I’ve been having all kinds of video issues since I purchased my new hardware, the strangest is with the video card… Worst part is that I don’t have time to deal with this right now, I have a baby on the way (as in less than 15 days, and need everything working!).
Part of my new hardware purchase was an XFX Radeon 6850 cooler, quieter, lower power usage, and 20% performance increase, an upgrade from my XFX Radeon 4890 monster. I first installed windows 7 with my new hardware and had lots of problems. After I gave up on that, I moved to Linux (I used windows 7 first, because Ubuntu 11.10 was due out in 7 days and I did not feel like spending a week setting up my computer, just to upgrade it) and decided that I have always liked XFCE and LXDE as my default window manager in other linux distros and so I would give them a shot now. I downloaded the Beta 2 release of both versions of Ubuntu and tested them via the live CD. I decided on LXDE as my WM of choice and went with it. 13 or so days later I went to download LUbuntu.
Well, to start it was not available at 5am on the release day (eastern time, GMT -5), nor was it available at 11am. so I stopped checking and just decided to wait until later. about 7pm I decided to check again, and Ubuntu 11.10 was available, and after hunting repositories, and it took 5 or 6, I finally found LUbuntu 11.10 non-beta on one of them. I of course chose the torrent file, and while it was still a bit slow (I’ve seen downloads on my computer hit 1.84Mb/s and this even via torrent was crawling along at 287Kb/s) it was going along well enough. I also started Kubuntu at the same time as you never know, and I used KUbuntu for years before I switched from Windows.
The installation went fine, other than the fact that my network adapter was not working (I expected this from the live CD and was prepared with a driver from the chipset vendor. After installation I put the NIC driver on the system, still no internet… I did a lot of searching and spent several hours trying to get the internal adapter working, no dice (even found other users who had the same motherboard and were not having issues after downloading the driver…) finally I got tired of it, I have not had a completely working computer in almost 2 weeks, and work (personal work) was starting to back up to enormous quantities and you could no longer see the top of my desk! So, I grabbed an old 1GB NiC out of the closet in my box ‘o parts, and slapped it in the computer, rebooted, disabled the on-board NiC and boom everything worked. (just a note, I did have the exact same issues in Windows, except the MB CD has Win7 drivers, and they worked). I downloaded the new AMD Radeon drivers and they installed fine, had my two monitors running, even got VMWare workstation working with only 2-3 days worth of research and troubleshooting.
Now I was happily installing my applications and setting everything up, that is when I noticed the lack of GUI system settings applications. Sure there are plenty out there, but most wanted me to install Gnome2 or nearly all of KDE to get them working. All I wanted was:
- To be able to see in real time the CPU usage of all 6 cores at the same time, with or without a graph.
- To customize my power settings so the monitor stopped cutting off every 15 minutes (I set the default time out to 180, in case I am watching a movie, as not all players stop the screen saver).
- To be able to change alternatives without installing half of Gnome2.
- To have the settings I changed in AMDCCLE actually save! and to be able to use them!
- There were some other things, but I can’t think of them now, I’ll add them if/when I remember.
I know most of what I want can be done from the command line, and I was doing some of it from there, but some of the things I wanted to make changes to, without using a GUI app, I did not know where all the setting are located, as they are not always in the same directory. (try editing Grub settings if you don’t believe me, they are located in 4 different places!) and I always miss something… So I decided to install KDE over top of LUbuntu, that way I could use LXDE when I wanted to, but I already knew where the settings and plasmoids were that I needed to do the other things I wanted. Not to mention at this point I was going on 3 weeks without a working computer. (as of when I was writing this, it has been 25 days since my new hardware was ordered and I had 2 day shipping on that!). Installation went well, although it missed a few things from just running : sudo apt-get install kde-desktop but I was able to resolve those with a sudo apt-get -f install and all seemed good.
