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Thread: Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    13

    Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

    After installing a video card to replace the on-board graphics, then replacing the drivers, my desktop doesn't function anymore. The mouse pointer will move around, but I can't click on anything. The launcher doesn't move up and down for the mouse, and the "top bar" (I forgot the name at this moment), doesn't have any info or titles (time, power button, volume, etc). I can switch vt into a console and use the system that way, but the x-windows system is hosed.

    The original on-board graphics chip (GeForce 6150) was replaced with a Radeon HD 4350 chipset card (pci). I went through the process of installing the proprietary ATI drivers, using the downloaded binary from AMD, added required software to compile the drivers. I ripped out the nvidia drivers, reinstalled many times, including trying the open source Radeon driver, the Ubuntu repository's proprietary drivers, etc. Lots of different things. The system only boots up into a frozen x-windows desktop (Unity) with a moving mouse pointer, no matter what I've tried. I've toyed with the idea of reinstalling Ubuntu, but didn't think I should have to do that.

    Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    The Left Coast of the USA
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Kubuntu

    Re: Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

    There is no need to go through the painful and often fatal process of installing from the ATI binaries. The 12.4 driver is in the repos.

    Did you first uninstall the NVIDIA driver? If not, you need to uninstall the other driver before you install the new in the future. You also need to be sure you set your BIOS to use the dedicated card.

    Try uninstalling per ATI's instructions and installing via Additional Drivers. If that doesn't work, see the link in my signature.
    Last edited by QIII; June 21st, 2012 at 12:19 AM.
    The Community Java Wiki * The Community ATI Driver Wiki * Find what you need in the Ubuntu Community wikis

    And seeing the terror on the faces of the people, QIII did speak to them, saying "Fear not the Terminal, for it is a road both swift and secure to the Great Mysteries of Linux without passing through the dangers of The Land of Ten Thousand Competing Desktop Environments."

  3. #3
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

    I didn't uninstall the nvidia drivers at first, but unintalled them later. The main problem now is that there is no access to the x-windows desktop, so graphical applications are not usable.

    If you know what needs to be done through the command line, then I can try it. Right now, I've got the open-source drivers installed but I still have a locked up desktop.

    What I probably need is the set of packages to reinstall that will bring up the desktop in working order. If anyone has that, I'd be grateful.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Foshan, China
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    437
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

    Try to run:
    Code:
    unity --reset
    Ignore all the errors that might appear on the terminal. Do not close the terminal after is done, just logout or reboot.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    13

    Re: Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

    I finally got it running, after reinstalling all of unity and compiz. http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...20&postcount=4

    BTW, "unity --reset" would hang the computer, so that wasn't going anywhere.

    Everything seems to work now, although much slower than when I was using the on-board graphics chip. Hopefully I can tune it to work faster.

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Foshan, China
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

    Quote Originally Posted by aceprry View Post
    Hopefully I can tune it to work faster.

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.
    From an old post of mine:

    Try this simple fix, worked for me (I have the compiz idle effect too, but it's not related to the choppy I think... at least not that much !).

    - Install fglrx driver (stock driver is choppy...)
    - Open AMD Catalyst (after reboot !)
    - Enable "tear free" desktop option
    - Open compiz config
    - OpenGL plugin, untick Sync to VBlank, Texture = BEST, Lighting effect ON
    - Composite plugin, Detect refresh rate unticked, set the refresh rate at double your video frequency (in my case 60 Hz, I set it to 120)
    - Close compiz
    - Log off
    - Log in again, it should be now smooth as silk and tear free

    Please give me a feedback on this procedure, as it worked for me since 10.04 till 12.04, seems quite consolidated.

    Be careful not to touch anything else in those OpenGL and Composite plugins !

  7. #7
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

    Well, ok... maybe this shouldn't be marked as solved.

    Thanks for the tips typhoon. Unfortunately, I reinstalled ubuntu before I saw your message. And boy was that quicker than wrangling with the driver.

    After the reinstallation, without any drivers, the desktop was pretty responsive. When I installed the ATI drivers from the ubuntu repo, everything started lagging immediately. Actually, the desktop wouldn't even start without logging on with the 2D desktop, the 3d desktop doesn't even load fully, and locks up, except for the cursor. This is what I experienced and didn't realize was happening when I started this thread.

    As for typhoon's recommendations, the "tear free" option removed most of the lag from the mouse pointer. Everything else was still slow. Before applying all of the other tips, I had to first install the compiz software, which didn't get installed with a clean install. The result was that everything was much better and smoother, not as good as when I first booted up without any special drivers though. The ATI driver seems to act as a video decelerator, doesn't really allow booting into the 3d desktop, and doesn't add any video acceleration as promised by the driver.

    Essentially, this card is a complete waste of time and money. I wanted to free up some memory from the onboard graphics chip, add 3d and video acceleration to my older hardware but found out that this ATI/AMD card is really worthless. The onboard GeForce chipset performs MUCH better and very smoothly. I'm glad I paid less than $15 for the ATI card though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Foshan, China
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    437
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

    The "SYNC TO VBLANK" of compiz heavily interferes with the one in ATI driver, and must be disabled. Moreover, make sure that you have a configured xorg.conf file in /etc/X11/

    The radeon open source driver works fine in 12.04, but the temperature of the GPU is always sky-high.

    Do the steps above, and if you cannot find xorg.conf file, type:
    Code:
    sudo amdconfig --initial -f
    Or..
    Code:
    sudo aticonfig --initial -f
    And the file will be created, then reboot. It will be as smooth as silk.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    13

    Re: Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

    Just to be completely clear, I followed all of the steps suggested:

    <quote>
    - Install fglrx driver (stock driver is choppy...)
    - Open AMD Catalyst (after reboot !)
    - Enable "tear free" desktop option
    - Open compiz config
    - OpenGL plugin, untick Sync to VBlank, Texture = BEST, Lighting effect ON
    - Composite plugin, Detect refresh rate unticked, set the refresh rate at double your video frequency (in my case 60 Hz, I set it to 120)
    - Close compiz
    - Log off
    - Log in again, it should be now smooth as silk and tear free
    </quote>

    So everything that I wrote in post #7 is the end result. No need to go through all of that again because I've taken out the card and started using the onboard graphics chip again. Which works so much better than the ATI video graphics card.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Foshan, China
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    437
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Installed video card, wrecked x-windows

    Quote Originally Posted by aceprry View Post
    No need to go through all of that again because I've taken out the card and started using the onboard graphics chip again. Which works so much better than the ATI video graphics card.
    Point of view, since is a quite established and well known procedure for ATI around all the Ubuntu community. Enjoy your Ubuntu anyway !

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