Author Topic: Strange Screen  (Read 919 times)

Strange Screen
« on: December 24, 2020, 03:52:05 pm »
I'm trying to see if an old HP Compaq nc6000 can be revived and setup with Debian, but the screen looks like this:

Screen

As you can see, it's a regular pattern of lines, which makes me think this is some kind of weird artifact, rather than a broken graphics driver, but I know nothing. ???  An installation program is running normally at the moment, and the weird screen is not preventing me from seeing and responding to commands in the very simple display (3 colours only).

What might be causing this pattern?



Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2020, 06:36:51 pm »
OS has installed OK.  Screen now looks like this.

The moire effect is an artifact from reproducing it here, so ignore that aspect.

Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2020, 06:55:33 pm »
What frequency are you running the monitor at? Is it running at 1024x768?
Quote from: Kim
Paging Diver300.  Diver300 to the GSM Trimphone, please...

Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2020, 08:46:54 am »
Merry Christmas to all!   :thumbsup:

The output of xrandr is:
Code: [Select]
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1024 x 768, maximum 4096 x 4096
VGA-0 disconnected primary (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DVI-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
LVDS connected 1024x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 287mm x 215mm
   1024x768      60.00*+
   800x600       59.86 
   848x480       59.66 
   720x480       59.71 
   640x480       59.38 
S-video disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

I have manged to connect the machine up to an external monitor via VGA cable and the problem is replicated there, so looks like internal problems with the video management rather than anything physical and internal like a screen cable etc.

Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2020, 08:50:52 am »
There might be clues in the X log file: /var/log/Xorg.0.log, in particular what video hardware you have and which video driver.

Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2020, 10:04:24 am »
Thanks, Philip.

There's no Xorg.0.log at /var/log

/var/log shows:
Code: [Select]
root@delldebian:~# ls /var/log/
alternatives.log
apt
auth.log
btmp
cups
daemon.log
debug
dpkg.log
faillog
fontconfig.log
gdm3
hp
installer
kern.log
lastlog
loglist
messages
popularity-contest
popularity-contest.0
popularity-contest.new
speech-dispatcher
syslog
syslog.1
unattended-upgrades
user.log
wtmp

Maybe screen and video stuff is elsewhere.

Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2020, 10:10:36 am »
I wonder where it is?  Perhaps a dot file in your home directory. Try "ls -A".

Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2020, 10:12:32 am »
Possibly .local/share/xorg/

Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2020, 10:59:18 am »
Can't find .local/share/xorg/

Command ls -A gives:
.bash_history
.bash_logout
.bashrc
.cache
.config
Desktop
Documents
Downloads
.gnupg
.ICEauthority
.local
.mozilla
Music
Pictures
.profile
Public
Templates
Videos

The command lspci[/] shows:
Code: [Select]
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RV350/M10 / RV360/M11 [Mobility Radeon 9600 (PRO) / 9700]


Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2020, 11:15:19 am »
Since those artefacts are present even on what looks to be the dumb text mode setup screen, Im going to say that looks like cooked video hardware.

Probably not what you wanted to hear, sorry.
Of course, I could be wrong.

Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2020, 11:19:50 am »
Found Xorg.0.log (and Xlog.1.log).  They were at ~/.local/share/xorg

The logs are quite big, so I will not reproduce them here.  I will provide a link to each.

Xorg.0.log
Xorg.1.log

Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2020, 11:21:48 am »
Thanks, Feanor.  You may well be right!  Nevertheless, I am learning a lot, and I've found the Xorg logs! :smug:

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2020, 11:30:17 am »
It's the first 10000 digits of in an alien script. Wait long enough and you'll get the blueprints for building a space-time wormhole. Or alien spam.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2020, 11:55:10 am »
Since those artefacts are present even on what looks to be the dumb text mode setup screen, Im going to say that looks like cooked video hardware.

My thoughts also.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2020, 12:11:02 pm »
Since those artefacts are present even on what looks to be the dumb text mode setup screen, Im going to say that looks like cooked video hardware.

My thoughts also.

Also concur, as I've got a dead card lying around here somewhere that does very similar, or at least did before it was replaced.

What type of video adapter is in use? (Although chances of me being able to find one of the many decrepit parts in the piles is low, and chances of testing slim to none)

Re: Strange Screen
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2020, 06:29:03 pm »
Nothing in the log file looks suspcious to me. One option you could try is to enable the Debian backports and install a more recent kernel and firmware from https://backports.debian.org/  Essentially you add the line

  deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ buster-backports main contrib non-free

to /etc/apt/sources.list and run "apt update". Then to install a backport you run something like

  apt install -t buster-backports linux-image-amd64 firmware-linux-free firmware-amd-graphics firmware-linux-nonfree

If you want to try this make sure that /boot has enough space: you probably have one kernel version installed and the new kernel will install in parallel so you want "df -h /boot" to report less than 50% used.