A message on the site -- NvidiaClassAction.info -- asks consumers who purchased the high-end Nvidia 8800 card with the intention of installing it on Windows Vista-equipped PCs to join the proposed lawsuit.
"Nvidia said the 8800 was built for Windows Vista ... it is anything but," said Dan Goldman, the site's founder, in an interview Tuesday.
Goldman, a New York City-based investor and IT consultant, said he purchased a version of the $700 card sold by Asus International before Windows Vista was released for sale to the public at the end of January. After upgrading his computer to the new Microsoft operating system in February, and installing Nvidia drivers that were supposedly Vista compatible, "all hell broke loose," Goldman said.
Goldman's PC screen started to blank out intermittently and constantly flash an inscrutable error message that read: "Video driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has recovered."
Goldman claimed Nvidia's drivers for Windows Vista caused the problem and that the company ignored his requests for help. Now, he wants payback. "I'm entitled to damages I incurred as a result of Nvidia's misleading marketing campaign, and so are a lot of other people," he said.
Goldman, who said he spent about 100 hours unsuccessfully trying to fix the problem on this own, is in talks with three law firms in preparation for a class action suit.
Nvidia officials were not immediately available for comment.
In a posting on the company's support forum, however, Nvidia in a statement concedes there is a problem with its Windows Vista drivers. "We understand that many users have expressed frustration with this issue, and we apologize for the inconvenience," said the statement, in part.
The statement blames the trouble on a Windows Vista feature called Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR). The feature is designed to detect and fix system problems without forcing users to reboot their computers. Nvidia said it plans to release new drivers "which will dramatically reduce the number of TDR errors," the company said in its statement.
In February, a Web site registered to an address in Nova Scotia, Canada, appeared on the Internet that also threatened Nvidia with a class action suit over Windows Vista incompatibilities. That site, Nvidiaclassaction.org, now appears to be defunct.