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Old 06-24-04, 02:29 AM   #1
TypeO-
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Exclamation startx crashes with random characters on screen

I decided to spiff up my X server by installing NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-5336-pkg1.run. The module installed and loaded perfectly, and I made the adjustments to my Xfreeconfig file as per the instructions. When I startx, I get a screen of random characters and linux refuses to respond to anything but ctrl+alt+del, which reboots as expected.
I recompiled my kernel with agpgart as a module and experimented with the different NvAgp settings, but I get the same result, even when I deactivate agp with "NvAgp" "0".
Interestingly, I get different characters on the screen when agpgart is active than when it's not - but it still crashes
I have a KT400-ALH AMD motherboard, and agpgart tells me it that the VIA chipset is not fully supported, but since X doesn't work when agpgart isn't installed and NvAgp is 0, I don't think it's the problem. Especialy since Xfree workes fine using the default "nv" driver.

My card is a GeForce4 MX440se, with bios version 4.17.00.69.43 inside a Azza KT400-ALH Motherboard with AMD2600XP running www.linuxfromscratch.com 4.0(linux-2.4.19) and Xfree 4.4

Any support would be greatly appreciated, as I'm finding these driver a total bitch to get working. It would be nice if they ran in user mode as apposed to kernel mode 'couse I don't know of anything that crashes linux so spectacularly.
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Old 06-24-04, 03:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

Two things: check your ram with memtest86 and upgrade to kernel 2.4.26 or whichever is current (some effort required).
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Old 06-24-04, 06:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

I doubt it's a memory problem, otherwise I would get errors occuring at random time intervals, not the same error each time I do the same thing(I've noticed the characters on the screen are the same each time - pointing back to the driver). I'm going through the hassle of upgrading my kernel to 2.4.26 as suggested, but don't see why it will have an effect as the driver docmentation clearly states that you only need 2.2.12. It might help my agpgart support, but if agpgart was the problem then the driver should work when I disable it - which it doesn't.
Xfree is 4.4, where only 4.0.1 is needed. Modutils is 2.4.19, where only 2.1.121 is needed. GCC and Binutils are the latest stable releases.
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Old 06-24-04, 07:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

Compiled linux-2.4.26, compiled the driver interface, still doesn't work. agpgart now fully supports my chipset, but X still spits the dummy with or without it.
Xfree.log tells me nothing useful, as far as it's concerned X starts fine - and tells me it's using 4xagp when I'm using it and not when I try with it disable.
So the problem definitly occurs after X has started, as soon as it tries to draw to the screen(i.e. use the driver) it crashes.

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Old 06-24-04, 11:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

I mentioned memtest86 because you have an AMD cpu and they tend to be more fussy about ram than Intel's.

Post your X config here.
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Old 06-25-04, 03:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

Memtest had no errors. I recompiled my kernel using gcc-2.95.3(should have in first place as recomended by kernel dev team) and the driver interface. Still no luck. Changed some BIOS options:- Turned off video cache, turned on wait-state for read/write to agp card. Still no luck.

I'm just reverting back to Xfree's default "nv" driver. I don't really need any advanced features for the things I do in linux, but I'm frustrated that I can't fix this problem.

Attached is my Xf86config from my final attempt, and the log output incase someone can get more from it than me.
Attached Files
File Type: txt XF86Config-4.txt (2.3 KB, 108 views)
File Type: txt XFree86.0.log.txt (23.0 KB, 99 views)
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Old 06-25-04, 05:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

OK, one last thing, I used 'startx -- -logverbose 5', to see if anything else would be revealed(this run uses agpgart). All I really notice is that the nvidia module is compiled for 4.0.2, where as I am using 4.4. I would not expect it to be a problem, but is anyone else able to run XFree86-4.4.0 with the driver?
Just clutching at straws...
Attached Files
File Type: txt XFree86.0.log.verbose5.txt (25.8 KB, 105 views)
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Old 06-25-04, 08:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

Hmmm what's this
Code:
(II) NVIDIA(0): Creating default Display subsection in Screen section
	"Screen0" for depth/fbbpp 8/8
(==) NVIDIA(0): Depth 8, (==) framebuffer bpp 8
I think you ought to better specify a default depth (eg 16) and while you're at it a resolution size in your X config.
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Old 06-26-04, 09:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

Thanks Whig, I think that's on the right track. I still have problems though
I added two monitor settings in my XF86Config:-
(**) NVIDIA(0): Mode "800x600": 62.8 MHz, 63.3 kHz, 100.0 Hz
(**) NVIDIA(0): Mode "1024x768": 88.5 MHz, 68.3 kHz, 85.0 Hz
and changed the default depth to 24bit:-
(**) NVIDIA(0): Depth 24, (--) framebuffer bpp 32
It all works well with the default "nv" driver, but the nvidia one still crashes.

After the card initializes, there are
(II) NVIDIA(0): Not using default mode "640x480" (hsync out of range)
for every resolution. With hsync set to 30-70kHz, I don't understand why it's giving these messages.
Attached Files
File Type: txt XFree86.0.log.txt (21.5 KB, 99 views)
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Old 06-26-04, 09:29 PM   #10
whig
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

I can't find much wrong with that latest log. I agree, it ought to accept 640x480, that mode shouldn't be too hard, but it appears "validated". It's a long shot but look in /var/log for the most recent logs when it crashes on you.
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Old 06-26-04, 10:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

The last attachment is the latest log. I'll have a google around, and if nothing turns up I'll just leave it at that.
Thanks for your help, if your ever in Matamata you should stop by for a beer or coffee.
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Old 06-27-04, 02:39 AM   #12
whig
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Default Re: startx crashes with random characters on screen

By recent logs I meant logs other than the X one. And one more thing: some people disable APM/APIC/ACPI/whatever power management for results.
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