And the Vista driver that was installed isn't capable of supporting your programs now. The default driver is loaded in the absence of any other drivers - and you see a reduced functioning version of that in Safe Mode.
Since you're providing the driver, there's no need to let Vista search for one.
Allowing Windows to search for a driver was a good idea - but the implementation of that idea was, IMO, pretty poor. It rarely works - and when it does work, you stand a chance of hosing your system with another poorly designed driver. I prefer picking the driver to install myself - that way I know what I've done.
As for uninstall routines, nVidia used to have a problem with incomplete removal of drivers. This seems to have been fixed recently and uninstalls seem to be more reliable (in my experience). There are still removal tools available for free on the web if you want to try them.
So, here's how it works:
1) Windows installs a generic video driver when Windows is first installed. It provides enough function to allow the installation to continue - but not much more.
2) Computer manufacturers put there versions of the drivers on their systems to enable the extra functions that are available.
3) Custom built computers have the drivers installed if the user/builder thinks they're needed (usually they are).
Then, along comes something that corrupts the video drivers. An uninstall is intended to remove the corruption. In the past, this is where the incomplete removal of nVidia video drivers caused a problem - because the corruption often remained.
Ideally, installing a new driver should overwrite all the old settings/files and fix the corruption. But this doesn't always fix things - so we recommend an uninstall to remove all traces of the old driver (so rollback wouldn't be possible). In the case of nVidia a while back, even this didn't work and we had to recommend the driver removal tools to get rid of everything.
I've done a lot of driver fixing and have found that the nVidia uninstall routine is pretty reliable now.
Beta drivers aren't guaranteed to be stable - so if you're not comfortable with changing drivers, then betas aren't for you. If the stable driver that I pointed out doesn't fix the problem - then the next step would probably be the beta, but try the regular one to see.
EDIT: FYI - I had problems with drivers from Windows Update and from the computer manufacturers (this was several years ago). Since then I only rely on drivers from the manufacturer of the video chipset (nVidia, ATI, Intel, etc) and refuse to use the drivers from Windows Update or the computer manufacturers
Edited by usasma, 15 April 2007 - 06:46 AM.