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Thread: Need help with Intel Video on old Compaq box

  1. #1

    Default Need help with Intel Video on old Compaq box

    I'm helping out a neighbor with an old Compaq Presario machine and keep
    running into weird issues. The latest is with the video. I'm copying the
    data from the machine across by hand, so pardon the format.

    I'm running openSUSE 13.1. I stuck in more memory to get up to 2GB of RAM
    and memtest is happy with that config. The os seems happy with the system
    running KDE

    The current problem I'm seeing is garbled video using flash thru Firefox. On
    any website I've tried, flash comes up with a screen that looks like it has
    video layers tiled instead of overlayed. The flash content plays, sound is
    fine but the video is broken into several panels with weird colors. The
    picture content is visible but the sizing is wrong and the colors are putrid
    - at best - and reminds me of color separation plates ;-)

    Video: Intel Corp. 83845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE chipset (rev 03)

    The BIOS on the box is vintage 2004 and I haven't found an update. It has
    settings for 1/8/512 mb shared video memory but changes to that setting make
    no apparent difference.

    AIR, this chipset was a real pain back in its day but I've had several Dell
    boxes using it work just fine. I've seen systems that didn't run at all but
    this is a first. If anyone knows anything about this sort of problem I'd
    appreciate any pointers.

    --
    Will Honea


  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Need help with Intel Video on old Compaq box

    You might want to disable hardware acceleration in flash by right
    clicking on a flash video you can get the settings.
    In addition with that old chip it is probably a good idea to switch to uxa
    https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Switch_x...o-intel_to_UXA

    --
    PC: oS 13.1 x86_64 | i7-2600@3.40GHz | 16GB | KDE 4.11 | GTX 650 Ti
    ThinkPad E320: oS 13.1 x86_64 | i3@2.30GHz | 8GB | KDE 4.11 | HD 3000
    HTPC: oS 13.1 x86_64 | Celeron@1.8GHz | 2GB | Gnome 3.10 | HD 2500

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need help with Intel Video on old Compaq box

    Martin Helm wrote:

    > You might want to disable hardware acceleration in flash by right
    > clicking on a flash video you can get the settings.
    > In addition with that old chip it is probably a good idea to switch to uxa
    > https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Switch_x...o-intel_to_UXA
    >


    Duh! Never thought about the accelerator setting but that's pretty much
    consistent with what I'm seeing. I'll try that as soon as I confirm that a
    few really old Matrox and Trident cards I have laying around won't solve the
    problem. The UXA switch also awakened a few old memory cells from years past
    ;-)

    I suspect a lot of us will wind up playing games with old hardware as folks,
    especially to older crowd, try to avoid the expense of new gear. I found
    that you can find PC2700 and other old memory formats in 500MB or 1GB sizes
    for under $15 per stick which makes upgrading memory a lot more attractive
    than a couple of hundred for a new machine. I've done several conversions
    in the last couple of weeks and every one of them is perfectly happy with
    openSUSE as a replacement.

    --
    Will Honea


  4. #4

    Default Re: Need help with Intel Video on old Compaq box

    Martin Helm wrote:

    > You might want to disable hardware acceleration in flash by right
    > clicking on a flash video you can get the settings.
    > In addition with that old chip it is probably a good idea to switch to uxa
    > https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Switch_x...o-intel_to_UXA
    >


    No go.

    1. Following the directions on the link froze X11 at startup. I'll try
    again later and see if I can learn anything from the logs.

    2. Unable to get flash to acknowledge the mouse. Is there a config file
    somewhere that I can alter by hand to get that set from outside flash.

    I re-inserted the Win disk and tried out flash under the Win drivers -
    worked like a champ. I was just about to give up but I'll dig a bit more
    and keep posting anything I find here. There are a bunch of old machines
    out there with this video so maybe I can find something useful.

    --
    Will Honea


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need help with Intel Video on old Compaq box

    Am 16.04.2014 07:03, schrieb Will Honea:
    > 2. Unable to get flash to acknowledge the mouse. Is there a config file
    > somewhere that I can alter by hand to get that set from outside flash.


    I found the following (but never tried it myself):

    Create (or edit, if it already exists) the file /etc/adobe/mms.cfg and
    add the following configuration parameter to it: EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=0

    Hope someone knows exactly.

    About the xorg freezing. Can you post your /var/log/Xorg.0.log to
    susepaste.org?

    --
    PC: oS 13.1 x86_64 | i7-2600@3.40GHz | 16GB | KDE 4.11 | GTX 650 Ti
    ThinkPad E320: oS 13.1 x86_64 | i3@2.30GHz | 8GB | KDE 4.11 | HD 3000
    HTPC: oS 13.1 x86_64 | Celeron@1.8GHz | 2GB | Gnome 3.10 | HD 2500

  6. #6
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    1

    Default Re: Need help with Intel Video on old Compaq box

    On 2014-04-13 21:50 (GMT) Will Honea composed:

    > Martin Helm wrote:


    >> You might want to disable hardware acceleration in flash by right
    >> clicking on a flash video you can get the settings.
    >> In addition with that old chip it is probably a good idea to switch to uxa
    >> https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Switch_x...o-intel_to_UXA


    > Duh! Never thought about the accelerator setting but that's pretty much
    > consistent with what I'm seeing. I'll try that as soon as I confirm that a
    > few really old Matrox and Trident cards I have laying around won't solve the
    > problem. The UXA switch also awakened a few old memory cells from years past
    > ;-)


