No nView for Vista?

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I’ve never been a loyal customer when it comes to graphic cards in my PC. If I remember correctly I went from an S3 card to a Matrox G100, a G200, a nVidia geForce 256, a cheap ATI card and now I’m back with nVidia. During all this the only real driver trouble I’ve had was with the Matrox cards, which could not render OpenGL games. But today I found out that nVidia’s Vista drivers do not feature nView.

nView is a set of tools that makes working with more than one display very convenient. It’s been part of nVidia’s drivers for ages, and allows you to quickly move an application to the other screen without having to restore down, drag and maximize the window. Also, nView allows you to zoom in, create multiple virtual desktops and tons of other great features. But not under Vista.

The main alternative is to use UltraMon. Although admittedly a great tool, I’d rather not pay $40 to get features that I would already have if I was still using XP. In fact, my entire dual-DVI display adapter cost me less than double what this small utility would set me back. If you’re using two displays with the same resolution, a free tool called MultiMon might work for you, but for me that’s not the case.

I’ve been scouring forums and such and it seems there no info on whether, and if so when, nView will return as part of nVidia’s driver package. I hope it will, and the sooner the better. Until then, and especially considering how ATI’s competing Hydravision utility also appears to be XP-only, this might be yet another reason to not upgrade to Vista just yet. In case you haven’t already.

Roy | January 16, 2008 | English,Gadgets | Comments (26)
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26 Comments

  1. Yeah, nView is very useful.
    Since Vista dosn’t support it, lets stay on XP for some time. ;)

    Comment by DeeJay - Dance Music Blog — February 2, 2008 @ 5:59 am

  2. I feel your pain on this. I just bought a pre-built gaming system a couple days ago from Newegg, and of course it came loaded up with Vista. I set up my twin monitors, went to change the wallpaper on the right-hand – and found out that nView is not included nor supported under Vista.

    I hope nVidia corrects this soon. It’s just one more thing to tempt me towards pulling XP off the old system and loading t up on the new box… ><

    Comment by Eric in Salt Lake — February 9, 2008 @ 8:50 pm

  3. check out XNeat at http://www.xneat.com/ it has most of the features as nView.

    and even if you didn’t find what you are looking at. and you know a little bit about VBScript or JScript you can write what you want using XNeat’s Script

    Regards

    Comment by nview alternative — March 3, 2008 @ 6:03 am

  4. Nvidia has upset a lot of Vista users with this Nview deal. I use Vista at work with a duel display setup, a 22″ 1650×1080 and a 19″ 1280×1024. At home I have the exact type of setup only on XP Pro. I dread having to go to work on the Vista computer now. I will not switch to Vista at home until Nvidia clears this mess up. Some companies tend to lose sight of their customer base at times. It’s not just about the hottest cards to play to hottest games. Nview became a very important part of my work flow over the years and now, where I need it the most, I can’t use it. Poor decision by Nvidia.

    Comment by Kitt — June 3, 2008 @ 9:05 pm

  5. my my. this is a dated entry, but the point is soooooo valid.

    i just went through a re-format/re-install of my xp mce (which for some reason, also made me have to re-activate my windows vista ultimate and fix the janked up the dual-boot setup on the other partition- damn you microsoft!!- but i digress.)

    when finished i realized that the newest nvidia drivers i had installed have no nView functionality whatsoever. and over on the ‘cutting-edge’ vista ultimate system, same lame no-nview and a crappy control panel add-in deal. which is a f**kn rip.

    even tho i’m no longer using the dual monitor setup (dvi to the sony lcd and s-vid to the TV) i would still like the features i’ve grown to know and love.. like the gestures, and the ability to set the options for the right-click menu (always on top and transparent are musts, you see!!)… what the hell to nvidia for jacking its customers. :(

    Comment by irate n8 - san diego — July 13, 2008 @ 3:49 am

  6. I keep checking on this as well. This is so important that it has remained the single reason I keep wanting to go back to XP. For my home theater system, Vista looks nice, but nothing can handle changing between my displays with a keystroke. This includes UltraMon, which I actually bought. In my case, my card is driving an LCD (DVI), Plasma (VGA), and separate (upstairs) HDTV using component video. UltraMon only sees two of the three displays at any given time, meaning that I must use Profiles through the nVidia Control Panel. At times, applying the profile results in a message stating that the control panel has stopped functioning – once I get this, the only way to use the profiles again requires rebooting my system. As I write this, I wonder now why I haven’t switched back to XP. I guess just the work of setting everything back up again. And Aero is pretty on the plasma. ;) And who woulda thought… nVidia, and not Microsoft, would be the reason I give up after all this time.

