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Old 03-17-03, 04:47 PM   #1
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Location: Columbus, OH
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Default Signs that graphics hardware is physically damaged or failing?

About a month ago, I made a post concerning my efforts to get my GLX libraries working after they mysteriously broke overnight. ( See old post: ).

Unfortunately, I was never able to get my problem resolved, even after trying clean kernel installs and giving RedHat Phoebe-3 a try. Since I was in the market for a new hard drive, I pulled all the drives from my system and figured I'd start off with a completely fresh install.

To this point, I've determined that vanilla installs of all five RedHat releases from 7.0 to 8.0 yield a non working display. Every time, I wind up with exactly the same symptoms described earlier. If I try to run glxgears under the nVidia libraries and kernel module, it hangs X, though I can always still get out of X by escapes [CTL-ALT-BKSP or CTL-ALT-F2 or even Telnet from another machine and running kill or reboot]. Running glxgears under the vesa drivers w/ DRI however doesn't cause any problem, other than of course that I only get a paltry ~250fps in a window with the vesa drivers.

I'm at my wits end: I've adjusted all the recommended configs, changed appropriate lines in XF86Config, tried XFree versions from 4.0 to 4.3, removed and toggled every AGP nVidia probe feature/driver, done clean installs to remove any conceivable conflicting libraries (OSS and others), recompiled nVidia's software from source with and without SBA & FW under both gcc 2.9x and 3.xx, tried nVidia RPMs which I know previously worked ... all for a month now with no progress. All of this is with a machine that was once running UT2K3, Q3A and RTCW beautifully.

Just to test myself that I have been doing my installs correctly and modifying the appropriate files, I even went so far as to throw RH8.0 on different, similarly configured machine hardware and was able to get nVidia's GLX running five minutes after the initial post-install reboot. I then mirrored the /usr and /etc directories of the two machines to backup, and ran [diff] on the entire directory structures and config contents, and even ran [strings] against both machines' libraries and diff'ed the output of that.

So, has anyone ever experienced any similar issue that might be caused by a video device (or maybe another device such a sound card, memory or NIC going bad) or possibly a specific BIOS feature that could be changed that causes a problem with nVidia's driver _only_ on 4x AGP boards?

It's especially perplexing that as I write this, I'm using the installed PNY Verto GF4 4200Ti, which gives me rock solid stablility using the vesa driver @ 1024x768x16. But if I load the nVidia driver and GLX libraries (any from 2xxx up to 4191) I can't run the machine for 5 minutes, and can guarantee a lock-up if I launch any GL app.

Just want to gather some info and suggestions before I strip two otherwise perfectly working machines apart and start swapping NICs, AGP cards and memory.

I'm leaning towards the idea that my video card has begun to fail due to the fact that games and apps run fine and report fantastic framerates if I pipe their output to other terminals and hide X via escape, and that occasionally, if I tolerate watching the 1 frame per 10 seconds under nVidia's driver set, I often get flashes of wire-frames that have no textures (as if I'm looking at a red/black CAD display). Maybe the texture memory of my video card has gone bad?

Does anyone know the differences of how nVidia's driver vs. the generic drivers utilize the graphics hardware's features?

- Rich B
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