the vanishing console message trick
Hi, everyone -
I'm having a rather odd problem. Following an upgrade a few weeks ago,
my lilo menu, the boot messages, and the shutdown messages all vanished.
There's still a signal coming to the monitor (I can tell because the
monitor hasn't gone into power save), but the screen is blank, like it
looks when the console's screen blanking cuts in.
Here's the sequence:
1. power up or reboot
2. BIOS messages come up
3. Drive search. Brief messages about nothing bootable in CD-ROM or floppy.
4. When the LILO menu would normally appear, the screen goes blank.
5. At this point, I can still control lilo: hit enter, and I get linux,
or cursor-down twice and hit enter and I get Windows.
6. Long pause while black messages scroll past on a black screen. Very
long pause if the kernel decides to fsck a drive.
7. Eventually, KDM fires up normally and I get a graphical login screen.
8. If I then tell KDM to shutdown or reboot, I get back to black
messages on a black screen until the system shuts down the hard drive.
(It's an ACPI motherboard, not an APM one. I'm still trying to get
automatic power-down to work properly.)
Switching LILO from menu to text mode doesn't seem to change the
situation. There is nothing obvious in dmesg or /var/log/messages.
If I boot from the boot floppy, I get readable console messages.
I've been using both aptitude and dselect, but I used aptitude during
the upgrade that seemed to cause the problem. Here's /var/log/aptitude:
Aptitude 0.2.11.1: log report
Mon Dec 9 23:17:01 2002
IMPORTANT: this log only lists intended actions; actions which fail due to
dpkg problems may not be completed.
Will install 10 packages, and remove 0 packages.
1099776 bytes of disk space will be used
[UPGRADE] console-common 0.7.16 -> 0.7.19
[UPGRADE] console-data 1999.08.29-25 -> 1999.08.29dbs-26
[UPGRADE] debconf 1.2.14 -> 1.2.16
[UPGRADE] dpkg 1.10.4 -> 1.10.9
[UPGRADE] dpkg-dev 1.10.4 -> 1.10.9
[UPGRADE] dselect 1.10.4 -> 1.10.9
[UPGRADE] gnome-mime-data 2.0.0-1 -> 2.0.1-1
[UPGRADE] gs 6.53-3 -> 7.05-1
[UPGRADE] libnet-dns-perl 0.23-2 -> 0.30-1
[UPGRADE] mime-support 3.19-1 -> 3.20-1
At this point, I'm at a loss for what could be wrong and how to fix it,
but I'm really getting tired of flying blind. Does anyone have any
 On my monitor, console screen blanking looks different from X's
screen blanking. It's an LCD monitor. When X blanks the screen, it shuts
down the signal to the monitor. In response,the monitor goes into
power-save mode and goes totally black. When the console blanks the
screen, it apparently just changes all the text to black but doesn't
stop sending a valid signal, so the monitor leaves its back-light on.
The result is a charcoal gray monitor that's not in power save. In this
case, the monitor looks like console blanking, not X's blanking.