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Old 11-05-2003, 08:53 PM   #1
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Question Resolution Screen Problems

I'm a newbie, wanting to get started with Linux.
I recently installed Virtual PC 5.2 and figured what a great way to try out Linux!! I figured if I didn't like it, I could simply delete the virtual drive and be done, without creating a new partition on my drive.
So after I installed Virtual PC, I downloaded the three ISO images from RedHat's website, started virtual PC and started the installation process. The installation went through with no problems except that it was really long (almost three hours!). After the installation, I had a problem with picking my monitor. My monitor wasn't listed, I have a Dell 1901FP 19", and the closest one I found on the list was a Dell 1900FP 19". The 1900FP is last years model, and the 1901FP is this years version, so I figured no problem. My video card is a dual output Radieon 9000, which is hooked up to two monitor's, the Dell 19" and a 15" CRT. After I picked the monitor (1900FP), it picked the resolution for me (i thing it was 1024X680) and proceeded with the rest of the installation. Everything was going great till it started up for the first time. The resolution of the screen was so great till nothing could be read! All I could see was a black screen with a bunch of colorful dots that looked like "stars". The other thing is that the window that virtual PC runs inside of is stretched across the two monitors in a wide format, only taking up the middle of the screen, leaving the top and bottoms empty.
I've seen other people running Linux in a virtual PC with a small window the is completely readable, and that's what I want.
I think when I picked my monitor, instead of leaving the default generic one, it adjusted my resolution and screen size.
So if any knows a solution to this, please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm sure I can adjust the resolution with some utility once inside linux but I can't read anything on the screen.

Is there any way I can adjust the resolution and going back to the default generic monitor using the command prompt?

During the installation process, the window I was getting was exactly what I wanted, which was using the default generic monitor, which flashed at the beginning of the installation process. I don't want the sreen stretched out across two sreens, I just want a small window.

Would it be easier to just reinstall this all over again?

Please help...........
Old 11-06-2003, 12:38 AM   #2
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Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Silly Con Valley
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i think the command you want to use is:


i'm not exactly sure as i'm not using the newest versions of redhat, but i believe that's the one that will let you reconfigure your video stuff.
Old 11-06-2003, 06:34 PM   #3
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Thanks megaspaz ,

I tried what you suggested and it didn't work.
I guessing you enter the command into the "grub>" prompt when the system boots up and ask you to press "c" for a prompt line.
I don't see any other option when I boot-up.
Please let me know if I'm doing something wrong, or what are the excat steps to entering this command.

Well, after that, I spent an entire 3 hours again reinstalling Red Hat.
When it got to the option where, you pick the monitor, I left it on the default one, which was unprobed monitor. Started up, and the same thing! wide screen across two monitors with a bunch of dots that look like colorful stars.....

Please, anyone help! I'm really want to get this working. Please offer any suggestions, I even tried it on my laptop (for another 3 hours, and same problem).
Old 11-07-2003, 08:23 AM   #4
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Do a search on Virtual PC (exact phrase) and check out the other posts on this matter. I had the same problem and got it working.

when you boot up, and the screen goes to super sized hit CTRL+ALT+F7 This will change the screen to another GUI that is distorted but your able to see everything.
Then follow the prompts to complete your install
After it reboots and goes back to the super sized screen - hit CTRL+ALT+F1 This will give you a normal text log in screen Log on as root Go to /etc/X11 Edit the file XF86config Modify the following (noted with <<<<):

Section "Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "s3"
VendorName "Videocard vendor"
BoardName "S3 Trio32 (generic)" <<<<<
VideoRam 8192 <<<<

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "Videocard0"
Monitor "Monitor0"
DefaultDepth 16 <<<<
SubSection "Display"
Depth 16 <<<<
Modes "800x600" "640x480"

Reboot and it should work fine. Good luck.
Old 11-08-2003, 01:50 AM   #5
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Thanks for all your help. This is the best help so far.
Okay, I got as far as hitting CTRL+ALT+F1 and logging in under root.
I find the directory /etc/X11, but this is what I'm getting, I think I'm doing something wrong:

localhost login:root
Last login: Sat Nov 8 00:35:45 on tty5
[root@localhost root]#/etc/X11
-bash: /etc/X11: is a directory
[root@localhost root]# XF86config
-bash: XF86config: command not found
[root@localhost root]#

Is this the right step, I bet I doing something wrong, that's so simple......
Please, I beg you all, put me in my Newbie place!!!!!
Old 11-08-2003, 02:15 AM   #6
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: you dont want to know
Distribution: Gentoo 2004.2, Slackware 10, Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server
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lol... alright, you need to learn how to use the CMI (command line interface)

note: dont type "parenthesis" and <things in here> stuff you have to decide to put here

there is something called a directory (or folder) where files are stored
to which directory you are in type "pwd"
to changed which directory you are in type "cd <dir>"
to go to a previous directory type "cd .."
cd example you could type cd .. then cd .. then cd .. a bunch to get to the bottom directory (faster would be "cd /") then you need to type cd etc/X11
to get to the folder your working on. If you type "ls" it will show the files and driectories that are in your current directory. If you look, there should be that XF86config file. To edit this, you must use a ASCII editor (i think thats wut their called) you can use "vi" or "kwrite" to edit it. for example then, you would type "vi XF86config" to edit it and then change it to wut the guys above me told you how..

Sorry if all that was confoosing... but im was trying to jampack a lot of stuff.. You should go online and read a bit to understand better (im not the greatest teacher )

good luck
Old 11-08-2003, 02:45 AM   #7
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Thank tearinox!!!!!!!!!!!
I feel so dumb........
I promise, tommorow, I will download the pdf that explains the CMI and not bother you again......

I'm in the file and edited the file,
what do I do now? How do I save my changes and reboot.......

Thanks in advance.....
Old 11-09-2003, 01:28 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your help.
Got it working.

It seems that the default video card that linux detects inside a Virtual PC is incorrect.
Instead of a 64-bit it should be a 32-bit (Generic) to work properly. To causes the screen to go into a super-sized mode.

It got in working on my desktop by editing the XF86config described above and on my labtop by picking the 32-bit card instead of the default 64-bit the linux detects.

Just one more questions. I that my new install of RH Linux runs really slow. I have about 128 of RAM reserve for this install and I'm sure that more than enough. Is there any thing I can adjust to optimized the speed of this virtual install?

Thanks again!
Old 11-09-2003, 12:29 PM   #9
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: you dont want to know
Distribution: Gentoo 2004.2, Slackware 10, Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server
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i know you can optimize your harddrive by using a "hdparm" command but dunno much about it... google it


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