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Old 02-19-2005, 05:31 PM   #1
djc
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Registered: Mar 2004
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uh oh. (SUSE 9.1 help needed)


I bought suse 9.1 pro a while back. I just recently got around to installing it. I installed on a desktop at work to try to learn about linux between my regular responsibilities. I also have in installed on a dell laptop at home. I had problems getting YOU to work on the desktop at work... I have a couple related posts to that in this and the suse specific forum. Cutting to the chase here: I finally get YOU to work. I leave all the default selections from YOU. It downloads and installs them all. All seems ok. No error messages. Then I reboot my computer and now I wish I never got YOU to work. The machine does not boot anymore. I tried a normal boot and the Failsafe boot option and neither succeed. This was at the end of day so I just left. Then I try YOU on my laptop at home. YOU works fine.. I again leave all selected updates as suggested by YOU... they download and install and now that machine does not boot. However the Failsafe option on the laptop does get me to the text only prompt. I believe thats runlevel 3 for suse 9.1.

on both machines the failing point just gives a black blank screen. Nothing else. I won't see the desktop until after tuesday again but I have the laptop now. After logging into the laptop from a failsafe boot I tried init 5 and got the black blank screen. I rebooted again to failsafe and tried startx and got the same thing. Blank blank screen.

I am no computer slouch but I am a linux n00b. I have tried to get into linux several times off and on but something usually gets in the way... not a linux thing.. usually a work thing. So even though you could probably find a post from me a year old in this forum I am definitely still a big n00b!

Obviously something from the update is not cool. AGain, I just let it install everything that was suggested... the defaults. I figured that was the safest bet. I guess I was wrong. I don't even know how to begin troubleshooting a linux system in this condition but I want to know how. One thing both these machines have in common is NVidia video. Not the same chipset but both Nvidia. One is a laptop (dell inspiron 2650) so it has the 2go version and the desktop is an IBM netvista... not sure on the model and its not with me right now. But from what I see... it looks like the problem happens when X is starting. But I don't want to lead someone with good linux knowledge down the wrong path.

How should I go about troubleshooting this? I believe the suse cd has some kind of repair option... is that my only choice? If I do that then I assume it will put all the older versions of everything back on the machine... so then how do I know what to uncheck or mark as taboo for the next YOU?

any input would be greatly appreciated.

one side note: I'm not very impressed with SUSE 9.1 in light of this. Granted, I'm a big dumb n00b when it comes to linux but wow, what a first experience? pretty darn stable huh? I'm not detered though. I find linux fascinating!
 
Old 02-19-2005, 07:14 PM   #2
pilotgi
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Sounds to me like a video problem, possibly with nvidia modules that were broken after a kernel update. Try logging in to runlevel 3 and become root. Then type:

sax2 -m 0=fbdev

0 is a number, not a letter. If there are no errors, become a regular user again and type startx. If you get your screen back, you'll need to compile a new nvidia module for your updated kernel if you want to use nvidia for graphics.
 
Old 02-20-2005, 12:58 PM   #3
djc
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thanks for the reply pilotgi. What your thinking makes sense to me. There was a kernel update selected by default. And I forgot to mention in the original post that I had already updated the Nvidia drivers on the laptop a while back. Right after original installation I used YOU and ONLY downloaded the nvidia drivers. It was not until now that I ran YOU and let it do everything it wanted to by default. Now this is the machine that only boots into failsafe. The desktop at work however does not boot even into failsafe. I had let YOU install all it wanted to by default PLUS the nvidia drivers at the same time.

I did as you suggested: Error output follows:

open: /dev/fb0 no such device

Then a generic message about possible causes... in this suggests checking /var/log/SaX.log. I copied this output and the log file to a floppy but after looking at it in windows I recall the difference in how linux and windows mark the 'end of line' in text files. So its not very readable in windows. Unfortunately, BOTH my linuxes boxes are down due to this same issue. I know there is a tool to convert between linux and dos text file formats though... what is it called? mtools or something like that? If you could let me know I can post the log file (if you think that is even neccessary) I'll look in the meantime and post back later if I find the tool. I have several books so I know its in there.. thats how I know it even exists.. Unfortunately time is not on my side this weekend. I'll be gone most of the day.

thanks for the help so far. Any further input would be appreciated.

If I understand correctly it sounds like I updated my kernel and the video driver does not work with that kernel version? So do I need to find a newer version driver? or just recompile current driver under new kernel? Not that I know how to do that but at least if I know what I should do I can start finding out how to do that. hehe.

thanks again.
 
Old 02-21-2005, 04:59 PM   #4
djc
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Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 54

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more info after running sax2 -m 0=fbdev as suggested.

Sax.log had an error listed at the end to the effect of:

Markers: (--) probed, (**) from config file, (==) default setting,
(++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
(WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
(==) Log file: "/var/log/XFree86.0.0.log", Time: Sun Feb 20 12:39:01 2005
(++) Using config file: "/tmp/sax2-4290/XF86Config"
Parse error on line 133 of section Screen in file /tmp/sax2-4290/XF86Config
The Display keyword requires a number to follow it.
(EE) Problem parsing the config file
(EE) Error parsing the config file

Fatal server error:
no screens found

When reporting a problem related to a server crash, please send
the full server output, not just the last messages.
This can be found in the log file "/var/log/XFree86.0.0.log".
Please report problems to http://www.suse.de/feedback.

]

Then, after looking up what the -m switch does I tried this:
sax2 -m 0=nv

I did not get any errors so I proceeded with startx. X system loaded but only at 640x480. So now at least I'm back in a GUI to continue troubleshooting. The nv is the module/driver name of the original nvidia driver that was used before obtaining the new drivers via YOU. 3Ddiag had told me to change a line in XF86config to 'NVidia' to enable 3d support, which I did and it worked fine. I am assuming at this point the problem was indeed a problem with the kernel update recieved via YOU.

So what does this mean? what do I do next? pilotgi mentioned recompiling nvidia drivers for my new kernel? Do I need to do that? how do I do that? Is it a matter of recompiling the same driver or obtaining a new driver for this particular kernel? Admittedly, last time I compiled any c/c++ code was in college.. and that was over 5 years ago and via a windows nt environment, but I'm ready and willing... someone just point me in the right direction!

thanks.
 
Old 02-26-2005, 02:38 PM   #5
pilotgi
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Registered: Apr 2002
Location: ks
Distribution: openSUSE Tumbleweed
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Now you should be able to change the resolution with sax2. If you want recompile the nvidia module, just download the latest linux version from nvidia.com. Then exit X, become root and run the .run file that you downloaded.

Code:
sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-6629-pkg1.run
The shell script will take care of all the work for you.
 
Old 02-28-2005, 05:07 PM   #6
djc
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Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 54

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thanks for the help pilotgi. Suse released a fix a couple days after my issue. The .147 kernel update fixes the problem.

However, I don't know if my problem is not completely fixed or if I'm now experiencing a new problem. I updated the kernel and reinstalled the nvidia drivers via YOU. My X server now starts and runs fine but it crashes when you try to end an X session by choosing end session or trying to shut down the computer. It justs gives a black screen. I wind up having to hold down the power button until it shuts down.

any ideas on that one?
 
  


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