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Old 02-01-2012, 12:31 AM   #1
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inspiron 8000 nv geforce2go

Hi everyone

I wanted to try Linux so I loaded down imbuntu 11.2 on older inspiron 8000. When hooked to an external monitor everything worked fine. On the lap top screen flashed white and faded to black, nothing on the screen. Finally got the 8000 screen to show a box about 4 inches by 4 inches and is extremely difficult to read. How do I make it bigger so it fills the whole screen. I am a newbie and no very little about code or even how to get there.

Thank you for any assistance
Old 02-01-2012, 02:31 AM   #2
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Hi there

Ok 1st thing b4 install a system is to check if your hardware can handle here the system requirements for Ubuntu 11.xx.

Ubuntu Desktop Edition

* 1 GHz CPU (x86 processor (Pentium 4 or better))
* 1 GiB RAM (system memory)
* 15 GB of hard-drive space (or USB stick, memory card or external drive but see LiveCD for an alternative approach)
* 800 by 600 screen resolution
* Either a CD/DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media

I think Ubuntu 11.xx is a bit heavy for your hardware, if you have this: Inspiron 8000
I would check out Xubuntu or Lubuntu and as you said "I wanted to try Linux", why not try more than one distribution?!! Also download some LiveCD to try it out without the need to install. Here some other lightweight distros:

Still if you system is running fine and the only real problem is the resolution of your screen then lets fix it.
For that we need to know few things, did you install the suggested driver? Have you tried to change the resolution through Nvidia settings GUI? If you can post your xorg.conf that would be great and as well Xorg.0.log.
They can be found in /etc/X11 and /var/log.

Here some links worthy to read:

Old 02-01-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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Thank you for your reply. You are right. My RAM is only 512 and it is a 900mgz machine. I do have disk space, CD DVD,. I did the cd/dvd download but it would not run on the machine at all. It kept coming back with Kernel panic, not good as I understand. I do not know what the nividia GUI is, so I don't know if it has been changed. I will try to post the Xorg.0.log if I can figure out how to get to it and then how do post.

I talked to a friend of mine who is more computer savvy than I was able to get it to run on a remote screen, but the laptop screen was black. He messed with for couple of hours last night and finally got it to have a screen about 4 inches square in the middle of the screen but it is really hard to read. He has messed with all of the settings in code that he is aware of to try to get it to work. it keeps returning to the small 4 inch square. He has no further idea what to do. I am forwarding your suggestion to him, because I am beginning to feel this is beyond my abilities. It sounds to me like you are right that perhaps I need to try a different distribution. I think this is a wise bit of counsel.

I appreciate the time you have taken and the patience to deal with some one who is finding out I know a lot less than I thought! I will be working on your suggestions and it may take me a day or two to get back with your requested information

Clear Skies
Old 02-01-2012, 12:30 PM   #4
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With some liveCDs you can try out the distributions that offer it. Debian(Debian Live) is also one very good distro that runs well on old computers. Remember to get the 32bit ones.
If the liveCD boot well and you got the system running smooth that is a very good thing. The boot time can tell you a lot, lets say Ubuntu 11.xx take 5 or more minutes to load then is a definitely no, if some other takes like tops 60 seconds then oya !!! You don't want to fry the motherboard with too much load.
Remember you don't need to install the system with liveCDs to try it. Another thing that would be even better to don't stress your CD drive is to use USB sticks, install the liveCD in an USB stick, here you can get the tool to do it.

I wouldn't keep that Ubuntu 11.xx on that computer. It is possible to do minimal and very tweaked install but you will need to learn how, if you are willing to get to that point it is a worth effort.



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