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Old 11-26-2006, 04:58 AM   #1
jmcbride
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black screen when I try to boot into Linux for the first time


Hello all,

So, I partitioned my hard drive using partition magic, which just had Windows XP on it, and created a partition for linux and one for the swap. I then tried to install SUSE, and after the initial installion tried to continue configuration, but something didn't work. I assumed for no particular reason that it had something to do with my partition, and went back and got rid of the original ones I did, and instead used the "Install New OS" option in partition magic, which as far as I could tell did the same thing as I did intially.

Anyway, went back in for a second try, and I think the initial problem was I didn't set the correct partition in which to install Linux. This time around, I managed to set the partition I set aside for linux to be the root, or whatever it was the "/" signified, and got the correct partition for the swap. The first part of installation went okay, but then when I tried to continue it by booting from the hard disk and then selecting the SUSE option, it just gave me a black screen, which I think is what the problem was the first time that caused me to question my partitioning, but it has been a long night so I am not positive about this detail. Anyway, instead of assuming the partition was wrong, I tried to continue installation and configuration in fail safe mode.

Though I didn't get the nice graphical display, I was able to finish up with everything, set a password for admin, and create a user name for myself. It then rebooted, and I tried to select to boot SUSE. Again, I just got a black screen. I manually rebooted, and tried to boot in to fail safe. It let me login and get to my home directory, where I was able to make directories and move around fine, even ssh in to computer on which I am typing right now. I didn't really know how to get out of that though, so I manually rebooted again, and tried once more to boot in to SUSE. And as I type, I am looking over at the still black screen, hoping for any signs of life, but to no avail.

Does anyone know where I went wrong, or how I can fix this without starting this whole process over from scratch? Thanks a bunch,

James
 
Old 11-26-2006, 05:09 AM   #2
jmcbride
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I just went and played around some more, and found there were a few lines displayed for a very short period of time before the black screen when I try to boot in to linux. Unfortunately, they are not up long enough for me to be able to tell you what they are.

More distressing, though probably outside the realm of expertise of most of you, I found that when I try to boot in to windows, I get an error saying something like "autochk not found" or something, and then it reboots. So it seems I have made it so my computer is only capable of working in SUSE fail safe mode.

Edit (which I probably should have done the first time around): I just wanted to note that if any potential solutions would involve losing Windows XP altogether, I wouldn't be terribly heartbroken. I partitioned it because ideally I would like to still be able to access a few things in Windows, but at this point I have no idea if that is a realistic hope, especially considering that I have no idea where the Windows XP boot CD is.

Last edited by jmcbride; 11-26-2006 at 05:26 AM.
 
Old 11-26-2006, 05:30 PM   #3
jmcbride
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Today, I decided to just go ahead and reformat my hard drive and start completely from scratch. I had the same issue that I had had before, with going to the black screen when I tried to reboot after the initial installation. Instead of trying in safe mode, I went in to installation again, aborted, and then went through to some other screen and found a continue installation option. This time, I got the same graphical display that I expected to get continuing installation, and it recognized that I had installed SUSE and went through configuring things and finding hardware. I was able to again set a root password and create a login for myself and everything, but this time I was not in safe mode. At the end, KDE started up with everything that I would expect to see. Then I restarted to see if I could get back in, and ran in to the same black screen problem I had before.
 
Old 11-26-2006, 06:45 PM   #4
J.W.
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It sounds like the problem is just that your video settings (in the xorg.conf file in the /etc/X11 directory) are incorrect for your monitor. Boot into safe mode, then open a console session as root run the "sax2" command. Please see the man pages for sax2 for more info, but sax2 is the SuSE's video configuration tool.
 
Old 11-26-2006, 06:55 PM   #5
jmcbride
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Well, I just tried that, and there is no difference. I checked the manual on sax2, and I have no idea what I would do with any of the additional commands avaialble, so I just typed in sax2, it did its thing, I logged out and then manually rebooted. Actually, I suppose I should ask, how do I restart my computer when in fail safe mode, besides manually rebooting?
 
Old 11-26-2006, 07:06 PM   #6
jmcbride
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I'll try to give a better description of what is happening. After booting with the CD for the first time, I select install and go through the basic configuration, choosing time and desktop enviornment and whatever. It selects partitions and software, and I go ahead and install. It then reboots, and the default option is then to boot from hard disk, where I should then be able to continue configuration and SUSE acquaints itself with my hardware.

Instead, it goes to a black screen there. To get around that, I can select install again, though the process then would have to start all over. Instead of doing anything, I abort, and it sends me to this blue screen with an error message. I have a list of a few options, like settings, system information. I take start installation or system, and then choose boot installed system. It asks me to choose the root partition, which I select, and then it goes back to the installation screen, but instead is where I left off. I go through the rest of that, get into KDE, and shut down.

If I restart and try to boot SUSE, I go to the black screen, so again I go into the installation screen and abort, and then choose to boot installed system. This takes me to a screen where I get a bunch of error messages telling me about files that could not be loaded. Then, it goes to the startup screen that I would expect to see, and I am back in KDE.

