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LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200 
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Post # 300473
 LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200
This is my first post so it might be a bit long.
Also please note although it may sound like I know a bit of what I'm doing, I am essentially clueless. Please be very descriptive in your the steps to resolve this issue.

I'm using an HP dv6 notebook with an AMD Turion II P520 dual core and 4G Ram and AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250. DVD = DVDRAM GT30L ATA device. Using a standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA controller, HP webcam, Atheros AR9285 802.11b/g/n Wifi adapter.
Mepis kernal 2.6.36-1-mepis-smp

When I first booted my Mepis 11.0.00.32 DVD I encountered a blank screen. I used the liveDVD to check my hardware and noticed the video resolutions. I looked at the command line for default an noticed it was using a 800x600 display and I am on a widescreen laptop so I changed vga=788 to vga=873 (1366x768) and booted the liveDVD successfully.

So far so good.

After enjoying what I saw on the liveDVD I decided to install. Once I completed the install and rebooted I was faced with the new GRUB. I noticed the same vga=788 line but tried booting as is. I encountered the following errors.

[ 0.074084] pci_root PNP0A08:00: address space collision: host bridge window [mem 0x000cc000-0x000cffff] conflicts with Video ROM [mem 0x000c0000-0x000cebff]

Then a blank screen, a please wait then another error that went by so quickly and another blank screen. At that point it no longer booted, Ctrl-ALT-F1 did not work but I could use the caps lock and ctrl-alt-del would reboot the system.

I tried changing vga=788 to vga=873 and had the same issue.

The solution I found for the first error was upgrading to kernel-2.6.40.4-5.fc15 (x86_64) , at least for fedora. So I guess I need to wait for the next kernal to fix this first error.
But after that error there was a please wait and another error before it blanked out on my permanently so I kept looking.

After a lot of research and trying several confx options like xres and so on I got enough of a glimpse of the error to determine it was fb hw and something radeon. It also appeared to be related to when the splashy was supposed to appear. After a continued search through this forum I stumbled accross radeon.modeset=0 and confirmed it works for me.

I spent the last 2 days and at least 20 hours on figuring this much out to get my MEPIS to boot. I even read 20 of the 31 pages of forum posts here and googled every error.
I tried enabling logging by going to /etc/default/bootlogd and change No to Yes. I checked /var/log/boot after a failed boot by loading from the liveCD and there is nothing in the file.
I was really stumped, now I'm able to use MEPIS but only with radeon.modeset=0 which I can safely assume disables radeon driver and defaults to another one.

Here is where I need your help. I can boot to MEPIS with the option radeon.modeset=0 but I need to know how to fix MEPIS so I either don't need to continually add that option so I can use my video acceleration.

And I think this means between the liveCD and the installed version something regarding video is broken, because on the liveCD I was able to use the cube and other compositing effects but with the installed version I need to set radeon.modeset=0 just to boot succesfully.

Any help would be appreciated.

MikeD


Tue May 29, 2012 1:16 pm
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Post # 300475
Post Re: LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200
I installed using the livecd stating radeon.modeset=0 there and after the install it worked just peachy as it apparently got installed right along.


You can also add the line radeon.modeset=0 in /boot/grub/menu.lst
that way it will boot with that option per default.

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Tue May 29, 2012 2:00 pm

Eadwine Rose thanked by: MikeyD
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Post # 300476
Post Re: LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200
Perhaps:

http://www.mepis.org/docs/en/index.php? ... gfxi#sgfxi

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Tue May 29, 2012 2:39 pm

uncle mark thanked by: MikeyD
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Post # 300477
Post Re: LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200
MikeyD wrote:
I was really stumped, now I'm able to use MEPIS but only with radeon.modeset=0 which I can safely assume disables radeon driver and defaults to another one.


That option should be the default when a Radeon card is detected and works with the open source AMD drivers.

If you want to use the proprietary AMD drivers, you'll need to install them, as Mepis does not use them by default.

As Uncle Mark just posted, just use the sgfxi script for that purpose. See this page about it:

http://www.mepis.org/docs/en/index.php? ... 28sgfxi.29

Basically, you just install the script using wget as shown in those instructions (copying and pasting the commands into a terminal is easiest), then follow the instructions on that page to run it (press CTRL+ALT+F1 to exit to a login prompt, then login in using user name root and type sgfxi and use the defaults). That script will download and install the latest stable driver for you by default. Then, after it runs, you'll see a choice to exit (which shuts down mepis) or start desktop (I'd try that first).

Just note that sometimes you may need to run the script more than once. That's just a "quirk" with the way it works (sometimes needs running more than once to remove the old driver and installing a newer one).

Then (after using the sgfxi script as shown in the above instructions), you should be using the latest AMD Catalyst Drivers and Software for your AMD video chipset.


Tue May 29, 2012 2:43 pm

JimC thanked by: MikeyD
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Post # 300481
Post Re: LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200
Do note that going the sgfxi route MIGHT screw up other things like tvtime (it screwed it up for me in any case).

