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RE: Video problems during 2.2 install

> On Sat, Jun 03, 2000 at 06:30:59PM -0600, Larry Elmore wrote:
> > I have a 20" fixed-freq monitor that uses a special Permedia2 video
> > card. It works fine except for some DOS games that like > 640x480
> > resolution (like Harpoon 2 -- it doesn't _require_ higher res, but
> > it's a whole _lot_ nicer with it).
> >
> > The Debian 2.2 boot disk apparently displays some graphic of a penguin
> > when it starts up the kernel (so I've been told). All I know is that
> > my monitor goes _dead_ at that point, as dead as if I pulled the cable
> > from the video card. There's disk activity afterwards, and if I put in
> > the root disk after it stops, and press <ENTER>, it appears to load it
> > into RAM. Still no display though, which makes further progress pretty
> > much impossible. Is there any way to turn off this graphic so I can
> > install 2.2?
> Not sure, but I don't think the framebuffer is enabled by default (this
> is what'll load that penguin logo).  Anyway, you can check while doin
> the installation by switching to another VT, login as root and look at
> /etc/lilo.conf.  To enable the framebuffer, it'll have a line like
> 'append="video=vesa:..."'.  If it does have such a line, just remove it
> and rerun lilo.  Otherwise, I'd say the problem is elsewhere.

Can't do that since the display dies as the kernel boots and there are no
VTs available (or the dispay is dead on all VTs, whichever).

Apparently the problem is that the framebuffer is enabled on the boot
floppies. This strikes me as a Dumb Thing To DO since we all want boot
floppies to be compatible with as wide a range of hardware as possible,
right? There are a few of us out there with non-standard equipment. In all
fairness, I'm sure this is a relatively rare problem, though there are FAQs
on getting fixed-freq monitors to work with Linux, so it's not unknown. In
my case, the opportunity to get a 20" monitor (and the special video card
for it) for $200 was too good to pass up, especially since my wife is
visually handicapped and arguably _needs_ it (whereas I just lusted after
it -- now that we have it, we wonder how we ever got along without it
before). I've had _very_ few compatibility problems with it and this was by
far the worst. I am going to report this as a potential "bug" to the
boot-floppy people today.

> > I can open up my machine and remove the PCI video card and disconnect
> > the monitor, borrow a 15" monitor and hook it up to the motherboard's
> > video and install it that way, but if there's a switch to pass to turn
> > off the graphic, I'd much rather do that. I really hope that answer's
> > not in the release or install notes or I'm going to feel really dumb
> > because I've gone over them a couple of time now without seeing any
> > mention of this...
> >
> > The 2.1 disks work on my machine, but absolutely refuse to recognize
> > my UDMA controller and the hard drive on it that I want to put Linux
> > on. I pass the proper parameters (linux ide2=0xfca8,0xfcba
> > ide3=0xfcb0,0xfcbe) and I can see that the kernel finds the drive just
> > fine as it boots (the partition is type Linux and formatted ext2fs).
> > The install program does _not_ see that drive at all, though.
> ?

There's some weird things going on with my BIOS, I guess. I've got an old
AT&T Globalyst pusrchased one week before they dropped out of the PC
business. It's been upgraded to the last available BIOS (as has the UDMA and
CD-RW drive), but there's something strange going on in there.

I eventually ended up borrowing a 15" monitor and got Debian installed using
that, then putting the new video card and 20" monitor back, and I'm now
struggling to get X to work (if you don't pass the right command-line
arguments to XF86Setup, the display dies (and dies for all virtual consoles,

Thanks to all for the informative responses to my question.


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