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Old 07-31-2003, 07:26 AM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: Red Hat 9.0
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Unhappy Installation prob -- Display not recognized

First Linux install -- first problem -- first post.

[apologies for the long post -- but I wanted to offer as much info up front as possible -- the key question is restated at the end for those who want to cut to the chase]

Installing RH 9.0 (rec'd with "RH Enhanced" book) on the following hardware (home-brew PC):

Asus A7V8X
Athlon XP 2200+
40 GB Western Digital drive
LiteOn CD-RW
Radeon 7500LE video card (by PowerColor)
Apple 17" Studio Display [LCD] (thru CompuCable KVM box)

Set the BIOS to boot from CD (no floppy drive; hard drive empty)
Booted into RH installer without problem
Among scrolling messages is "Display not recognized"
Screen image fine -- but is big -- looks like 1024x780 resolution (native is 1280x1024).
Went thru partition, software selection, and got to hardware configuration. Recognized everything until "Display"

At Display -- posted long list of monitor manufacturers, with "Generic" highlighted. Apple is not a listed display manufacturer (that's reasonable for an Intel-based installation).
The help screen to left has note regarding importance of getting the horiz / vertical freq correct.

Now (in retrospect) my mistake -- I had a perfectly usable display in front of me -- I should have accepted the offered configuration and gone ahead. I didn't -- too easy <grin>.

I adjusted one of the frequencies which was just a little outside of specs that I had.
I expanded the list of Generic monitors -- there was no entry for any "LCD" of any size or resolution.
I chose the entry for Laptop screen (1280x1024 resolution) and went on.

Everything installed without difficulty -- I reset BIOS to boot from hard drive -- and the machine booted into GRUB without any problem -- display exactly as before -- clear, but looks large. Only choice was RH Linux (as expect since only OS installed). Screens of start up messages -- including (I think) another message about "Display not recognized" -- all hardware checks return as "OK".

After last item -- screen goes black -- as if asleep, but APIC is OFF -- and no tapping on keyboard or mouse changes screen.


My interpretation: setting the display to laptop was an error. The motherboard has no built-in display and it appears the config is turning off/ignoring the video card. I understand that this can probably be fixed by editing a config file, but I don't know which one or how -- the book does not get to that level of detail.

Current options I see:

1) I can reboot into install and could do a full "install" again, accepting the default Display choice. But I am in this to learn so figured I should at least try to learn how to fix this. Also, that will not give me the 1280x1024 native resolution -- although I suspect from the desktop there will be a Display control panel equivalent that will let me do that in GUI.

2) I can reboot into Install disk and enter "rescue" mode -- but don't know what to do next ... that's why I'm here <grin>

Note: at some point during boot from hard drive the screen says "Press "I" to enter installation" -- but when I press "I" there is no response (even when I press "I" in advance on another reboot) -- the boot sequence just goes on to do the hardware checks and then into blackness as described.


Bottom line question(s):

1) Is there a relatively simple way to fix this from "rescue" mode or should I bite the bullet and do full reinstall?
2) When I do get to Desktop, will I be able to set the monitor resolution using an element of the GUI?

Many thanks for your patience with the length of this post and TIA for your responses.
Old 07-31-2003, 03:43 PM   #2
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have you checked the refresh rate? make sure the refresh rate did not exced the vertical refresh rate . it could kill your moniter
did you install in a gui or text base install?
Old 07-31-2003, 05:09 PM   #3
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The easiest way would probably be
to add single (or init 3) to the kernel
parameters at your boot prompt ...

And then run the RH configuration
tool for X windows ... what's it called,
again? XConfigurator?

Old 07-31-2003, 09:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for your posts.

n3w27inux -- as I understand it LCD monitors running off DVI output don't have refresh rates -- it is direct address.

tinkster -- I confess I don't fully understand how to add to the kernel at boot prompt.

I did succeed in reloading XFree86 and set the reload boot to text mode not to XFree. From there I could log in as root, run "XFree86 -configure", and look at the new config file, the original config file, and the /var/log/XFree86.0.log

All that sounds great -- but after several hours of looking at files & logs, trying new configs, etc., I ended up with a config file that specified device driver, screen depth and resolution, gave log entries that the Radeon card was seen and the monitor identified and gave no error reports -- but when I ran startx I still got a totally black non-responsive screen. I shut down and went back to another computer to check here and do email, etc.

