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-   -   How to disable onboard intel graphic card on Toshiba M640 (Hybrid Intel/Nvidia) (

Marcelo Ruiz 08-13-2010 05:49 PM

How to disable onboard intel graphic card on Toshiba M640 (Hybrid Intel/Nvidia)

I am having a problem with Ubuntu Lucid on a Toshiba M640 laptop.
When I got it, I paid to get a discrete NVidia graphics cards, but I ended up having a Hybrid Intel i915 (onboard) / Nvidia 310M. This notebook comes with a backlit keyboard.
When installing the current NVidia driver, the notebook cannot boot and I get stuck in a blank screen.
The BIOS does not have an option to select which graphic card should be active.
I would like to avoid Ubuntu to detecting the intel card, just to use the NVidia all the time. Is there any way to do this?

Meson 08-13-2010 05:54 PM

Is this a switchable graphics card? Meaning, do you have one set of video ports shared by the two GPUs? What you need is vga_switcheroo, available since kernel 2.6.34. However, as far as I know, this only works with intel/ati combinations. If it did work with nVidia cards, chances are it would only be with the nouveau driver.

Marcelo Ruiz 08-14-2010 06:36 AM


Thanks for your answer.
I already installed Kernel 2.6.35 with vga_switcheroo, but I am having problems:

erin@erin-laptop:/sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo$ cat switch
0: :Pwr:0000:01:00.0
erin@erin-laptop:/sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo$ echo "OFF" > switch
bash: switch: Permission denied
erin@erin-laptop:/sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo$ sudo echo "OFF" > switch
bash: switch: Permission denied

The bottom problem with this laptop is I want to be able to use the backlight keyboard (which is fully functional under Win 7). That is why I wanted to install the NVidia driver (but I need to be sure Linux doesn't detect the Intel one).

Meson 08-14-2010 08:33 AM

Ok, a few things:

You can't do a redirection with sudo like that. This is how you can do it in one command. Of course you can always just log in as root with "sudo -i" or "su"

$ sudo echo OFF | sudo tee switch
Like I said, I really don't thing that the switcheroo will even work with the nVidia driver. So you might be stuck with whatever you're laptop gives you by default. However, doing "OFF" on the intel card *might* work and save you some power.

Finally, why is it that you think the backlit keyboard is affected by the gpu switching?

Marcelo Ruiz 08-14-2010 08:54 AM


Thanks again for your help. I could power off the intel card...
Regarding your question about why I think the nVidia driver might be linked to the backlight keyboard: I thought that because when I ordered the laptop I had to upgrade to the nVidia card in order to get the backlight keyboard.
Is there any way to activate the backlight keyboard from the command line? I could not find a useful post regarding this (most are for Macs, and the others for Asus or Sony Vaio laptops).
Thanks again for your help!

Meson 08-14-2010 08:59 AM

That's like when you buy a new car, if you want the backup camera you have to get the navigation system and kitchen sink =).

Does your laptop have a key to turn the backlight on/off that just isn't working? You probably want to start a new thread about the backlight. "Toshiba M640: enable keyboard backlight"

Marcelo Ruiz 08-14-2010 09:59 AM

Yeah, I already started the new thread.
The weird thing is that I can select the backlight to be on all the time in the BIOS, but as soon as Ubuntu starts loading, the keyboard light is off and can't be turn on again (Fn + Z). That is why I am trying to find out if there is a command line I can try...

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