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Author Topic: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio [SOLVED - in part]  (Read 2626 times)

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Offline NickF

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Graphics problem - Sony Vaio [SOLVED - in part]
« on: August 22, 2015, 05:28:08 pm »
I've installed PM6 on Sony Vaio VGN FZ11Z
The graphics car is an nVidia GeForce 8400M GT
It is currently using the standard Noveau diver - but that will not give me the required 1280x800 screen resolution, I have a stretched screen on 1024x768
I have tried teh Package Manager - Additional drivers. It offers several proprietary drivers, but I'm failing to get any of them to install (that might be inexperience!)

Ideas on how best to sort this out mch appreciated - soon please!
Thanks
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 09:29:03 am by NickF »

Offline scifidude79

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2015, 05:30:34 pm »
Additional drivers should allow you to install a driver for that GPU.  The 8400 is covered by the 340.76 driver.  Did you refresh your sources list before you tried installing graphics drivers?  If not, run this in a terminal:

Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get update

Offline NickF

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2015, 08:00:04 am »
Thanks, tried that now.
I get a number of driver options for the 8400M, the top one is 340.76 as you suggest. When I select it and hit 'apply changes'  the process appear to start (black bar at ~10% and 'applying changes'), but that is where it all grinds to a halt - it never progresses from about 10%.
I'm struggling to see what I could be doing wrong!
On one occasion I thought I also saw a message about needing to 'restart' after installing - but no sign of that now.
Any more ideas much appreciated.

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2015, 08:50:36 am »
When you say it never gets past 10%, how long are you giving it to complete ? .. I know the ATI driver takes some time to complete.

Also, exactly what options are being offered to you in Additional Drivers ?
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Offline NickF

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2015, 11:12:37 am »
hi, and thanks very much for responding. Do read to the end, the story develops!

I am being offered 6 options for the 8400M:
The open Source Nouveau - this is "marked", so I had assumed that it was in use - but perhaps that is my misunderstanding.
nVidia 340.76 - wice from slightly different souces
nVidia 304.125 - twice from slightly different source
nVidia 173.14.39

I primarily tried the 340, but have tried others too. For the 340 I left it for at least 30 minutes and the 'bar' had not moved at all.

In amongst these attempts, sever apt-get updates and reboots I suddenly got the right mode - and think the Nouveau driver was providing it. Xrandr gave a sensible result (unfortunately I did not keep a copy of that)

BUT, suddenly (after some reboots and popping back to WinVista, but I confess to slightly loosing track in my min of just what did transpire!), it simply lost it again.

Now xrandr gives:
Code: [Select]
~ $ xrandr
xrandr: Failed to get size of gamma for output default
Screen 0: minimum 640 x 480, current 1024 x 768, maximum 1024 x 768
default connected 1024x768+0+0 0mm x 0mm
   1024x768       61.0*
   800x600        61.0 
   640x480        60.0 

Would I be right in thinking it is actually defaulting to some basic VGA driver, and not actually picking up the Nouveau driver???
Might that be the problem?
How might I fix that?

Having realised that I may have made a wrong assumption about the selection of the Nouveau driver, I tried to install that one. But I've just given it 30 minutes and the bar is still stuck at ~10%, so I closed it and rebooted.
Surprise - I seem to have the right resolution!

Code: [Select]
~ $ sudo lshw -c display
[sudo] password for user-1:
  *-display               
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: G86M [GeForce 8400M GT]
       vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
       version: a1
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=nouveau latency=0
       resources: irq:47 memory:ce000000-ceffffff memory:d0000000-dfffffff memory:cc000000-cdffffff ioport:2000(size=128)

and
Code: [Select]
~ $ xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1280 x 800, maximum 8192 x 8192
LVDS-1 connected 1280x800+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
   1280x800       59.9*+
   1024x768       59.9 
   800x600        59.9 
   640x480        59.4 
   720x400        59.6 
   640x400        60.0 
   640x350        59.8 
VGA-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

So, maybe it is just/partly that 'additional divers' is failing to tell me when it has actually done the job.

The display appears to be OK, except for some garbage onscreen between the password entry and PM6 fully loading.

Comments on all this, and the driver choice, much appreciated.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 11:14:25 am by NickF »

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2015, 11:35:31 am »
is there any output from:
Code: [Select]
sudo ubuntu-drivers devices
?
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Offline NickF

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2015, 11:57:03 am »
Code: [Select]
~ $ sudo ubuntu-drivers devices
[sudo] password for user-1:
== /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.0/0000:01:00.0 ==
vendor   : NVIDIA Corporation
model    : G86M [GeForce 8400M GT]
modalias : pci:v000010DEd00000426sv0000104Dsd00009005bc03sc00i00
driver   : nvidia-304 - distro non-free
driver   : xserver-xorg-video-nouveau - distro free builtin
driver   : nvidia-173 - distro non-free
driver   : nvidia-340 - distro non-free recommended
driver   : nvidia-304-updates - distro non-free
driver   : nvidia-340-updates - distro non-free

Does that mean, despite appearances, I have loaded them all whilst struggling with it ??
What does 'non-free' mean ?