    Comment by DP — July 18, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  7. I’m sorry to say but officially nView desktop manager will no longer be included in GeForce drivers. I’m trying out Vista x64 SP1 to see if I can get to like it, downloaded the latest Nvidia driver (175.19) and also the release notes PDF to find out where the f**k nView was and read the following on page 22

    “The nView Desktop Manager will not be included in drivers for GeForce products”

    So that’s XP and Vista then!

    Persoanlly on XP I run 74.12 drivers as they have been the most stable and they include nView desktop manager.

    I’m trying out Ultramon and Multimon but Multimon has the following:-

    “Vista use hardware acceleration for its aero theme with direct writing to the display buffer. It would be therefore risky to add arrow buttons to the aero application bar. However the “secret” hotspots for the arrow buttons (visibly pictured on the XP theme above) are still there and fully functional.”

    Which probably means we are never likely to see nView features again on anything past XP :-(

    Comment by Dave — August 15, 2008 @ 8:07 pm

  8. Thanks for tracking down the alternatives dude, much apprciated!

    Comment by Amnesiac — September 2, 2008 @ 6:06 pm

  9. Im glad I stumbled on this as I had a dual set up in xp and just getting the same set up on vista i went bonkers trying to find the nview. It is very foolish of them to stop including it since so many more people are startying to use multi monitor set ups. They should at the very least offer it as a stand alone download. That would be nice. way to go Nvidia.

    Comment by Tsubasa — December 29, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

  10. for the multiple deskop officiando there’s not much to worry about (unless you’re trying to cram them into 1 screen like nview would let you … sigh…) because you can use vista’s updated standard display driver. Even in XP it wasn’t bad. It can do the multiple monitor thing for you. It doesn’t force because its not forceware but well… lol PowerStrip! Thats what I have to force resolutions on desktops and stuff and the Nvidia control panel (what replaced nview) gives you atleast non plug and play recognition of said video devices so you can atleast work with em all…

    Blame M$. By forcing nvidia and ATI to create this new kind of control panel deely bs, vistas limitations are only breakable by purchasing say the most expensive version of said OS. Evil, evil Microsoft. We’ll see if Nvidia chooses to do it or not. It is 2009 after all and Vista SP2 should be coming round the mountain any day now… but I do miss nview… fricken non transparent webbrowser… CURSE YOU! (oh I know there are solutions, but I’m not about to and get them all when nview had them all in 1 place)

    Comment by Ty — February 1, 2009 @ 9:21 am

  11. Damn I miss nView too, and I’m missing also my game/midi port that became useless with vista since they remove it from the system, what the hell!

    Comment by TheMystical — February 2, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

  12. My main gripe was not being able to quickly move apps from one monitor to the other. MultiMonitor called out in the original article works great. Thanks!!!! Now if Google would make their toolbar avaialbe for Vista 64 I’d be able to spell check this before I post it….

    Comment by DG — March 11, 2009 @ 6:17 pm

  13. i’m using the win7 beta since yesterday and didn’t use vista before, so i am dissappointed by the decision nvidia made by not including nview…

    i just need the ONE feature where you can switch to the next display via global hotkey, so that the first display turns off…

    i was curious, so i opened the driver-exe (nvidia.com win7 beta driver) with winrar and there it was: nview.cab !
    for a moment i was very happy ;) …but then the disillusion: it didn’t work! :(

    after pressing the hotkey nothing happend – just the “hourglass” animation for half a second

    seems like the nview which is included is only compatible with winXP

    maybe nview.cab works for you :)

    Comment by tank — March 13, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

  14. Have just made the switch to Vista-64 including new memory, & HD, and dang if MS & Nvidia (i can’t tell who’s really responsable) have squashed nview. Like Tank above, i just want to be able to easily switch between monitors. And no, the nview cab does not install, nor does a by-hand install function. I am not happy at all with nvidia at this time.

    Comment by Allan — April 18, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

  15. It’s not just Vista; I’ve installed the latest XP driver when I restaged my XP box and no nView for me anymore either. Sigh. I’m hoping i’ve got a copy of the older driver download saved somewhere so I can revert back … Really sad that nVidia has decided to drop this valuable feature.

