NVIDIA black screen in Ubuntu Linux -- software or hardware?
April 8, 2011 5:34 PM Subscribe
I have a Linux laptop with an nvidia graphics card that is giving me headaches. Help me figure out what the deal is!
posted by circular to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I have a Dell Inspiron E1505 Linux laptop with an Nvidia GeForce Go 7300 graphics card in it. Lately I've had real trouble with it when I use the "nvidia" driver (v 173, though switching driver versions doesn't seem to make much of a difference) -- periodic black screens that seem unrecoverable, except that I can still SSH into the laptop, only to find that GDM is using 100% CPU. When I switch to "nv" though, things work fine -- no black screens.
Now, I've managed to make the black screens sort of reduced in frequency. At first, I couldn't even log in -- I'd get to the login screen and it'd immediately turn black. Then I switched the GRUB boot line to say "nomodeset" instead of "quiet splash." After that, I can work for a while, but if I do something that works the card up, like starting Celestia, it seems like it goes black, fast.
I have confirmed that this affects a Puppy Linux install (really just a USB install + save file on the hard disk) on the same laptop as well -- using a separate driver install (still nvidia, but v96) and different xorg.conf. Switching back to "nv" makes the problem go away.
What's my next step to figure out what's going on? How can I verify that this is a hardware problem? How can I tell what the hardware problem is? Like if it's a fan problem, how do I tell? The default Dell diagnostics test passed, but I'm not sure if that included graphics card checkups. Seemed like mostly CPU and RAM.