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Offline ceinstaller

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Flashing screen as X comes up
« on: February 12, 2015, 11:46:38 pm »
Hey all!  Been away from Linux for a while, trying to get a Sony PCG-FXA32 up and running with Peppermint.  (900Mhz AMD Duron, 512MB RAM, ATI Rage Mobility.)

The install goes smooth and I can see X start to come up.  I get the smoke background and I see the task bar (blank) at the bottom of the screen.  Mouse moves fine, things appear to be going well.  Then it starts flashing to a blank screen and back to the background.  It just cycles back and forth like that, but never comes up normally.  I've tried 'nomodeset' but I get the same thing.

I know it's an old machine, but it seems like people have good luck on older hardware.  Any ideas or guidance would be appreciated.

Thank in advance,

~Mark

Offline emegra

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 01:38:29 am »
HI ceinstaller

Welcome to the forum

How are you attempting to install Peppermint, ie did you select "Install Peppermint" from the menu or from the live session and if so was the graphics ok in the live session ?

I always found ATI cards a bit of a pain in Linux, you could also try xforcevesa instead of nomodeset



Graeme
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Offline rjm65

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2015, 08:43:51 am »
You may want to check if you have a PAE processor or not, open a terminal up and type
Code: [Select]
inxi -F
Post the results back here, Then type
Code: [Select]
cat /proc/cpuinfo
and also post the results back here, thank you....   ;)
Robert
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Offline ceinstaller

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2015, 10:29:12 am »
Hey guys, thanks for the help!

Graeme: Yes, installing from CD.  I tried again, deleted 'quiet splash --' and replaced with 'forcevesa', same result.

Robert:  I checked this before I started, knowing it's an issue on older hardware.  According to cpu-world.com, my K7 supports PAE.  I'll figure how to boot up without X and verify just in case.

The funny thing is that there's a moment when X first starts up when it appears to be stable.  Almost like it starts in VESA mode, tries to auto detect the video card, then goes south.  So close.

Thanks,

~Mark

Offline rjm65

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 10:53:17 am »
I was just wondering because my older machine had this issue and will not run Pep5 however it does run Pep3 just fine, Have you tried downloading and trying to boot up Pep 3 at all??? If not give it a whirl and see if you come across the same issue, if it is doing the same thing as pep 5 then we can look elsewhere...  :)
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Offline emegra

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 12:09:40 pm »
Quote
Graeme: Yes, installing from CD.

Yeah I understand you're installing from the CD but I wanted to know if your starting the installation from a live session or were you selecting "Install Peppermint" from the boot menu,  I'm asking that because I know some people had problems when selecting "Install Peppermint" from the boot menu, also it would be helpful to know if your graphics worked ok in a live session



Graeme
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2015, 12:11:45 pm »
Try creating the file:-

/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/use-vesa.conf

and making it's contents read
Code: [Select]
Section "Device"
  Identifier "Configured Video Device"
  Driver "vesa"
EndSection
SAVE the file and REBOOT.
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline ceinstaller

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2015, 01:56:11 pm »
Graeme: I'm selecting install from the CD boot menu.  Tried to run Live, had the same issue.  (Sorry, I see I didn't make that clear.)

PC: Is there a text mode install?  I can't create the file until I can get it installed.  (Right?  I can't think of a way to do that pre-install.)

While researching, I discovered that the install option should be 'xforcevesa', I was using 'forcevesa'.  I'll try again when I get home, maybe having the right switch will do the trick.  :-)

Thanks all, I do appreciate the help.

~Mark

(I'm having flashbacks to when I downloaded slackware one floppy image at a time from a BBS over a 300 baud modem.  Had to use rawwrite to build the disks.  I'm so old.)

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2015, 07:49:46 pm »
At the login screen can you not hit Ctrl+Alt+F2

login in text mode

then run:
Code: [Select]
sudo touch /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/use-vesa.conf
then
Code: [Select]
sudo nano /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/use-vesa.conf
to edit the file.
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Offline ceinstaller

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2015, 09:00:51 pm »
Progress!!  Using 'xforcevesa' got me through the install.  I can boot up and login, but certain window objects aren't rendering correctly.  (Tool tips are scrambled, terminal windows won't render.)  I created the use-vesa.conf and rebooted, didn't clear up the 'bad elements'.

I'll keep at it, but I assume it's something with the X config.  (Bit depth, AGP settings, along those lines.)  I'll report back with any updates.  Almost there!!

~Mark

Offline ceinstaller

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2015, 11:02:06 pm »
OK, updated /etc/X11/xorg.conf to change bit depth to 16, screen anomalies are no more!

It seems most of the apps aren't installed?  I have menu option for Games, but none of them start or seem to be installed.  No Chromium either.  I have all the media apps though.  Do I need to do something post install?

Thanks everyone for the help!  It won't set any speed records, but it's cool to get a modern OS on it after all these years.  (I may use it for Arduino programming.)

~Mark

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2015, 07:51:10 am »
Most "apps" including the games aren't installed locally, they open in a chromium "--app" window .. so if Chromium isn't installed, or is broken, they won't work.

What's the output from:
Code: [Select]
dpkg -l | grep chromium-browser
and what happens if you try to run chromium-browser from the command line
Code: [Select]
chromium-browser
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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2015, 05:26:09 pm »
He all, I apologize for the delay in replying.  I've had to move to Antix to get acceptable performance out of my old machine.  I couldn't get P5 to recognize my old ATI Rage Mobility card to save my life and it left P5 nearly unusable.  So far so good with Antix in case anyone with a PCG-FXA32 comes across this.  (It identified all the hardware and just works.)

Thanks for all the help.  P5 is on my short list when I have to upgrade to a new laptop.

~Mark

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Re: Flashing screen as X comes up
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2015, 05:30:19 pm »
Happy to hear you found a solution that works for you, even if it's not Peppermint .. thanks for the progress update :)
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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