Then about 3 days later something happened. I was working on setting up an application, I cannot remember what, and I was watching a pre-recorded TV show at the same time. suddenly my screen froze, mouse worked, but no response from the Keyboard. Since then I have not had a working display, and that was 6 days ago. Nothing has worked, I’ve even reinstalled KUbuntu from the KUbunutu install disk. I still cannot get my video working, I get video from one screen, a little less than half the time, the rest of the time the desktop fails to load, or I get a blinking blue or flashing white display. I’ve done a LOT trying to get it working, in fact I have not spent less than 6 hours a day trying to get it working, for 6 days! I’ve tried reinstalling LUbuntu, KUbuntu (the installer keeps crashing during partitioning, so I’ve given up on that one), and when I started writing this I was installing Ubuntu, even though I am not a fan of Unity. I’ve even gone so far as to unplug one of my monitors, thinking having two was causing the issues (during every attempt to reinstall the AMD drivers in the last 3 days I have been getting a message “configuration has more monitor than detected” and this was after using the auto configure to setup the configuration…). I’ve followed the sticky display issues during upgrade post on the Ubuntu Forums, not much there of use after spending 4 days googling the issue already. Nothing seems to fix it, not even copying my old, “working” xorg.conf file. part of the problem is that Ubuntu no longer requires an xorg.conf file, part of the problem is that the AMDCCCLE only saves in the home folder of the user who ran it (if you run it with root privileges, which are needed to make changes, it saves it in Root’s home folder!), but Ubuntu uses the file (if it exists) from /etc/X11! no wonder nothing was working… (any settings changes did not take affect when I made them from the GUI, and if I closed the AMDCCLE and relaunched it, they were reset to the defaults; however using the command line worked fine… the first time.).
Right now, with a clean installation (several posters on the Ubuntu forums have reported this resolved their issues, and nothing else), I am giving it a go, I only have 1 monitor connected right now, and still have to get most of my applications working again, but at least I have a desktop running, internet access, video drivers installed, and it has not crashed yet. I have not completely ruled out a crappy (but quite expensive) motherboard. A bit upset, I spent more on the upgrades for my computer, than I spent on my computer (which I built from parts, like always, in my life I’ve only ever bought 1 pre-assembled computer, and that was because my wife wanted it. and it lasted 5 years without upgrades and cost more than twice what I spent building this one, before my new upgrades anyway), and when I bought it everything was top of the line (except the video card and it was not too far down the list) and it almost all worked right away, but i never had any problems like I do now.
So, back to trying to get things running again. I’ll comment on the current status later if all is well, else I’ll post more headaches.
updated Feb 2012
I started having an issue with my computer maybe back in May, where anytime I powered my machine off I had to reconfigure my Bios settings, as my primary Bios had failed, after several months of this I guess I just got tired [...]
updated Feb 2012
I started having an issue with my computer maybe back in May, where anytime I powered my machine off I had to reconfigure my Bios settings, as my primary Bios had failed, after several months of this I guess I just got tired of dealing with it, so I sold my android tablet (yes I did! and no I didn’t own more than one…) and bought a new Gigabyte Ga-990FX`-UD3 motherboard, which right now I am not very happy with, but I’ll get to that later, a new MD PhenomII x6 1090T CPU, a new XFX AMD Radeon 6850 Video Card, and 3 new Seagate 1.5TB HDDs. I have to reimburse myself for the hard drives however, as they were not paid for by selling my tablet. Hopefully selling my old Video Card, Motherboard, and CPU will cover their costs.
I’ve had all kinds of interesting episodes while trying to get this new hardware to work over the last, almost, 3 weeks. the good = back on linux, bye bye Microsoft. The bad=bye bye Google cloud print (kind of), possibility of getting Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking to work (outside of a VM), possibility of getting my digital camera to work by just plugging it in the computer (for now). Here are a list of some of the issues I’ve run into, if they have lengthy resolutions, or attempted resolutions, I’ll link to another post (after I write it!) describing my efforts to get things working.
First up: Microsoft Windows 7 x64 Ultimate edition
- The only thing on the motherboard that works immediately after installation are the CPU, Ram, Keyboard, and Mouse.
- NIC, eSATA, on-board RAID, USB 3.0, none of it worked until after installing the drivers from the MB CD.
- One for the internal SATA ports 0-3.
- One for the internal SATA ports 4 and 5.
- Can only be enabled as RAID when ports 0-3 are also enabled as RAID.
