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seriously, at my age i'm doing dumb things like hiding the remote control in the freezer by accident. I still have bladder control though. They may take my hair, but they'll never take my pride...
Anyway...i did as you said, after pressing the ctrl/alt/backspace it flickered around, went black and opened the frontpage again. My resolution changed to 800x600 (4:3). I looked in the screen resolution in System and it only has too options now:
Right, now let's put this in your xorg.conf, this time under the "Monitor" section.
Then hit ctrl + alt + backspace again and check whether you get more resolutions to select from. Note: I am basically just guessing those refresh rates. If you could find the exact rates, that would be better; but if the laptop/monitor is an unknown brand, my guess is likely to be as good as anything you could come up with.
I still use dpkg-reconfigure - it works fine for me. You can generally accept the suggested keyboard and mouse choices if you don't know what you have. Then take a look at the choices for video card and resolutions and make the appropriate selections. It will generally suggest the right choices.
It did the same and it loaded into 800:600 (4:3)
The other option was 1024:768 (4:3)
OK, we are gradually getting somewhere. Does it work better than what you had?
If not, have you got any idea about the resolutions that are supported? And what would you like: higher resolution or lower?
I guess you could try this:
- install hwinfo (sudo aptitude install hwinfo from the command line or install it from System > Admin > synaptic package manager)
- in a terminal, run the command
sudo hwinfo --monitor
This should give a fairly accurate idea about the supported resolutions. If remotely possible, please post all of the output.
Phew, we really have very little to go by. The root of the problem appears to be that the system cannot make any sense of your monitor. You could go into xorg.conf again and raise your vertical refresh rate in steps (adding something like 5 every time). This is the old style experimental approach and it may be the only one to make any further progress. When you go too far, you should receive a "not supported" error message, in which case you can restore your backup of the xorg.conf file.
By the way, what is it that you find tiring? Is the resolution to low or are is the ratio (4:3) messed up?
Well, there is also the gtf command to generate modelines but that does not really help until you have figured out which resolutions are needed. If you want to read about gtf, open a terminal and type man gtf.