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Old 04-26-03, 10:57 PM   #1
grater
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Question X shows garbage charactors on startup, rather perplexing problem

Concise version:
When I try to start X it shows random ascii characters and crashes pretty hard.

The problem is likely not in either of the XFree86config-4 file or nvidia kernel module.

system:
Debian Linux
GF2 MX400 64mb
AMD XP 1600+
Epox 8KHA+


Extended version:
I'm using Debian 3.0, some mix of stable and unstable, and I myself am somewhere between newbie and experienced with Linux.

Yesterday, I decided to see if I could get an ati radeon 7500 working with 3D acceleration under linux. I couldn't altough nor did I try very hard.
So I restored the original XFree86config-4 file, shutdown, popped my GF2MX back in and booted up, expecting no problems at all but instead X failed to start, and just showed random ascii characters.


Everything was working fine before, with the 1.0-4349 drivers. No problems at all, the drivers were working perfect, all OpenGL applications ran very well.

I've tried quite a lot of things, such as reinstalling the drivers, and changing some settings in the bios, and also reinstalled the detonator drivers in windows just incase windows set up some irq's or something.

I am very certain the problem is not in the XF86config-4 file because it's exactly the same as I used when the drivers were working.

The nvidia module is loading fine. So I dont think the problem is there either.

Also X is working fine with the "nv" driver.

Here is a (probably) relevant snippet from dmesg
Quote:
Linux agpgart interface v0.99 (c) Jeff Hartmann
agpgart: Maximum main memory to use for agp memory: 439M
agpgart: Detected Via Apollo Pro KT266 chipset
agpgart: AGP aperture is 64M @ 0xe8000000
[drm] Initialized tdfx 1.0.0 20010216 on minor 0
[drm] AGP 0.99 on VIA Apollo KT133 @ 0xe8000000 64MB
[drm] Initialized radeon 1.1.1 20010405 on minor 1
Whats the radeon doing there? I wish I knew, the problem may be related to DRI/DRM i was fiddling with them a bit trying to get the radeon to work.

I have attached the appropriate XFree86.0.log file.

Hopefully someone has some idea whats going on, altough considering the unstable distro and nature of the problem I'm not being tooo hopeful
Attached Files
File Type: log xfree86.0.log (21.8 KB, 106 views)

Last edited by grater; 04-26-03 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 04-27-03, 07:24 AM   #2
bwkaz
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That DRM stuff is printing (notice there's a tdfx message, too? you don't have a 3dfx card, do you?) because DRM is either compiled into your kernel, or it's a module and it's loading.

Get rid of it in the kernel configuration, and rebuild the kernel, and that should get rid of that.

The problem, though... which chipset is that motherboard? Oh, wait, I see -- KT133. That might have something to do with it, I suppose...

Have you flashed the BIOS recently? I know the Epox 8RDA and 8RDA+ have buggy BIOSes for the moment; the next BIOS release should fix the problem. Maybe something similar affects the 8KHA+?

Have you reinstalled the nVidia drivers?
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Old 04-27-03, 10:44 PM   #3
grater
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Default Update

Well I discovered the problem, seems to be a hardware problem.
I had an old (and terribly slow) GF2MX200 lying around so I swapped it in, and X loads like a charm.
So the MX400 must of got damaged a bit during the card swapping, but not damaged enough so that the nv drivers didn't work, weird I say.

This gives me a perfect excuse to get a GF4 ti anyway.
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Old 04-28-03, 04:35 AM   #4
paananen
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Hmmm... Well I have exactly the same problem. I get that ascii mess when I start X with nvidia drivers. And my card isn't broken cos it work well in Windows.

It cant be XF86Config (or thats what I think) cos I dont get any (EE) when I run startx -- -verbose 5 -logverbose 5.

And I dont have any markings about drm in my dmsg or other log files...
When I get home I'll be updating bios ... who knows. But if anyone have any solutions would be great.
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Old 04-28-03, 05:12 AM   #5
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I have exactly the same issue, i get the screen full of ascii then a hard lock and have to power my system off.

I have tried redhat 7.3, 8.0, 9.0, FreeBSD 4.7, 4.8 and 5.0

All go into a full hardware lock when starting X with the Nvidia drivers. The non-accelerated drivers (nv) work fine.

It seems to be something to do with the Epox 8RDA+ mainboard as already mentioned above its probly a Bios issue.

I had no problems with my old mainboard, a ASUS A7V133 (KT133 Chipset)

So the problem is definately mainboard related, despite having no problems in windoze

Hopefully there will be a bios update for the 8RDA+ to fix the problem in the near future, but im not holding my breath.


Hope this saves some of you some troubleshooting time.

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Old 04-28-03, 07:25 AM   #6
bwkaz
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Quote:
Originally posted by paananen
When I get home I'll be updating bios ... who knows.
You haven't done this yet... have you?

The problem is with the newer BIOSes, not the older ones. Epox has said they will release a fixed updated BIOS, basically when they get around to it. I think the last BIOS version that was good was something like 3129 (though that may have only been the case with the 8RDA+, I don't remember for sure). Anything newer is (for the moment, until they release the next patch) broken.

Quote:
Originally posted by Valutus
It seems to be something to do with the Epox 8RDA+ mainboard as already mentioned above its probly a Bios issue.

Hopefully there will be a bios update for the 8RDA+ to fix the problem in the near future, but im not holding my breath.
There will be. I don't remember who posted it, but someone did a while back in this forum. Epox knows about the problem and is working on a fix.
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Old 04-28-03, 01:19 PM   #7
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Hmmm...well it didn't work before bios update and it doesn't work now eather.
Hmpf, so wich bios version is working one? And I assume that it can be downgraded.

Exactly my board is rev 1.1.
Just loaded 8RD13402.BIN in there.
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Old 04-28-03, 02:21 PM   #8
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3129 works. Newer ones don't (yet). The next BIOS released is supposed to work.
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