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Tue May 29, 2012 3:05 pm
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Post # 300495
Post Re: LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200
thanks for all your suggestions.
Eadwine Rose wrote:
I installed using the livecd stating radeon.modeset=0 there and after the install it worked just peachy as it apparently got installed right along.
I would have assumed that should be the default for the install. I didn't expect to have to research that to get it to run. Perhaps it's something that should be corrected in the livecd or installation.

JimC wrote:
That option should be the default when a Radeon card is detected and works with the open source AMD drivers.
Ditto, if Radeon is detected it should default to radeon.modeset=0 especially since it doesn't come with the proprietary drivers installed.

uncle mark wrote:
http://www.mepis.org/docs/en/index.php? ... gfxi#sgfxi
Thanks for the link uncle mark, I was looking at that but all the options / documentation scared me. Isn't there a simpler way to update the video driver? And can anyone confirm if updating to the proprietary driver will even work?

Eadwine Rose wrote:
the sgfxi route MIGHT screw up other things
Not looking forward to breaking something I haven't noticed yet. :frown:

This adventure brings back memories of my first Debian install in 2005. I spent more time fixing my box than being productive on it.
I hope once I get this video issue resolved I will be home free.

What do you think about updating? Should I just run synaptic and let it upgrade everything before I continue? or should my next step be an adventure into sgfxi

You guys have the most experience with this distro so I will follow your advice.


Tue May 29, 2012 5:37 pm
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Post # 300499
Post Re: LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200
You have very little to lose using the sgfxi script. And much to gain.

If it were me I'd run the script. Make it easy by installing it while in the GUI (while looking at that page) and using Copy&Paste per the instructions. Since you cannot run it in the GUI the page will tell you when you need to use the Ctrl+Alt+F1 command to leave the GUI. At that text mode logon screen just enter root (as the user), hit Enter, and then root for the password. Then just follow the instructions on the page (you might print them while still in the GUI so you'll have a reference outside the GUI). IE: enter sgfxi and hit the Enter key. Follow the text prompts and restart when it says to.

Alternatively you can run the radeon open source driver. It is quite good and you'll get about 80% of the speed of proprietary driver. Most do not notice the difference if they don't run all the eye candy special effects.

It will not hurt to run Synaptic to upgrade. Use the default repositories and settings in Synaptic to do so.
If you are using the proprietary driver and install a newer kernel then you will have to install that driver (again) for the new kernel.

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Tue May 29, 2012 6:17 pm
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Post # 300506
Post Re: LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200
MikeyD wrote:
Thanks for the link uncle mark, I was looking at that but all the options / documentation scared me. Isn't there a simpler way to update the video driver? And can anyone confirm if updating to the proprietary driver will even work?


It really doesn't get any simpler. Don't let the options scare you. You should be able to take the defaults.

Read the instructions in the wiki link. The installation requires nothing more than a copy/paste of the command given. Then Ctrl+Alt+F1, which will drop you to the terminal. Log in as 'root', feed it the root password, then type 'sgfxi' and let 'er rip. Just hit enter or yes or whatever at the prompts. It won't take but a minte or two, then, you'll want to reboot. Hopefully that's all it will take.

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Tue May 29, 2012 7:32 pm
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Post # 300512
Post Re: LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200
Think you will be happiest if you use the one that installs smxi and sgfxi as it contains many helpful tools in addition to the graphics installer. It is this one from the link>>> cd /usr/local/bin && wget -Nc smxi.org/smxi.zip && unzip smxi.zip . :popcorn:

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Tue May 29, 2012 11:30 pm
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Post # 300513
Post Re: LiveDVD + first install black screen on ATI HD 4200
Thanks again for all your support.

I installed sgfxi, and as I was warned earlier might happen, I broke my desktop.
I also recovered my desktop and discovered synaptic is not working.
I don't have time to continue with this tonight, so tomorrow I'll perform a complete install once again then I'll follow these steps to get my Radeon HD 4200 working.

boot liveCD by changing vga=788 to vga=873
boot installation by adding command line radeon.modeset=0
update with synaptic all updates.
Download and run smxi and use it only to install my graphics drivers per it's recommendation (I used radeon flgrx driver)
Then I can get back to installing Apache, MYsql and PHP likely using smxi again.

That's it.

I noticed while using smxi that some installs break other things and removals are poorly implemented. I wanted to only remove the bluetooth drivers since my laptop has no bluetooth support and it also removed KDE-window-manager among others, and orphaned a bunch of plasma stuff. Not good at all. I used it to reinstall my KDE desktop but then synaptic was not working and a basically any app that required root wouldn't launch. So I will start over tomorrow cuz it will be faster than trying to fix all the problems I created. Good thing this a fresh install.

Thanks for your help guys.


Wed May 30, 2012 12:36 am
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