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Old 09-02-2010, 11:38 PM   #1
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Newbie: Montor/Display crashes and hangs in Ubuntu and LinuxMint

Hi guys, I am a mac person with two old Dell pcs laying around that have been calling to me to be made into Linux boxes for the last year. Finally, I got around to trying to do so (the second time around) the day before yesterday. My first attempt was on one, and we won't talk about that.

This post is relevant only to one of the two pc's, a Dell Dimension 2400.
I have "successfully" installed both LinuxMint 9 "Isadora" and Ubuntu 10.04 on it, and found I have the same problem with each. That is, I am able to:

1. startup to the live CD
2. format the hd to be all Linux
3. startup the computer from the HD into Linux

Then, I get these problems, in both distributions

4. Monitor hangs on the desktop background for an immensely long time (maybe 30 minutes?) with no cursor or menu bar or status bar or anything
5. Eventually, I get a desktop that I would expect and I have an option to do things like update, customize etc. however at this point, the cursor is invisibile. I am able to navigate and get around by guessing (menubar elements highlight when being hovered over)
6. After about a half an hour in an operable mode (I have tested network connections, played videos and music from external HD media stores, you name it.) the monitor will mysteriously crash.

#4: nothing I do while the dekstop background is featureless, meaning any key on the keyboard or any normal key combination, including all the F keys, ctrl-F keys, ctrl-alt-delete or ctrl-alt-escape or alt-opt-delete or alt-option-escape etc. Nothing does anything. It is utterly unresponsive.

#6 What I mean by "mysteriously crash"? the monitor goes black and then the top half starts displaying what looks like a super-zoomed in bar code. The only way out of this is to force the computer to restart.

Since this happens in both the linux distributions, I'm at a loss to figure what's causing it.

I am using a Compaq FS7600 17 inch CRT monitor with this Dell Dimension 2400.

Would love some help with this!
Old 09-03-2010, 08:33 AM   #2
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Boot up either the Mint or Ubuntu CD run as live but use the nomodeset option, sometimes they don't like your video card until you get the correct drivers installed. You can do it at grub before you start but booting the CD is easier for now if your not comfortable doing that yet. Keep in mind Mint IS Ubuntu, just has a lot of drivers and codecs already installed. You'll almost always have the same results from either one. If your going to run Mint,check to see if you can upgrade it. With the older versions you had to freshly install every time. Kinda stupid. but double check that.
Old 09-03-2010, 08:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by snatale1 View Post
If your going to run Mint,check to see if you can upgrade it. With the older versions you had to freshly install every time. Kinda stupid. but double check that.
Mint 9 "Isadora" is the latest stable version. With that in mind, what graphics card does the Dell Dimension 2400 come with, sisterdelirious? You might want to, if it's too old, disable Desktop Effects.
Old 09-03-2010, 06:42 PM   #4
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Hi Kenny, Snatale1, thank you so much for your replies.

To answer your question, Kenny, the Dell Dimension does not come with a separate graphics card, it's integrated into the 82845 processor. On the #ubuntu irc forum someone suggested that there is a known issue with Lucid and "8xx" which may pertain to my situation. So, I have anumber of things I will be trying now, but I think maybe disabling Desktop Effects will be my first order of business, as its the only op[tion that does not require terminal programming type work - which is utterly foreign to me.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a linux distro that would not have these issues? Because just switching distributions is a mroe attractive option to me (just starrting out, formatting having been done, nothing to lose, etc.) than teaching myself how to write code to affect core processes. I'm ok doing it to navigate folders or enable minor tweaks, but major stuff like graphics card makes me cringe.

Also, snatale1 I don't see a "nomodeset" option when i boot from the livecd, so not sure how to proceed with your rec. But, booting from cd every time is certainly an option.


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