- This seems a little bit backwards to me, as the only way to mirror your boot drive is to enable RAID on all ports… or lose ports 2&3 and mirror on 0&1, then not set RAID on 4&5 giving you only a mirror plus 2 drive slots on the MB. Else you are forced to RAID 0/1 on ports 0-3 and to use 4/5 for your boot mirror.
- One for the eSATA port
- When enabled and nothing is connected, it reports 2 available ports; however when the cable is connected I have gotten 3 drives (out of 4) in my external drive caddy to show up.
- It found the missing driver and also told me about 6 others were either out of date or had the wrong drivers installed. of the ones it wanted me to update, only one was free, the others were available after paying a $29.99 annual fee.
- The first link took me to the Gigabyte home page for the MB but did not list any driver that was not also included on the CD.
- The second link took me to a driver website download page for an Nvidia driver package!
- Well I gave it a shot, and sure enough it recognized the device and installed the driver, from an Nvidia driver package on my AMD chipset MB.
- After moving all my data around so I could setup a RAID5 5 drive array of 1.5TB drives, I had to undo it all and move data around to use them as normal disks, so I could disable the Marvell RAID in the BIOS (internal SATA ports 0-5) to prevent windows from loading the driver (which was the newest version from their website).
- This did indeed stop the BSOD for that DLL.
- I have not yet figured this one out, Gigabyte support wants me to disconnect all USB devices to test… (no mention of how I am to connect my KB or mouse) fyi no issues with the USB devices when my old MB was in the case, and no issue with the USB devices when booted to a linux live CD, nor any issues with random power offs at all, now that I am booting to Ubuntu 11.10 x64.
- What this means is if you are trying to get into the RAID BIOS controller setup, or the “change boot device” menu, or to get the GRUB menu to show up when hidden, or to start windows in safe mode, and you do not press the key/key combination one time at the exact time necessary, the system will hang and you cannot get in to that boot submenu
- It often takes me 10-30 boot attempts to get into what ever submenu I need to change the configuration.
Next up: Ubuntu 11.10 x64
- The network adapter will not work. I’ve tried many suggestions from forums, even downloaded the Realtek 8111e driver direct from realtek. It will not connect to anything (you may need to blacklist the wrong drivers, there are some 8 different models included in the linux driver package download).
- Current resolution, I installed a GB NIC PCI card, works great.
- Any changes to the AMDCCLE configuration disappears after closing the interface. even if I open it right back up, the settings are back the way they were. Help with manually configuring AMDCCCLE
- Any time I restart the computer it hangs after “checking battery state [ok]“.
- This is when it loads the graphical settings to launch X.
- As a note, I have a dual monitor setup, both on the two DVI ports; however because one DVI port is a DVI-d I have to have my right monitor connected as monitor0 and my left one connected as monitor1 (this makes things backwards, moving the mouse to the right puts it on the left screen and vice versa, unless you specify it in the configuration.
- Current resolution for this problem (short incomplete version):
- Reboot into Ubuntu recovery mode from GRUB (good luck!).
- Mount/remount all devices and read/write.
- Then press enter to exit that screen.
- Because the onboard NIC does not work, there is no point in selecting root command prompt with networking, as it won’t enable the PCI NIC.
apt-get purge -qq --no-download fglrx* xserver-xorg-video-ati xserver-xorg-video-radeon
- learn more about the xorg.conf settings
- Hopefully you have manually created the deb packages for your ati drivers, if not, you can reboot now and use the default drivers for xorg to download the drivers and put them in the /root/amd6xxx directory on your system (you will need to create the amd6xxx directory under /root). you may need to install two things before going back into the root recovery mode
sudo apt-get install execstack modaliases
those are required for the new AMD drivers, then follow these instructions after booting back in to the recovery mode root command prompt after remounting devices as read/write, instructions above.
- You either already had the files, or you just created them (only follow the creating .deb files section), so we can move on to install the AMD drivers for the Radeon 6xxx series card.
- This should run without much of an issue, might be a couple of mini errors (file not found, skipping), but nothing to prevent the installation from finishing.
- And to finish up:
- I am not 100% sure the “effective=startup” part is necessary or even works.
