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Old 11-06-2003, 02:42 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2003
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startx and blank screen!

I'm installing Slackware 9.1 on my home computer (I've installed it and am currently using it on my office PC, and it's working great). Everything goes as usual, but when I type startx, I get a blank screen that beeps lightly. I then tried SuSE, and it installs fine and runs KDE or GNOME, but I want Slackware!
What is the problem?
My video card is nVidea Geforce MX-440. Does it not detect it? Or is it the monitor (an HP M70)?
Why does it work with SuSE and not Slackware?

Please help!

P.S. Although I have used Slackware and Linux about 2 years, I still consider myself somewhat of a "newbie", so please give me answers I can understand.


Old 11-06-2003, 03:01 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Distribution: Gentoo Unstable (what a misnomer)
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It sounds like the monitor.
did you look in /var/log/XFree86.0.log

Try saving the config file generated by SuSe
and comparing it to the one you are using
with slackware.

Try running xf86cfg
I'm not one for GUI set up programs
but it doesn't do a bad job.
It actually helped me set up a laptop
with really funky (non-vesa) refresh rates/resolutions.
Old 11-06-2003, 05:30 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: California
Distribution: Ubuntu
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run #/usr/X11/bin/xf86config

fallow the instructions, have your monitor, vid card (i have the same card), and mouse info close at hand, and you should have xwindows up in no time. it might take a few tries but its not that hard. i had the same problem when i first installed slack. and when you come to the point where you select the vid card, select number 18, I think thats NVIDIA generic.

slack is a nice system, but it doesnt spoil you like redhat or mandrake with everything pre configured,
(x-windows, iptables, sound card (well actually it is but you gota run alsamixer & alsactl))
Old 11-06-2003, 11:14 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2002
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I had that happen to me as well. If I waited long enough, the boot process would complete aka "behind the scenes" and then return me to a login for X.

Come to find out, I had to change the vga option in lilo from vga=788 to vga=normal
On the next reboot, the blank screen was replaced by the normal verbose screen.

Old 11-07-2003, 11:40 AM   #5
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I used the xf86cfg and got things working. Apparently it was a problem with the monitor settings.
Old 11-12-2003, 06:57 PM   #6
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Wales, UK
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I'm having a similar problem: Blank screen when trying to start the GUI. From previous experience in RH9, I took a look in /etc/X11/XF86Config, but I was not sure what to change.

I know that if I re-setup and choose a generic 1024x768 diaplay, it will work. Linux doesn't seem to like my nVidia card/Compaq monitor combination on installation.

What's this xf86cfg you talk of, is it the same file I have been looking at?

Simple answers would be good, I have limited experience in GUI and almost none in command line. Any help would be appreciated.
Old 11-12-2003, 07:07 PM   #7
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Norway/Drammen
Distribution: Slackware~
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try changing the monitor reolution? i'd also recommend you to download the newest driver for your videocard
Old 11-12-2003, 10:09 PM   #8
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: FreeBSD
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Another thing is try knoppix and if the guy works copy the config file from there
Old 11-13-2003, 04:53 PM   #9
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Wales, UK
Posts: 37

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All good advice but only being able to work from the command line is difficult for me, I have no idea how to install drivers this way, Also Knoppix - good idea and i've tried it but cant save the file from knoppix to anywhere useful. Seems to only have read access to my partitions. I've copied down some stuff from knoppix and this may help...

Thanks guys.
Old 11-13-2003, 06:30 PM   #10
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Location: Indiana
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One way you might try, sometimes it works and doesn't hurt to try. As root from console enter xfree86setup
that will often automagically set up everything.
Old 11-16-2003, 09:41 AM   #11
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Wales, UK
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I've moved on from that problem - I can't even complete the installation now! At the hardware detection stage, the installation hangs to the sound of an anoying Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

When I re-boot, I get to the GUI Login screen (Horay!) but alas, it has not retained my root or user passwords (Booo!).

I wish I understood what was happening! I think it's because I've got a cheap PC setup with everything onboard. Other distro's work fine though? Knoppix, Morphix, RH... I've got the XF86Config file from Knoppix now too.


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