What is involved in produced a driver for Vista x64?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Hardware' started by Neil, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. Neil

    Neil Guest

    I mean, once a hardware vendor has already gone to the trouble of making one
    for Vista x86. Not knowing anything about it at all, my naive thought is
    that once he'd done that, he would just compile it again but with the switch
    in the "this driver is going to run in a 64bit system" position rather than
    in the "this driver is going to run in a 32bit system" position.

    There must be more to it than that though, unless the vendors of some of my
    hardware are just being bloody-minded, because I have a couple of things
    which have 32bit drivers but not 64bit support.

    So why?

    Neil, Mar 4, 2007
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  2. Neil

    GTS Guest

    A simple recompile like you describe would be applicable a lot of
    application programs, which are written in high level languages. Device
    drivers are usually written in assembly language and there are significant
    differences in CPU registers and operations in the 32 and 64 bit OS.
    GTS, Mar 4, 2007
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  3. Neil

    CJM Guest

    Device drivers are usually written in a high level language like C++, and
    it's the compiler that usually has to worry about the differences in
    architecture. So often, it *is* simply a case of recompiling. [AFAIK, there
    are exceptions where performance is of paramount importance].

    Why then is it such a problem getting hold of software that works for x64?

    a) Because it's not (yet) a priority for many manufacturers.
    b) Because Vista x64 needs it's drivers signing, which involves certificates
    CJM, Mar 5, 2007
  4. Neil

    Neil Guest

    But for hardware vendors who have already produced an x86 Vista driver, the
    marginal effort required to produce an x64 version (from what you're saying)
    is next-to-non-existent.
    Does the vendor have to pay for certification? In which case, I suppose
    that could explain why a piece of hardware might have an x86 driver but no
    x64 version. Though (I'd have thought) the cost of sorting out a Vista
    driver at all must be mostly in the programming.

    If it really is that easy, are hardware vendors just thinking, "Ah he's
    installed the x64 version of Vista, he's someone who likes to get new stuff
    for no apparent reason; I bet we can convince him to buy the latest version
    of our thing, by only providing x86 drivers for the slightly older stuff."
    Or am I too cynical?

    Neil, Mar 5, 2007
  5. Neil

    CJM Guest

    It suggest it is easier than they make out.
    I think it's around $500 for certification but that's just hearsay. I have
    no actual experience of this area.
    I would bet my granny that manufacturers are dragging their heels on
    producing *any* drivers for older equipment in the hope that you'll be
    suffiiciently motivated to by new kit. Creative anyone? X-Fi were sorted
    first, followed by Audigy 4, then 2, and then older cards....

    Just because you are cynical, doesn't mean you are necessarily wrong!
    CJM, Mar 6, 2007
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