debian won't start from hd, and x server fatal errors
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they keep asking for a serial number and say the two I gave them arn't valid, so I guess I'll have to find another moniter. just hope I don't have to use that one in the garage, one of the three colors on that thing doesn't work anymore >_< .
thanks for the help thus far
ok it seems the moniter is not at fault for the strange screen size (I probably should have guessed as much) ok I'm useing an old 16 meg io magic tnt2 agp video card in this thing, durring installation I chose vga, while setting up xfree86 I set it to tnt2 (362 entry I think) and told it that it had 16 megs of ram ( 4 x the 4 meg entry in kilobytes).
so any ideas on why the mouse, windows, screen in general are so large? and is there a way to change screen size in the linux desktop or do I have to log out or somthing?
It has accepted this as the virtual size so you need to log out of X and login as root on the command line and do dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86 . When you get to the monitor section use the advanced option and try setting the size to 800 x 600 . It may even accept higher resolutions. Log back into X. (you can just do startx from the cli) Have a good look at /var/log/XFree86.0.log . If you are going to view this from the cli then do cat /var/log/XFree86.0.log | more and you can use the spacebar to move down a page at a time. Check out the various messages on the resolution.
in this part of the configureing x server it askes for a video card driver, I usually just pick vga cause I figure its safest, that and I don't see tnt2 listed here. should I stick with vga, try vesa or perhaps somthing else?
Before getting the nvidia driver installed, try using 'vesa'. It is a generic driver that works with virtually all modern video cards. The nvidia.com web site has an installation program to install the most recent driver. You will need to install the kernel-source that matches your running kernel.
You can tell which kernel you are running with the 'uname -r' command. 'uname -a' will give you even more information.
There is an X11 command that will analyze your system and print out mode-lines.
/usr/X11/bin/gtf <horizontal resolution> <vertical resolution> <refresh rate> -x.
/usr/X11/bin/gtf 1024 768 60 -x
will generate the modeline for '1024x768_60' for you.
I agree that the 2.2 kernel is very old (2 or 3 years old) and would recommend downloading a more recent distro. The 2.4 kernel is still being supported, and some modules written for the 2.6 kernel are being backported into the 2.4 kernel. I think the 2.2 kernel is obsolete.
well that seems to have fixed the screen for the short time it was loading... darn thing looked like its set to 1600 by 1200 (dang)
unfortunatly it now seems to have problems with the mouse again... oh wait, now that its restarted it doesn't seem to be complaining about the mouse.
I'm not running a gnome compliant desktop manager? whats that about?
Just a thought....if you can download and boot from a knoppix cd, I find it a handy way to get hardware configurations. Knoppix does a great job with even obscure hw. Find a way to save or print your /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file that knoppix used, then make changes on your debian box to match. It's a bit of a work around, but it's helped me a lot. Heck, you might even try running installing on your machine. Debian is a tough one to start with, but my favorite because of apt-get. Hope this helps.
I'll consider that but since the desktop is up and running its not exactly top priority at the moment.
one thing I'd like to fix, I don't know if its a bad idea or not but it seems I can't use the shut down command without logging into the root, which is a tad anoying. also I could use some info on how to work with this desk top or somthing, should I search for gnome documentation or what?
and eventually I'm going to want to try and set up the network so my linux machine can use my windows 2000 machines shared internet connection if at all possible so I can update stuff, browse packages and such.
If you are using the 2.2 kernel and you want to do networking I would suggest a re-install. When you boot the installation cdrom and you get the boot prompt then enter bf24 and then return. This will install the 2.4.18 kernel. This has much better support for networking and ethernet cards plus it will support iptables.