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Old 11-06-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
farna
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Radeon 9600 & unreadable screen


For starters, I'm new to Linux but do understand using a command line. I am running Linux Mint 7 (Gloria) on an Asus A7V400MX motherboard, 1200+ Athlon, 1GB ram, 120 GB HD, Radeon 9600/256MB video card.

I was trying to solve some video problems with Wine and installed Radeon 9600 video drivers. Now I have a totally unreadable screen after boot. The driver was installed using the Mint Package Manager from the Ubuntu repositories (comes up in PM with the Ubuntu emblem), not using ATI Envy. I searched the message base (Mint forum and here) and didn't find anything (except this thread!). I tried booting into safe mode and using the auto graphics repair, that didn't help.

So what I need to do is boot into the command line and remove the busted Radeon driver and revert to whatever generic driver Mint uses. I have the Mint CD, and should be able to locate the driver and copy from there. I'm familiar with using a command line, but have no idea what to do under Linux. It's the xserver-xorg-video-radeon, version 1:6.12.1-Ubuntu2 (5th one down in the list). Apparently it's for newer Radeon cards, not my 9600.

After a bit of searching I found where someone suggested reconfiguring xserver like this:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

That didn't help. Hopefully someone here will be able to assist me over the weekend.

Can someone post me a line for line command sequence to fix this? Another thought... if I reinstall Mint from the CD will it repair itself or will I have to reinstall all software -- will it be a fresh install?
 
Old 11-08-2009, 07:49 AM   #2
adamk75
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Make sure you don't have any packages installed with 'fglrx' in the name: 'dpkg -l | grep fglrx'. If they are installed remove them with 'apt-get remove'. You can reconfigure X to use the open source driver with the command 'Xorg -configure' and then copy the newly generated xorg.conf.new file to /etc/X11/xorg.conf
 
Old 11-09-2009, 06:24 PM   #3
farna
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Thanks! Will try that later tonight or tomorrow and report back.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
farna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamk75 View Post
Make sure you don't have any packages installed with 'fglrx' in the name: 'dpkg -l | grep fglrx'. If they are installed remove them with 'apt-get remove'. You can reconfigure X to use the open source driver with the command 'Xorg -configure' and then copy the newly generated xorg.conf.new file to /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Well Adam, 'dpkg -l | grep fglrx' worked. Found some modules, but doesn't give a location that I could see, or rather understand (no directory string). apt-get starts to run, then gives a "file not found" error.

I'm using Mint, so xorg-configure doesn't work. Mint has xserver-xorg, IIRC, and I was able to use the text screen menu-driven reconfiguration utility, but it doesn't have much for video... one entry that I can't exactly remember, but changing it didn't do a thing. The util automatically copies the new config file and keeps the old as a backup. Naturally Mint uses a different directory structure too, but I was able to eventually find the X11R6 directory, which has some radeon.so files... and I seem to recall fglrx also. Briefly considered just deleting them, but didn't.

It shouldn't be so damned hard to remove a recalcitrant driver from the command line. I do understand that part of the difficulty is me being new to Linux, but help is hard to come by for newbies like me, especially with something like this. Instead of slipping my XP CD in though, I'm going to just do a fresh install of Mint. Won't be too hard to reconfigure, and only a few e-mail files will be lost for good. I tried booting from the CD and using the package manager, but that does no good... not that I thought it would. Would be nice if there were a recovery mode that wouldn't delete all user files, but I'm not betting on it!

One small thing -- the DIR command. I couldn't get it to fill the screen then stop. Would prefer it to use columns and stop on a full screen (like the old MS-DOS /w and /p switches). I noticed that there is a COLS switch (Mint uses "bash" for the shell), but I couldn't get it to work. I tried entering "3" for 3 columns, and 64 for total screen width and neither worked. Getting it to stop for each screen would have helped a lot!
 
Old 11-10-2009, 07:33 PM   #5
adamk75
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What packages with 'fglrx' in the name did you have installed? And exactly what did your apt-get command look like?

Adam
 
Old 11-11-2009, 07:08 PM   #6
farna
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I appreciate the help Adam, but I don't recall now. Rather than fight with it any more I just reinstalled Mint. What Mint (and probably other distributions) needs now is a recovery or repair install. Something that will reinstall the OS without killing user apps and files -- just reinstall the OS over itself without formatting. L was hopeful, but no, mint doesn't do that -- it's install beside the existing OS and choose between the two upon boot or wipe everything out and start over.

I used apt-get fglrx, and it started to work. Looked for dependencies, counted down % done, then displayed a line with "E: file not found" (or package not found... something of that nature.

This time I'm chalking it up as a learning experience, and realizing that I might have to re-load everything all over again more than once. At least it's definitely something I did and not the OS screwing things up all on it's own!

I've also ordered an Nvidia FX5500 video card. I have an AGP bus (Asus A7V400-MX motherboard, Athlon 1200+, 1GB RAM, 120 GB HD), and that card was under $50, which was the limit as to how much I wanted to spend on that particular computer. Didn't really want to spend that, but the Radeon card left a bad taste in my mouth. The whole problem is a cursor "ghosting" in a PC game running under Wine -- might be the program or Wine and nothing to do with the video card, but figured the hardware graphics accelerator on the video card might help.
 
  


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