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Old 06-09-2002, 12:13 PM   #1
stav
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Registered: Jun 2002
Distribution: Mandrake 8.1
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Unhappy Blank screen on boot


Hello all,
I get a blank screen after selecting Linux on lilo. It says 'loading linux....' then nothing. What should I do?

After switching to geforce2 video card, graphical loading info no longer scrolled on the screen, but after a few minutes of 'blank screen' X login screen appeared. Now, no login screen appears, only blank. I tried ESQ during lilo to boot with parameters '1, 3, single, etc' but same problem - I can't boot.

Here's what I changed: Screen would occasionally get mangled, with horizontal echos looking like window blinds. I tried to reconfigure XFree86 to see if I can fix this problem. I followed the instructions for NVidia cards (glx, etc), changed my resolution and rebooted. The Drake config tool to modify screen parameters always failed no matter what I chose, so I just chose what I thought I was using before.

Now I can't seem to boot, so how can I get back in to make modifications, and once I do, what do I need to do? Thanks for any help you can give,

System:
Mandrake 8.1
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce2 MX-400

stav
 
Old 06-09-2002, 02:00 PM   #2
Config
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Now I am a bit confused... if you say you get only to the point loading linux....., how could you have configured Xfree?
My guess is, that the lilo.conf also contains a line like vga=791 or something about graphics. Take this out (if you can) and try again.
May be your x problem will be solved if you solve the boot problem.
Good luck
 
Old 06-09-2002, 02:12 PM   #3
mrGee
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Hi stav,
I think you have got two different
problems with your card. After lilo
your X-server is not fired up, so maybe
you can change an option in your
lilo.conf ; like vga=normal or vga=ask
(asks you to choose a resolution)
I think, as i haven't tried it, that hitting
esc while lilo boots enter;
linux runlevel 3 vga=ask , also works.
If that works and you are in level 3
run XFdrake --noauto --expert,
choose at first some moderate settings
like colordepth of 16 or 24 etc.
If that works, copy your XF86config-4
before experimenting with opengl/nvidia
as they tend to be a little unstable
Some extra options in XF86config-4
can fix that, and the option mem=nopentium
in your lilo (only for AMD) also helps alot
Hope this works for you.
 
Old 06-09-2002, 04:36 PM   #4
stav
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Thank you both for your replies. Unfortunately there has been little progress. I did/found the following things:

* booting with "linux runlevel 3 vga=ask" presented me with a list of choices like "0F00 80X25". I tried a few and got the blank screen with each.

* I did a "rescue" with the installation cd and modified and tested the XFree86-4 config file a few times with no positive results. Switched back and forth between nvidia and nv drivers, plus other parameters (except resolution).

* lilo.conf can be changed in rescue mode, but I was not able to run lilo. Boot parameters can be tested manually anyway, which is what I did above. Also, there was a pre-existing lilo boot option without the vga parameter missing - with no change.
Any other ideas????????????

Thanks,

stav
 
Old 06-09-2002, 05:16 PM   #5
stav
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Question Not an X problem???

Booting with runlevels 1 or 3 resulted in the same blank screen. So can I conclude that it is not an X problem?

When I tried to see what would happen if I attempted to perform an upgrade with the same Mandrake 8.1 cd, I got to the following error:
"No root partition found to perform an upgrade"

The rescue boot was able to detect the root (I think).
But might this have something to do with the problem? I wasn't doing anything with the partitions that I know of that may have caused this.

What should I do now?
Thanks,

stav
 
Old 06-10-2002, 10:25 AM   #6
Config
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Yes, you can conclude that the booting problem is not related to X.
Questions: Did the system work before you switched the graphics board?
The thing in your case I am confused about: How can you switch the x resolutions, if you can't even boot?
Do you have a second kernel installed or anything?
 
Old 06-10-2002, 11:25 AM   #7
stav
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Unhappy Still a blank screen...

Yes, the system worked before I switched the card. It also worked after except that the boot messages didn't scroll on the screen. After a minute of blank screen, the login gui would appear and all would be well. After I messed with the config gui (focusing on the video configuration, I don't think I changed anything else - see below), I then got the permanent blank screen.

