Ubuntu display fixed

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I finally managed to settle things with my fussy computer. After my fifth reformat, I think I finally managed to sort the problem out. It appears that the NVIDIA drivers were the root of all my problems. After hunting around, I finally found a solution. I downloaded the alternative ISO for Ubuntu 6.10 and installed it in expert mode, but choosing NOT to install ubuntu-desktop. This gave me a kernel but without xserver, which meant no graphical problems yet. THEN, from the command prompt, I installed it, but chose not to start it up just yet. After installation, I ran the setup, bearing in mind the information about my monitor that I wrote down. This was done using:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver_xorg

The configuration itself wasn't difficult. The key points to take note of was my monitor's horizontal and vertical refresh rates as well as the native resolution. Oh, and choosing "Vesa" as the original driver first was the smart thing to do since I hadn't gotten my NVIDIA ones yet.

With this done, I could finally launch xserver with "startx", but it was a disappointing 1024*768 even with all the work done so far. I needed to get new drivers for the display to work properly. Still, at least I could SEE the desktop, and it wasn't a garble of colours running all over the screen.

Using the command line, I successfully downloaded and installed Envy using the following commands. I guess I could've gotten it the easier way by using Firefox, but surfing was a problem because scrolling on the screen took AGES.

wget http://albertomilone.com/ubuntu/nvidia/scripts/envy_0.9.1-0ubuntu3_all.deb

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -f

sudo dpkg -i envy_0.9.1-0ubuntu3_all.deb

Again, some things to take note of. I couldn't execute the last command initially to setup Envy because of dependency issues. I solved it by manually configuring the software repositories using

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

I effectively removed all comments for the required repositories and saved the file. Since I was modifying it anyway, I changed the source to NUS' mirror, which would be a lot faster since I AM on campus. I then updated and did an install -f, which solved my dependency problem. Installation of Envy was a breeze.

After that, I merely followed the setup instructions on Envy's website. After the reboot, things just turned out beautifully!

This experience has taught me a bit more about Linux and how it worked. I'm quite happy I managed to solve it myself, although it's probably not that hard a problem. Hopefully someone else might just benefit from my experience. For the record, my graphics card is a NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT and my monitor is a Samsung SyncMaster 940BW with a native resolution of 1440*900.

Problem solved!

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Posted by Gerald at 3/14/2007 09:43:00 PM