- You can now reboot and cross your fingers.
- I have to do this every time I restart my system, and sometimes it does not work and I have to do it 2-5 times before I can get back in. (no longer, with the new 12.1 drivers I have not been having this issue)
- There are also times when I boot and get 1 flickering screen and one working screen (both tinted like my background image).
- There are also times when I get one flickering screen and the other not, but both are nearly all white. Pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL initiates a reboot, so I know Ubuntu booted at least.
- There are some times when I get cloned displays in 1024×768 resolution (not my default or preferred).
./ati-driver-installer-11-9-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/oneiric
dpkg -i *.deb
aticonfig --initial=dual-head --screen-layout=right --xinerama=on --effective=startup --input=/etc/X11/xorg.conf
Any attempt at a total and complete resolution is still a work in progress…
(missed this post somehow, been in draft for a while…)
well, I am still not getting any formatting on my blog posts, still have no idea what is causing it, but I am severely PO’d about it. I’ll start posting again and just pretend it’s a non-issue for [...]
(missed this post somehow, been in draft for a while…)
well, I am still not getting any formatting on my blog posts, still have no idea what is causing it, but I am severely PO’d about it. I’ll start posting again and just pretend it’s a non-issue for now… I have been working on some of my PC issues and resolved a couple, I found that IF I set my SPU to specifics in the BIOS they are forced on the system after boot (auto-disables AMD’s Cool ‘n Quiet features) so this is not good. Next I learned that if I up my voltage on the NB to 1.25V I can run my on-board GPU at the card’s default standard speed of 700MHz (by default my MB was setting it to 497MHz, or 500MHz equivalent based on multipliers), so that is really good news, upped my windows 7 performance score by .2 (just a shame I do not run Win7 by default, which leads me to my next point…) If I want to overclock my CPU any, I have to do it from within the OS so as to keep AMD CnQ enabled, well… AMD OverDrive is a Windows exclusive app, so I will have to search for a way to do it in Linux without the 1st party app. I have also semi-resolved my random power offs (due to “overheating”) by disabling my ACPI system auto-shutdown feature, I now keep a temp monitor open on my desktop at all times (looking for a linux/KDE plasmoid that will display individual core temps, the default KDE plasmoid for system temp only shows the temp sensor that is on the cooling fan “on top of” the heatsink for the CPU. AMD OD shows the internal individual core temps… but my system is not going over 57C even after I overclocked it 800MHz to 3.997GHz (but I dropped it back to 3.795GHZ to be safe since my auto-shutdown is disabled). I was also able to boost my Hyper-Transport from 200MHz to 220MHz with no issues while playing DDO for 2.5 hours, but later while surfing the internet my PC crashed… So I dropped it down to 205MHz and it is stable (again only when booted into Win7) and have had no further issues, sitting pretty at 38C-47C per core. I have been using KUbuntu 10.04 for software and hardware compatibility issues while I wait for Fedora 13 to launch next week, so you may notice several Ubuntu 10.04 based posts here for a bit. I will try and post my experiences setting up KUbuntu some time this week, I took notes, but did not write it up yet.
Let me start off by saying, “What a Mess!” About 2.5 weeks ago (probably 3 by the time I post this!) I bought an HP Deskjet 2050 printer at Walmart, it was cheap, had a flatbed scanner, came with “full” ink cartridges, and only a USB connection option. It was $49.00, $20 more than the printer that looked identical, but was not a flatbed scanner. I thought that HP of all companies would have linux support, even for newer model printers, oh there is support for it… If you can find it. (I’ll be putting up a separate post with plenty of links and re-written documentation for installing this and other HP printers in Ubuntu in the next week or two, kinda busy this weekend, so doubt it will get done before next week)
First thing I did was to go to HP’s website and download a driver, I wasn’t even going to fool with the included CD (actually not sure it even had one). I found it within a minute or two, all seemed good. Installed the driver and plugged the printer in, everything went fine. I believe I even printed something that day just clicked print and it spit right out! Well, next to happen was my wife is using my ChromeOS CR-48 netbook and wanted to print something, so I went to look into setting up Google Cloud Print. I figured, yeah cloud print, that should work… Google has two operating systems in their pockets and both are linux based, piece of cake to use cloud print with linux, right? wrong…
Google Cloud Print requires a Windows computer running the beta Google Chrome browser (or a Mac, but why would you want to use a Mac?) (an fyi, the Linux Chrome Browser only comes in Beta!), a bit confused and disappointed (happens a lot with Google these days), I thought, oh well, good thing I have 5 or 6 Windows Virtual Machines setup already! I popped onto a Win7 VM and setup Google Cloud Print and told my wife “Good to Go!” only took me 30-45 minutes to figure all that out and set it up (I forgot to share it with her gmail ID the first go round!).
