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D_Runner
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  • Register:12/15/2008 12:30 AM

Date Posted:05/30/2014 1:15 AMCopy HTML

I recently installed Xubuntu 14.04 LTS on a Dell Inspiron 531 (AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+, 2 GB RAM, 300 GB Samsung HDD and Nvidia GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 graphics) which had a corrupted Vista SP2 install on it. I tried Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Linux Mint 16 MATE /64 and /32, Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon /64 and /32 prior to attempting Xubuntu 14.04 LTS to no avail... installer crashes, partitioner crashes, etc. Anyway, only Xubuntu would install on this machine. The first thing that showed up afterwards was that upon opening Firefox the image on the screen would freeze, then scramble into fine zigzag lines. No way to recover other than hold in the power button and then restart. Almost every time I opened FF this would happen. It also happened with Chromium, Epiphany, and Midori browsers. Usually other applications could be opened without crashing Xorg, but even so the system would occasionally lock up and then scramble the desktop into a mess of zig zag lines. Tinkered with it for several hours with no resolution.

I was beginning to wonder if the graphics card was bad when I stumbled onto a report of the same issue I was reporting -- a Xorg freeze on opening Firefox. According to the user, the only thing that resolved the situation was replacing the xorg-nvidia-nouveau driver with Nvidia legacy binary driver 304.117 from the nvidia-304 package available through Canonical Partner repositories. Getting it was simple -- just open Additional Drivers in Settings and then check the Canonical Partners software source. This automatically adds the required Apt line to the package manager, ensuring the correct driver can easily be located by the system after it reloads the sources list and fetches the repository database. When it is found, it will be recommended in place of the xorg-nvidia-nouveau driver. Check the new driver and Apply to allow the system to download, install, and start using the new driver after a restart.

After switching over to the Nvidia binary, no more Xorg lockups and scrambled video occurred. I am posting this new topic from the machine, since I am determined to use it a while to make sure it all works correctly. I will not accept an updated open source Nouveau Nvidia driver until I see the documentation that it will work. The Open Source Nvidia drivers usually work OK, but when one of them doesn't a binary is usually the only workable solution.

This machine has a lot of Nvidia stuff in it -- graphics, sound, SMBus, memory controller, PCI bridge, USB, IDE and SATA controllers; networking controller, PCIe bridge.

I hope no one else runs into this issue... whew!

DR
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  • Register:12/16/2008 7:38 PM

Re:Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Xorg-Nvidia-Nouveau Driver Issue

Date Posted:05/30/2014 3:45 PMCopy HTML

 # 1 Hard drive I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on an Compaq Presario SR1902HM  then worked my way up to 14.04 still don't like it, to much to learn !
# 2 hard drive  put XP on it working. I am thinking  know that the motherboard is not bad.
#3 hard drive put Vista on it not working! BSOD, tried just about everything that I could find about BSOD the hard drive is good Dawson
D_Runner Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #2
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Re:Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Xorg-Nvidia-Nouveau Driver Issue

Date Posted:05/30/2014 11:38 PMCopy HTML

Owww... looks like something's wrong with the board -- 95% of the skin isn't loading. Haven't been able to connect for several hours and had trouble signing in to reply. Oh well, maybe it'll get straightened out a bit later on...

Your situation with Vista is typical of the kinds of blowups I've seen with it. It's most likely an interaction between the Vista bootloader and the hard drive firmware. I think this is actually the root of all the crazy problems I had trying to dual boot this danged Inspiron, in that the firmware was glitching the write to the files the loader needs to access on the next startup. The same kind of firmware glitches were also likely causing the partitioner and installer crashes that I had. The only cure was to erase all partitions and low level format the entire drive, then and only then install something (in my case this was Xubuntu). The Vista bootloader has caused no end of troubles to Linux enthusiasts the world over, since you generally can't replace it with GRUB and get the Vista partition to boot after setting up the dual boot environment -- you have to retain the Vista bootloader and edit it to point to both the Vista and Linux partitions. I don't think you can use LILO either, but it's sort of a stripped down loader compared to GRUB.

With regards to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, I think it's a good system under the hood but in my opinion they need to get rid of Unity and go back to a more traditional desktop shell. I replaced Unity with XFCE on the first Ubuntu I experimented with after they came out with Unity, and even though I can use it OK I am still firmly in the menu camp as opposed to the docked launcher camp. It's OK for smartphones, but for a Linux power user it's a mess. Ditto for Windows 8/8.1 and Metro.

I generally recommend Linux Mint, Xubuntu or Lubuntu for the average user now. Mint comes with KDE, MATE, and Cinnamon now, while Xubuntu uses XFCE and Lubuntu LXDE. Anything but Unity -- even Fluxbox is better than it is to me. 

DR
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