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Old 03-08-2013, 01:28 PM   #1
pierssnell
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Registered: Sep 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: Puppy 528
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video driver issue stops me using X11 session, howto resolve this from command prompt


Something has spontaneously corrupted (I think!) the video driver, such that working inside an X session is pretty much impossible.

This is a problem that was not present when I switched off last night, but appeared this morning, and I've made no recent tweaks to my system. Symptoms are, on startup, random jaggy lines appear on my desktop, and icons are very slow to be drawn, often corrupted, often just the wrong icon, and the machine has slowed down to a crawl, when not to a complete stop. I take this to mean that the video driver is soaking up all the system resources in its attempts to make sense of the screen.

The problem appears only in my full-install Puppy 5.28, other linuxes and Windows work fine on the same machine, so I don't think it's a hardware thing.

Since the tools that might be available to me within an X session are unavailable, I need to resolve this from the command prompt... which is not my strong point, so this is a desperate cry for some help! All I *have* tried, is running Puppy's xorgwizard from the prompt -- and that probes the hardware without detecting any problem, and selects the nvidia driver, (which is the one that's always been there, and I know it works, because that's the one working at the moment, working now in Puppy from a live CD) -- and the wizard clearly leads me to believe that I can proceed as normal into an X session. I've tried asking it to use the nv driver instead of nvidia, and I've tried asking for lower screen resolutions. No joy.

I'd really appreciate any advice what to try next! I *think* I need to manually force a re-installation of the nvidia driver, but I just don't know how to go about that. I *do* have access to all the necessary file structure, (via my live CD Puppy,) so I can move files around, and edit .conf files -- but I have not the faintest idea which files I need to handle!
 
Old 03-10-2013, 05:23 AM   #2
business_kid
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Registered: Jan 2006
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on the cli, run top to see what's hogging resources.

Fix nothing until you are sure it's not a resource problem. If you have shut down with suspend/hibernate, switch off. Then restart.
 
Old 03-10-2013, 11:16 AM   #3
pierssnell
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Registered: Sep 2011
Location: UK
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Thanks...

I like the idea of not fixing anything till sure of what's wrong! Alas, I can't get as far as running the command line inside the X session, because everything happens so slowly, by the time icons and menus would have been made available, the system has actually slowed down to a complete stop. (If I run 'top' before even opening the X session, it's not showing much activity anyway.)

I am now having second thoughts about whether it is a driver problem after all, or whether it could be some corrupted information about the desktop. I think the apparently random lines may after all be mis-rendered icons, because a noticeable feature of the errant behaviour is that icons are appearing which aren't appropriate for their function. At the moment, for example, I have a screen with all the partition icons lined up along the bottom of the screen, except the icon for sda6 is just a yellow and white rectangle, sda8 and sda11 don't have icons, sda10 has an icon but no caption, and sda12 for some reason is in a different corner of the screen.

Is any of this suggestive? Where does the 'routine' that builds the desktop look for all its information? I'm wondering if I could copy a 'start-up' set of this info from a fresh, duplicate installation of Puppy on another partition. I would obviously then be missing shortcut icons for the extras I've installed since OS installation, but would this be a crazy thing to try?
 
Old 03-10-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
business_kid
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Try Ctrl_Alt_F2 as soon as you start X and run top there. You can kill stuff from inside top by pressing 'k'.
If you want to remove the nvidia binary, use the Puppy package manager. If you have a binary blob from the website, run the .run file with --uninstall or /uninstall (One of them works).
 
  


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