    Comment by Terry — April 20, 2009 @ 5:17 am

  16. hey it’s me again!

    i’m back to win7 because RC1 is released!
    i was able to fix my 2 main-problems – on of them was about switching displays

    here is how you can switch easily between them:

    just press win+P :D
    now you can choose between display 1, clone, extend(?) and display 2!

    source: http://www.almotamar.net/en/5792.htm

    i’m happy now :)

    Comment by tank — May 7, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

  17. There is another alternative. ATI Hydravision.

    http://ati.amd.com/products/catalyst/hydravision/index.html

    It’s free from ATI and works with any graphics card, and they have Vista drivers for it. It allows you to set hotkeys to move from one display to another, and even lets you create multiple displays.

    Now granted I would prefer to use an Nvidia software product to manipulate my nvidia gfx card but at this point, i’m taking what I can get.

    Comment by Jimmy — May 9, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

    • Jimmy, are you sure Hydravision works with graphics cards from other manufacturers? When I follow the download link, I need to pick my OS first, and the ATI graphics board I’m using next.

      Comment by Roy — May 9, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

  18. Direct download for Hydravision (at bottom). Please try it and report back (and only then will I install it on my Quadro FX 4600).
    http://ati.amd.com/products/Hydravision/faq.html

    Comment by trk — July 27, 2009 @ 10:57 pm

  19. I have a Quadro FX4800 and tried to install ATI Hydravision.

    When you try to use the software it give a dialog saying that no ATI graphics drivers were detected and they are required to use the software.

    Comment by Georro — August 5, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

  20. time to get a mac?

    Comment by David — August 14, 2009 @ 11:34 pm

  21. David, don’t even joke like that…..

    Comment by Joe — August 25, 2009 @ 4:26 am

  22. February 13 2010, Vista replaced by Windows 7. If you have an old Nvidia card, tough luck because even during Vista’s reign and now Windows 7, Nvidia refuses to make Nview (hot keys) available. (Available on their newer, expensive cards)…just plain silly on Nvidia’s part.
    Conclusion: Seriously look at an ATI card and driver

    Comment by Nvidia downhill — February 13, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

  23. You can get the Nvidia 195. driver from Nvidia site and just install the nview app and it works fine.

    Comment by Dan Fowler — May 21, 2010 @ 2:15 am

  24. Dan — After all that, can’t believe it’s that easy…but it works like a charm. On the other hand–not to sound ungrateful but–I’d love to know which genius decided it would look cool to place black dots on either side of what *used to be* the clean-looking nview control buttons in the title bar. wtf is that? Anyway, thx heaps.

    Comment by mtn_lion — October 2, 2010 @ 3:10 am

  25. My experience with this is a bit atypical. My nVidia graphics card is the Quadro FX 1700 running under XP Pro. The mainstream view is that the problems with nView are under Vista and 7, but I don’t think XP is entirely immune. Recently I downloaded and installed the most recent driver for my card. What I think of as nView was not installed. Also, and unexpectedly, performance was degraded. The cursor started sticking on links in Firefox, to a ridiculous degree. I was alarmed.

    I went back to the oldest driver still available at http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx, but without success in addressing the performance problems. I was able to find the nview.cab file, as mentioned by tank, above, extract it using 7Zip, install, and get most of the former functionality (Desktop Manager, nView Toolbar, title bar buttons) back . However, performance is somewhat degraded, generally. Window movements are jerky and slow compared to formerly. I notice that the newest drivers are intended to work with both the Quadro and the newer, more powerful, Tesla cards. Possibly the optimization isn’t as good for the older Quadro cards.

    I suspect that the nView software peaked a while back and was becoming progressively degraded over time. Probably it was insufficiently modular and basically unmaintainable. I see lots of evidence of bugs and quirks in various mentions on the Internet. Maybe Windows 7 became a convenient excuse for dropping a software effort that was becoming unprofitable, or so they imagine. I’m not so sure, though, because nView is (was) part of the nVidia mystique and reputation. Also, people need this functionality and are probably willing to pay for it. I, for one, have got to have smooth dual monitor handling in my work, and a growing number of people use two or more monitors in production environments where saving time is key. I was willing to pay more for nVidia over ATI, but neglecting or killing nView sure reduces the appeal.

    I’m hanging back with XP until I see a good way forward with dual monitors. xNeat doesn’t really seem to do the same things. Ultramon doesn’t seem to be as capable as nView in its prime. I’ve got older drivers for my Quadro FX 1700 on an old hard drive and, when I get a minute, I’m going find them, install them and wait patiently. Some day I may switch to Windows 7, but I’m going to try to figure out how to do engineering on a Mac before I do.

    Comment by Thomas B. Higgins — January 1, 2012 @ 2:17 am