Need a Guru

Hi all,

So if you allow people to screw with the OS, they will break it, and I did.

I installed Ubuntu 10.04 32 bit on an intel dual core 2.9 Ghz with 8GB ram and 2TB disk. It was running great, and I set about customizing the desktop and installing apps. 4 days later, I was very happy with the entire setup.

I noticed that there was a proprietary driver available for my graphics board. So I had the suggested driver downloaded and installed.

A reboot later, and my monitor says it doesn't support the input frequencies, and there is no desktop display after I log in. The login runs, the desktop does not.

So, just because my video board supports something like 3k x 2k resolution, why does that have to be the default display resolution?

I can run the live CD and mount the disk File Sys, but can't find where to set the default resolution for my desktop. I have a Samsung 37" flat screen LCD TV for a primary monitor, as well as 3 models of Viewsonic 19" flat screen monitors. None can display what the video board is cranking out. (The Samsung makes an awesome monitor!)

Xorg.conf is not the file to edit. I can't find the video driver to delete, and I can't get the OS to boot with a usable GUI display. I can't seem to boot to a command line either.

Solutions could include: How to boot to a command line and not a GUI desktop (maybe something like windows "safe" mode.) What file to edit to set the default display resolution to something more sane, or possibly something I have not considered yet.

I have researched this in 4 separate Ubuntu books, but none of them seem to talk about this topic at the depth I need or suggest ways to recover.

Setting the display resolution in a live boot distro does not appear to touch the OS on the hard drive (no surprise), so I need to hand edit something on the HD.

Please point me to the proper file to edit to get my GUI back.

My fallback position is to wipe the hard drive and re-install at the cost of a week or so in total setup time. I have 370GB of MP3 files it takes the better part of a day to load. 2TB is a great disk size until: You need to back it up; you need to check the file system; you need to re-install an OS.

I also don't know why I can't just "upgrade" back to the original 10.04 install from the live CD. It is not an option though. It will install a 2nd copy alongside the 1st (not really useful to me), and it will delete everything and set it all up fresh and new. I would like to keep my partitioning and simply re-install the OS, hopefully retaining my installed applications. Using "custom" partitioning does not seem to pick up the "root" partition. I can't seem to re-install to the existing partition scheme.

If this is not enough I have recently purchased a Palint GTX460 2GB video board. The default power on resolution (sans driver) is not fine enough (640x480) to allow me to access the administrative "get proprietary driver" menu. I could delete most of the icons in the top toolbar to get access to the system drop down menu. I suppose I could just install a fresh OS copy with this board installed, but I hate to lose all my work to date.

This board is not the one I am currently having problems with, I am just fishing for advice on future problems with the GTX 460 2GB.

Clearly I need a crash course in configuring X11 from the command line.

Any help / advice is much appreciated. Email me is fine.


Oki Doki

Oki Doki, which board are you using that is having the trouble? Sorry if I missed that but it didn't seem you said.

If you are using an nvidia board, doing "sudo apt-get purge nvidia-current && sudo apt-get autoremove" will remove the nvidia drivers, and if Xorg is not set back to Noveau by default, Xorg.conf is the place for this.

However, if you want a crash course on X config from the command line, the Arch Linux Beginners Guide is rather great for that.

if you do happen to need anything, apt-get instead of pacman ofc. Otherwise, that is a great resource for learning how to configure X.

I hope this all helps :) Feel free to email me with anything aswell.

Grephics Board

Oki Doki,

I did not mention the graphics board, because I didn't think it had much
relevance to the problem. I have a configuration issue, not a hardware issue. The board was working great! Anyway, it is a GEForce 6200 LE Rev 1.0 with 128 MB ram. The driver downloader in Ubuntu correctly identified the board and recommended a proprietary driver to download and install. That's when things started going south.

Thanks for the feedback!

Problem fixed

The solution that worked for me was to rob an MSI 8200 graphics board from another system. The driver didn't match, so it came up in 640x480 resolution. I bumped it up to 1900 x whatever and away we go. The 8200 is a better board anyway. The tool says I am using an Nvidia driver, so I may have the best of all worlds. Right now I am afraid to touch the settings.

Excellent, well it is good to

Excellent, well it is good to hear you are running again. Ok, the tool will probably say the nvidia driver is still installed, that's no big deal, it will not use what it doesn't need. You should be able to safely remove this driver, but there is no real need.

As for the nvidia board however, I would say the problem has come in from using too new a driver, unfortunately they dropped support for the older boards in the newer drivers. Removing the current driver and going for one of the older ones, should do the trick, if you ever wanted to re-use that board.

Good to hear you are up and running again though.

Safe Computing


Need a Guru

I am not a guru but I did figure out the fix for this problem. Except for running AMD and smaller HD I have the same set up as you and the same problem when installing Ubuntu 10.04 32 bit.

The fix is to not istall Ubuntu first but to run it from the CD. Update all of your drivers etc. as needed. Then click on install now from the desktop. Apparently Ubuntu will use the versions you just downloaded to do the install. I have had no driver issues or other problems since installing this way.

Good Luck,