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Thread: Blank screen after booting (details in post)

  1. #1
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    Jan 2006
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    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Blank screen after booting (details in post)

    Hey,

    Blank screen after booting is a very vague title, but please bear with me as I explain the details of my problem and the number of solutions I have tried. I built a new computer yesterday, the build details can be found here. The important parts relevant to this post are: Gigabyte GTX 770 2GB, Samsung 250 GB SSD, and WD 1TB 7200 HDD. I also have a Samsung Syncmaster 30" connected via HDMI and an Acer 24" connect via DVI. I have followed lifehacker's instructions on dual booting Windows 7 and Ubuntu. This is how my hard drives are set up:

    On SSD:
    132 GB ntfs Windows 7
    103 GB Ext 4 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Ext2FS)
    2GB Swap

    On HDD:
    NTFS (for common data between Windows and Ubuntu)

    I finished installing Windows 7 yesterday without too many problems. This morning I started to install Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I was able to boot into the Live CD without any problems (it seems to have been using the nouveau driver) and complete installation. After I reboot, grub menu shows up with all the operating systems (btw I am able to boot into Windows 7 fine through grub). I select Ubuntu 12.04, but after that I just get a blank screen.

    These are the things I've tried:
    1) I booted into the live CD and install boot-repair and ran it. It said it's fixed something and gave me the this URL. I rebooted and the problem remains.

    2) Next, I tried to follow the instructions in this post. However, after setting nomodeset, the screen dumps a bunch of stuff and then goes blank again. I do NOT get a login prompt.

    3) I downloaded the Nvidia GTX 770 driver for Linux 64bit onto a USB drive and booted into recovery mode thinking maybe I could install the driver and it would work. However, I am not able to mount the driver into flolder, because it says the filesystem is read-only, thus preventing me to create a folder for mounting. I does show the USB drive is present on sdc when I ran dmesg after inserting the drive.

    I am doing all this while having both the monitors plugged in, however, all the boot menu stuff occurs only on the Acer monitor connected via DVI while the Samsung connected via HDMI becomes alive only after booting into Windows or Ubuntu live CD. So, basically I am stuck with a blank screen when I try to boot into Ubuntu, but I am able to boot into Windows fine. I can only get a login prompt when I boot into recovery mode (so if you guys need any info of the system I can get it from there, although I do not know how/where I would save it). The system is still new and I do not have a lot of stuff installed, so I am willing to try stuff that may end up with me having to reinstall everything including Windows (although I would prefer not to do it ). If any of you guys can help I appreciate it greatly.

    Thanks and let me know if you need anymore information.
    Last edited by linuxnovice; September 16th, 2013 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Added Ext2FS
    Custom Build
    WIndows 7 64-bit and Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit

  2. #2
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    Re: Blank screen after booting (details in post)

    Update:

    Hey,

    I have been working on this problem and just wanted to update my progress so that you guys had the latest information. I was able to boot into recovery mode and get root access. After enabling networking, I ran sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade (after uncomming the partner links on sources.list). It upgraded/updated a bunch of stuff including stuff relavent to X. However, when I tried rebooting, it still went to a blank screen after selecting Ubuntu 12.04 on the grub menu. I will keep working and update this thread on my progress.

    Thanks and any help is greatly appreciated.
    Custom Build
    WIndows 7 64-bit and Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit

  3. #3
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    Re: Blank screen after booting (details in post)

    Update:

    Hey,

    I downloaded the nvidia linux x64 drivers for my graphics from here and put it on a flash drive. I booted into the Ubuntu 12.04 live cd and mounted the flash drive and the ssd (where Ubuntu is installed) and copied it over. Then I booted into the recovery mode again and installed the driver from there. The driver seemed to install properly. After installation, I rebooted and selected Ubuntu 12.04 from the grub menu, but still no sucesses. I still get a giant blank screen instead of the ubuntu logo followed by the login screen. I am not able to swtich to a text terminal too (ctrl+alt+f1).

    I am running out of ideas to try, hopefully someone can help me out.

    Thanks.
    Custom Build
    WIndows 7 64-bit and Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit

  4. #4
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    Re: Blank screen after booting (details in post)

    Hello there LinuxNovice,

    You're doing good those are things we would've suggested anyway so keep plugging away. Someone will be along soon I'm sure, it doesn't usually take too long!

    I have some ideas but I'm really tight on time so I'll subscribe to this thread and get back to it a little later hopefully. Hang in there, you'll get help eventually!

