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Old 10-31-2010, 02:31 PM   #1
Mountain
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Desktop environment problem - where to start troubleshooting?


My problem started only after I upgraded my hardware. I'll describe the problem and the changes that led to it.

Problem:
I have to restart my computer a second time before my icon set and controls are shown properly. The first time I boot up, I get an ancient looking set of controls. (By controls, I mean buttons, window splitters, etc.). My custom icon set is replaced by an ancient looking icon set I've never seen in Ubuntu before. (Maybe it is a Debian default? It certainly isn't stock Ubuntu). The Gnome panels are completely different from normal too. I simply reboot again and everything comes up the way it should. Every time I start my computer, I have to restart a second time. After that, no problems until I need to shut it down and start again.

I'm running a relatively new installation of Ubuntu 10.10. I changed the theme to a bisigi theme (http://www.bisigi-project.org/?page_id=6&lang=en) and everything was fine. No problems at all until...

Changes:
Then I upgraded my video card from an older nVidia to a GT430. I had to change a couple things in xorg.conf. For that, I just used the suggestions made by the nVidia settings utility. I also upgraded my mobo and RAM (from 4GB to 16).

These problems started only after I upgraded my hardware. Of course, the hardware upgrade involved the above noted software configuration changes. (xorg.conf was the only required change.)

I'm looking for ideas on how to troubleshoot this? I don't even know the first step. For example, what logs should I check? Should I suspect a hardware problem (e.g., bad video card) or is this software/configuration related?
 
Old 10-31-2010, 02:54 PM   #2
stress_junkie
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If this only happens after you log on then I would create a new user account to see if the problem carries over to that. If it doesn't then the problem is in the configuration files in your home directory. If the second user account has the same problems then you know the problem is in a system file (xorg.conf?)
 
Old 10-31-2010, 07:02 PM   #3
Mountain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stress_junkie View Post
If this only happens after you log on then I would create a new user account to see if the problem carries over to that. If it doesn't then the problem is in the configuration files in your home directory. If the second user account has the same problems then you know the problem is in a system file (xorg.conf?)
That's a good suggestion about where to start. Unfortunately (from one perspective), I have started the computer twice now and the problem is not happening. Prior to posting this topic, the problem had been 100% predictable - it happened on every boot. So now I am in waiting mode. Seems strange it would go away on its own...

I have a few concerns about this system because after I installed the new motherboard, video card, etc., on the first boot, while I was just in the bios screen monitoring the temps and fans, I heard a loud pop (like a capacitor blowing). Since then I have been looking for problems, trying to find out which part is faulty. The strange video/desktop behavior on startup is the only indication of any problem I can find. And now, even that has apparently gone away.
 
  


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