I own an Alienware m17x laptop with 2 ATI Readon HD 5870 cards in Crossfire.
When the openSUSE 11.4 installation boots it runs in VesaFB mode which runs fine. It boots with the splash screen and everything works fine.

But than right at the first reboot the troubles begin. As soon as the laptop boots I can see the suse splash screen for about 2 seconds and than the screen goes black. And that's where it stops. Nothing happens from there on.

Whan I remove the parameter VGA=0x0375 from the command line in grub it boots correctly into KDM but the spasl screen is not seen, black screen. Also when working in X11 I cannot switch to terminal 1 with CTRL-ALT-F1. Nothing happens.

But working this way I have 3D acceleration in KDE and Gnome without having to install any proprietary ATI driver.

When I want to see the splash screen (and thus be able to use the terminal TTY1, which I often need) I need to add "nomodeset" after the VGA=0x0375 options.

By doing this I can see the splash screen, the machine boots and I can go into KDE or Gnome and switch to the terminals TTY1 to 6 with the CTRL-ALT-F-combinations, but I loose 3D acceleration this way, X11 runs in framebuffermode when using the nomodeset option. So this is no permanent solution for me.

Turning of the KMS in /etx/sysconfig for the initrd (as specified in the release notes) have no effect, the black screen remains.

When I install the proprietary ATI driver from AMD (run-package) I can start the laptop perfectly with just the option VGA=0x0375 without the nomodeset and I can see the splash screen, use the terminals and have 3D acceleration via fglrx drivers.
But... in this configuration I cannot log out from any windowmanager (KDE, Gnome, Xforce, etc...). When I try to log off, restart or shutdown I find myself with a black screen in X11 and the systems stops responding.

So, I have a large amount of possibilities to choose from to make the system more of less usable (or at least those parts I need), but I need all of it at the same time and usable and this is not possible.

This problem occurs with the 32 aznd 64 bits version of opensuse 11.4.

Terrible to see an operating system that just got out see failing like this in 2011 on a 3400 laptop!
I hope someone has a solution or a tip that might solve my problem? I've looked arround and all I can find is the nomodeset fix, which doesn't fix anything at all, it just removes all the fun and make the system terribly slow in framebuffer mode.