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Old 02-23-2019, 08:50 AM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2010
Location: NH
Distribution: Ubuntu, centOS, Linux Mint
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Screen goes black using Radeon R9 285. Looking for troubleshooting help

I'm having a hard time figuring out what causes this to happen. Sometimes the screen goes blank / black when my son is using his computer. Sometimes it is watching videos in a browser(chrome or playing games in a browser. I think it has also done it when he plays some steam games. When it happens, the computer is still running, as I can ssh into it and start and stop some services, but the display manager (lightdm) hangs and cannot be restarted. I feel like the GPU driver is crashing, which causes the display manager to stop working. If I try to soft reboot it hangs. Anyone have any idea what is happening or things to try. I don't thing there is a power issue nor a load issue as I was able to play ARK on medium setting and it ran fine for 1-2 hours.

Things that have already been discussed on AMD forums:
- Updated the BIOS to 2.00 (latest) - still issues.
- The monitor is connect to the ASUS GFX card, not the onboard, with a DVI
- Memory in DIMMs A2 and B2 as instructed by the MOBO docs.
- GPU is connect with 6+2 splitter as the PSU has only 1 6+2. Based on here and other sources, the PSU seems to be enough power.

I recently removed the R9 GPU to see if the computer still has issues using the APU. AFAIK they both use the same driver.
I'm really looking for ways to see what is crashing, failing, freezing. I can still ssh to the machine when the screen goes blank, but I cannot restart lightdm nor the entire system - I always have to hard reboot it. I've turn on text output so I can get info as the system boots up and powers down.

Computer is:
AMD A6-9500
Ballistix Sport LT 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR4 2666
ASUS Stryx Radeon R9 285
EVGA 430 80+ WHITE
Linuxmint 19.1 Tessa
Old 02-23-2019, 02:28 PM   #2
Registered: Jul 2009
Location: Murfreesboro TN (United States)
Distribution: Ubuntu 18.04.2 and 16.04.6, Debian 9.8
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Have you browsed through the logs at /var/log (at least for Ubuntu or Debian)? kern.log or syslog are good ones to start with. If you are like me, you will see a lot of stuff you don't understand, but you may see error messages associated with your graphics card. I find it convenient to use the command

cat kern.log|less

Last edited by flshope; 02-23-2019 at 02:29 PM. Reason: clarification


black screen, blank display, gpu, linuxmint 19.1, radeon

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