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Thread: Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

  1. #1
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    Default Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

    I've got an HP Pavilion PC that I've upgraded to 11.4 (previously was
    running 11.2), and just before the upgrade, I started noticing a weird
    problem that carried over to 11.4.

    The issue is that when compiz is running, I can open 2-4 windows before
    any further windows come back with a completely white screen (ie, the
    texture doesn't seem to be being mapped onto the window).

    Occasionally this happens when maximizing a window. For example, right
    now writing this message in Pan, the "Post Article" window shows
    everything - if I maximize it, the window turns white (nothing is
    displayed in it, no menus or anything). If I unmaximize it, the contents
    return.

    The window is also responsive (ie, I can continue typing when it's
    maximized and the data is there - this paragraph is an example of that,
    actually), so the app isn't freezing.

    I see this also on occasion with mplayer - I can start mplayer with the '-
    fs' (fullscreen) parameter, and it'll look fine, but if I hit 'f' twice,
    the screen will often be completely white.

    All current patches (as of yesterday) are applied, and the proprietary
    nvidia driver is in use. On 11.2 I didn't have this problem until about
    3 days before I upgraded to 11.4.

    Anyone seen this, and more importantly, know of a fix? It's kinda a pain
    only being able to run 2-3 applications at a time. The only mentions of
    this talk about shared memory (which this card uses) running out, but
    that goes back 2-3 years and the bugs were reported as fixed.

    Jim
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    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

    Had a similar problem for some time now. Full screen windows are black (rather than white) when there are more than a couple of applications running. Reducing window size returns contents.

    Turning off desktop effects "solves" this.

    This has occurred over several kernel upgrades and a nVidia upgrade.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

    Indeed, just saw this on a laptop after today's update with YOU.

    Toggling 3D effects restores normal behavior, i.e., I don't need to disable 3D, just turn it off/on once, then windows are rendered correctly for the rest of the session. However I didn't use many simultaneous windows, three or four at most.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

    On Wed, 08 Jun 2011 12:06:03 +0000, brunomcl wrote:

    > Indeed, just saw this on a laptop after today's update with YOU.
    >
    > Toggling 3D effects restores normal behavior, i.e., I don't need to
    > disable 3D, just turn it off/on once, then windows are rendered
    > correctly for the rest of the session. However I didn't use many
    > simultaneous windows, three or four at most.


    Yes, I have also found that I can disable compiz and it works fine - but
    I actually use the enhanced zoom in compiz from time to time and would
    rather not disable it - I'd rather see how to fix the problem rather than
    work around it.

    Jim



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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

    What should have said (written) is that this happened in two machines (one desktop and the above-mentioned laptop), both running 11.4, both after a recent update, *and* AFAIR it only happened once in each machine until now, even after re-enabling 3D effects. Perhaps it's something that a session restart fixes, or something like that.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

    And both with KDE 4.6.x. and nvidia proprietary driver.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

    On Thu, 09 Jun 2011 01:06:03 +0000, brunomcl wrote:

    > What should have said (written) is that this happened in two machines
    > (one desktop and the above-mentioned laptop), both running 11.4, both
    > after a recent update, *and* AFAIR it only happened once in each machine
    > until now, even after re-enabling 3D effects. Perhaps it's something
    > that a session restart fixes, or something like that.


    I've had to reboot (power cut yesterday) and have logged off multiple
    times, no dice - seems to be something configuration related here.

    I probably should have mentioned that.

    Jim



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  8. #8

    Default Re: Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

    Are you sure it is not a dud Nvidia chip? You have not given any details of the hardware as far as I can see.

    If it has one of the dreaded Geforce 8400 / 8600 chips then these were prone to progressive cracking of the solder balls the held the chip onto the substrate (I think). That in turn gave rise to a number of 'interesting' video defects culminating in a black screen. It could be that the chip is overheating and exacerbating that sort or problem. When you reduce the workload on the chip, the chip cools down and the problem goes away for a while.

    Just a theory.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

    On Thu, 09 Jun 2011 12:06:03 +0000, plodder wrote:

    > Are you sure it is not a dud Nvidia chip? You have not given any details
    > of the hardware as far as I can see.


    Pretty positive, it used to work just fine. But fair enough, I also
    should have provided the inf on the integrated controller - it's a GeForce
    6150 LE.

    > If it has one of the dreaded Geforce 8400 / 8600 chips then these were
    > prone to progressive cracking of the solder balls the held the chip onto
    > the substrate (I think). That in turn gave rise to a number of
    > 'interesting' video defects culminating in a black screen. It could be
    > that the chip is overheating and exacerbating that sort or problem. When
    > you reduce the workload on the chip, the chip cools down and the problem
    > goes away for a while.
    >
    > Just a theory.


    Usually with a hardware malfunction/issue like this there are additional
    artifact problems on the screen - I'm not seeing anything like that, just
    windows coming up white when starting more than a few applications (or
    taking windows full-screen in some cases). It has all the appearance of
    being just a texture mapping issue, since it only happens when Compiz is
    running.

    Jim
    --
    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
    Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Weird compiz behaviour with nVidia card (empty windows)

    Jim Henderson wrote:
    > windows coming up white when starting more than a few applications (or
    > taking windows full-screen in some cases). It has all the appearance of
    > being just a texture mapping issue,

    Since you mention textures: Textures coming up white can simply be a sign
    that the graphics card memory runs out of space (a problem more often seen
    when using 3D textures). Doe you graphics card have dedicated memory or does
    it use shared memory and if it uses shared memory what is set for it in your
    BIOS? Usually you can set it to different values there.

    --
    PC: oS 11.3 64 bit | Intel Core2 Quad Q8300@2.50GHz | KDE 4.6.3 | GeForce
    9600 GT | 4GB Ram
    Eee PC 1201n: oS 11.4 64 bit | Intel Atom 330@1.60GHz | KDE 4.6.0 | nVidia
    ION | 3GB Ram

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