    IMO the i845G has probably been for FOSS developers the most troublesome of
    the first decade of Intel motherboard video, if not of all time. I think Dell
    figured this out early, shipping a lot of i845G systems (Dimension, Optiplex,
    Precision) with Radeon 7500 cards installed in AGP slots. I have an 845
    Optiplex (Foxconn motherboard) and a home built (Intel motherboard) I keep
    operational primarily for finding 845 regressions as FOSS evolution marches
    on, but also to ensure Linux can still be installed, and X acceptably run, on
    them. I cannot recall needing to override Xorg acceleration automagic WRT 845
    for quite some time, maybe two years or more, particularly for my far and
    away most used distro, openSUSE. However, Flash is not something I normally
    test on purpose, as it's not designed for use on high DPI screens or by
    people who need images to be bigger than the dismal itty bitty videos typical
    on Youtube. I suspect 845G users with AGP slots who want to watch web video
    probably should have a card installed in that AGP slot, or maybe something
    more advanced than a Radeon 7500 or 9000 in a PCI slot.
    --
    "The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
    words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

    Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

    Felix Miata *** http://fm.no-ip.com/

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need help with Intel Video on old Compaq box

    Martin Helm wrote:

    > Am 16.04.2014 07:03, schrieb Will Honea:
    >> 2. Unable to get flash to acknowledge the mouse. Is there a config file
    >> somewhere that I can alter by hand to get that set from outside flash.

    >
    > I found the following (but never tried it myself):
    >
    > Create (or edit, if it already exists) the file /etc/adobe/mms.cfg and
    > add the following configuration parameter to it:
    > EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=0


    Sounds like what I needed to know - I'll see if it helps tonight.

    > About the xorg freezing. Can you post your /var/log/Xorg.0.log to
    > susepaste.org?


    I still haven't had time to dig into the logs but I'll post hem up and let
    you know once I get that done. I see that Felix has chimed in - he usually
    has some pretty good info so maybe I can find a way to use this !@#$%
    chipset after all....



  8. #8

    Default Re: Need help with Intel Video on old Compaq box

    Felix Miata wrote:

    > IMO the i845G has probably been for FOSS developers the most troublesome
    > of the first decade of Intel motherboard video, if not of all time. I
    > think Dell figured this out early, shipping a lot of i845G systems
    > (Dimension, Optiplex, Precision) with Radeon 7500 cards installed in AGP
    > slots. I have an 845 Optiplex (Foxconn motherboard) and a home built
    > (Intel motherboard) I keep operational primarily for finding 845
    > regressions as FOSS evolution marches on, but also to ensure Linux can
    > still be installed, and X acceptably run, on them. I cannot recall needing
    > to override Xorg acceleration automagic WRT 845 for quite some time, maybe
    > two years or more, particularly for my far and away most used distro,
    > openSUSE. However, Flash is not something I normally test on purpose, as
    > it's not designed for use on high DPI screens or by people who need images
    > to be bigger than the dismal itty bitty videos typical on Youtube. I
    > suspect 845G users with AGP slots who want to watch web video probably
    > should have a card installed in that AGP slot, or maybe something more
    > advanced than a Radeon 7500 or 9000 in a PCI slot.


    Your comments pretty well confirm my memories of those 845 problems. I've
    got a couple of old Dell Optiplex machines sitting around so I may play with
    them as well. These were cheap office machines - no addin cards. Now all I
    have to do is dig out some old PC2700 memory to get a GB of ram so that the
    live CD will boot up...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need help with Intel Video on old Compaq box

    Martin Helm wrote:

    > You might want to disable hardware acceleration in flash by right
    > clicking on a flash video you can get the settings.
    > In addition with that old chip it is probably a good idea to switch to uxa
    > https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Switch_x...o-intel_to_UXA
    >


    I finally had time to get back to this and this time it WORKED!

    What probably bit me was plain old impatience - watching the text during the
    startup everything proceeded as expected until the xorg startup. Then the
    screen went blank - no mouse, no progress, no disk activity. Since I had
    just gotten a hot cup of coffee and lite a smoke, I sat back to think about
    what I was doing. Eventually, a cursor arrow popped up. A bit later, the
    KDE startup icon popped up - just a single token, not the marching series of
    them I'm used to - came up. Eventually, the KDE desktop popped up and all
    was well. Firefox popped up with watchable video. Sound sync was acceptable
    if not exactly perfect but what can you expect from flash and a 10 year old
    machine (2.8Ghz, but even so...). I even turned hardware acceleration back
    on. That helped even more.

    Thanks for all your help. I'll pass on a couple of other things I found for
    anyone else fighting this.

    1. If you need to turn off hardware acceleration in Firefox, you MUST be in
    full screen mode - the "settings" action is grayed out in any other setting.

    2. Remember that a full reboot may be required after making changes to the
    xorg settings. I usually logout and bring up a command session to kill xorg
    but that was not sufficient in this case. That may be an artifact of
    systemd but this particular box requires it.

    3. Be patient after switching to the uxa mode. The first reboot took a long
    time - several minutes - before the desktop came up. Subsequent boots were
    noticeably quicker but still slower than before changing the chip mode to
    uxa.

    --
    Will Honea


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