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Old 08-14-2006, 11:09 PM   #1
BetterButterBuddha
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Registered: Jan 2006
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Old video card + new driver = blank screen


Hi there,

I just got back to my old desktop computer, which has a Gentoo installation on it that has served me very well. A friend who's much more of a linux guru than myself put it on, and in addition lent me a graphics card for most of the year that we took out at the very end of the year. So now it's running on what my Pavilion a610e came with, which is something called "Integrated VIA with UniChrome V3", I think.

Anyhoo... GRUB will boot up, and it will load a few messages saying that the kernel (and, critically, something called vesafb) is booting, but then the screen will go blank completely. I've tried passing the vga=normal argument to the boot loader, and the same problem happens.

I'm at my wits end here, and would appreciate any help people could offer... I need my system back... thanks!

-BBB
 
Old 08-15-2006, 04:43 AM   #2
DaneM
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Chico, CA, USA
Distribution: Linux Mint
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Hi, BBB.

When you first see the grub screen, try typing "e" (no quotes) to edit the boot commands. Make sure that none of the lines have anything relating to vesafb or vga= (since not all cards work well with the frame buffer). Hopefully this will give you a not-so-pretty, but working console. Let me know how this works out for you.

--Dane
 
Old 08-15-2006, 11:20 AM   #3
BetterButterBuddha
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Registered: Jan 2006
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Hmm. Well, I have been doing just such a thing, and while it does pass commands to the kernel, I haven't been able to fix anything that way. I need a command that will make my system realize that it's running off its original graphics card, not the fancier one that my friend lent me.

Any thoughts? I appreciate this...
 
Old 08-15-2006, 12:11 PM   #4
tredegar
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Registered: May 2003
Location: London, UK
Distribution: Debian "Testing"
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The screen may be going blank because X is trying to load, and can't because you have changed your video card.

I think passing vga=normal to the kernel was a good idea, but then you should try getting to a terminal <CTRL><ALT><F1>. If this works, you can login and hopefully fix up your xorg.conf.

HTH
 
Old 08-15-2006, 01:19 PM   #5
BetterButterBuddha
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Tried it. No screen response, still. I think that X actually is loading, but just that my monitor isn't able to display anything.

I really don't want to have to install a new distro and lose all my data...
 
Old 08-15-2006, 03:44 PM   #6
tredegar
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Quote:
I really don't want to have to install a new distro and lose all my data...
If you want to save your data:

Buy / borrow a USB HDD or a USB memory stick.
Plug it in.
Boot from a live CD. Knoppix never failed me.
Mount your /dev/hd? root or home partition. Can you find the files you need?
Copy your files to the USB HDD.

If you can rescue your data, you can then reinstall.

You will probably like the new distro. Linux has moved fast in the last few months.

HTH
 
Old 08-16-2006, 03:35 AM   #7
DaneM
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Chico, CA, USA
Distribution: Linux Mint
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Do you use a bootsplash image? (When it boots up, do you see a pretty picture?) If so, that's probably not configured properly for your card. You should boot off of a Knoppix CD and edit (1) your /boot/grub/menu.lst to remove anything that references special video options, such as bootsplash; and (2) edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf, editing the file to reflect the video card you are actually using. When you are in Knoppix, be sure to mount your Gentoo partition(s) and edit the files contained therein, NOT the ones that Knoppix creates.

Hope that helps.

--Dane
 
  


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