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Old 04-02-07, 03:15 PM   #1
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Location: Germany
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Default After installing NVidia driver: BSD crashes starting X / "milky" display

I'm quite new to anything Unix, so please have a little patience reading and also replying

I am trying to use PC-BSD (newest version, afaik identical to FreeBSD at the core) and have posted on their forums, but nobody could help me.

I use a notebook with NVidia Geforce GoFX 5600 on a 1024x768 screen. By default, the included NV driver is used, which is not accelerated but works.

My problem is this:
When I install a real NVidia driver, the system boots to the point where I would expect the X server and graphical login interface to come up. Instead, the text mode screen first turns "unsharp" - looks like every other pixel turns dark at this point, like a fine sieve laid on the screen. Then the whole screen brightens up gradually but unevenly. There are like "stains" of darker and brighter areas. I also noticed 8-10 brighter vertical stripes from top to bottom. I need not mention that the system is frozen at this point. The CPU fan starts to speed up, so I guess some process is using up all CPU cycles.

All I can do is power-off, power-on and in a text-only mode restore the old XF86Config file that loads the NV driver - then the system works again.

I must mention, though, that strangely SOMETIMES the NVidia driver seems to work - I can login normally and have 3d acceleration (I tested that by using the KDE OpenGL screen savers, which are unusable with the NV driver). I never saw an NVidia logo displayed, by the way. More often than not it crashes like decribed above. It seems to work more often directly after installing, but maybe that's subjective - I don't have the nerves to test it a few hundred times.

The problem was identical with the newest NVidia driver (I believe 9755) from nvidia.com, the latest driver from the FreeBSD ports collection (don't have the version) and the newest driver provided in the PC-BSD .pbi package format (9746). I'd also like to mention that the latest NVidia driver works flawlessly under Ubuntu Linux 6.1.

I'm attaching the Xorg.0.log I got on the rare occasion the system started with the NVidia driver. Whenever it crashed I got no such logfile at all.

I'm also attaching the XF86Config (XF86Config-NVIDIA.txt) file that had been created by running nvidia-xconfig after installing the 9755 driver as instructed.

Many thanks in advance for any help!
Attached Files
File Type: log Xorg.0.log (23.2 KB, 194 views)
File Type: txt XF86Config-NVIDIA.txt (10.3 KB, 188 views)
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Old 04-02-07, 03:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: After installing NVidia driver: BSD crashes starting X / "milky" display

I forgot to mention:

The described "fade-to-white" of the screen sometimes happens while the last boot messages are still visible, sometimes after the screen is cleared with only a block cursor visible. Occasionally, I also got an all plain-gray screen, which did not change as described, but the system was locked up anyway.

And, a weird idea: During boot-up and in the messages logfile, I get a continuous stream of error messages about a da0 SCSI device (which I suppose from what I read is a card reader I never use) being not ready, having no medium attached or so. It does not interfere when I'm using the default NV driver.

Could it be that this continously repeated message, by some screen buffer mix-up or whatever, is what makes the screen turn gradually white when I'm using the NVidia driver? Again, I'm new to Unix!!!
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