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i'm sure many of you are sick to death of hearing about this common problem, but I am yet another person experiencing the problem of my ATI card not detecting correctly on my Mandriva (10.2) install of linux. This wouldn't bother me so much if i didn't have a widescreen laptop (1280x800) its driving me absolutely insane!
Just some history on what i have tried already - the radeon and ati generic drivers did not work, and the X700 is not in the ATI list under the Vendor tab in drakconf. I'm currently using the vesa drivers but restricted to a nice and streched x session at 1024x768, as attempting to increase the resolution was not successful. I read within this forum about how gentoo and ubuntu users fixed this problem and this was by downloading the fglrx drivers for xorg. The information looked very distro specific, so i instead used the free section of Mandrivaexpert.com. The person who replied to me certainly mean't well - but gave me a tutorial in french on how to do this. After telling him I dont speak french, nor does a translator like babelfish create any clarity in the document he gave me, he then attempted to give me a lesson in french which went on an ultra frustrating thread tangent. Eventually he gave me something that made sense over all languages - some commands to type... here's what he gave me (all as root):
# urpmi kernel-source
modprobe -r radeon
urpmi --allow-force fglrx*****.rpm <-- I just want to point out that at this point, i had to answer yes to it conflicting with a libx dependency... but i guess thats why the force command was used..
patch -p0 < /ou/est/patch1
patch -p0 < /ou/est/patch2
(I was to obtain these patches from a bugzilla website (which i can't post links on here yet!) - and although /ou/est/ did not exist and instead i created it and saved the documents as patch1 and patch2 provided from the site, this appeared successful as there were no warning messages)
i was also told to add the word fglrx in /etc/modprobe.preload (i used vim).
now - since i had done a bit of reading prior to this - i was expecting to get a blank screen, since i am using a laptop and my monitor will not be autodetected. I also read that i should use agpgart from the kernel rather than from the ATI driver, as they are alot more stable (which this question is asked in fglrxconfig) Well, yes I did get a blank screen.
So, i used vim to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and changed the "monitorlayout" section from "AUTO, AUTO" to "LVDS, AUTO" as stated in a thread within this forum. Now here is where things get confusing (if i haven't done so already) I'm aware i need to force the driver to detect my chipset by setting the "ChipID" property to "0x5653" - which i'm aware is the correct ID for my Mobility Radeon X700 video card. When i switch back to init5 however, i'm still presented with a blank screen!
The confusing part is that while playing with various options while in init 3 mode logged in as root, if i type startx, it appears, however the display comes up somewhat garbled - there is flashing lines on the right hand side and at the same time the whole screen seems to move upwards and then back to it's original position. I told myself 'oh well at least i actually have the driver working' but when i rebooted (which i use a graphical login) i am once again presented with a blank screen... so something tells me i wasn't meant to see what i did...
I assumed this may have something to do with my monitor's vsync or horizontal range. i have played with a few defaults which made absolutely no difference (blank screen at login, or garbled display at startx logged in as root), and also i've completely removed the ChipID section, which still gives me the same problem - so i assume that has nothing to do with it.
I'm thinking that prehaps there is a different code for "MonitorLayout" that i could use instead of "LVDS, AUTO" but even if it does make a difference, why am i still getting a blank screen at login!
Thanks very much for reading, i only hope to god someone can help or im just moving to SuSE or Fedora!