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Thread: Newbie with BIG problem

  1. #1
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    Default Newbie with BIG problem

    Having gotten totally fed up with fighting with my OS to get it to do what I need (can you guess which OS?) I finally decided to take the bold new step both of my brothers took some years ago.

    That's right! I (tremble, shudder, shudder) installed linux, specifically OpenSuse 11.1, Kde 4.1, just using all the defaults in the installation program. It worked great for a week to a week and a half, and I was going through the sometimes very frustrating and sometimes rewarding experience of learning linux.

    Then something happened and since then the same problem constantly reoccurs.

    Something goes haywire and every time I reboot it fails, before the login prompt, and the screen goes blank. Ctrl, alt F1 or Fanytyhing does nothing. But ctrl, alt, delete does reboot. The monitor goes dead, telling me there is no video input (this would be DVI). Booting with the safe settings gives almost the same results, except that the monitor does show video input, but with a blank screen, and ctrl, alt F1 does pull up a console but with totally garbled video.

    Reinstalling from the DVD brings everything back, but it is only a matter of time before the same problem crops again.

    Hdd0 has the first partition as NTSF with my Windoze install (which still works; at least as well as it did) of ~ 40G and the rest of the disk has swap, 2G, root, 20G, and home, 110G (all set up by install). Video card is Radeon 9600, R350 chipset, 256M memory. Video driver is OS Radeon, although I did try installing ATI driver from repository, which didnt work.

    My brother who lives with me is a moderately experienced linux user has tried to help but with no success.

    Anybody got a clue? I do not expect this to be fixed with a single post with the solution and I expect more information is needed, but I really, really need some help. I just can't go back to the NoDoze.

    Any help is gratefully appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Newbie with BIG problem

    Quote Originally Posted by BobTheBull View Post
    Then something happened and since then the same problem constantly reoccurs.
    One important question is, "what changed?" Anything? Did you install something, or even do an online update?

    Something goes haywire and every time I reboot it fails, before the login prompt, and the screen goes blank.
    Do you get the OpenSUSE splash screen? If so, hit the ESC key to see what's happening during the boot.

    [In Safe Boot] ... alt F1 does pull up a console but with totally garbled video.
    OK, so it's a video problem. Reinstalling brought everything back, so that tells me that something hosed the video, and we're back to the original question: do you know of anything that changed?

    256M memory.
    Ahhh. This is really marginal memory for a high-powered Linux distro with a GUI. I'm not saying this is your problem, but it's possible you installed something that pushed it over the limit.

    Anybody got a clue? I do not expect this to be fixed with a single post with the solution and I expect more information is needed, but I really, really need some help. I just can't go back to the NoDoze.
    Good attitude. Anything worth doing is worth a little effort. Stick with OpenSUSE and you won't regret it. I've been virtually 100% Windoze Free (still have to do my taxes with it, unfortunately, once a year) for almost a decade now, and I love it.

    Anyone else here ever experienced this? I don't use ATI (hate to tell you this, but that was on purpose -- a Web search showed FAR more trouble with ATI under Linux than with NVidia), so I can only provide general advice.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Newbie with BIG problem

    I copied this from another thread where there was similar ATI trouble, might be worth a try:

    I was in your shoes. Didn't matter what I tried. Finally this worked and maybe it will for you:

    Uninstall the fglrx RPMs

    If you can't get a gUI then do this to uninstall them: Boot to runlevel 3 and run command as root: yast
    That gives the ncurses graphics screen for yast. Open software management and uninstall the fglrx RPMs.

    Once they're uninstalled, run sax2 to get a new GUI using whatever system sax2 chooses (probably vesa).

    Get your online updates up to date.
    [extra comment: this will get you past the point where ATI drivers get broken]

    Then add the Community ATI Repo
    [extra comment: if it's not previously been added]

    Then add the two fglrxG01 RPMs
    [extra comment: pick the ones indicated by the command: uname -r]

    Then open a console, su to root and run this command
    Code:
    aticonfig --initial --input=/etc/X11/xorg.conf
    Reboot.
    Leap 42.3 & 15.1 &KDE
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Newbie with BIG problem

    smpoole7:

    Thanks for the quick reply. Yes, I have been thinking something is breaking the video drivers and trying to track it down. After each of the dozens of reinstalls I go through the same steps, not in exactly the same order, such things as adding repositories, dl smplayer, update firefox, dl games and other applications.

    So now I am doing these one step at a time, using the computer some after each step, then rebooting to see if it works. Usually it will lock up during use and have to use the reset button to reboot, nothing else works (of off button) and on reboot it is hosed. Will report again after I have pursued this process.

    Actually, that's 256m of video memory; I have 2G of system memory. And I am happy to report linux uses less of it and works faster than my windoze.

    swerdna: I will print out your post and give that a try.

    Thanks to both of you for your help.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Newbie with BIG problem

    Hard reboots will kill a system. Are you trying magic sysrq keys first?

    Linux Kernel Magic SysRq keys in openSUSE for crash recovery | SUSE & openSUSE

    If you can get it to reboot gracefully (or even not...) it might be producing logs.

    Might be worth loading a live CD, mounting the installed system, and having a poke around in /var/log, in 'messages' or 'Xorg.0.log' for example, you might find something interesting...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Newbie with BIG problem

    Welcome to openSUSE community!

    In my 11.1 x86_64 [KDE 4.3.1/nVidia 6150 Graphics/nvidia driver]I have found that my system/Desktop works better if I disable 'Desktop Effects'. That's in >Personal Settings>Desktop>Desktop Effects'. Don't know if that will help you or not but may be worth a try. In my case Desktop performance is MUCH better with this disabled.

    At any rate hope you resolve this issue.
    Thanks,
    Dwight Paige

  7. #7
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    Default Yippeee! I got it.

    Thanks to all for your responses. I did learn something from each of them.

    confuseling: Thanks for your post about the magic keys. Even my brother, a 5+ yr linux user didn't tell me about them. I'm not sure If he knows. I will print that one out.

    And I did try everywhich way to look at the logs, but I couldn't because the only way I could get anything to work was to reinstall, which wiped out the old logs.

    But, the real problem was I hosed myself by the way I tried to migrate all my firefox settings from Windoze. Not going to go into details tonight, but I am going to post this in a separate thread for the benefit of any other newbies trying to do the same think. Migrating all your stuff from firefox is a biggie.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Newbie with BIG problem

    If you remove all your windows only extentions first then just copy your equivalent of the .mozilla folder from windows it should work fine. You should have a profile folder with a rather odd label Eg; 3vbwf2j7.default

    Copy the entire contents of that to your linux equiv: Eg /.mozilla/firefox/7vbwz2j9.default
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie with BIG problem

    Seems to be what I was getting last time .....

    Try this :

    Insert the following when you are in Grub:

    acpi=off

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