can't instal opensuse 11.3 on dell precision M4500

When I run the openSUSE-11.3-GNOME-LiveCD-x86_64.iso from an usb stick and
select “Installation” or “openSUSE Live (GNOME)” the screen goes to black after showing the load bar for a while.

This is most likely a graphics driver issue but I have no idea how to fix it.

This happens on a dell precision M4500.
The same usb stick works fine on another machine.

The Dell precision M4500 is supposed to be a very powerful laptop computer. It is said to have an optional nVidia video option. In normal installs, we must add the kernel load command “nomodeset” to use nVidia or pick Failsafe, just before you select the kernel to be installed, if you have that option. I then load the optional binary nVidia driver which works like a champ. This is an option you would have with this video card, but you have to get the main program installed first. I even had one case where I had to connect an old VGA monitor up to the laptop external port, to keep a working picture.

I would also try the KDE LiveCD just to see if it does any better for you, that is what I use with openSUSE 11.3 is the KDE desktop. Consider that really new and high power computers are sometimes behind the latest Linux curve. The newer the Kernel, the better hardware support it will have. openSUSE is based on kernel 2.6.34, but 2.6.35 is out and they are working on 2.6.36 even as we speak. Expect this in Distros that will appear next year. Good luck with your laptop.

Thank You,

It’s been a while since I posted this thread but I thought I would summarize my experiences here since getting opensuse 11.3 installed wasn’t trivial. First, I should say that my Dell precision M4500 was preinstalled with windows XP Pro (I don’t like it either).

Using the “nomodeset” argument a command shell login dialog appeared. (Thank you @jdmcdaniel3) Then I could use the tekst-based Yast to do the installation. However, the partition manager couldn’t schrink the windows ntfs partition because it perceived the file system as being corrupt for some reason. It actually wasn’t corrupt. Using the gparted live drive I was able to create the necessary partitions. Gparted did not perceive the file system as corrupt. After creating the partitions I was able to install opensuse using the text-based Yast. After the installation I had to boot the installed opensuse using “nomodeset” again to get a shell. Then I was able to install the updates and the nvidia drivers, again using the text-based yast. After all this opensuse could finally boot.

ssouffri, happy to hear you got everything up and running. Your story seems pretty typical for new laptop users, though it does depend on the graphics chipset that is included. If you have the very latest from nVidia, ATI/AMD or even Intel, you seem to have the same issues that you ran in to. Please let us know if we can help you in any other way.

Thank You,