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Old 06-30-2004, 08:51 PM   #1
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SuSE 9.1 NVidia Geforce 256 Driver Failure?


I've been using SuSE since 8.1 and the same hardware (including a Geforce 256 DDR) since that time. I've just done a clean install of 9.1 and encountered video driver problems.

The Problem:

1) The installed video driver (nv) works. Once I install the 5536 driver, either by YOU or from the source tarball, it fails.
2) If I install the kernel update, either via YOU or RPM, I can use SaX2 to get the Vesa driver going. But I never can get nvidia to work. I also can't go back to nv.
3) This originally arose after I updated the kernel. I subsequently did a full reinstall (with reformat) and ran into similar problems using the original kernel after using YOU to install the nvidia drivers. In that case, I could get SaX2 to start and flash the initial clock icon and penguin screen, but it crashes when it tries to flash up the menu.
4) /var/logs/SaX.log shows that it can't find the appropriate fonts. Hence, I'm wondering if this might be, in part, a SaX2 problem.
5) I've tried "nv2nvidia". I've reinstalled the kernel source. I've tried earlier versions of the NVidia installer. I've tried the GFX drivers. I've fiddled with everything I could think of. Nothing seems to work with this board under 9.1.
6) While I'm no expert, I'm also not a newbie. I've successfully used NVidia drivers under 9.0 on numerous computers, including using this hardware.
7) This doesn't seem to be a problem covered on this site by any other posts about Nvidia driver failures.
8) Although I'm using 9.1 Professional, SuSE support doesn't answer questions like this since it's apparently triggered after the original installation, which drives the board properly. The original installation uses nv (I think) according to YaST display properties. Yet 'lsmod' shows neither nv nor nvidia loaded.
9) While I have experience with the 2.4.xx kernel from 9.0, I'm new to the 2.5.xx series, and hence must be missing something.


A) Is this related to the age of my video card? The Geforce 256 DDR is ca. 1999. Do the 5536 drivers still support the Geforce 256 DDR? (see the post about fedora problems with the same card.)

B) Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can recover from a failure without doing a full reinstall? (I'm currently doing my fourth in 3 days). I've tried replacing XF86Config by XF86Config.install, but I still couldn't get back to the original working configuration.

C) I did reconfigure the system from the control panel to use larger fonts under KDE before installing the patches. But can the larger fonts, at the KDE level, feed back into SaX2 to cause it to fail?

I'm baffled. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.

Don A
Old 07-01-2004, 02:22 AM   #2
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Well,I've had loads of problems with the Nvidia driver for Suse 9.0 and 9.1 Pro.
When installed with Yast it says "no 3d acceleration", when installed manually it plays up and doesn't like it.
I gave up and put Mandrake on as well for 3d stuff.

You can boot up from cd1, choose "installation" and then "Repair Installation" and it sorts the system out either fully automatically or with various levels of intervention by the user.
Old 07-01-2004, 10:04 AM   #3
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Hi Salparadise,

Thanks for your reply. As I said, I've had no problem with NVidia drivers
using this board under SuSE 9.0, only under 9.1. And the NVidia drivers changed
from release 5528 to 5536 since I was last successful. Since I currently have to do
a complete system reload after each failure, I'm not willing to experiment with
the 5528 drivers.

There's a procedure for turning on the 3D part using SaX2. The release
notes shipped with the driver outline it, as does SuSE online help. YOU
points you to the directory into which the release notes are downloaded.
But briefly (under 9.0):

- become superuser
- at a console, enter "init 3" to go down to level 3
- run SaX2 using sax2 -m 0=nvidia
- select "Change Configuration"
- select the graphics card
- select "Change Configuration", then "Expert"
- Choose the option NvAGP from the list of properties
- Change the value of NvAGP from "0" to "1"
- Choose "finish" (or whatever it takes to gracefully exit sax2).
- go back to graphics mode (runlevel 5) by entering "init 5"
- You'll get a login screen. 3D acceleration will be working.

Runlevel 3 is text mode. Runlevel 5 is graphics mode. You can't turn on
AGP from graphics mode.

I've successfully used this procedure with SuSE 9.0 using both my
Geforce-DDR-256 computer and my nforce-2-chipset computer. I've
used it both with drivers installed via YOU and from the tarball. All
my problems are with SuSE 9.1

Good luck.

Don A
Old 07-01-2004, 10:11 AM   #4
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Hi Salparadise (again),

I forgot to add:
The system restore procedure using CD 1 doesn't sort out the graphics
problem once I've encountered it. I suspect that's due to changes to
XF86Config, made by SaX2, which don't get fixed by the system restore
(See B in my original posting.)

Don A
Old 07-01-2004, 10:41 AM   #5
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Location: Birmingham UK
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there is a new build of NVIDIA drivers
build 6101 (I think)

May or may not help you.


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