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Old 10-15-2003, 03:24 PM   #1
dot hog
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Can't start X Windows...losing sanity...


Hello.

When I initially installed and booted RH9 through GRUB, I would come to a blank screen. I managed to get to the 'localhost login' screen by changing a number (a 5 to a 3 or vice versa) in my inittab during a linux rescue CD boot.

So now I'm at the localhost root prompt, and I can't get anywhere. When I try to start X Win, with 'X' or 'startx', the screen goes blank.

I've seen similar posts on this topic, and I've tried to take the steps others have, but it's not working for me. Some of the things people do to get out of the blank screen after typing 'startx', like using the Ctrl-Alt-Bksp feature, don't work for me. Once I try to start X Win, it's reboot time.

I know that there's something I need to change around in configuration files, but don't know where to look and what to change. I messed with XFree86.1.log and found some WW and EE about displays and resolutions. But I didn't know how to resolve the actual problem and get things rolling. I figure it's something to do with my display hardware, which is a Dell 1800FP monitor and a NVidia GeForce FX 5200 video card.

The only good thing I can say for this mess is that it's forcing me to relearn UNIX commands I haven't used in a long, long time. All that Windows/DOS/regedit pointing and clicking has made me flabby, weak, and useless.

Someone, please help!
 
Old 10-15-2003, 03:29 PM   #2
Mara
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Please post a log (from one run). Maybe there's something interesting here. The configuration file you need to edit is /etc/X11/XF86Config-4. It's hard to say what you need to change without the logs, but browse it, compare it with the hardware configuration you have, probably some doubts?
 
Old 10-15-2003, 03:31 PM   #3
Inexactitude
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The X server is probably set to a refresh rate that is too high for you monitor. You should be able to change it by running xf86config as root. If that doesn't work, you should try changing the xf86config file. I don't have it handy right now, but I'll find out what you have to change in a while.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 03:59 PM   #4
dot hog
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mara
The configuration file you need to edit is /etc/X11/XF86Config-4.
I don't have a file called 'XFConfig-4' in /etc/X11. It's just 'XFConfig'. Don't think that's a big deal, but thought I'd mention it.

Here's the monitor, device, etc output from XFConfig.

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Monitor0"
VendorName "Monitor Vendor"
Model Name "DDCPROBED"
Display size 360 290
HorizSync 30,0 - 80,0
VertRefresh 56,0 - 75,0
Option "dpms"
EndSection

Section "Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "vesa"
VendorName "Videocard Vendor"
BoardName "VESA driver (generic)"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "Videocard0"
Monitor "Monitor0"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "DRI"
Group 0
Mode 0666
EndSection


I know I need to change some stuff in here, but I don't know exactly how to change it. Is there something I run to do this, or do I manually edit the XF86Config file with vi? How do I "run XF86Config"? I'm logged in as root, but when I type up 'XF86Config', nothing happens. Should I boot up on the CD, go into linux rescue, do a chroot, and then try 'XF86Config'?

If there's anything I should do that I haven't done, please give me the dummy instructions on doing it. Thanks again for your help.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 04:12 PM   #5
IsNoGood
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Part 1 of instructions:
post distro and version of xfree.
Part 2:
Probably you got a version of xfree that doesn't recognize the fx5200 card.Try the 'nv' driver.That might get you going depending on the xfree version.Other than that have a look at the nvidia website and the installation instructions for the nvidia drivers there and report back.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 04:13 PM   #6
Mara
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Quote:
Originally posted by dot hog

HorizSync 30,0 - 80,0
VertRefresh 56,0 - 75,0
That's what you need to change, probably. Find your monitor manual (I hope you have it somewhere) and search for a table with technical details. HorizSync and VertRefresh will be there. You need to correct the values to fit the ones in the manual.

How to edit the file? You should have editors in your system. Examples: vim, joe, pico.
If you don't know them, I recommend first try with less important file (Oh yes, /etc/X11/XF86Config is OK, too). A command to edit a file is
vim /tmp/somefile
joe /tmp/somefile
pico /tmp/somefile
Find the editor you're most comfortable with (vim is not very good for a first time).

Next thing...You have standard 'vesa' driver used in the configuration. You can download accelerated driver from www.nvidia.com (GF FX is not listed as supported for generic NVIDIA driver in XFree 4.3, so you need to keep the VESA one for a moment).
 
Old 10-15-2003, 04:28 PM   #7
dot hog
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It's funny, I remember how to use vi and all its stupid commands, but beyond that, my old UNIX knowledge is shot.

Anyhow, the horiz and vert rates for my monitor are 31-80 and 55-75, respectively. So the config settings of 30-80 and 56-75 aren't that bad. Should I change them anyway?

I'll play around at nvidia.com and try out some drivers. We'll see.

Thanks for the help -- hope this is the end of this thread, as I want to get this over with.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 04:44 PM   #8
dot hog
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Oh, and how do I check which version of XFree I have? I've installed RH9, so I think XFree is probably a relatively recent version. But I can update if necessary.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 08:05 PM   #9
ilikejam
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It's the nvidia driver (almost certainly). I had this problem too - RedHat don't supply nvidia drivers.

Dave
 
Old 10-15-2003, 09:14 PM   #10
dot hog
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Nailed it! It was NVidia's fault after all.

Now for some fine-tuning --

When I add the No Splash option to my XF86Config (don't want to see NVidia logo every time I boot up), what header do I put it under?

I added it to the "Device" section when I first made the NVidia install and chaged my driver to "nvidia", but it didn't stick (as I saw logo when I started X Windows). Wondering if I'm putting the "Option 'No Logo' 'boolean'" in the right place.

EDIT: Left out the "no" part after "no logo". There you have it.

Thanks everybody!

Last edited by dot hog; 10-15-2003 at 09:44 PM.
 
  


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