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Thread: Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

    I'm not sure where the right place is to post this warning, but this seems close.

    My system's specifications:
    Gigabyte MA-GM78-US2H motherboard, vintage 2009.
    AMD 1090T CPU.
    NVidia GeForce 8800 GTS video card, vintage 2006.
    Oneiric 64-bit.

    I had a system crash, and I went to do a re-install. As I have always done, I enabled the NVidia proprietary video driver. Under System Settings > Hardware> Additional Drivers, I clicked on the "NVidia accelerated graphics driver (version current) [recommended]" button.

    The symptoms:
    After logging in, there was almost complete loss of system control. The cursor would freeze for 30 seconds at a time. Only the first mouse click or two would actually work immediately. I tried to open a terminal window and didn't get one until three or four minutes later. My hard drive was running constantly. Occasionally I would see a few random black bars flicker across my screen, which is what clued me in to the fact that the video driver might be my problem.

    The fix:
    Booting into a rescue shell from the alternate install CD, and executing sudo apt-get remove nvidia-current nvidia-settings repaired my installation.

    Conclusion: whatever the "current" driver is in the Ubuntu repository, it can cause BIG trouble with at least some hardware configurations. Proceed with caution!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

    Hi!, ALL,

    +1 to that WARNING.

    It also applies to some other nvidia driver versions. 295.33 seems to be OK.

    See:
    http://phoronix.co/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA4ODc

    Watch Out!!

    EDIT:
    Although the Nvidia downloads>Search shows 295.40 to be the latest recommended version,
    Code:
    sudo nvidia-installer -latest
    shows 295.33 as the latest, and that is what
    Code:
     sudo nvidia-installer -f
    will install, as well as un-installing any previous installations.

    Chao!, bogan
    Last edited by bogan; April 18th, 2012 at 11:06 AM.
    "Better Solutions may bring Worsened Problems": After Lao Tse, b. circa 405BC. a contemporary of Confucius, who died circa 600BC.
    They did things differently in those days, apparently!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

    Thanks for your reply, bogan.

    I was going to follow up and ask how to check what driver version would be installed by Ubuntu if the "current, recommended" driver was chosen. You answered my question before I even asked it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Re: Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

    I'm having a similar problem with Ubuntu 11.10. My system is dead in the water! I took the 3.0.0.18 kernel updates and my system crashed with the "busybox v1.13.3 initramfs" error and has been inaccessible ever since.

    My system's specifications (something close to this):
    ASUS A8N-SLI motherboard.
    AMD Athlon 64 4000+ CPU.
    NVidia GeForce 7800GTX video card.
    Oneiric 64-bit.

    The symptoms:

    Grub screen comes up (dual-boot, dual disks Win7), select Ubuntu, but system would not load. I tried to repair using live CD. Tried to do a complete re-install, several times. It goes for a while but locks up during the "loading system" portion of the installation. I have tried a different hard drive, changed some cables. I tried to load Ubuntu and Mint, still just locks up.
    I have done memory tests, md5 verification with no errors. Now I have corrupted Grub and am not able to boot to any system.

    The fix:
    None yet

    Conclusion: If someone has some suggestions, please post.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

    I'm running quite similar hardware (880G, Phenom X4, 8800GTS 512mb), but I'm on 12.04LTS beta2. I've been running the recommended driver, 295.40, and it has been stable so far. That's even after several trips to S3 and back.

  6. #6
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    Re: Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

    Hi!, ladasky,
    You Posted:
    I was going to follow up and ask how to check what driver version would be installed by Ubuntu if the "current, recommended" driver was chosen. You answered my question before I even asked it.
    Please note that the "current, recommended" nvidia driver in 'Additional Hardware' is unfortunately not identified by version, and is almost certainly different from that shown by the Nvidia/downloads 'Search' function, and also from that given by 'sudo nvidia-installer -f' # or -latest.

    On my 11.10 installation with 295.33 installed and in use, Synaptic Package Manager does not show it as available or installed, and shows nvidia-current as v280.13!!

    I do not know how the version number of the 'Additional Hardware' "current, recommended" version can be checked, except by someone who has installed it.

    The best way to be sure what version is actually installed apart from 'sudo nvidia-installer -latest' is to run:
    Code:
    cat /sys/module/nvidia/version
    @monkeypaw, sure, you are one of the lucky ones, Nvidia's own blog says that the symptoms reported from this 'bug' vary widely from nothing to a complete wipeout, and are unpredictable.

    Chao!, bogan.
    "Better Solutions may bring Worsened Problems": After Lao Tse, b. circa 405BC. a contemporary of Confucius, who died circa 600BC.
    They did things differently in those days, apparently!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    1

    Re: Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

    Thank you so much for posting this. I resurrected my 2006 gaming rig for my kids so I could run edubuntu. While it behaved itself quite well when running from the livecd. I had the same exact loss of control, and also have an 8800 GTS. You've saved me a few headaches, and lots of time finding a solution. Hopefully a few minutes with ssh will cure it!


    Roswell

  8. #8
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    Re: Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

    You're welcome, thermobaric.

    I'm glad that I'm starting to know my way around Linux well enough to offer something back to this community. I have learned so much from the people here.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Re: Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogan View Post
    @monkeypaw, sure, you are one of the lucky ones, Nvidia's own blog says that the symptoms reported from this 'bug' vary widely from nothing to a complete wipeout, and are unpredictable.
    Quite odd indeed. The funny thing is, I paid next to nothing for the card on eBay. It's still running like a champ, which is nice considering I've had bad luck in the past with nVidia.

    Do you think some of my good fortune could be because I'm running 12.04 and not 11.10? Maybe there's some extra polish in there.

  10. #10
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    Re: Word of warning: 11.10, NVidia driver, TROUBLE.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogan View Post
    @monkeypaw, sure, you are one of the lucky ones, Nvidia's own blog says that the symptoms reported from this 'bug' vary widely from nothing to a complete wipeout, and are unpredictable.
    Huh. The problem can spread that widely? Now I have to wonder whether the video driver bug precipitated my irreversible loss of a dual-boot RAID1 Oneiric/Vista setup. First my video driver crashed, and on the next reboot my RAID crashed. I simply could not get my motherboard to rebuild a RAID1, with two hard drives that I knew were good, even starting completely clean.

    Thank goodness I had backups.

    Perhaps I abandoned rebuilding the dual-boot system before I found the problem, but... I decided to switch over to a virtual-machine approach, running Vista as a guest OS in VirtualBox under Oneiric. I'm almost done making everything work the way that I want. And now, I don't have two operating systems fighting to manage the RAID, I just let Linux do it.

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