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Author Topic: Installing Nvidia video driver  (Read 7796 times)

reb

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Installing Nvidia video driver
« on: December 13, 2007, 05:48:56 pm »
Hi people
After downloading the eGeForce 8600 video driver and printing out the install instructions, I followed them as listed. As instructed I closed out Xwindows and re-booted to the linux text command line, entered and and changed to "root" and proceeded to install the driver.  To make a long story short, at the end I got a mesg saying "driver installation successful".  However when I rebooted to VL desk top, I got a blank black screen. 

I returned to text mode and re-ran VASM to set up an xwin GUI. I got no errors and it went as before, but when I re-booted, I still get that black screen and I cannot get into my VL gui desktop.

I am having to use my wifes' windows box to send these messages >:(  but I have to admit, this is better than nothing. :D  I'm sure there  is someone there that can help. :)

reb
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Nothing is right or wrong, good or bad, only thinking makes it so.  Think about it.
Running a Vector Linux VL3300 with 1 SATA 80GB HDD and 1GB DDR 400 ram, DVD+-RW , and VL 5.9 Delux

exeterdad

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2007, 07:46:08 pm »
Are there any error messages shown when X fails reb?

nightflier

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2007, 08:17:39 pm »
Is this on VL 5.9?

Triarius Fidelis

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2007, 09:23:48 pm »
I know zilch about NVidia cards, but the quick way to get your desktop back is to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf in text mode and replace that line that probably says Driver "nv" (it'll be in the 'Device' section) with Driver "vesa" for generic VESA card support.
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exeterdad

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2007, 06:04:06 am »
Just to get the info out there quicker I'll answer for him. He's running a Madtux machine with a VL5.8 SOHOish preloaded.  He doesn't have any kind of install CD or recovery image. So he's got what he's got.  The mobo does have onboard video.  But to run decent games he needs a real card.  Apparently neither the Nvidia card or the onboard video will run at this time.  I'm assuming the nvidia install did just enough to his xorg.conf to insure that.  I should add that he was trying to install a ATI card before the nvidia card, so that may play into the mystery.

I'd like to see his xorg.conf somehow, but since he's going to be working in text mode that might be a bit complex for him to pull off.  I know I could pull it off using lynx to browse the board with.  But not easy at all.  Any suggestions so reb can show it to us easily without him having to hand type the thing?  A detailed walkthrough is even better  ;)

He's been asking my help via PM's, but I'm not strong with hardware issues.  I can usually figure it out if I'm sitting in front of the box.  I asked him to take it to the board because many of you are very knowledgeable.  Big surprise there right?

Hope you don't mind me speaking for you reb.  But the more information the better.

nightflier

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2007, 06:44:03 am »
- How about running a LiveCD to read xorg.conf and other files and post them here?

- If you need the output of lspci/lsmod etc, that can be done in text mode like this:
lsmod > lsmod-output.txt
This will create a text file that can be read or uploaded.

- Is there a setting in BIOS to choose which video card to use (or disable on-board)?

- Also, as hanumizzle suggested, editing xorg.conf to use vesa, should get you a working X. In this case, the driver specified is probably "nvidia", not "nv". In detail:
mcedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Scroll down to find
Section "Device"
with something like this:
    Identifier     "Card0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "nVidia Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 6800"
EndSection

Change the "nvidia" to "vesa"
Hit F2 to save, then F10 to exit, and run startx

-- To share some of my experiences: I did a lot of experimenting with ATI/nV cards, switching between them and drivers, and running into similar problems. Looks like there is a way to bork the system by doing this. On several occasions I found that a re-install solved my problems. I know that's kind of drastic, but for me that was the easy way out, as I don't have that deep knowledge needed to fix everything with those magic commands and switches that real geeks know. If you don't have an install disk and can't download and burn one, searching the net and asking questions is a good approach. We all learn from these exchanges.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2007, 06:50:42 am by nightflier »

reb

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2007, 06:44:44 am »
Hi all,

The release is VL 5.8 SOHO final ver.  No error mesgs.  Since Madtux didn't send a program disk with the box, last night I downloaded the program to this ms-win box and I can burn it to disk if I need to reinstall.  I would prefer not to, because I would like to learn a fix for this type of situation.  Time is not so much of an essence as the chance to learn more of linux. 

