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Thread: installation woes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    276

    installation woes

    I am trying to install ubuntu and have a problem. I am trying to install 12.4.2 on a system. The hard drive has had chkdsk run (the drive was a mess) been reformatted (by windows). I am using a dvd for installation. the motherboard has a built in sis display which, from my reading is not a good thing. Anyway, the last time I tried I ran nomodset but had the same problems. I do get the unix dot thing when it first starts the installation, then I get a blank screen, then it reboots, then I get another blank screen, and this just keeps repeating. I suspect I am doomed with this motherboard.

    Thoughts? Thank you..........

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Chicago
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: installation woes

    Does the mobo manufacturer have a test suite that you can run? I know ASUS and Intel are pretty good about furnishing these handy tools. While you're at it, download a test for your HDD. Sounds like that's where the problem may be.
    In working with *nix...There be dragons. Newcomers: I recommend reading Linux is Not Windows (http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm) and The Linux Command Line (http://www.linuxcommand.org/tlcl.php) before beginning your quest for a better OS.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2007
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    276

    Re: installation woes

    Thanks for the reply. There is not a name on the motherboard. The system belongs to a friend who asked me to see what was wrong. It was packed with dust and the drive had a lot of stuff that chkdsk seemed to have fixed (did it 2 times). The drive is a western digital and I do have a cd for that. I will run it and see what happens (good idea, given the problems that it had it may be toast)

    Thanks again..........

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    ozarks, Arkansas, USA
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    7,807
    Distro
    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: installation woes

    jgw; Hello once more ;
    If you are running SIS graphics, try a variation on this as a boot parameter; (grub menu ->"e"->edit boot line)
    Code:
    video=sisfb:mode:1024x768x16,mem:4096,rate:70
    Make sure your monitor will support that resolution, and what the actual refresh rate is; (would not want to burn a monitor up now would we)
    from the grub menu -> enter "c" for a command line and terminal code:
    Code:
    vbeinfo
    to see what modes your monitor supports.

    maybe yes, maybe not so yes
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubutu'n !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    110

    Re: installation woes

    mods delete, sorry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    276

    Re: installation woes

    Thanks for the reply.

    I tried it again, before I read your last. Here is what happened. I, again, stopped the mode thing and proceeded. It did exactly the same thing. It continues to mess with the video output (no signal, signal, no signal, etc) Then it shows me a cursor, on a black screen, then signal no signal, then, after a bit more of blank screen shows me a cursor on a grey background, then signal no signal, then shows me an option to run with law graphics mode, reconfigure graphics, etc. but there is no cursor and the keyboard will not do anything so I can't do anything. after pressing esc, ^c, < alt del and entry a few times the screen goes blank yet again.

    My console is an acer lcd. It can actually goto 75hz but only for specific resolutions, mostly its 60hz. I am not sure how to get the grub menu up (hence the stuff below). The problem is that the screen is blank and so I have no indication how to get there. I have not tried to just press shift continuously although that might work? (just tried that. Got "boot:_" which quickly went away) I also tested the vbeinfo command - got "no such command" (have have another ubuntu machine up and running all the time so I have a place to do stuff <g>)

    Now, your suggestions. I think you are telling me that when it boots, and the little thing comes up and I press a key and then have options (advanced welcome page options - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BootOptions). There are a lot of these. I apologize but my ignorance but there seems to be a whole bunch of stuff available at that point. Again - any thoughts are certainly welcome and are gratefully accepted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    ozarks, Arkansas, USA
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    7,807
    Distro
    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: installation woes

    jgw; Well ..let's try,

    If your bios does not have a low resolution driver to even see this far /// I do not know of a thing else to do.

    Boot the liveDVD/CD?USB whatever you are using to install from.
    As soon as the bios screen clears try depressing and holding the shift key ->
    purple splash screen (stick figure keyboard emblems at bottom of screen) -> hit any key ->
    Language screen -> escape key to accept the default ->
    Booting options screen -> f6 key (other options) -> for other additions the boot options kernel boot line is now available, append
    Code:
    video=sisfb:mode:1024x768x16,mem:4096,rate:75
    boot parameter to the end of the line.
    Enter key to continue the boot process.

    Once we can boot the liveUSB we know what to do in the real install to get a display.

    vbeinfo; is a command that is only recognized from the grub boot terminal, when I reboot I will refresh my mind on how to obtain that grub command line on the liveCD.
    You will need to adjust the above for a mode that your monitor supports; If you have 2 gigs of ram .. you may increase the mem:4096 to a higher value.

    we keep try'n
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubutu'n !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    276

    Re: installation woes

    Thanks for the reply (we gotta stop meeting like this <G>)

    f7 got me the boot line. I appended what you suggested although I may have screwed that up. That line ended with "__" and I appended after that, perhaps I should have overwritten the "__", anyway, it started the boot, then gave me the mouse on grey background, returned to black screen (for the last 5 minutes - it also reset the monitor a couple of times). I will give it some more time. I have not checked the bios yet (I had it on the welcome menu screen already) Oh, I changed the line to 70hz as that is what the console had as correct for that resolution (vesa 1152x864 for 75hz) now screen has remained black for about 10 minutes - will continue to wait. If nothing happens pretty soon I will check the bios to see what that offers.

