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Old 09-04-2006, 08:22 PM   #1
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ATI Radeon Xpress 200M problems

Hey ho.

Against my better judgment, I purchased a laptop with an ATI Radeon Xpress 200M video card. I thought that with a little effort, any modern video card can be forced to work under Linux. So far, I'm not so sure.

I'm running Slackware 10.2, but have upgraded the gcc to 3.4.6 (from Slackware-current) in order to run the latest ndiswrapper. I've also upgraded the kernel to I've tried to follow every little howto to get the fglrx drivers to work (latest version: 8.28.8), but no dice. With DRI enabled, the screen goes blank and the laptop crashes. Without DRI, I can start up X (xorg 6.8.2), but if I quit X or go to another console, I get vertical colored bars on the screen and again the laptop is unresponsive.

I disable DRI with the NoDRI option in the xorg.conf file generated by aticonfig. Aside from crashing when I quit X or switch consoles, the result is a perfectly good looking 2D desktop (though, of course, I paid for a 3D card!).

I've also looked into the r300 driver from the latest version of xorg, but I'm told that it doesn't support the Xpress 200M.

I have UMA + Sideport set to 128M + 128M, as suggested in various sites.

lspci reports:
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc ATI Radeon XPRESS 200M 5955 (PCIE)

I appreciate any advice you may offer!
Old 09-04-2006, 10:20 PM   #2
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Try the FC 5 install in text mode and see if doesn't work?
luck and regards,
Old 09-05-2006, 10:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by devafree
Try the FC 5 install in text mode and see if doesn't work?
luck and regards,
Thanks for the suggestion. I downloaded the rpm from the ATI download site and installed it (using --nodeps, since Slackware is not an rpm-based distro). I executed in the build_mod directory and in the fglrx directory.

The module loads, but there is no difference in performance: With DRI, I get a black screen crash and without DRI, runs fine, but I crash on exit (with colored vertical bars).

Because this is a new install, I'm thinking of loading another distro in the extra disk space. Maybe Ubuntu or something. Just to see if I can get things to work better. But I'm a longtime Slackware user (since 1996) and I don't care to switch distros really.

Thanks again.
Old 09-05-2006, 10:33 AM   #4
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Do you have the xorg ati driver installed? I couldn't get the proprietary driver to install correctly until I completely removed xorg's driver.
Old 09-21-2006, 12:36 PM   #5
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ATI 200M Xpress fglrx


I hope this will help with the problem with
ATI 200M Xpress and fglrx.

I could install ATI driver in FC6test3.
My card is ATI 200M xpress
with 128MB built in. I added another 128MB from system
memory after going through suggestions from several forums. It worked with FC6T3 with updates available
as of 19th Sep. But there was a problem
loading a symbold something like __driCreateNewScreen***** (some number for ***), which
unloads a firegl module. The result is that there
is no lock and flgrxinfo reports ATI drivers are in use, but part of the display area of of any program gets erased making it unuseable. If i use Ctrl+Alt F1
etc to switch back to text mode i get wierd colours
and vertical bars.

I updated FC6T3 with updates on 20th Sep. With the same
setup (xorg.conf), the system locks with a black screen
(X takes all the CPU). I also tried the new release of the ati driver (8.29.6) and the lock status is the same.
It seems that some/one of the module of Xorg is locking the system. I can do more tests if anybody is trying to sort out the lock problem and suggest me ways to test.

Old 11-13-2006, 02:25 AM   #6
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I got mine working under debian. Much grief in the process, but working. Basically make sure you're using gcc-3.4 or better. And make sure your kernel has CONFIG_DRM=m and the drm module is NOT loaded. Otherwise the fglrx module fails to load.

Other notes about the GL provided by other things like Mesa conflicts (in theory) with ATI's drivers. So some trickery there might help. And I only seem to be able to use 24 bit color modes. Trying to use 16 bit modes results in a blank screen. Prior to getting dri working, I was able to use 1280x800 for this laptop with the vesa driver. But only after running aticonfig to adjust the XF86Config file. The only real difference was the DefaultDepth 24 instead of the 16 that I normally use.

Other notes about the .run file failing to build for Debian/sarge, but runs with the ./ method. And using expert mode to use / as the install path instead of ./. It would have been nice to have a better driver from ATI that played nicer with linux and fixed or informed of the potential issues. But a driver is better than no driver I guess.


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