Tech Tip

Now the video card?

08.01.08 | Comment?

Grrr! These Dell Optiplex 320’s are eating too much of my time. We just upgraded one to Hardy Heron and I lost a full day getting the machine back on its feet. For my own reference (because I know I will have to deal with this again) here are the problems and solutions:

First, the Grub installation on the boot partition was corrupted. To fix that:

  1. Get a Ubuntu LiveCD
  2. At the boot menu hit F6
  3. In the kernel options remove “quiet” change to  “nosplash acpi=off”
  4. Once booted, chroot to the original system using the same old method as when I first installed Grub2
  5. Run  “grub-install /dev/sda”
  6. Run “update-grub”
  7. Reboot

When booting into the 2.6.24-19 kernel everything goes fine until X11 tries to start and then it locked up on a black screen. It was so locked up at first that even Alt+SysReq B did nothing. Booting to an older kernel worked fine. I have no solutions just some lessons:

  • In /etc/rc2.d/ I can rename S30gdm to K70gdm to disable GDM and get a command line after booting.
  • In xorg.conf I can change the driver from “flgrx” to “radeon”, but both are broken for the latest kernel.
  • Disabling some of the dual screen options in xorg.conf helped some.
  • Part of the issue may be the BIOS being setup to use the internal analog VGA adapter.
  • According to this note the 2.6.24 kernel needs fglrx 8.39 or above. Doesn’t look like that will be in the respository until I upgrade to Intrepid.

So that is about it. Not many answers, but at least the machine is up and running … for now.

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