Boot sometimes ends with a frozen white screen

Hey there,

I got a problem with my opensuse 11.3 machine. Sometimes it doesn’t boot up correctly and ends with a frozen white screen. It’s not just x that is broken the whole pc is frozen as I can not ping or ssh into my machine :-/

Any suggestions ? Maybe some boot line options ? Or generally how I could debug this ?

Thanks in Advance

Tell us what m/c? What graphics card/chipset, and if you know, what graphics driver is installed and running (when not freezing)?

thx for fast reply !

sorry for giving so less detailed :-S ! What does m/c mean ?


I’ve got a Saphire Radeon 1950x pro.

How can I check which graphics driver is installed ?

Sorry, it’s short for “machine” i.e. brand & model?

What desktop, KDE or Gnome?

Find the file /var/log/Xorg.0.log, and open it in your favourite text editor. After the driver is loaded, it’s name is repeated in many lines, on the left after the sequence numbers and (II), sometimes all in upper case but also in lower case.

Post back with that name, then users with knowledge of your graphics card and driver can best help you. :slight_smile:

Or post the output of this command:

hwinfo --gfxcard

You might also find this openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users to be a useful read, especially the ATI driver section.

Thanks for all you replies !

here’s the output of /usr/sbin/hwinfo --gfxcard

26: PCI 200.0: 0300 VGA compatible controller (VGA)
  [Created at pci.318]
  Unique ID: B35A.etTwo2CLjC8
  Parent ID: _+Pw.UiLeMdK3yF3
  SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0f.0/0000:02:00.0
  SysFS BusID: 0000:02:00.0
  Hardware Class: graphics card
  Model: "ATI Radeon X1950"
  Vendor: pci 0x1002 "ATI Technologies Inc"
  Device: pci 0x7280 "Radeon X1950"
  SubVendor: pci 0x174b "PC Partner Limited"
  SubDevice: pci 0xe190
  Revision: 0x9a
  Driver: "radeon"
  Driver Modules: "drm"
  Memory Range: 0xe0000000-0xefffffff (ro,non-prefetchable)
  Memory Range: 0xf9000000-0xf900ffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
  I/O Ports: 0xa000-0xafff (rw)
  Memory Range: 0xf8000000-0xf801ffff (ro,non-prefetchable,disabled)
  IRQ: 25 (767 events)
  I/O Ports: 0x3c0-0x3df (rw)
  Module Alias: "pci:v00001002d00007280sv0000174Bsd0000E190bc03sc00i00"
  Driver Info #0:
    XFree86 v4 Server Module: radeonhd
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #20 (PCI bridge)

27: PCI 200.1: 0380 Display controller
  [Created at pci.318]
  Unique ID: 2Oa+.fnhCiKUGCuB
  Parent ID: _+Pw.UiLeMdK3yF3
  SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0f.0/0000:02:00.1
  SysFS BusID: 0000:02:00.1
  Hardware Class: graphics card
  Model: "ATI RV570 [Radeon X1950 Pro] (secondary)"
  Vendor: pci 0x1002 "ATI Technologies Inc"
  Device: pci 0x72a0 "RV570 [Radeon X1950 Pro] (secondary)"
  SubVendor: pci 0x174b "PC Partner Limited"
  SubDevice: pci 0xe191
  Revision: 0x9a
  Memory Range: 0xf9010000-0xf901ffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
  Module Alias: "pci:v00001002d000072A0sv0000174Bsd0000E191bc03sc80i00"
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #20 (PCI bridge)

Primary display adapter: #26

Oh emm it’s a costum build with a GA-M55S-S3 Mainboard. Not even sure what CPU I got in it.

I’ll read through the other guide :slight_smile:

Feel free to post any suggestions how to solve the problem meanwhile :wink:

OK. Should you wish to, you can find out some more about your processor chipsets, and other devices, etc. using this command (as root):

lspci -nnk

At some point, you may be asked for some information from the results.

Also, I hope you found /var/log/Xorg.0.log as it also might be needed. After rebooting following the white screen (of death), the failing log may be found at /var/log/Xorg.0.log.old and may show errors (EE), warnings (WW), or messages just indicating a display mode-setting problem.

okay :slight_smile:

of course now it always boots correctly if I actually want to boot it up wrong xD

I’ll report back if I have any news.

Of course, sod’s law. :slight_smile: Yes, let us know, and also post back with any questions.

BTW, I forgot to mention that as well as xorg logs, these may help to show the breakdown point for a failed boot:

Start-up/boot messages: /var/log/boot.msg
Previous boot (e.g. for failure): /var/log/boot.omsg
System log (needs root access): /var/log/messages

The first two are easier to follow, and more useful in this context. Be sure to check the files’ date and time.

Okay so The evil white screen of death appeared again and here are the logs :smiley:

messages (just from today)

I hope you can read something out of these logs :smiley:

Thx for helping !

Make sure all your cards and cables are seated correctly.

how do you mean that ?

Nothing loose. Unplug inspect clean if needed reset. Also the memory and you may want to do a nice long run of the memcheck found on the install media, just in case you got some flaky memory.

Can you determine any cause-and-effect ?

I have read of some PCs where if one was running MS-Windows, a simply restart to Linux does not work. Instead one has to switch OFF the machine. Then turn the machine back ON, and only then will Linux work. If one bypasses this (by a direct restart) they can get different problem symptoms.

In some cases, it is not enough to swtich OFF the power when switching OS. One actually has to disconnect the power (when the PC is OFF) and then reconnect. And only then boot Linux.

Could you confirm this is not the case on your PC ?

What DE was configured (also asked at #4) when you got the WSOD, and were desktop effects enabled?