I confess to being a bit frustrated. After cruising the various forums, I have found how-to files, threads with general and specific advice, but none of the suggestions solve the problem (at least I can't get them to work). All the RH GUI config tools shown in the book require that the graphical display work -- so I can't use them and am stuck at the command prompt. I am not a Windows fan at all, but this exact same hardware (none of which is "cutting edge") was plug'n'play with XP.

My current plan B is that I have Mandrake 9.1 on order. As best I can tell from my reading, sometimes the tools or approach of one distro can get around install / config problems that another distro can't resolve.

I welcome any other suggestions.

Thanks again.
Old 07-31-2003, 11:23 PM   #5
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If XFree86 -configure doesn't do the trick,
try xf86config ... it's a bit demanding on
your knowledge of the hardware you're
using but never has failed me ...

As for the other config tool: I know that
RH comes with a home-brew text configurator
for X but for the life of me can't remember its
name ... as root, type a
X<TAB> and see what it presents you with
to chose from ...

The X setup alone shouldn't make you
change distro's ;)

Old 07-31-2003, 11:26 PM   #6
Registered: May 2003
Location: Kerala,India
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Try reinstalling,without configuring X or go for default text mode.create a bootable floppy,boot from will ask for kernel params and u can type linux 1(single user mode) or linux 3(text mode) or linux 5(X).
Then try configuring X using xf86config or Xconfigurator.Try lower color(like 16 bit or lower).

bye the bye-no errors in the log file??May be it crashes while loading X.
Old 08-01-2003, 09:57 AM   #7
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thanks for following up.

-- I will try xf86config -- I am reasonably comfortable that I have good hardware info

-- as for your other suggestion -- after login as root and have the prompt # are you saying to type "a X<tab>" or "X<tab>" -- my command vocab is very limited and I don't know if the "a" was a command or simply a grammatical element <grin>

-- I won't switch distros until I've tried today's suggestions <grin>

-- don't have a floppy -- haven't used one in years and so didn't get one for this machine -- can see that I may need to do that
-- but even tho it is a single OS machine, I have it booting into GRUB which gives me a chance to enter the Kernel -- I will try your approach from there
-- the general interpretation in similar [no display] situations is that the absence of error entires in the log suggests that X _thinks_ everything is fine -- there have been no contrary messages from the video card or the monitor -- but the video card has simply gone into settings that show no display -- sort of "everybody is at home -- but the lights are off" <grin>

thanks again for the support.
Old 08-09-2003, 02:54 PM   #8
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To recap: I could not get XFree86 to work with the Apple Studio Display 17" LCD via DVI port on a Radeon 7500 card. The Apple monitor remained blank. I knew the hardware was ok because I could drive a (borrowed) Sony monitor. Note that this hardware combination worked under Windows XP with no difficulty.

I was never able to resolve this despite 2 weeks researching, modifying configs, trying CVS drivers, and very generous help from several people working on XFree86.

Finally, based on other suggestions, I bought a Nvidia card (a lot cheaper than getting a new monitor <grin>). Out of the box with the standard XFree86 driver ("nv") the screen lit up (first time that had happened with XFree86) but showed only hash - no image. As soon as I installed the Nvidia driver ("nvidia" downloaded from their site), the monitor worked gloriously.

I post this for the record and with the hope it will help someone else in the future. But I think the experience also makes another point -- the long-term success of Linux depends in part on active support from the commercial hardware sector.

And I for one, think the Linux community might be more explicit in their support of those companies that are responsive. I built this homebrew PC explicitly to run Linux -- but in all my readings of various forums there was no clear statement that Nvidia cards were more likely to work with unusual monitor situations than Radeon cards. I bought the Radeon card largely by chance. Next time I see a "what hardware is best with Linux" post, my response will be to explicitly recommend Nvidia.

Another obvious -- more important -- example of the importance of corporate support (support, not ownership) is IBM's very clear, forceful response to the OSC "lawsuit" (I may have the corporate ID wrong -- apologies). I understand that IBM is motivated by "enlightened self-interest" here -- but such insight is going to be key to the success of the open-source movement.

Again, many thanks to all those in the Linux community who responded to my posts and offered suggestions.
Old 08-28-2003, 07:04 PM   #9
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Hahaha... RedHat has a line that's your problem

This thread is more than likely dead, and I have come to know that RedHat uses out of the box 2d accelleration for X. Find some line in your XF86config-4 file I think that says accel on/yes/1 whatever it may use to confirm. Turn that off, then save and reboot. Then using X try to find out how to get 3d working then turn x accelleration on.


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