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Old 11-11-2004, 07:54 PM   #1
Frank Zappa
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Exclamation Video Set Too High in X11

Hi all!

First of, I'm a newbie to linux, although I am familiar with basic Unix commands and stuff.

I'm trying to fix someone's computer, and here's the problem.

I'ts a 300 MHz Gateway2000 computer that has some old video card in it. It's running SuSE (although I have NO idea what version---I could find out if this is necessary information).

In either case, when the computer boots in regular mode, as soon as X11 is loaded, the computer shoots into a mode that is not supported by the monitor (could be resolution AND/OR refresh rate). However, I can still boot the computer in failsafe mode.

What I need to know is how to change the settings of X11 through the fail-safe mode or whatever way possible so that it will boot in a lower resolution--say, 1024x768. Is there a config tool that I can use? Again, I do understand basic Unix... I could navigate to a particular location and edit a config file manually with pico or vi.

So far, I poked around and found the directory:


I picoed the file, and saved a backup as XF86Config.bak, and then edited the file so that the lines referring to the 1600x1200 video mode were commented out with a #. I tried to reboot the computer with no luck. I got back into failsafe mode, and then did a "cat XF86Config.bak > XF86Config" to restore the file.

Is there an easier way?

Shoot, is there a DIFFICULT way? I won't be picky...


Old 11-11-2004, 08:16 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
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Nice work backing up that file - you are a man who has been bitten before!

Normally the lines that refer to 1600x1200 look like this:
Depth 15
Modes "1600x1200" "1152x864" "1024x768" "800x600"
Commenting out those lines wouldn't be a good idea. It would be better to delete only the resolutions you know you don't want, for each color depth. Also, you should try and make sure the HorizSync and VertRefresh ranges are valid for the monitor currently being used.
Also, when you are in X with the unusable screen, you might find ctrl-alt-(keypad +) to be useful - this switches between available resolutions. This will save you having to reboot in failsafe mode.
Old 11-11-2004, 08:45 PM   #3
Frank Zappa
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Originally posted by CroMagnon might find ctrl-alt-(keypad +) to be useful - this switches between available resolutions. This will save you having to reboot in failsafe mode.

You're awesome.

Yes, I have been bitten before. How could you tell!

Thanks a million!
Old 11-11-2004, 08:53 PM   #4
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SuSE has a video setup program called 'sax' which you can use to select the video driver, monitor and set your resolutions.


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