL crashed.  Vista is the only change that I made to my fairly new XPS 410. SL worked as good as SL works with XP. I would appreciate any suggestions…SL has their head in the sand as usual. I think Vista platform was a total surprise to them.

    I did call Dell support only to find out that Vista problems are software issues and not covered by my 3 years extended service program, but for a one time charge $129…they would help.

  7. Hello Laura,


    Can you report any progress either from Linden Lab or ATI regarding the Open GL issue?…..I have seen nothing published by Second Life….are you sure Linden is aware that Vista has been released?




  8. So does second life run on Vista?  And are nVidia drivers compatible with Vista yet?  Anyone have an answer?

  9. As of October 30, 2007, the Second Life website referenced by Laura Thomas above DOES list Vista support for specific ATI (9500 and “better”)and nVidia (6600 and better) video cards. 

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