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New Dell Inspiron 1100, video problems


I just bought a new Dell Inspiron 1100, which according to various sites
is supposed to work fine under X, as long as I have X 4.3.
Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case.

I've all the sites on the Inspiron 1100 at
http://www.linux-laptop.net/dell.html and tried to copy their X config
files, to no avail, plus made several of my own. The basic problem is
that only 1MB of video memory seems to be available, according to X,
fbset, and the BIOS.

I know the i830 driver uses shared mainboard memory, but I can't figure
out how to increase how much is available. I have i810, i830, and
agpgart in my kernel, so if there's any automatic detection and raising
of video memory, I would expect that to happen.

I am, however, getting an error in the i830 driver when I start X:
[dri] i830.o kernel module version is 1.2.0 but version 1.3 or greater is needed

This is with kernel 2.4.22, no patches. Since this is for DRI and not
DRM, I don't think it's the cause of the problem, but it might be.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/linux-dell-laptops/message/13299 indicates
that this is a known problem as far back as 2002.
http://support.intel.com/support/graphics/linux/graphics.htm (linked
from that message) says that I should be able to raise the amount of
legacy video RAM in the BIOS with an upgrade. However, the laptop has
BIOS version A22, which is the latest I can find. It doesn't have an
option to change the video memory. 

http://www.amdforums.com/showthread.php?s=de1c8a3badcb1aba3e7545590bbeef30&threadid=252622 of all places has a question about the motherboard in this laptop, and the same problem as mine; the responses indicate that "Inspiron 1100" might refer to two different laptops, one with the A06 BIOS (allowing video memory changes), and one with the A22 BIOS (which does not). Trying to "upgrade" from A22 to A06 fails, claiming I'm not on mains (I am).

TIA for any help on this problem; unfortunately it looks like it's going
to be a difficult one. :(
Joe Wreschnig <piman@sacredchao.net>

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