Using the rescue cd, I can access all my file systems. I modified lilo.conf and ran lilo, modified inittab to boot into init 3. No change. Running "mount" shows all my partitions.
I am writing this now from my MS/ME partition on the same hard disk, and everything is fine here.
I noticed some files modified around the time when the problems first occured:
/boot/kernel.h
/etc/mtab
/boot/config
I don't know if this is related, but just noticed the dates.

Since I don't see scrolling messages on boot, I don't know where it hung. Nothing in /var/log appears to have been modified. Is there any other way to 'debug'?
As a last resort I can copy all my important files over to my MS partition and then re-install. I'd hate to do that, and it would take a week to get things working again.
Any suggestions?
Thanks again,

stav
 
Old 06-10-2002, 11:38 AM   #8
Config
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Ok.... i have an idea... it is a temporary idea. Since you can boot from your rescue cd, copy this kernel to /boot and add it to lilo.conf and then try to boot. If this works, the problem is due to the kernel.
 
Old 06-11-2002, 11:44 AM   #9
stav
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Thumbs down Rescue disk

I booted with the rescue disk and searched for the kernels on the disk. I found some .img files, and assumed they were the kernels. I transfered them to /boot and added them to lilo, but when running lilo an error message reported that they were to large. So the test didn't even get started.
Now what????

stav
 
Old 06-11-2002, 02:48 PM   #10
Config
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Hmmm... my kernel images don't have a img extension... are you sure, these are the kernel images?
You could try to use the grub boot loader instead of lilo, because it doesn't have this limit.... but I don't think this would really solve your problem....
But hey, I am a and I am running out of ideas...
Isn't there anybody else that is trying to help him or am I the only one????
 
Old 06-12-2002, 02:53 PM   #11
mrGee
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Haven't got a real answer just a try ,
things went wrong after switching the
videocard, so maybe some alias lines
in your modules.conf are still related
with that card ?
Mine says for nvidea; alias /dev/nvida* Nvdriver
think it got there after Opengl/glx install
Maybe worth a try and for me be-ing a
newbie

Last edited by mrGee; 06-12-2002 at 02:55 PM.
 
Old 08-02-2002, 03:10 PM   #12
fishmac13
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more or less the same problem, too

hello everybody,

i'm experiencing a more or less compareable situation at the moment.

i've installed suse 8.0 on a dual-athlon workstation with a geforce 2 ti, dual-booting with windows xp, the lilo in a separate boot-partition, started by the win-bootmanager.
after passing thru lilo, booting either standard linux or in "failsafe" mode, i only hear a decent "click" by my monitor and face a blank screen - the system appears to be frozen.
funny enough there is no problem booting linux by floppy.

i've already tried the "vga = normal" modification, without any effect.

so, if anybody has some sort of hint how i might maneouver around this marginal interface-deficit, it surely would be appreciated. thanks.
 
Old 08-02-2002, 04:33 PM   #13
mrdensity
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The first thing that came to mind was that for some reason your background/foreground color had changed to black/black.

When you said it started to scroll normally went black and after a reasonable amount of time X would start, login would come up and all was well ...
Where to look for it I DON'T know ! Someone here might. Probabably in lilo.conf . The 80x25 is the # of columns wide and 25= the pixels in height of the font/prompt. Seems like 80x50 is default. the 0F00 is probably a combination settting for the forground/background. At an earlier point this might have been easier to correct. Installing the new driver might have partially rewritten a file that holds the key to boot prompt color.

Sorry I cant offer more, yet.
 
Old 08-19-2002, 08:29 PM   #14
drwu
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Registered: Aug 2002
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Plagued by the same condition

Howdy All,

I am suffering the same fate after installing a PNY Verto video card (uses the GeForce2 chipset) running redhat 7.2. After installing the card the normal bios boot sequence was displayed as well as the Grub splash screen - but alas as soon as I made my boot selection the screen went dark. To my surprise the login splash screen came up some minutes later and all was fine from that point on.

I got my hands on a Suse 8.0 distribution and attempted an clean installation - no go. I get the green lizard greeting screen with the installation options, but as soon as a selection is made the screen goes dark.


my configuration trivia:
athlon 1.2 ghz / 740 mb / generic SCSI / no worky verto GeForce 2 video

Thanks in advance, I know there are better minds here than mine.

-mike
 
Old 08-20-2002, 06:07 AM   #15
Config
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Try passing vga=ask to the kernel boot options and see whether there is a screen resolution that is supported...
 
  


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