Do I need to get rid of any?

Offline scifidude79

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2015, 12:12:50 pm »
I think that's just listing the drivers you have available.  I get the same list, but I have the 340.76 driver installed.

Offline scifidude79

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2015, 12:18:23 pm »
When you say it never gets past 10%, how long are you giving it to complete ? .. I know the ATI driver takes some time to complete.

That's true for both the AMD and Nvidia drivers.  It's especially true if you have slow Internet.  When I was on 1.5 Mb/s DSL, I used to make sure I downloaded Aisleriot before starting the Nvidia install, to make sure I had something to do while it was taking its time to complete.

Offline NickF

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015, 01:04:00 pm »

That's true for both the AMD and Nvidia drivers.  It's especially true if you have slow Internet.  When I was on 1.5 Mb/s DSL,
[/quote]
My internet is about 15MB/s, so is 30 minutes realistic or ridiculous?

Are you able to clarify any of my other outstanding questions on this - or my other poser on: Hardware / Re: graphics resolution - MITAC 8640SC & others! I'm currently trying to create an xorg.conf file and add a modeline for that problem.
Thanks


Offline scifidude79

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2015, 01:34:34 pm »
Firstly, it's Mb/S, (or Mbps) not MB/S.  Yes, there's a difference, but not everybody knows the difference, which can lead to confusion as to how fast your actual speed is.  MB = Megabytes, Mb = Megabits.  A Megabyte is somewhere around 8 Megabits.  So, if you're using 15 Mb/S Internet, you're getting just under 2 MB/S actual speed.  Just food for thought.

But, no, I don't see why 15 Mb/S Internet would take that long to download a driver.  But, there are several other factors involved too.  Are you on Ethernet or Wifi?  If you're on Wifi, you'll not get your top speed unless you're sitting very close to the Wifi adapter.  Also, the repository you use can make a difference.  Not all Ubuntu repositories are created equal.  Some are faster than others.  One thing you can do is to go to Menu > Preferences > Software & Updates.  Where it says "Download from:" hit the drop-down and select "Other."  You'll get a massive list of servers and there's a button next to the list that says "Select Best Server."  Hit that and the system will run a test on all of the servers and find the one that has the best speed for where you are.  That will help some.  However, the repositories can also suffer slowdowns due to traffic.  Remember that it's a Sunday, so there will be more traffic than usual.  There's also a possibility a repository isn't responding, but that will usually return an error on the "Additional Drivers" tool.

I can't see any reason why the driver would fail to install for that GPU.  It's covered by multiple drivers, so one should work.  Though, I've also never installed a driver for that particular GPU and, as with anything, not all Nvidia GPUs are created equal.  Some hardware drivers can be more of a pill to install.  The "Additional Drivers" tool usually makes pretty quick work of things, but it's not like it's foolproof.

And, no, I don't know about the issue with the resolution.  Usually, you can get proper resolutions with the Nouveau driver, but as I said, it can depend on the specific Nvidia GPU.  Nvidia makes a lot of those things an different ones can have different quirks.  I used to have a GeForce 6100 and it always looked like garbage in horrible resolutions (640 x 480 or 800 x 600) until I got the proprietary driver installed.  However, my GeForce 9500 GT that I have now displays at 1600 x 900 with the Nouveau driver.

Offline NickF

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2015, 04:47:54 pm »
Indeed,
Code: [Select]
15 Mega-Bits per second - sorry, sloppy typing on my part.

Code: [Select]
~ $ sudo lshw -c display
.....       configuration: driver=nouveau latency=0
So I guess I have got the Nouveau driver - just not quite sure how it happened!

Offline scifidude79

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2015, 05:11:19 pm »
Nouveau is the open source driver.  It's included by default.  The "Additional Drivers" tool is supposed to remove it and replace it with a proprietary driver.  If it wasn't so deeply embedded into the OS, I'd recommend just downloading a driver from Nvidia's website and installing it.  But, Canonical made doing that that a huge pain about 5 years ago.

Offline NickF

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2015, 03:41:14 am »
Well I'm still not clear why I could not get the correct resolution originally, or indeed  how my actions have caused it to be to 'appear'.
I'm happy it is working but would be pleased for a touch more explanation before we close this thread.
It is also unclear to me why the nVidia drivers would not install from 'additional drivers'.

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Graphics problem - Sony Vaio
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2015, 06:47:50 am »
Have you done a full system update before attempting to install the drivers from "Additional Drivers" ?
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get update
then
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get upgrade
then
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
then reboot (in case you got a kernel update)

Now try additional drivers again, and if it still fails at 10%, maybe you could try installing them from the command line and see if it spits out any clues:
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get install nvidia-340-updates
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