Unnessicary probing of resolutions?
I am having similar problems with starting X as well. Here's some information:
Abit BP6 w/ dual Celrons
Hercules TNT (AGP)
KDS VS195e monitor
As noted previously by other users the problem seems to be limited to TNT/TNT2 chips.
I'm not running xdm so I have to start X with "startx" or "xinit" form bash. I'm getting lines in my XFree86.0.log like this:
(II) NVIDIA(0): Not using default mode...
I notice as X is starting that my monitor is making the clicks and split second scanline blurs characteristic of resolution changes.
I don't have any "modes" sections in my XF86Config-4 file, but I have Virtual and Modes enteries specified in my "Display" subsection of the "Screens" section specified to the sole resolution 1024x768 like this:
Virtual 1024 786
The number of lines in the logfile suggests that it is searching through all the possible vesa enteries. It takes about 30 seconds to start X. This is the first time I have tried to run the Nvidia drivers, in the past I was using the svga x-server in the older 3.x.x XFree86 releases.
Since the lines in the logfile suggests the Nvidia driver is making the probes it seems that there could be some options in the "Device" section of the XF86Config-4 file passed to the nvidia driver that would tell it what resolution(s) to use. I don't remember reading about such an option in the documentation, but that does not mean it does not exist. Perhpas someone with knowledge of the internals could help out here.
Another posibility occurs to me: One might be able to modify by hand the file where X keeps the tables of vesa enteries such that only the functional resolution(s) will be probed. Now if I only knew where that file exists.