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Old 07-25-2013, 05:19 PM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2013
Location: USA
Distribution: Debian Wheezy
Posts: 5

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Changing resolution stops signal to monitor.

My friend for a while now (I'm using his account) has had problems with his resolution. When he logs in the resolution is 800x600. Whenever we try to change it to 1440x900, either through system settings or xrandr, the monitor stops getting any signal. This problem only happens with this one account, another made before it is unaffected.
It started when he ran an old windows program in wine (Like Total Annihilation or Red Alert 1.
When we installed twm and logged into that, the resolution was fine.
His machine is a Debian Wheezy 32b and the window manager with a problem is gnome2.

Everything else works fine without any issues, other than compensating for the lack of window space.

Thanks for the help.
Old 07-25-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
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Registered: Jan 2010
Location: Anacortes, WA
Distribution: Crunchbang, Debian, Gentoo
Posts: 25
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Is it choosing an incompatible refresh rate? Check the refresh rate it's trying to use and the specs on the monitor to make sure they match for the resolution you're using.
Old 07-25-2013, 11:07 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2010
Location: Minnesota, USA
Distribution: Slackware 13.37, 14.2
Posts: 316

Rep: Reputation: 76
For the monitor not getting signal, there are several possibilities.
1. The monitor is getting a signal, but does not recognize it and so behaves as if there is no signal. (There is no recognizable signal).
2. There actually is no signal. For this to happen with a specific resolution would mean that the video driver is shutting down the video card. This is not normal.
This is what the system power saving does when it shuts down the monitor.
3. The screen is black, which looks like no signal. There is actually something else wrong.

Wine changed a video setting and it is getting restored each time you use that particular account.
I cannot tell you exactly where to look for where it save this setting.
Sometimes when programs that use video are not shutdown correctly, they leave the video settings they were using. Sometimes these bad settings can get saved because some drivers just save the video register values without knowing what they mean. They will save invalid register settings too.

First backup the hidden directories of the messed up user account.
Delete hidden directories until the problem ceases.
Then restore all except the last one deleted.

If really desperate, clean out all hidden directories and start over setting the user preferences.

That is an unusual video resolution.
Try some normal ones like 1024x768 1600x1024 and vesa modes to see if it is just that one mode. If it is just that one mode, then it might be that it only works with some config setting and that user did something to get a game working that clobbered the special config.
One place for video mode config is the X11 config, where special video modes have modelines.
Is the user using the system X11 config or their own?

Some commercial drivers (I think Matrox) could store customized mode settings per mode per user. This would be one way to affect one mode for one user.
Bring up the driver config tool and check that mode. Reset it to a standard setting.

Last edited by selfprogrammed; 07-25-2013 at 11:10 PM.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-26-2013, 12:25 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2013
Location: USA
Distribution: Debian Wheezy
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled

The real vvbudh here, I believe I am using an X11 file, I see it in my home folder. I will try to change the screen resolution to 1024x768, I do believe that that one worked before. However I am a little hesitant to do more major deleting of files without the help of my friend Tom, because Tom is the one who got me into and knows a lot more about Linux.

I tried to switch it to 1024x768 but to no avail, the screen went black and the on blue light on the power button went to the off orange light. It remained black for a few sec (about 10[I have waited for 2 mins before so I didn't expect this was any different]) and so I manually rebooted. Entered my account and still the same resolution.

I'm not sure about how I can help make this problem more understandable. Is there anything I can do and post here to help you? If so please give some step by step instructions if you wouldn't mind. I still don't quite understand all of what my friend Tom really does to my computer.

Also, how would I go about checking the refresh rates?

Last edited by vvbudh; 07-26-2013 at 12:33 AM.
Old 07-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2013
Location: USA
Distribution: Debian Wheezy
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
What commands to use.

I first typed this command into the terminal. (With the help of Tom's knowledge and the assistance from selfprogrammed.)

ls -d .??* | tr '\n' '\0' | xargs -0 tar -cvzf backup.tar.gz

This backs up all of the hidden files in your computer? (I think so) and then after that you delete them by using this command.

rm -rv .*

This instantly solved my issues. Now all you need to do is extract the files from the backup.tar.gz files and put them back in your home folder one by one and see which one (if any) change the resolution. You must log out and login again after each extraction to see which one caused the problem.

Thanks for your help all!

Old 07-26-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
Registered: Jan 2010
Location: Minnesota, USA
Distribution: Slackware 13.37, 14.2
Posts: 316

Rep: Reputation: 76
To speed the process up, put back all the a*, and test, then all the b* and test, etc..
Then when you get a problem, try renaming the directory instead of deleting it.
For example if the problem shows up with k*.
>> rename ".k" "._k" .k*

This will disable usage of the hidden directories.
Then change them back to their proper name one at at time.

My monitor tells me what the refresh rate is.
Just push a few buttons to get the info display.
There are several low level tools to display the X11 video settings, but the names are so hard to remember. I keep notes, ... somewhere ...
>> ls /usr/bin/ls*
>> ls /bin/ls*
>> ls /usr/bin/*gl* -- opengl reporting tool
>> ls /usr/bin/*ext*


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