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Old 03-28-2007, 06:20 AM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2007
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Distribution: OpenSUSE 10.2
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Graphical corruption in GUI [KDE 3.5.- with nVidia GF4 MX440]

Hi everyone.

I'm a bit of a n00b to linux in general. I like to think I can nut most things out, but this problem has me stumped.

Recently, and for no apparent reason, i've started having graphical corruption on the desktop. I'm running OpenSUSE 10.2 (xorg 7.1?,) KDE 3.5.6, XGL etc. The problem only appeared about a week or so ago.

When in GUI mode, and after a certain period of operation (usually maybe an hour or so) i get green and blue lines painted across the screen, like the spray can effect in the imaging programs. Periodically, kicker icons disappear when you mouse-over them. The lines appear usually where an app window has been, and when it is moved/minimised, the lines are left behind. These lines also appear within the app window itself, although they seem to usually be red in this case. This does not seem to happen in a cmd line tty, and if you ctrl-alt from the CLI back to the GUI the lines disappear.

I've taken the video card out, dusted it, cleaned it; upgraded KDE, reinstalled the core components of xorg; updated the kernel to a kotd from a few days ago off the suse server; recompiled the nvidia driver for this kernel etc to no avail. I'm almost convinced this is a problem with my video card (about five years old) but this doesn't really explain why it only affects the GUI. It should be noticed as well that I only installed XGL in my n00bness to see if this would fix the problem. It was already present beforehand. It didn't :-P.

Any suggestions, guys and girls? Coz this one evades me. (And apologies if i left out any vital information. This is my first post.)

Many thanks in advance,
Old 03-28-2007, 09:05 AM   #2
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Well, it likely affects the GUI mostly, because that stuff is where any load would be put on the videocard. The TTY's or console use minimal computing power.
You say you've cleaned/dusted the card. I will presume then that the fan on the card is clean and spins freely, and that you have observed that it actually spins and works fine when the card is running?
And how about the rest of the computer, as far as being clean inside, dust free, including the power supply ( I recently took my power supply out and apart for the first time ever on my 3 yr old machine, and WOW! I could barely identify any of the components inside there :P)..

The version of Xorg (7.1) you are using, is that a stable, reliable version? Do you know if this problem had occurred before or after any particular software upgrades or changes?

Are you using the driver from or a linux open-source version?

I'm undecided as to whether it sounds more like a hardware issue, or a software issue. The lines appearing is definitely weird, but the ICONS DISAPPEARING makes me lean towards a software issue.. I'm uncertain though.

Now, the problem occurs you say after like an hour of operation, but instantly goes away if you click out to a console and back in? And then, does it take another hour to return or only like 10 mins? If you keep using the machine, does it continue to get worse? What about if you run soemthing really graphics-intensive, does that make the issue happen sooner?

I'm not sure if nVidia offers any hardware diagnostic tools, but they *do* have some developer tools and other odds and ends.. Maybe worth checking out the nvidia users Forum and browsing the site for similar issues.

Finally, I have the exact same card as you, about 3 years old. My kernel is 2.6.20, Slackware 11, X version 6.9, using the nvidia closed-source driver #9631 from, and have no problems whatsoever..
Happy to try to help you figure this out, but not sure if I can come up with a final answer... If you could update as to the questions I've posted here, we'll see where it goes


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