Oh, one thing more that might help you is, while loading the driver, I got the mesg that the install couldn't find something in the kernel that the driver needed, and went on to say "should I (the install, not me) make an attempt to update the kernel"  Naturally I clicked on "yes".  after some activity it came back and with the info that "it had successfully added, or changed what ever it was that was needed.  Any compiling of the kernel is still a dark mystery to me. That is another little project I have in mind to accomplish before too long.

I'm sure there is more info that would be helpful, but I'm at a loss, right now, to inform you as to what it might be. ???  Just ask and I'll do my best to answer.

reb
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Nothing is right or wrong, good or bad, only thinking makes it so.  Think about it.
Running a Vector Linux VL3300 with 1 SATA 80GB HDD and 1GB DDR 400 ram, DVD+-RW , and VL 5.9 Delux

uelsk8s

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2007, 06:48:03 am »
1) make sure the onboard video is turned off in the bios if its possible to do so.
2) boot to runlevel 2 (text mode) and login as root and run "vxconf" if that returns without error then type startx

let us know if video works or not after that

nightflier

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2007, 06:55:36 am »
Installer missing something.. could it be kernel sources?

If you get some kind of X-windows working, open gslapt, hit the Update button, then search for "kernel-src"

reb

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2007, 06:56:45 am »
Yes, nightflyer, there is the option for going from 'internal' to 'extenal', and I made these changes each time  it was appropriate when rebooting. Good thought though.

reb
Ye Ole Montana Saddle Tramp
Nothing is right or wrong, good or bad, only thinking makes it so.  Think about it.
Running a Vector Linux VL3300 with 1 SATA 80GB HDD and 1GB DDR 400 ram, DVD+-RW , and VL 5.9 Delux

exeterdad

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2007, 06:59:12 am »
The message you received is nothing to be concerned about Mr. reb.  The nvidia driver has a few precompiled kernel modules for a couple of the mainstream Linux distros.  Ours is not one of them.  So since it can't find one, it asks if you would like it to compile one for you.  The successfully installed message is a good thing.  That means you now have a freshly compiled kernel module (driver) that matches your running kernel.

But thanks for the info  ;)

When trying to boot into GUI mode, it fails.  Does it flash, flicker and return you to a text mode screen?  If so, is there any text messages on the screen you can see?  Or is just black?  And does your monitor remain on when you try this?  I've run into incorrect refresh rates that will cause the monitor to turn itself off to protect itself.

It's very likely a simple text edit to the xorg.conf (like hanumizzle said) is all we need to get you rocking.  But I wouldn't go for the generic vesa support.  It's not going to make you happy.  It will get you going.  But the performance is nowhere near what that card is capable of.

exeterdad

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2007, 07:00:17 am »
Wow things got busy while I was typing  ;)

rbistolfi

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2007, 07:01:24 am »
You need the kernel sources in order to compile the nvidia drivers. IIRC, 5.8 Soho ships 2.6.20 kernel. You should check if you have a dir named /usr/src/linux-2.6.20 or a similar version number. My suggest is login in tui mode as root, and backup your current xorg, and use the vesa one instead to login in gui mode so you can easily access your files for posting here.
That would be:

Code: [Select]
# cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak
# cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf-vesa /etc/X11/xorg.conf
# exit
# startx

That should put you in gui mode. Then you could post the hole xorg.conf.bak or the output of

ls /usr/src

and

cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak|grep nv

HTH

LOL nightflier and exeterdad beat me, I really hate that red warning! I will have to learn to type :(
LOL again, everybody is here. I will go to do something else :D
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nightflier

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2007, 07:06:50 am »
Community in action  ;D  The switch to vesa is not intended as a permanent fix, only to get X working so he can post to forum.

Brainstorming some more: When adding the new card, this will change physical the address of the video card (something like PCI 01:00.0). There may even be two cards detected now, xorg.conf could be pointing to the wrong card. That's why it's so important to see the content of the file.

reb

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Re: Installing Nvidia video driver
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2007, 07:11:41 am »
Hi uelsks8 thanks for joining the crowd  ;)

I know only that I can boot to a linux command line what ever run level that is. Do type init 2 at the pormpt? to get to run level 2?
Ye Ole Montana Saddle Tramp
Nothing is right or wrong, good or bad, only thinking makes it so.  Think about it.
Running a Vector Linux VL3300 with 1 SATA 80GB HDD and 1GB DDR 400 ram, DVD+-RW , and VL 5.9 Delux