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Old 07-07-2009, 08:36 PM   #1
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Ubuntu bizarre boot sequence--- Boot hangs unless I turn off monitor

I recently installed Ubuntu 9.04 on an older Gateway (AMD 700Mhz). The video card is ati-radeon rv100qy 7000/ve. The card pumps the video to a Gateway FlatPanelDisplay 730. This is not a duel boot machine and I can get it to boot.... but the sequence is this (no I am not out of my mind)
1) turn of the monitor
2) start the computer
3) allow the boot sequence to progress for 10 to 15 seconds
4) the monitor prompts "input beyond range" and begins an 18 second countdown (here is the strange part)
5)At nine seconds into this countdown sequence, I manually turn off the monitor and closely watch the drive lights on the computer. IF I AM LUCKY, the lights indicate drive activity for 20 seconds or so and I hear the successful boot sound. HOWEVER!!

If I am not lucky, the drive lights stop blinking a few seconds after I turn off the monitor and so I turn the monitor back on to find either (a) a garbled badly interlaced boot screen or (b) the "power saving mode" message from the monitor.

I generally just leave the computer on to avoid the hassle of this boot fiasco. If I do have to reboot I may have to reboot up to a dozen times to get the exact moment to shot the monitor off. I actually think that the @##$# thing is capable of sensing my frustration level and will not boot till I am about ready to throw in the towel.

I know the video card is not on on the supported cards list and thus is using a generic driver. I may try installing a invidea card but...

The card and video seem satisfactory IF AND WHEN I get the darned thing booted up. I have googled the problem but I have not run across this strange business of shutting the monitor off a just the right time to make it work. The timing issue is about as tough as a 3 rail shot pool.

Any help would be appreciated GREATLY!!

Old 07-07-2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Massachusetts, USA
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Do you know if you are using the restricted driver for the video card? ATI only recently started making a good effort at making Linux drivers for their cards. Older model cards are probably using a buggy driver if it is from ATI.

Are you sure that your power supply is putting out all of the current that your computer needs? An older power supply may not be able to provide all of the current that your video card requires. That results in low voltage which could trigger buggy behavior.

And of course the disk drive could be starting to fail.

You could test drive different Linux distributions on live CDs. Unfortunately the live CD of any distribution will probably not use the restricted drivers so that is not a good test of restricted driver performance. Testing several distributions my means of using live CDs would help you to find a distribution that works well on your hardware. The LQ forums are full of threads about hardware problems using Ubuntu/Anybuntu v9.04. It's possible that any other Linux distribution would work better on your hardware than v9.04 Ubuntu.

Last edited by stress_junkie; 07-07-2009 at 09:11 PM.
Old 07-07-2009, 09:11 PM   #3
Jamie Kugelmann
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: Metung, Australia
Distribution: Ubuntu Desktop 9.04 and Ubuntu Server 9.04
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hey theoldras, im only 11, and I've tried my best.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Try getting a different monitor,
2. Try cleaning all connections (monitor connections, and so on),
3. Try just cleaning EVERY possible thing inside the PC,
4. Try taking out the cd-rom, card reader (if you have one),
5. And if all of the above does not work try re-installing ubuntu WITH an old monitor plugged in.


Old 07-09-2009, 10:20 PM   #4
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I got a new card to replace the ATI. I am not using NVIDEA 6200 and the problem disappeared!! Ain't technology wonderful...

Thanks for the replies and the help.

I was duly impressed with the ease with which Ubuntu identified the drivers needed and installed them. On the other hand, it is somewhat disconcerting to find that the machine is smarter than the user. Darn, and I spent half my life getting an education which is rendered OBSOLETE!


thanks for the help

Old 07-13-2009, 10:37 AM   #5
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4) the monitor prompts "input beyond range" and begins an 18 second countdown (here is the strange part)
This message indicates that the configuration settings for your monitor are incompatible with what the monitor is designed to handle. Specifically, I would suggest that the horizontal and vertical refresh rates in your xorg.conf file (which should be in the /etc/X11 directory) do not match your monitor.

Can you post the contents of your xorg.conf file, and also check your user manual for that monitor to determine those 2 refresh rates (they should be listed in the "technical specifications" section of your manual)


boot, video

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