    My best advice is since I believe you mentioned you don't mind re-installing, I would use gparted on the live cd to wipe your Linux partition and make it a fresh ext4 filesystem, and I would move the swap to a partition right next to it on the same drive, rather than jumping HD between the OS and the swap.

    Also I think I saw you have 32GB of swap? Dear me, the theory that the size of swap should be twice the amount of your ram has been out a while but the best Linux devs haven't been able to prove its value any more than lower swap sizes. I don't know if you're planning on running a server or virtual machines or what but I'm positive you'd do just fine with way way less swap area, I highly doubt you will even touch a fraction of your ram, so the swap wouldn't even be used ever. Just a side note!

    As for the black screen it could be a 64bit issue running on your custom PC, not sure, but I would use the 64 bit livecd and reinstall fresh and see how that goes.

    I'll get back later with more if I can, all the best to you!
    -CeejRab

  5. #5
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    Re: Blank screen after booting (details in post)

    Quote Originally Posted by CeejRab View Post
    Hello there LinuxNovice,

    You're doing good those are things we would've suggested anyway so keep plugging away. Someone will be along soon I'm sure, it doesn't usually take too long!

    I have some ideas but I'm really tight on time so I'll subscribe to this thread and get back to it a little later hopefully. Hang in there, you'll get help eventually!

    My best advice is since I believe you mentioned you don't mind re-installing, I would use gparted on the live cd to wipe your Linux partition and make it a fresh ext4 filesystem, and I would move the swap to a partition right next to it on the same drive, rather than jumping HD between the OS and the swap.

    Also I think I saw you have 32GB of swap? Dear me, the theory that the size of swap should be twice the amount of your ram has been out a while but the best Linux devs haven't been able to prove its value any more than lower swap sizes. I don't know if you're planning on running a server or virtual machines or what but I'm positive you'd do just fine with way way less swap area, I highly doubt you will even touch a fraction of your ram, so the swap wouldn't even be used ever. Just a side note!

    As for the black screen it could be a 64bit issue running on your custom PC, not sure, but I would use the 64 bit livecd and reinstall fresh and see how that goes.

    I'll get back later with more if I can, all the best to you!
    Thanks a lot for your reply. The swap partition size is a suggestion by a friend. I will be using this computer for my P.hD computer science research and he suggested that there might be some programs that will automatically look for the swap partition. I agree it is overkill since I have 32GB of RAM! I might just erase it off the HDD. The problem with having swap on my SSD is this: my ssd size is 250 GB for which I've allocated 100GB for linux and rest for Windows. And, to my disgust, Windows is just eating storage space just for the OS! That is why I'm reluctant to put swap on my SSD. This begs the question, given that I have 32GB of RAM, perhaps I could just allocate maybe 1GB of swap on SSD and go with that?

    Thanks.
    Custom Build
    WIndows 7 64-bit and Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit

  6. #6
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    Re: Blank screen after booting (details in post)

    Ok I see where you're coming from... I think!

    With 32GB of ram I simply can't fathom any computing falling over that loft peak and into a swap area... Your friend may be right, some program may want to use swap and look for it on its own. In that case, you should have at least 2GB and I highly recommend it be on the same HD device as the OS partition.

    How much space is windows taking up? If you're not storing files, windows doesn't just "grow"... Lol

    By the way... On a sidenote that you probably already know: If you're using Linux on a SSD drive, please please don't tell me you're using the EXT3 or EXT4 file system...... It's absolutely awful on SSD and can really damage the blocks because of the journaling methods the EXT3/4 systems use. It causes about 4-15% more writes to the HD on normal use and deleting files or high write requirement data can double the amount of writes. Basically it will wear your SSD out much faster than using a file system without journaling. EXT2 is safe because it doesn't have journaling, whereas EXT3 and EXT4 both include it. (End of humble opinion based on popular fact) lol

    If you were going to consider reinstalling Ubuntu to try and fix the black screen, it might be good to consider switching and using ext2 (if you arent already, but the installer uses ext4 by default) at the same time when you install.

    In the install procedure it will offer to install alongside current Ubuntu or over it or you can choose the third option called "something else". This lets you manage partitions and choose file systems.

    Here's my high and mighty arrogant opinion xD

    1. Run the live CD installer
    2. Choose "something else"
    3. Delete swap partition
    4. Delete Linux partition
    5. Create new Linux partition using all but 3GB of free space, choose ext2 from the file system drop down menu, and choose the mount point "/"
    6. Create a partition for the swap using the remaining free 3GB of space. Choose swap from the drop down menu.
    8. Click the Linux partition and then proceed through the install.

