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Oracle SQL Developer and Dell D820’s

August 29, 2007

I use Oracle’s SQL Developer (previously called Raptor) as a quick interface for SQL development on Oracle.  No installation, no odd files—just have the JRE on the box and go.  However, I could NEVER get it to work on my Dell Latitude D820 on Windows XP SP2.  The screen would go black and I’d have to cold boot it. 

After several attempts (or accidents by forgetting which machine I was on) with the “black screen of death”… I finally got annoyed enough today and went in to replace the video drivers (uses the same Quadro drivers for the NVS 120M as my workstation’s Quadro FX 4400)… but the installation failed.

The NVidia drivers couldn’t find valid hardware—even though the 162.50 drivers stated that model in the release notes.  I figured they may be special, so I checked out Dell’s website and the newest drivers they had were 83.x.  Ehh.

The fix?  I used WinRAR to break the .exe archive, extracted the files out, and manually installed the drivers through the management console.  It told me that the driver I was specifying (the ‘NVidia Quadro NVS 120M’) was invalid and could corrupt the display—I ignored that and pushed on.  The driver went in, the screen flashed a few times, and it was done.  I reboot and everything seemed to work.

Lo and behold, SQL Developer also works—no more black screens of video unhappiness.

I combed the release notes for both SQL Developer and the drivers and couldn’t see anything that would make sense to the problem—especially since my workstation has been using the same drivers.  *sigh*


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