-   Linux - Laptop and Netbook (
-   -   Problems with screen configuration on Dell Latitude Ls (

ABurchIV 12-05-2005 12:02 PM

Problems with screen configuration on Dell Latitude Ls
I am new to linux so please bear with me. I downloaded and installed Mandriva linux 10.2 mini. I have a latitude ls 400mhz 128meg 12" screen and no drives at all. It has bios version A03 which doesn't support boot from usb.

I installed through a network install with instructions I found online but chose to erase entire hard drive because windows wasn't functioning properly like usual.

I can log into the cli but I can't view the gui. I found some info at another site but this assumes a good understanding of using the cli which I don't have and is for red hat 6.1.

So now I have no idea how to re-install and try other settings during the install. Also the sound doesn't work for reasons explained in the second web page however again same problem with not knowing anything about the commands.

I also checked Mandriva's online manuals but haven't found any solutions. Does anyone have any suggestions? I've been google-ing it for days now. I would put the website addresses in but I'm not allowed to by the forum as this is my first post.

syg00 12-06-2005 05:25 AM

Yuck !!! - oh, and welcome ... :D

Dells can be a pain, but I don't know that one. BTW, if you really want to post links, try making them not look like links - stick some spaces in, use words (e.g. "dot") ...
Of course, I never told you any of that.

What does this mean ???

I can log into the cli but I can't view the gui.
- does the GUI fail ???; messages would be good
- does "startx" get you anywhere ???.
- does xorgconfig (or similar) work under mandriva (I don't know, as I refuse to use any Mandrake derivative since 10.0 ate my partition table on install)

You might be best asking under the distro rather than "laptop" - better answers maybe.

ABurchIV 12-06-2005 12:40 PM

When I boot up the computer, the lilo screen comes up fine. Then the Mandriva boot-up screen shows up fine. When it gets to the login screen everything goes blank well actually white spreads over the screen like a mist, then black comes back in around the edges in the same manner if that helps any. When I press Ctr-Alt-F1, it switches over to a command line interface where I can log in fine. There are no error messages of any kind. As far as I can tell, it is a problem with the display configuration, perhaps the vertical and horizontal refresh rates or something along those lines. I'm not sure. The only site I've found that references this type of problem is at divisionbyzero dot com slash laptop slash. Hope this helps If you go to the xfree86 section it is the only thing I've found for this model of dell. Is there a diferent distro that I'd be better off switching to?

EclipseAgent 12-06-2005 01:03 PM

Howdy, I am not sure what video card you have on the computer, but try with an external monitor (should work, BUT BE SURE THAT IT IS USING ONLY THE EXTERNAL MONITOR, and not both the on board and external, or you may get a "Signal" error)

If that isn't viable boot to failsafe mode, and vi the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and look towards the bottom for a section that looks similar to this:

Section "Device"
BoardName "CyberBlade/xp4"
BusID "1:0:0"
Driver "vesa"
Identifier "Device[0]"
Screen 0
VendorName "Trident"

where mine says "vesa" what does your say? Try changing it to "vesa" saving and then rebooting

lugoteehalt 12-06-2005 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by ABurchIV
white spreads over the screen like a mist, then black comes back in around the edges in the same manner

This probably not helpful, but are we talking about a sort of northern lights effect?

I get this on a Dell Inspiron 4000 laptop when, I think, it hasn't been touched for a while (it's not a screensaver, even I'm not that stupid). As far as can recall it goes away if, say, the shift key is pressed.

Haven't had it for a bit: might be because of starting using ACPI. By putting 'acpi=force' at the end of the kernel line in the grub configuration file menu.lst.

What happens with startx?

EclipseAgent 12-06-2005 01:25 PM

This is when you do "startx" I am assuming, and I am guessing it is a "Glowing" white screen that takes up the whole screen eventually.

syg00 12-06-2005 05:09 PM

That's a pretty old web page.
I think you're right about the video - try taking the relevant bits out of the config from the web page, and updating your xorg.conf to match.
After backing it up of course.

lugoteehalt 12-07-2005 04:41 AM


Originally Posted by EclipseAgent
This is when you do "startx"

Sorry to grind on, but doesn't the CLI (why's everybody started using that acronym?) churn out a whole load of messages - unheard of not to, surely?

ABurchIV 12-07-2005 08:16 AM

Screen Working
I messed around with xorg.conf last night after dinner. The northern lights effect is gone and the graphical interface does show up on the screen now. It still needs some small tweaking but I had to stop last night before i typed something wrong and screwed it all up again. Thankyou all for your input.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:46 PM.