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The problem: Xconfigurator fails when I press OK after the PCI Probe screen. Errors out with: "Server doesn't exist, can't continue. tried to use .../../usr/X11R6/bin/XF86_Mach64"
Details: I think the problem, for one, is that Xconfigurator is detecting the wrong video card. I have a Dell desktop computer with a built-in Rage card. I don't use this card at all, instead I have installed a PCI NVIDIA GeForce2 card. Xconfigurator seems to be detecting the ATI Rage card. How can I stop this? How do I make Xconfigurator detect my NVIDIA PCI card instead?
You will need to go into your BIOS and turn off the onboard video controller. How to do this will depend on your BIOS type, but if its an award-type bios (many are these days) there should be a menu entry for builtin devices. The other choice you have is to use lspci to get the PCI bus ID for the nvidia card and enter it into X's configuration by hand. In Section "Device" add
BusID "PCI:x:y:z" where x is the bus number, y is the device number, and z is the subid (usually 0). lspci prints this out as "x:y.z"
Two video cards could be rough to work around. Ordinarilly you would use "XFree86 -configure" to generate your XF86Config(-4) file. But with two cards you're probably better off using "xf86cfg" and/or "xf86config" to do the configuration.
Of course NVidia has closed source drivers. Or so the rumor goes. So you'll need to download the appropriate binaries from nvidia.com or where ever they keep them. At least they supply drivers I guess.
Worst case scenario, you can try compiling from source the xserver from XFree86.org But I wouldn't want to try that. You can also get binaries from there, which is what I've done on my HP 533W that has one of those troublesome Intel 810/845G jobs. Which seems to ONLY be supported under 4.3.0 or better.
Version 4 of xfree is supposed to use the XF86Config-4 file, but depending on where you get yours, you should probably place your config file as XF86Config and XF86Config-4, just to be safe. In the appropriate directory of course. Most times that is /etc/X11/.
If you just want X, you can try the Vesa drivers. They're supposed to be generic ones that should work on most cards. Bearing in mind that you're probably not gonna get much better than 640x480 under that driver. And performance will probably be poor.
Read the documentation that comes with the drivers and version of X you have. And also google for your card and problems/fixes that others have tried. The i845G driver for my HP integrated card requires extra options to function normally.
That's for my card, so that when you leave X and come back you'll still see something. Not that it applies to your card, but just to let you know that there might be some tricks to get yours working and hopefully working right. google is your friend. Or more specifically groups.google.com
Also bear in mind that future releases might correct some/most of these quirks. So check with your distro to see that you're using the most current(tested/stable) versions of stuff before you start tossing things and giving up.