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Old 01-11-11, 05:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6
Default Startx fails: (EE) No Devices Detected

My Ubuntu 10.10 system will not boot to a GUI after an unintended update to the nVidia display driver.

This fills me with utter despair. Last time this happened I was unable to find any successful solution anywhere on the web and had to re-install Ubuntu. For reasons unique to my hardware the re-install takes 2 days if everything goes well, or 5 days if it doesn't. I just cannot face this task at my age again. At the same time I desperately need to finish some peronal work in Scribus.

I wonder if, this time, there is somebody who can give me some advice?

I am running 64 bit Ubuntu 10.10 with kernel 2.6.35-24-generic, on an ASUS A8V motherboard with AMD Athlon 64 processor.

My graphics card is NVidia Quadro NVS 280; it is driving 2 19" CRTs. both at 1280 x 1024, in the mode where my desktop extends across the 2 screens (at least that's how it was until 12 hours ago).

I think I was running the Ubuntu Nouveau driver. There appears to be some real difficulty with Ubuntu, NVidia and this older card. Parts of the nVidia site suggest that the latest driver is 256.xx; other parts say it is 96.43.19, but in addition it seems that this card is recognised as a Geforce FX 5200. Ubuntu seems to think the latest driver is 73.something.

I have inadvertently requested a driver update today; I couldn't cancel it in time. Now the systems boots only to a command line. To recover, I have just installed the 96.43.19 driver from the command line (no errors). If I issue the startx command it fails with:

(EE) No devices detected
Fatal server error:
no screens found

I have examined the xorg.conf file and can see nothing wrong, aside perhaps from the use of the TwinView option

I have looked at the /var/Log/Xorg.0.log but can find no further info on what is preventiing the system from starting the GUI.

Where do I start looking for problem source identification?
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