as we all know its only the particles with 's/w' next to them in the particle shape folder drop down menu (pionts, sprites, multi streak, ect, sphere) that can be rendered with the software renderer, the others MUST be rendered with the hardware renderer.
or am i misunderstanding this?
what happens when you use the high quality render view port (whats it callled?)
i had the same trouble, my card quadro4 works fine on 6.5, and 7 but on maya 8?? it will not high quality view port render, not that i use it at all.
take it easy and life will be easy