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MacGyverFan 05-02-2009 09:45 AM

Ubuntu 9.04 upgrade fails on boot
Hi all,

I have just finished updating my older box from 8.10 to 9.04 and installing a bunch of programs. I had shut it down several times between sessions but when I unplugged it and moved it, it fails. It goes fine through the BIOS and GRUB (I think) but then when there is a screen of text it flashes to black several times and then displays a screen that looks like static with "Ubuntu" barely visible in several places.

Thanks in advance for the help!

MoonMind 05-02-2009 10:12 AM

I think you're looking at some kind of X failure (at least hopefully - could also be a FS failure). Try hitting Esc for the GRUB menu, hit e to edit the first entry (if you've got one for failsafe booting, you can also try that first without editing); add "single", hit b. You should get a prompt; enter init 3 to get a full commandline, then look at /etc/X11/xorg.conf to see if anything's wrong with your X configuration. If booting to single mode fails, you're in trouble, system-wise. Use a live CD to try and rescue your data.

Did moving the box involve changing screens? How about booting the/a live CD?


MacGyverFan 05-04-2009 08:41 AM

Thanks, I'll give that a shot. When I moved the box I did not change screens. The Ubuntu live CD works just fine and I can see all of my files.

Thanks again!

MacGyverFan 05-05-2009 01:06 PM

I accessed xorg.conf via the root option of recovery mode. I didn't see anything that looked unusual and ran the reconfigure utility mentioned the the xorg.conf comments. I then attempted to load the X windows environment with "startx", it spit out a bunch of text and at the end:
Saw signal 11. Server aborting.
ddxSigGiveUp: Closing log
ddxSigGiveUp: re-raising 11
giving up.
xinit: Connection refused (errno 111): unable to connect to x server
xinit: no such process (errno 3): server error

It then quits back to the root shell.

MoonMind 05-06-2009 05:56 PM

Could you give the output of lspci | grep VGA? In any case, dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg might/will help, but lspci gives you an idea what to change in which way.


MacGyverFan 05-07-2009 07:43 PM

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Rage 128 RF/SG AGP

MoonMind 05-08-2009 06:47 PM

Okay, this means that you should use the "r128" driver; use sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg (or work without sudo from a root console) to make X use this driver. I think you should get there by following the instructions and answering the questions the process asks - I'd only change the display driver and nothing else for the time being if I were you.

You can also use lsmod | grep r128 to determine if the system already uses this driver. If it does, you might need a proprietary driver; look for one here:

If all this doesn't work, there's either something wrong with the pointing device or with the keyboard settings (part of which are handled by X).


MacGyverFan 05-09-2009 10:11 AM

I tried sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg but it did not appear to have a place to change the driver. (It appeared to ask mainly about keyboard configurations.

lsmod | grep r128 did not return anything. It just goes to the next command line. I assume this means that I am not using this driver.

MacGyverFan 05-12-2009 07:16 AM

Hi all,

I couldn't get anything to work so over the weekend I backed up my files with a live CD and reinstalled everything.

Thanks for the help.

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