I have been having trouble getting any flavor of Linux up and running using my (old'ish) graphics Card (GeForce FX 5200 PCI). I tried distro after distro, but they all seem to have some kind of problem with it. The one that keeps showing up is usually something about APIC being messed up, as well as ACPI and IRQ. Error Message "smp_apic_timer_interrupt" is usually the last thing I see before it locks up. I stumbled upon this
while searching, and thought it was too good to be true since I have almost the exact same setup as that poster; I have tried a radeon 9250 like in that post since I have one in my other computer, but it didn't work either; but I want the GeForce 5200 to work, not the Radeon, so just ignore that bit. My computer is a Dell Dimension 2350 2.2 Ghz Pentium 4 1gb RAM.
Now, I have had success on actually getting a functional command prompt to load while using the Gentoo 2006.1 Minimal install CD, but after the full Gentoo installation (which was very educational, I might add), the graphics card doesn't work, and it locks up on boot just like every other distro. On a side note: I know it's a problem with my graphics card because when I plug my monitor into my onboard graphics, every distro works like a charm. After trying lots of combinations of adding "noacpi noapic apic=off pci=biosirq" (etc etc etc) with NO luck, I decided I would just copy my /var/log/messages from the successful Gentoo LiveCD bootup and see what it says. As you can see, it mentions APIC and ACPI and IRQ "stuff" many times. (I have absolutely no idea what it all means though)
If you don't want to read those 2 paragraphs, read this: something is wrong with my graphics card, it doesn't like APIC/ACPI/IRQ "stuff". Gentoo 2006.1 LiveCD is the only distro that will completely start up using my graphics card, thus, I have included my /var/log/messages for a linux guru/expert to decipher
Here's my /var/log/messages : http://d3fault.net/Gentoo.Messages.Log.txt
I've tried: noapic nolapic noacpi apic=off pci=biosirq/pci=noacpi (some of which are recommended on nVidia's website
, but that is mainly only relating to X server problems, and I can't even seem to bring up a command prompt) etc etc, but I have had no luck with any of them. They generally spit out the same error.