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Re: crazy screen


firstly, thank you for your messages.

Douglas Tutty wrote:
On Mon, Nov 06, 2006 at 11:53:58AM -0600, Damon L. Chesser wrote:
Jerome BENOIT wrote:

I have just launch a diagnose software provided by Dell:
the video memory seems corrupted (error in writting or reading).
two days ago I plugged my daily updated Etch laptop to an external screen
(in practice a projector) and everything went fine until the shutdown.
But since then my screen is `crazy': at start up, I funny caracter appear everywhere; in console mode the size of the caractere are no more apropriate; in console mode, vertical and horizontal line appear and disappear in different
colours; in gnome session the same happens.
I guess that something was modified and need to be reset,
but I do not know what to do ? May be my screen is dying ?
Do you have access to a live cd like knoppix or ubuntu live? If so, boot into it and that will test your screen. If it works, then what you need to do is reconfigure your xserver/xorg config. One way you can do this is to copy the live cd /etc/X11/xorg.conf into hda/etc/X11/xserverconfig (I forget the exact name for xserver) or hda/etc/X11/xorg.conf then reboot.

I find it doubtful that just running an external screen damaged your video card. Most likely your xorg/xserver config file changed or your fn-F8 is in the wrong position. It is possible your card is damaged though. This test will prove that, one way or another.

It doesn't have to be a live CD, any debian install media will work,
just don't install :~)

I have just tried Knoppix:
I had still the same king of trouble.

Please confirm that that shutdown you did was a real shutdown to power
off not a suspend to disk.

Yes, I did a real shutdown.

Since the projector was presumably not on battery it is possible that
some electrical event fried the video card.

This is indeed a possible:
as the matter of fact, the trouble appeared during my first session
after the show just when I tried to read an usb stick.

Does the screen work when you access the bios?

No !

 If the screen is bad how
could you read an error about corrupted video memory?

It is lisible: there is random horizontal and vertical small lines on my screen:
it looks as some kind of special effect.

Can you boot into single-user or init=/bin/sh? and get plain console?


Does your kernel use plain vanilla vga for console or is it a frame
My favorite question:  what happens if you boot using a serial console
so you can read kernel messages?

I do not have the necessary to give a try.

Do you have another method of getting into this machine other than the
attached keyboard/screen?  Can you ssh into it and examine dmesg and
/var/log/* ?

It is not necessary.

(Yes I've had a laptop, yes the screen died in both, yes from
lightening; once sitting on battery power in a house with a metal roof
the other sitting in a test with metal poles, both hit by lightening).

Good luck.


I am afraid that my video memory was fried .

One more time, thanks,


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