Boot Screen is all out of goose.
September 10, 2009 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Trying to install XP and Ubuntu as dual-boot on a Dell Dimension 3100. The first menu, where I select which operating system to load, is off-centre and starts halfway down the screen. Some of the bottom of the menu appears at the top of the screen. Which means some of the options can't be seen. Help!

Example screenshot of the display error (this one during Windows setup)

At the bottom of the operating-system-choice menu screen you can see three different Ubuntu start-up options, but the menu disappears off the bottom before 'XP Home Edition' appears. Through trial and error I've worked out that you have to press the down cursor twice more after the highlighting disappears off the bottom of the screen if you want to select XP. I'm setting this computer up for a not-terribly computer-literate family, though, so that's not really an option.

Any ideas of how to realign this screen?
posted by Cantdosleepy to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
 
Looks like the monitor just needs to be auto-adjusted.
posted by zsazsa at 10:42 AM on September 10, 2009


is it just the grub menu that's off kilter, or are the BIOS screens wrong as well? At what point in the OS boot up does it clear up? In windows or Ubuntu, if you change the screen resolution to 800x600 or 640x480, can you reproduce the screen weirdness?
posted by jrishel at 11:54 AM on September 10, 2009


If you edit the grub menu (menu.lst, IIRC*) file, which is a simple, text-based boot file, you can determine which system loads by default, which system appears first (second, third...) in the list, and so on. This won't solve the problem, but it may make it possible for you to read the desired (most-desired, at least) OS options.

As jrishel suggests, it sounds/looks like a video problem, possibly resolution-related.

* You should google the specifics, instead of relying on my memory!
posted by IAmBroom at 7:10 PM on September 10, 2009


At what point in the OS boot up does it clear up? In windows or Ubuntu, if you change the screen resolution to 800x600 or 640x480, can you reproduce the screen weirdness?

The machine looks fine in BIOS setup, and clears up as soon as you load either OS - it only exists during the 'choose operating system' or during non-graphical installers.

Anyway, I installed XP after Ubuntu, and Windows made the Ubuntu partition inactive for reasons best known to itself; I no longer get the choose-your-operating-system screen.

There's no reason the guys I'm fixing this computer for will ever need to boot into Ubuntu, but I can get at it if Windows screws up again (made a copy of menu.lst before reinstalling Windows) so although the problem isn't fixed, it's no longer really a problem.

Thanks for the help guys.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 2:41 AM on September 11, 2009


I did a little research on this, and grub will only display at 640x480, which it sounds like this system's monitor is having a hard time with. You could install grub-gfxboot, which will try and find a higher resolution...

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=705334
posted by jrishel at 7:59 AM on September 11, 2009


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