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3 The dreaded black screen

The Ultimate Guide for the rest of us

3 The dreaded black screen

Postby LeadFingers » Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:07 am

If you're new to Linux and you think "The blue screen of death" has been replaced by a new color,
you're wrong. You now have more options than the on/off switch for the power supply.

The most common causes for "The Dreaded Black Screen" are,
reboot after a new install, or upgrade/update hiding your video drivers.
When this happens, don't start looking for the install disk,
the fix is pretty simple... reconfigure xorg.conf.
If this sounds like I just invented a new language, don't worry, you will soon speak it fluently.

xorg is the thingy that tells your computer what hardware is hooked up to it
and how to use that hardware.
xorg.conf is the configuration file where everything is listed & indexed.
The only thing to write down or remember, is at the bottom. (in red)

This guide was written for 1.7 and previous, it has not yet had the Harty section added

at the first sign of Grub hit "Esc"
this brings you to the Grub screen
select "Recovery Mode" hit Enter
when everything has loaded and you are at the # (command prompt or command line)
Code: Select all
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

(you hit enter after every line of code)
This brings you to the xserver-xorg GUI
your mouse won't work, use the arrows on your keyboard to navigate, the spacebar to select or unselect.

Auto detect video hardware...yes
driver selection... leave it with the default (unless you know a different driver works better)
use the "Tab" to highlight OK and enter
ID your video card... leave it with the default (unless you want a different name)
tab OK enter
Buss ID... leave it with the default
tab OK enter
card buss... leave it with the default
tab OK enter
dedicated memory... leave with the default (usually blank)
unless you have onboard video with shared memory, then enter the memory size
tab OK enter
kernel framebuffer device interface... leave it with the default

________________Keyboard & mouse section___________________________________

autodetect keyboard... leave it with the default (unless you have a special keyboard)
Keyboard layout... leave it with the default (unless you have a special keyboard)
tab OK enter
XKB rule... leave it with the default
tab OK enter
keyboard explanation page... (no choice needed, read & remember your keyboard #)
tab OK enter
keyboard model... leave it with the default (unless choice from last page differs)
tab OK enter
keyboard variant explanation page... (no choice needed, read it only if you are a geek)
keyboard variant... leave blank (unless you're a geek and read the last page)
tab OK enter
keyboard option explanation page... (no choice another geek page)
tab OK enter
keyboard option... leave blank
OK enter
mouse port reference page... (read this if you have a special mouse or a serial mouse)
mouse port... leave it with the default (unless you have a special/serial mouse ttys0)
tab OK enter
mouse protocol... leave it with the default (unless enabling a multibutton mouse)
tab OK enter
emulate 3 button... yes or no
write default files... YES YES YES

________________Monitor section____________________________________________

autodetect monitor... yes
monitor ID... leave it with the default
tab OK enter
monitor resolution... select only the resolutions you KNOW your monitor will support
navigate with arrows, select with spacebar
tab OK enter
monitor explanation page
method for selecting... advanced
tab OK enter
horizontal sync... leave it with the default
tab OK enter
vertical refresh... leave it with the default
tab OK enter
write sync ranges... YES YES YES
color depth... 24
tab OK enter

Now you're back at the command line and xorg has been edited.
your best bet is to type
Code: Select all
reboot now

this will reboot,
if you get to your desktop and everything works like it should, your done.
if not, you can always go back and do it over again. changing settings until it does.
If you still can't get to your desktop,
the first thing to change is either graphics driver or lower your resolution.


did you notice a pattern... leave it with the default
tab OK enter
The only time you have to change anything or write in a value, is when something doesn't work.
Don't worry, the only thing you need to remember is

1) how to start... esc @ Grub... dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
2) write everything to file
3) pick your resolutions carefully
4) how to get out... reboot now
1st Box: Ultimate Edition 2.0 x64/ 1.8 x64
2nd Box: XP (dusty)
3rd Box: Stable Media box Ultimate Edition 1.8 x64 with XBMC

The Oxen are slow but the Earth is patient ~Chuen~
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