Success! it printed!
I love first try attempts that work out great!
So next I had to fill out some paperwork for work and email it back, so I printed the pages that needed signing and filled them out, then tried scan them back in… the scanner would not scan (using simple scan) unless I unplugged the USB cable for 10 seconds or so, then plugged it back in… (more on that at the end of this post, I have a theory). Well after 3-5 pages of this over 1-2 hours, out of about 12 pages, popping the USB cable out stopped working. I wasn’t sure why it needed it in the first place, I had checked to make sure the printer was not attached to a VM at the time… So instead I tried setting it up to scan off the Win7 VM I was using for Cloud Printing (just a note, this was all happening maybe 4 days after the cloud print setup), the scanning application from HP worked fine until I was done. Weird though, again if I did not use the printer for an hour or two, or the VM was paused, or the screen saver came on, I had to unplug the USB cable again…
ok, so history done, up to my issue that started last night…
Actually the issue started on Saturday, but I was pre-occupied and didn’t really try too hard to get it resolved. My wife sent something to the printer from the netbook, I started up the VM for the Win7 Cloud Print, and it never printed. The first document just says “In Progress” and the date submitted was showing 3 days ago when I deleted it. I’ve powered off the Printer for 30+ minutes, I’ve rebooted my computer 4 times, leaving it powered off for about 8 hours once, popped the USB cable, nothing worked. I tried printing locally from Ubuntu and still nothing comes out, just says “Processing”. I did some digging online and found some “directions” for setting up the printer in linux, most of which was on HP’s website, and I never did any of it, including downloading the driver source files and doing a Build, Make, Install on them. So I started following the directions (did not build the driver, it seems to be installed and functioning, as Ubuntu can tell if it is plugged in or not and shows the correct device name), and found a huge list of dependencies that it says to install, I tried it and sure enough I did not have most of it installed on my system yet. About 78MB worth to be specific. I let it run, and noticed a new kernel was available, so I updated that while I was at it… 3 reboots later (not necessary, just kept trying to get things working) and I have no change in the current situation.
So, right now I have no working printer at all, not even scanning is working. It shows it is online, I have enabled it, shared it, allowed internet printing on it (none of which I did when I installed it, only did that after it stopped working).
Now, I’ve had some time to think about it, and I have been having USB issues with Ubuntu the entire time I’ve been running it. My USB webcam and Skype have fighting matches everytime I reboot my system, it never detects and adds the webcam as a valid hardware device, I have to manually configure the microphone each restart, and the video sometimes requires I unplug the webcam and then plug it back in and restart Skype. Other USB devices (I have a USB wireless headset and KB, external drives, my android phone), have all had issues that has required me to restart the computer or plug and unplug the device over and over several times.
This made me think I should run “lsusb -v” on my system to take a look at the devices that the system thinks I have. Well the command does nothing, it just hangs and never runs or finishes running, I have to kill the process AND the terminal window process to get it to stop. I missed this in the printer issue above, but I tried running the hp-setup app that came with the driver and it hangs on detecting the printer when I select USB as the connection type, as well.
So I have determined that the issue is with my Ubuntu installation and the USB service (this occurred to me actually right before I started typing this up). I have not yet started looking into the USB issue and will be doing so tonight. I’ll post a second post instead of updating this one with any results I find out, or if I nuke and reinstall… as a note if I do reinstall, it will not be Ubuntu 11. Also planning on typing up a how to properly install an HP printer on Ubuntu 10.10 x64 guide too.