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Ubuntu 11.04 Install issue

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September 20, 2011 2:34:09 PM

So the last few days I was tinkering with Ubuntu and Mythbuntu in a Virtual machine (on my Windows 7 machine) and I decided to go ahead and install it on a spare hard drive that I had laying around. My ultimate goal is to run MythTV.

When I went to install it, I ran into the crazy screen in the image. The machine boots, you see the initial Ubuntu screen while the disk is loading. Then at the point where you should see the screen where you select to try or install Ubuntu, I get this screen (crappy pic alert!):



The same thing happened with both the Ubuntu image and Mythbuntu image. I've used Linux in the past and it seems that this happened before though I'm not sure what I might have done to get around it (or if I did at all). The only common piece of hardware between then and now is my graphics card, which I suppose would make sense considering the what happens on the screen.

Anyone have any thoughts?

More about : ubuntu install issue

September 20, 2011 2:55:57 PM

What video card is in this system?
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September 20, 2011 3:36:51 PM

My system specs are up to date under my "member configuration". (Edit: just updated the amount of RAM)

It's an EVGA 7800GT (NVIDIA)
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September 20, 2011 3:48:33 PM

I don't really see a way that it's not video card related, I'm just not sure what I'm going to do about it.

I have most of the parts to put together a MythTV box, just not everything at this point. I will probably get a new graphics card with HDMI and a HTPC case with a new power supply. My goal was to test this on my current rig and see if I could get it to work before investing more money in hardware. I didn't want to buy a bunch of new stuff only to waste it because I either couldn't get it to work or didn't like it (if that makes sense).
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September 20, 2011 6:50:56 PM

After booting the LiveCD, can you switch to a terminal via [ctrl]+[alt]+[F1]?

If so, can you find the most recent /var/log/Xorg.#.log(.old) file (let's assume it's /var/log/Xorg.0.log) and see if something interesting comes back from running the command
  1. grep -E "\((EE|WW)\)" /var/log/Xorg.0.log
That may point us to the issue

Even if it doesn't really point us to something obvious, there are plenty of ways to skin that cat, we can walk you through a few things to get an accelerated X running
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September 20, 2011 7:06:28 PM

I'll see what I can do. If I have to wait until the Ubuntu loading screen is gone I think I'm gonna be screwed but I'll try it. It happens right where I should get the screen to select install or try it (which I assume is live).
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September 20, 2011 9:50:32 PM

That is correct, you want to wait until it would have loaded completely before trying to check the logs (which would be where it asks you to try or to install)
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September 21, 2011 12:40:50 AM

So I tried CTRL+ALT+F1 once the screen went silly and it doesn't respond. It must be frozen at that point.

So for fun I rebooted and tried the same commands during the loading screen. For a while there was just a blinking cursor (which I'm guessing is normal). Eventually two lines of text appeared (like something was loading) but they were hard to read. They were scrambled looking (similar look to my screenshot). I could make out the second line though, "Loading Bluetooth". Then it goes silly like my screenshot.
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September 21, 2011 12:44:42 AM

:( 

http://blog.markfeeney.com/2009/12/ubuntu-910-and-geforce-7800-gt.html


Signed up for the Ubuntu forum and found the following stuff. I'm working on trying this, but the screen is unreadable.

Quote:

Hey all, I've noticed that there seems to be a problem with people who own Nvidia GeForce 7800GTs, so in case someone has problems and can't find a solition--I had to patch this help together by myself, so anyone with more experience with ubuntu, please feel free to add anything:

So I did some browsing around and I found the solution (that worked for me, anyway). Apparently it's a problem with the graphics card. The 7800 has some incompatibility with the basic nvidia driver that comes on the CD. Thus, to boot from the live CD...

- press F6 at the first menu screen.
- delete "quiet-splash" and replace it with break=bottom
- Start the live CD, let stuff run and load, and then when the prompt appears, type

Code:

chroot /root nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

- scroll down to one of the sections entitled "Device" that has your graphics card listed. Below it should be "Driver" and next to it "nv". This is the default nvidia driver on the Live CD, but apparently it has problems with our precious 7800 GTs. Replace "nv" with "vesa"

-then hit control + O
-hit enter
-and hit control + X

- at the prompt, type:

Code:

exit

The live CD should work now.

You might also run into the same problem after you've installed Ubuntu, and thus...

After you've installed ubuntu, the log-in screen will appear scrambled. Hit control alt F1. If this gives you a scrambled screen as well, reboot and select "Recovery Mode" from the bootloader.

Log in from the bootloader terminal then type:

Code:

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

This is, essentially, the same thing you browsed before, so scroll down to the nvidia device and change the "nv" to "vesa" again. control + O, enter, and control + X to exit.

At the prompt, type:

Code:

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

Now you'll log in with the vesa drivers, but since they kinda suck and will give you a big performance hit, you'll want to go ahead and install an nvidia driver.

http://doc.gwos.org/index.php/Latest_Nvidia_Edgy

There's also a program called envy which installs everything for you, found here.

At the original time that I posed this, there was some security hole in the nvidia drivers, however they've since (i.e. today) released new ones, which I'm HOPING have fixed this hole. I'm not sure if envy fixes it for you or not but to fix it bring up a terminal and type

Code:

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Once again, go to the device section and, above the line that says "nvidia" add this line:

Code:

Option "RenderAccel" "false"

Then log out and press control-alt-backspace. Apparently there's a slight performance hit but I guess it's better than a security hole. Not sure what exactly what it (the security hole) is.

And I'm not one to steal the credit, so I got some of this from this guy (http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthre...57#post1680357). I patched together the rest of the stuff in here though (mainly by looking at peoples' problems with the ATI X800 series and tinkering around).

Hope it works.
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September 21, 2011 4:48:12 AM

At this point, it seems like it's a default Xorg config issue, so I would suggest trying the alternate installer (doesn't use X when doing the install, but installs the stuff needed for X in a way that you can edit via changing the boot options)
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September 21, 2011 6:00:19 AM

So I'm downloading the "alternate install" Ubuntu now. Thanks for the advice. I'll try it out and let you know how it goes (or if I run into stuff that I don't understand).

If worst comes to worst, would it make any difference using a different distribution? I also downloaded Fedora's MythTV distro (MythDora). Either way, I'll give this alternate install Ubuntu a try.
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September 21, 2011 5:28:02 PM

So just an update, this morning I ran the alternate install Ubuntu. I got it to the point that it was installing then went to do some stuff before I took off to work (while it was installing). I came back and it was frozen with a blank purple screen (nothing like what I saw before). Not sure what happened at this point. When I get home I'm going to run it again and actually watch it. I can't let it win.

For fun Just before I walked out the door I threw in MythDora and ran that install process. They have two install options (which I'm guessing is similar to Ubuntu with their alternate install): Install MythDora and Install with basic video driver. I ran the basic one and the process looked like it was working. I'll see if it made it when I get home.
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September 22, 2011 1:23:38 AM

Huh, that is really odd, I haven't seen Linux of any sort behave like that (save once when it had a faulty device that was locking up the PCI bus, but I only knew that was happening because of the logs I read on the subsequent reboot)

Good call on just trying a new distro to try to divide-and-conquer the problem. Let us know what you see
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September 22, 2011 1:32:26 AM

I have MythDora installed right now and am configuring it. So far so good. I may stick with it.
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!