Friday 3 September 2010

Nvidia plays April Fool's .... in September (or, how my Windows 7 install went greyscale)

I have an Nvidia GeForce 250 GTS based graphics card (I believe it's made by Asus). Whilst showing off my comparatively new computer to a very well in the know gamer friend, he suggested I update my Nvidia driver.

The (the Nvidia driver) was way behind, so I thought this was a good idea and left the new driver downloading whilst we went out. When I came home, I ran the install.. and then everything went greyscale!

What happened you ask? Well, it would appear that in more recent revisions of the Nvidia driver since mine was originally installed, Nvidia decided that its "digital vibrance" setting (think Colour Saturation from what I can gather) would be recalibrated and that the default, presently set value of "0" would no longer mean "base colour" but instead no colour.

It took me a good 10 minutes of googling, but eventually I found the setting and slid it up to 50 (half way) as suggested by online posts.

Hey presto, COLOUR! (Amazing, that a Core i7 should be able to display colour of all things!?)

Anyway, if you install a newer Nvidia driver and find that everything's gone old timey in Windows 7, you can change the setting by following these instructions..
  • Right click on the desktop
  • Select "Nvidia Control Panel"
  • Click on "Adjust display colour settings" (or similarly worded - the first mention of colour)
  • In section 3, slide the "Digital Vibrance" control from 0 to 50
  • Click Apply in the bottom right corner

You would think that a safe default for this setting would be colour, or to at least prompt the user during install ("Your digital vibrance is set in such a way that you won't see colour on the screen, do you wish to enable colour?").

Obviously I don't boot into Windows and update enough, so it's punishing me :D  - I dual boot Windows 7 Professional 64-bit with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 64-bit (Don't ask me the inane animal name).

I hope, if you've found yourself in this predicament, this post helps you... and hey, if you don't like colour or need greyscale for some reason, you can now easily turn off the colour in Windows 7 if you have an Nvidia card.

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