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Old 09-25-07, 10:59 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Default No nv/nvidia on Samsung notebooks?

Hi there,

about 18 months ago I purchased a Samsung M50-1860 "Callum", a DRS notebook with a GO6600 chipset. I used it for many months, working on Linux and sometimes playing on Windows. I had Compiz running on Debian/sid. I was happy.

One day, I must've played too long or too hard. I was running WIndows, using the official Samsung drivers (which are ancient compared to recent NVidia drivers for Windows, 74.xx, but NVidia drivers won't install on the M50). I think the system overheated, it crashed in the middle of playing.

From that day on, I couldn't get the notebook running in 1440x900 on my Debian system. Vesa 1024x768 worked fine, but whenever I tried to start an X server in the notebook's native resolution, the display would just show a black background with different patterns of lines instead of a desktop, while the X server and all the applications were running.

Yet, the Windows desktop was fine.

I tried to make absolutely certain that it wasn't a driver problem by up- and downgrading to every version I could find, by fiddling with configuration options, by testing with live CDs of different distributions, even by installing a fresh system. Different patterns of lines virtually everywhere. Samsung support told me they wouldn't support Linux and I had to show the problem using Windows, for example with 3DMark06.

The Windows desktop was fine, not all Windows games were, 3DMark06 crashed when run in the native resolution, even on a fresh Windows XP installation with nothing installed but Samsung's drivers.

To summarize the events of the past couple of months: the notebook was off to be repaired three times, Samsung claims the motherboard has been changed, which didn't help, I had several conversations with Samsung on the phone, they even threatened that my warranty could be void anyway because I used "unauthorized" graphics drivers on Linux (not that there are any "authorized" drivers for Linux, the notebook is Windows-only according to Samsung), and now Samsung claims that the Ubuntu 7.04 CD I sent them to demonstrate the problem with Linux, would produce the same garbage on screen on any Samsung notebook with a GO6600 chipset.

(They didn't explain why 3DMark will crash reproducibly or why WoW has display errors.)

So, any Samsung users out there who can verify whether Ubuntu 7.04 will boot from the live CD into a working desktop? Or any helpful speculations that could explain what I'm seeing here and what Samsung is saying?

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