Edit: And, everything seems to work okay once I am in, except not being able to connect to the internet.
Edit 2: Okay, so I just tried to suspend it, and I got the error message:

"The kernel version '2.6.13-15-smp' in /boot does not match the running version '2.6.13-15-default'. Resuming with this kernel will not work."

I am thinking this is probably a big clue, though I don't actually know how to fix what it saying, but it kind of seems like this might cause the problem I am seeing.

Last edited by jmcbride; 11-26-2006 at 07:22 PM.
 
Old 11-26-2006, 09:14 PM   #7
J.W.
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Please list out the equipment you are using (make and model), plus indicate which specific version of SuSE you are using
 
Old 11-26-2006, 11:55 PM   #8
jmcbride
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I am trying to install SUSE 10, and my computer is an hp pavilion zv5000. I don't really remember too many specifics about it, unfortunately, and I am not quite sure what else you would be looking for.
 
Old 11-27-2006, 01:42 AM   #9
J.W.
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OK - so it's laptop, and from what I can find, "Three displays are offered: a normal aspect 15-incher with 1,024x768 resolution or wide-screen 15.4-inchers with 1,280x800 or 1,680x1,050 resolutions."

The next question is, is yours a 15 inch or 15.4 inch? The 15.4 default resolutions aren't typical, and if they aren't listed as options in your video configuration settings file, that would explain the black screen. Similarly, even if you have the 15 inch, the 1280x1024 option may simply be missing. The next step would be to post the contents of your xorg.conf file, which is in the /etc/X11 directory. If you are having trouble booting, you might try downloading a Live CD such as Knoppix, which is a full fledged Linux distro that runs off the CD. Burn it to a blank CD, put it into your CD drive, then reboot. (Note that you want the BIOS boot sequence to have the CD drive at the top of the list.) Knoppix will give you a working Linux system, along with a GUI, and that should allow you to inspect xorg.conf
 
Old 11-27-2006, 02:17 AM   #10
jmcbride
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Oh, I guess I should have realized that monitor specs might be something that you would want. It is the 15 inch one.

Anyway, I can boot, but only through the roundabout way I mentioned, with selecting install, aborting, and then after being sent to a blue screen and selecting boot installed system. So, I can get to the xorg.conf file, but once there I can't really do anything with it, since it won't connect to the internet. So, is there some relevant part of the file that you want to see, so I can type it out, or is it the whole file?

By the way, I am working on computers in a lab for one of my classes, so limited in a few ways in what I can do. For instance, I cannot burn CDs or DVDs in here. Though I suppose I could find a friend to do that if I needed to.
 
Old 11-27-2006, 03:37 AM   #11
J.W.
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Can you copy the xorg.conf file to a floppy or USB pen drive. Based on what you've described, verifying that the video settings are appropriate is the logical first step. That file may not be the culprit, but it's the first thing to inspect. In order to avoid 5 or 6 more cycles of posts, it's way better to just post the entire thing.
 
Old 11-30-2006, 12:36 AM   #12
jmcbride
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Thanks for your assistance, though I did not reply for a few days. I don't own any sort of USB device, and was not able to find someone with one while with my computer and with the installation disk, which I needed to even be able to get in linux. Anyway, I asked the lab technician if he had any distribution he would recommend and if he had the installation disks for any. He recommended Fedora, so I installed it tonight and am now typing this. Everything looks pretty good, though I am not able to connect to the internet with a wireless connection. So I might be back in an hour or so if I can't find a fix for that somewhere.
 
Old 11-30-2006, 10:08 AM   #13
farslayer
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There is a nice HOW to on the Gentoo forum for your laptop.. while it's a differnet Distribution the Settings needed for Xorg are still the same.. you may want to compare the settings provided in their post with how your system is configured..

http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t...ighlight-.html

Pay particular attention to the Refres rates for your screen in the Monitor Section.. if you don't have them set properly in the config, it's all to easy to end up on a 'black screen' at boot.

Code:
Section “Monitor”
     Identifier “Monitor0”
     HorizSync  31.5-48.5 #these are the official ranges from HP
     VertRefresh  40-70 #these are the official ranges from HP
     #skipping two lines to improve readability
EndSection
 
Old 11-30-2006, 07:01 PM   #14
jmcbride
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Wow, thanks for that. I will look through that in more detail later, but that looks like it will help out a lot.
 
Old 11-30-2006, 07:12 PM   #15
lel800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcbride
So, I partitioned my hard drive using partition magic, which just had Windows XP on it, and created a partition for linux and one for the swap. I then tried to install SUSE, and after the initial installion tried to continue configuration, but something didn't work......

Anyway, went back in for a second try, and I think the initial problem was I didn't set the correct partition in which to install Linux. This time around, I managed to set the partition I set aside for linux to be the root, or whatever it was the "/" signified, and got the correct partition for the swap. The first part of installation went okay, but then when I tried to continue it by booting from the hard disk and then selecting the SUSE option, it just gave me a black screen, .....
I don't know if it's necessary, but I always create a boot partition (/boot) in addition to the swap and root (/) partitions. My boot partition is roughly 100MB.
 
  


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