HP dc7900

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HP dc7900

Postby paulm » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:24 pm

I recently picked up an HP dc7900 small form factor PC. Quite a nice machine - core 2 duo 3.0GHz, 6 GB RAM, 500 GB hard drive.

I've now removed the Vista Business OS that it came with and went to install my favourite Linux - Salix. Which installs fine, but, the first time you start the machine after the install, starts to boot, but very soon comes up with a message from the monitor (no input signal) and sits. It sounds as though it completes booting, but there is no video...

I've now tried several other (live) distros, including the Ubuntu remix on the latest (issue 155) DVD, all with exactly the same results - boot starts, then I get a loss of video signal to the monitor and no video.

It looks like an Intel video problem (the HP specs say the machine has an ntel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500 onboard), but so far, I've not been able to work around it.

I can install a PCI-e video card, but have no idea what is currently supported in Linux. I've found this:

http://www.ebuyer.com/291003-asus-g210- ... md3-v2-lp-

but have no idea how well Linux supports the G210 chipset. Has anyone got any suggestions as to a (cheap), low profile PCI-e video card which is supported, or any suggestions as to how to get round the problem with the onboard video?

Alternately, does anyone have any ideas as to what might be the problem if it isn't Intel video related?

Paul.
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Postby paulm » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:28 pm

:) I love replying to my own messages....

I've got a partial solution to the problem. Not ideal, but it does get the system up and running.

Adding 'i915.modeset=0' to the Lilo append parameters gets things running, but means the console remains in standard VGA rather than native resolution (which in this instance should be 1280x1024).

So, if anyone can suggest a full solution, I'm still very interested, but at least I've got the system to a usable state.

Paul.
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Postby nelz » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:16 pm

Add vga=794 to the kernel parameters to explicitly set that video mode.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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Postby paulm » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:51 am

nelz wrote:Add vga=794 to the kernel parameters to explicitly set that video mode.


Tried that. I'm not sure if it doesn't like the i915.modeset=0, but it doesn't work.

I guess I may need to try a recent kernel and see if that works better. Haven't built a kernel in a long time....

Paul.
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Postby ferrari » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:37 pm

Using the 'i915.modeset=0' kernel boot parameter works by disabling the KMS intel graphics driver. This causes the X-server to fall back to using a basic framebuffer driver, which will then use 1024x768, rather than the native display resolution.

You could try examining /var/log/Xorg.0.log for any errors that might explain the cause of the problem (booting with and without the kernel boot parameter).

Which intel chipset does you hardware contain?

Code: Select all
/sbin/lspci -nnk


Post only the lines pertaining to the graphics chipset.

I can install a PCI-e video card, but have no idea what is currently supported in Linux.

IMHO, I would recommend choosing a low-end NVIDIA graphics card, as your more likely to get support 'out-of-the-box', using the nouveau driver, and installing the proprietary nvidia driver, afterwards (if desired).[/code]
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Postby paulm » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:31 pm

ferrari wrote:Using the 'i915.modeset=0' kernel boot parameter works by disabling the KMS intel graphics driver. This causes the X-server to fall back to using a basic framebuffer driver, which will then use 1024x768, rather than the native display resolution.


:) It looked more like 640x480 than 1024x768, but I've not looked all that carefully.

You could try examining /var/log/Xorg.0.log for any errors that might explain the cause of the problem (booting with and without the kernel boot parameter).


I'll have a look at that tomorrow - at the moment, I'm accessing it remotely, so changing the boot parameters is a bit of a pain...

Which intel chipset does you hardware contain?

Code: Select all
/sbin/lspci -nnk


Post only the lines pertaining to the graphics chipset.


Code: Select all
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:2e12] (rev 03)
   Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device [103c:3034]
   Kernel modules: i915
00:02.1 Display controller [0380]: Intel Corporation 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:2e13] (rev 03)
   Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device [103c:3034]


I can install a PCI-e video card, but have no idea what is currently supported in Linux.


IMHO, I would recommend choosing a low-end NVIDIA graphics card, as your more likely to get support 'out-of-the-box', using the nouveau driver, and installing the proprietary nvidia driver, afterwards (if desired).


:) I've found a low profile Nvidia G210 based card (an Ausus EN210 silent), not very expensive, so I may well pick it up. Would still be nice to work around the problem with the onboard video though.

Paul.
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Postby ferrari » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:05 pm

How is your monitor connected? VGA cable by chance? Some of these do not connect all 15 pins, and so your monitor may not be detected via DDC/EDID. I other cases, the monitor itself is the problem. (The more basic framebuffer driver does not utilise the display's EDID info to configure the display timing).
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