    I think this thing has only 1 gig of memory (I may be able to find more memory). Oh, its an emachine (hp cheap)

    Ok, I gave up and rebooted and went to the bios. Display options were pci express and pci. I went and got a pci card and put it in to see if that makes any difference. Its waaay old but........ The back of the machine is towards me and I can see the light on the 10/100 connection blinking which means its accessing the net. Oh, I also went to the welcome menu and pressed f7 which, for no good reason, asked me if I wanted to run in text mode. I told it yes. (in case you didn't notice this is going on whilst I am writing this on another machine (I'm on a kvm for this). I just checked the machine. It looks like its at a640x480, I can see unity. I think I am seeing the desktop from the cd. There is now an option to instal ubuntu. I think I will see what happens when I change the bios back to pci express. Before I put this old card in I was running on the built in video (not a card). I wonder if the card disables the built in or if I can run both a card and the built in. I didn't see a switch in the bios. I will check again. Nope, the pci card automatically disconnects the built in video, it makes no difference what the card choice is (option must control the slots). I could actually install ubuntu with the 640x480 card installed but I am not sure this would be the right thing to do. OH, the console timing table tells me that 640x480 is vga. I also have available, vesa, svga, xga, sxga, wxga, etc.

    I think the grub command line is there but, if not used, goes away rather quickly. It looks like "Boot:_" and I think I can type there.

    Suggestions?
    Last edited by jgw; September 29th, 2013 at 11:53 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    ozarks, Arkansas, USA
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    7,807
    Distro
    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: installation woes

    jgw;

    Boot with the PCI card enabled ...as you say the onboard is SIS, not to well supported .. let us see what can be done with the better card.

    Boot the liveCD -> "try ubuntu" mode, from the desk top key combo ctl+alt+t yields a terminal.
    Let's see what we have to work with:
    Code:
    lspci | grep VGA
    lspci -nnk | grep -iA3 vga
    sudo lshw -C display
    where there is life there is hope
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubutu'n !

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    276

    Re: installation woes

    You are not going to believe this one. The card is a SIS board (ViRGE - on the board and recognized). The driver being used is s3fb (there was a lot of information. I could put it into some kind of file, wait, I put the results on a thumb drive.

    Anyway, I could also get to the system settings but was unable to change the resolution. I could also not get to the bottom of the display screen (resolution problem, again) I do have some other cards, incidentally. My wife tells me its time for dinner so I must flee.

    I have no idea what I am supposed to do next......... I also have tried and failed to change the resolution from 640x480 and I have not yet actually installed but am, rather, running with the cd.

    Here are the results of your suggested commands:
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ lspci | grep VGA
    00:09.0 VGA compatible controller: S3 Inc. 86c325 [ViRGE] (rev 06)
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 661/741/760 PCI/AGP or 662/761Gx PCIE VGA Display Adapter (rev 03)
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ lspci -nnk | grep -iA3 vga
    00:09.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: S3 Inc. 86c325 [ViRGE] [5333:5631] (rev 06)
    Kernel driver in use: s3fb
    Kernel modules: s3fb
    00:18.0 Host bridge [0600]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration [1022:1100]
    --
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 661/741/760 PCI/AGP or 662/761Gx PCIE VGA Display Adapter [1039:6330] (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] [M]661xX/[M]741[GX]/[M]760 PCI/AGP VGA Adapter [1039:6330]
    Kernel modules: sisfb
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo lshw -C display
    PCI (sysfs)
    *-display UNCLAIMED
    description: VGA compatible controller
    product: 661/741/760 PCI/AGP or 662/761Gx PCIE VGA Display Adapter
    vendor: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS]
    physical id: 0
    bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
    version: 03
    width: 32 bits
    clock: 66MHz
    capabilities: pm agp agp-3.0 vga_controller cap_list
    configuration: latency=0
    resources: memory:60000000-67ffffff memory:68000000-6801ffff ioport:e800(size=128)
    *-display
    description: VGA compatible controller
    product: 86c325 [ViRGE]
    vendor: S3 Inc.
    physical id: 9
    bus info: pci@0000:00:09.0
    version: 06
    width: 32 bits
    clock: 33MHz
    capabilities: vga_controller bus_master rom
    configuration: driver=s3fb latency=64 maxlatency=255 mingnt=4
    resources: irq:17 memory:f8000000-fbffffff memory:feae0000-feaeffff
    Last edited by jgw; September 30th, 2013 at 08:30 PM.

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