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I'm not one for introductions so I'll just get right to the point. I'm a Linux newbie and previously had Slackware 10.2 on a separate partition. One day I installed a new graphics card (G-Force FX 5200) and when Slackware booted it would give me an error. I tried for days to fix the problem with help from other people, but no-go. Eventually I just got tired of trying to fix it so I just deleted the partition and gave all the space back to the partition that I have Windows XP on.
Well, lately I've been wanting to use Linux again. This time I wanted to try a more 'newbie friendly' distro like suse or fedora. But I've been having a really annoying problem. It seems no matter what distro I try to install, it fails. First I tried Suse, it would install the first disk, reboot, then...well nothing. So I tried Fedora, when I told it to install It flooded my screen with the same error. So I tried some more distros: Debian, Slackware(Again), Gentoo. Nothing seems to work and they all seem to fail for different reasons. I'm positive I'm not doing anything wrong, I follow the instructions to the letter for all of them. I was able to install Slackware, but I had to disable hotplug which just lead to more annoying problems.
To me it seems like it's my graphics card causing all the problems and I'm all out of ideas on what to do. I've tried to switch back to my intel Graphics chip, but my monitor screen always stays black (Please note that I'm very hardware stupid).
I'm sorry I couldn't be more descriptive about my problem, if you need any more information I'll do my best to get it to you. Does anyone know what the problem could be?
If the graphics card is functional that is not your problem.. nVidia cards have good support under linux including 3D support after you install the drivers provided by the manufacturer. but that should in no way prevent you from being able to install Linux..
After installing, when you boot the machine can you hit ALT+F2 to swithch to a working Console window instead of trying to boot into a non-functional GUI ?
are you choosing nv as the graphics driver during install ?
have you tried booting the machine using Knoppix or a similar Live distro to see if that works ?
Congrats on getting it to work but at the risk of stating the obvious, if you are using "onboard" I assume you know you are using your mobo's graphics chip rather than your new nVidia graphics card. If that's your preference that's cool, but I'd guess that your intention is to actually use the nVidia and if so there may be a relatively easy fix to a configuration file (probably) that will solve the problem.
As a general comment, please provide more details and background info such as the specific actions you took, the exact error message(s) that were generated, etc.
There should be more options in the bios than onboard and PCI for video because the FX5200 card is AGP. If you are using a PCI video card, you have ancient hardware. Most distros would have a problem with hardware that old.
This means boot an 'onboard/AGP' graphics card first, rather than a PCI card. With an add-on AGP card, the onboard video is disabled. Assuming he hasn't got a PCI graphics card (most of which work fine, BTW), this shouldn't make any difference anyway, unless he has a flaky BIOS.