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Old 12-21-2003, 07:44 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Hong Kong
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2, Windows XP, Fedora Core 1
Posts: 47

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question Screen 'smearing'

I'm not sure if there's a technical term for this (if there is, let me know!) but basically what happens is that when I use Red Hat 7 and open any application when I move the window, it 'smears' across the screen making the contents illegible. It also happens if I use the scroll bar - the contents of the window 'smear'.

I thought this may be a hardware compatibility problem so when I was recently given an older machine I thought I would give it a try again and it did exactly the same thing.

My current Linux installation is Mandrake Linux 8.0 which installed without this problem on both machines although if I open the StarOffice 5.3 software in Mandrake a similar thing happens on both machines. I've uninstalled StarOffice on both machines and Mandrake works fine though without StarOffice.
Old 12-21-2003, 08:36 AM   #2
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Ronneby, Sweden
Posts: 555

Rep: Reputation: 30
From your description I think that the screen didn't update as it should. Think of it this way; when you move a window, then the graphics inside the window needs to be repainted and so does the area of the screen that was hidden by the window and now gets visible again. Could that be what you experienced?

RedHat 7 is very old and hasn't had the reputation of being RedHat's finest distribution. If you could get hold of RedHat 8 or 9 and try that instead.

It could also be good information if you told us what graphics card you have (other information about your hardware is also good).

Good luck!
Old 12-21-2003, 10:52 AM   #3
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Hong Kong
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2, Windows XP, Fedora Core 1
Posts: 47

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Your description sounds pretty much like what I am experiencing.

The system I am now using for experimenting with Linux has the following Hardware profile:

Processor: AMD-K6 332MHz
Graphics: S3 Savage3D 86c794
Hard Disk: 4.3GB ST34310A
Memory: 128MB
CDR: Asus CD-S400/A

(Note: This is information I got from Hard Drake in my current Mandrake-Linux 8.0 installation)

My main box which I have also tried Red Hat 7 on (I currently use Windows XP on it until I am more confident with Linux) has the following hardware profile:

Processor: AMD Athlon XP 1400
System Chipset/Graphics: VT8364A northbridge with built-in S3 Savage4 graphics.
Hard Disk: 40GB
Memory: 256MB
CDR: Maxell MCD-ROM-48
CDRW: Acer 1610A

Is there any other hardware info I should provide that would be useful?

I wouldn't mind trying RH8 or 9 if you think it would work. I got RH7 with the 'Linux for Dummies' book three years ago and tried to install it in my main box then but had these 'screen smearing' problems so took it off and tried Mandrake 8 but again had the problems with StarOffice so since then I have been in Windows XP limbo. I was given the older (though less powerful) machine a couple of weeks ago and thought it would be good to experiment with Linux without worrying too much about losing information or damaging the machine.
Old 12-21-2003, 11:22 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Ronneby, Sweden
Posts: 555

Rep: Reputation: 30
A lot of things have changed since RedHat 7, I can assure you that...

I think you could try RedHat 9 on the slower machine. If it's capable of booting from the CD-drive, then there should be no problems. One other thing you could try is Knoppix. An ISO for a quick CD burn can be found here:
Knoppix can run entirely from CD, so you could use it on both your computers. I have tried it on a machine with Windows 2000 only on the hard disk. No problems, Knoppix didn't damage anything. I was able to see and read stuff rom the HDD, but not write to it, since it has NTFS and write support from Linux is unreliable. Knoppix also looks extremely good and has excellent hardware support. Actually, the first time I tried it, I had to close my mouth after I shut it down.

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cant do that"

Good luck on your journey in Linux land! There are plenty of us waiting for you.
Old 12-22-2003, 07:47 AM   #5
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Belgium
Distribution: FreeBSD 5.2, Win2KServ, WinXpPro, Win98SE
Posts: 55

Rep: Reputation: 15
If it's Not capable of booting from the CD-drive then you should make the boot Diskette

"To make a diskette using MS-DOS, use the rawrite utility included on the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM in the dosutils directory. First, label a blank, formatted 3.5-inch diskette appropriately (such as "Boot Disk" or "Updates Disk"). Insert it into the diskette drive. Then, use the following commands (assuming your CD-ROM is drive D:

C:\> d:
D:\> cd \dosutils
D:\dosutils> rawrite
Enter disk image source file name: ..\images\bootdisk.img
Enter target diskette drive: a:
Please insert a formatted diskette into drive A: and
press --ENTER-- : [Enter]

First, rawrite asks you for the filename of a diskette image; enter the directory and name of the image you wish to write (for example, ..\images\bootdisk.img). Then rawrite asks for a diskette drive to write the image to; enter a:. Finally, rawrite asks for confirmation that a formatted diskette is in the drive you have selected. After pressing [Enter] to confirm, rawrite copies the image file onto the diskette. If you need to make another diskette, label that diskette, and run rawrite again, specifying the appropriate image file. "


isolinux is now used for booting the Red Hat Linux installation CD. If you have problems booting from the Red Hat Linux CD, you can write the images/bootdisk.img image to a diskette.

You may need to create a diskette from an image file; for example, you may need to use updated diskette images obtained from the Red Hat Linux errata page:

An image file contains an exact copy (or image) of a diskette's contents. Since a diskette contains file system information in addition to the data contained in files, the contents of the image file are not usable until they have been written to a diskette.

To start, you need a blank, formatted, high-density (1.44MB), 3.5-inch diskette. You need access to a computer with a 3.5-inch diskette drive. The computer must be able to run either an MS-DOS program or the dd utility found on most Linux-like operating systems.

The images/ directory on your Red Hat Linux CD-ROM contains boot images. Once you have selected the proper image (bootdisk.img), transfer the image file onto a diskette using one of the following methods.


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