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Old 11-02-2008, 07:27 AM   #1
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unable to boot

tried to help a a friend with no internet yesterday, by phone. She wants to install wireless internet.
She got this d-link g122 usb wireless stick.
There was no windows .inf driver on the cd, so we couldn't use ndiswrapper, so i hoped it was just plug and pray.

Plugged it in, and it shows up correctly in lsusb and iwconfig as wlan0.
typed iwconfig wlan0 essid (networkname), go to network manager, the usb stick was disabeled there, and the eth1 was enabled. she disabled the eth1, but it refused to enable the wlan. Set the wlan to dhcp.

But, then she did a restart, and when starting up, she said it comes alot info about dhcp, and system stopped at promt.
Typed startx, and it started to complain about screen not found, xserver couldn't start.
With no idea what to do, i asked her to type
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg (found that on a forum while we talked on phone)
She got up lots of info, i didn't understand half of, so i just told her to press ok. Bad habbit from windows. just press ok, and hope)

Then it hangs completely. can't write anything. Black screen, and in the midle of the screen it says "analog frequency 79.0"

She has lots of documents on that machine, so can't just reinstall.

Anyone? please, its a really nice girl.. :roll:
Old 11-02-2008, 07:55 AM   #2
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The first order of business should probably be to get the documents off the machine just in case. She should boot up with a live distro and copy the documents to an external drive. Have here unplug any extra, unneeded devices and try rebooting. I've had external usb drives prevent my old computer from booting. This problem happened very rarely but would occur as the computer was in post. My new laptop won't boot if there is an SD card in the slot. The analog frequency you posted sounds high to me. I think that she needs to read the /var/log/xorg.0.log file, paying attention to lines beginning with (EE) and (WW). Using a more reasonable refresh rate and a generic video driver, such as vesa may enable X to run. That would be a starting point to improve on.

Configuring wireless shouldn't have any effect on X. If you use rmmod on a busy module that could hang the machine. You never mentioned what controller the wireless device uses. How did you know whether the device should use the ndiswrapper. If it does need ndiswrapper, you should read the README file with the package and search on the ndiswrapper wiki to find which driver to download. Which kernel driver was loaded? If it was b43, for example, you need to use b43-fwcutter to cut out the firmware. The b43-fwcutter package includes a script which will download the firmware and install it.

If the driver is setup, test if by using iwlist to scan for access points. If you see access points then proceed configuring the device, the encryption and the network settings.


One thing that can cause a problem getting X to start is if there was a kernel update and you need to reinstall the video driver.
The xorg.0.conf file may indicate that the problem with X was. Something like an interrupt problem could cause the kernel to stop booting. Reading the /var/log/messages log or the /var/log/boot log may provide answers. I'm wondering if the computer wouldn't boot up because of a conflict with the usb wireless device.

Last edited by jschiwal; 11-02-2008 at 09:33 PM. Reason: typo: iwlist -> iwscan, of -> off
Old 11-02-2008, 09:47 AM   #3
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so that frequency, should be 50-60

Think that would be the result.. Get it up and running somehow to get a backup, and then maybe reinstall if it cant be fixed.

Any idea on what to type or do to change that frequency, or read that log messages you refer to? Cant write at anything, only se that frequency message on screen.
Anything in failsafe?
Old 11-02-2008, 09:47 PM   #4
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A CRT monitor may run with a very high refresh rate, but if it is a LCD monitor, 56, 60 or 70 is the most common. An LCD has a florescent backlight that shines through the pixels. So the entire screen is displayed at once. A CRT displays a single line at a time, so a high refresh rate is needed to prevent flickering and eye strain.

Of course if the manual for the monitor is available, that would be useful.

Look at the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. First make a backup of it before making changes.
Look at the "Monitor" Section.
Section "Monitor"

  # created by KGamma
  # created by KGamma
    Identifier     "Monitor[0]"
    VendorName     "--> LCD"
    ModelName      "1440X900@60HZ"
    UseModes       "Modes[0]"
    DisplaySize     365    230
    HorizSync       30.0 - 38.0
    VertRefresh     30.0 - 61.0
    Gamma           1.05
    Option         "CalcAlgorithm" "XServerPool"
    Option         "DPMS"
    Option         "PreferredMode" "1440x900"
I had edited the ModelName and PreferredMode myself because it didn't describe my monitor. I'm at a laptop right now, which has a 1440x900 16:9 LCD display. I never even touched the HorizSync and VertRefresh lines myself.

You will still want to read the Xorg.0.conf file. Look for warnings and errors. From the frequency message you posted, it sounds to me that the video card may be sending video at an unsupported rate or screen size. Also double check that the video cable is securely attached on both ends. You could simply have a loose cable as well if this isn't a laptop display you are talking about.

Also check the logs and the bootup log to see if the video driver loads succesfully. There may be two are more files, and one of them could be a Linux kernel module. for example nvidia.ko for the propriety nvidia driver. For the kernel module, look at the boot up log or the dmesg command.

Last edited by jschiwal; 11-02-2008 at 09:50 PM.


frequency, startx, xorg

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