    Hope this is some trivia if or you if nothing else! Let me know what you think sorry if I come across as arrogant I'm trying to just throw some ideas out for you!
    -CeejRab

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: Blank screen after booting (details in post)

    Quote Originally Posted by CeejRab View Post
    Ok I see where you're coming from... I think!

    With 32GB of ram I simply can't fathom any computing falling over that loft peak and into a swap area... Your friend may be right, some program may want to use swap and look for it on its own. In that case, you should have at least 2GB and I highly recommend it be on the same HD device as the OS partition.

    How much space is windows taking up? If you're not storing files, windows doesn't just "grow"... Lol

    By the way... On a sidenote that you probably already know: If you're using Linux on a SSD drive, please please don't tell me you're using the EXT3 or EXT4 file system...... It's absolutely awful on SSD and can really damage the blocks because of the journaling methods the EXT3/4 systems use. It causes about 4-15% more writes to the HD on normal use and deleting files or high write requirement data can double the amount of writes. Basically it will wear your SSD out much faster than using a file system without journaling. EXT2 is safe because it doesn't have journaling, whereas EXT3 and EXT4 both include it. (End of humble opinion based on popular fact) lol

    If you were going to consider reinstalling Ubuntu to try and fix the black screen, it might be good to consider switching and using ext2 (if you arent already, but the installer uses ext4 by default) at the same time when you install.

    In the install procedure it will offer to install alongside current Ubuntu or over it or you can choose the third option called "something else". This lets you manage partitions and choose file systems.

    Here's my high and mighty arrogant opinion xD

    1. Run the live CD installer
    2. Choose "something else"
    3. Delete swap partition
    4. Delete Linux partition
    5. Create new Linux partition using all but 3GB of free space, choose ext2 from the file system drop down menu, and choose the mount point "/"
    6. Create a partition for the swap using the remaining free 3GB of space. Choose swap from the drop down menu.
    8. Click the Linux partition and then proceed through the install.

    Hope this is some trivia if or you if nothing else! Let me know what you think sorry if I come across as arrogant I'm trying to just throw some ideas out for you!
    I actually did not know that Ext4 on SSD is bad. I just reinstalled Ubuntu with 1G swap on my SSD but I used Ext4. In any case it still gives me a blank screen. Is it possible to just disable journalling on Ext4 on the SSD before or after installation? I am just curious that since Ext2 is sort of two "versions" behind Ext4 whether I will end up losing any performance after investing on a custom build.

    Thanks.
    Custom Build
    WIndows 7 64-bit and Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit

  8. #8
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    Re: Blank screen after booting (details in post)

    Update:

    Ok here is where I am at how after taking into consideration CeejRab's advice. I reinstalled Ubuntu 12.04 (again!) on my SSD along side Windows 7 with a Swap of 2GB on the same drive. I have updated my current hard drive (SSD + HDD) configuration on my first post in this thread. I have installed using Ext2 file system as I tihnk I would like more performance than fault resiliance. After installation I have performed all the updates (boot-repair, apt-get update/upgrade, nvidia driver install) that are listed in this thread again. But to no avail. I am still getting a blank screen after selecting Ubuntu 12.04 from the grub menu. Windows 7 still works though.

    Is there anything else that I can try?
    Custom Build
    WIndows 7 64-bit and Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit

  9. #9
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    Re: Blank screen after booting (details in post)

    ok thats all looking good, im somewhat puzzled as to what i can suggest next but im working on it. "I'll BE BACK!!" lol

    PS: It is possible to disable journaling is ext4 but its somewhat difficult and involved with commandlines. Also ext2 is faster for performance so thats a bonus in your situation to be using ext2. (ok here i go on the black screen issue...)
    Last edited by CeejRab; September 16th, 2013 at 06:22 PM.
    -CeejRab

  10. #10
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    Re: Blank screen after booting (details in post)

    Update:

    I mentioned earlier that I installed the nvidia driver directly from the nvidia website for linux x86_64. However, it is still not working. So I installed the driver nvidia-319 which was present in the repositories. I am assuming that this driver will overwrite the original driver that I installed. But I am still getting a blank screen after I select Ubuntu 12.04 from the grub menu.

    What is confusing me is the fact that the Live CD works perfectly when I boot from it. I am able to login live with both monitors working (mirroring each other) and I am able to browse the internet etc. How come after installation this goes away. What is different between the live cd session and the installation session? Perhaps I need to run the opensource driver nouveau ? How would I go about disabling the nvidia driver and installing this?
    Custom Build
    WIndows 7 64-bit and Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit

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