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Trio3b

KDE random black screens

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KDE 4.6.5 on PCLinuxOS 2012 ( 2.6.38-8) on Toshiba A305

 

videocard Intel Mobile 4. This software runs fine on a Compaq CQ50 with same graphics card.default install wants to use i810 and later driver, specifically i915

 

Random xserver crashes - black screen/ working mouse- BEFORE and after login and during sessions. Cannot reproduce but has happened over the past few months about every 5th login and every 2 hrs when in a session.

 

Many various error messages in /var and in .xsession-errors- too many to list but mainly regarding DBus disconnecting or cannot be connected.

 

Things tried:

-With and without desktop effects enabled

-Intel and Xorg drivers

-with and without xorg.conf (this seems to provide best results)

-Different kernels (pae,bfs, slightly older, slightly newer including latest)

-adding i915.modeset=1 to boot option

-delete ~.kde

-Adding Terminate server="True" to kdmrc

 

After a crash Ctrl+Alt+F(1-6) gives terminal. can login but cannot startx - error is either "xserver already running" or "cannot connect to server"

 

Ctrl+Alt+F7 gives me a text boot screen hung at "starting display manager"

 

Ctrl+ Alt+F8 returns me to the GUI session with all apps open as if nothing happened

 

If I hit CTRL+Alt+Bckspc immediately after crash I get GUI login. If after I launch another terminal session, it does nothing.

 

Any ideas appreciated.

 

 

[moved from Software by spinynorman]

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Greetings. The reason you can't start x is because it has not "crashed" but it has failed for another reason. Terminating the process will enable you to fresh boot the x server, which is what ctrl-alt-bksp does. Since you cleared the kde directory, I suspect that you may have a hardware problem, rather than a software problem. Any other os running on the machine? Any other odd problems? Perhaps you should post the errors. PCLinusOS does not really use edgy stuff but is quite stable. My guess is hardware.

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I would say something hardware related, try running memtest and see what happens. I've had problems recently with an old laptop and the graphical display crashing on me, but from the console the laptop would work fine. Took the whole thing apart and cleaned it out, removing the CPU, memory and reseating all the components. I would try this and see what happens. Also go into your BIOS and choose the Load Optimised Defaults option to ensure no bad setting has been chosen in here. Incorrect memory config in the BIOS can cause hardware issues, I've had this as well.

 

The i915.modeset or nomodeset or other such boot options are only for when you start X, GDM, KDM etc and get a black screen and the system stops responding. This isn't going to help your X crashing problem. If you see X/GDM/KDM normally, then this is not going to help in this instance.

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I would say something hardware related, try running memtest and see what happens. I've had problems recently with an old laptop and the graphical display crashing on me, but from the console the laptop would work fine. Took the whole thing apart and cleaned it out, removing the CPU, memory and reseating all the components. I would try this and see what happens. Also go into your BIOS and choose the Load Optimised Defaults option to ensure no bad setting has been chosen in here. Incorrect memory config in the BIOS can cause hardware issues, I've had this as well.

 

The i915.modeset or nomodeset or other such boot options are only for when you start X, GDM, KDM etc and get a black screen and the system stops responding. This isn't going to help your X crashing problem. If you see X/GDM/KDM normally, then this is not going to help in this instance.

 

 

[uPDATE]

 

Sorry about the long delay in response and thanks for the replies. If interested in what may have happened to possible resolve this, read on. If not, no problem.

 

 

Yes I had run memtest ( 3 passes) then reseated mem and ran for another 2 passes all OK. I had come to the conclusion that any xorg-server version > 1.6.5 was causing issues b/c any distro with newer xorg server gave me these " kick off" GUI console onto a black screen. (I was slamming Mint12,13, Mageia, MDV and several versions of PCLOS on to the lappy and what they all had in common was xorg-server>1.6.5) . This seemed confirmed when I loaded PCLOS 2010 ( with xorg-server = 1.6.5) and ran this lappy with no issues for the past 2 months with no more blackscreens, all hunky-dory and was settled in to use this laptop indefinitely.

 

 

So, recently and co-incidentally found several issues that could either have been a direct cause to the original problem or interrelated somehow.

 

1. Turns out that the RTC battery in this Toshiba A305 was failing but only slightly. ( An hour over several weeks so it was almost imperceptible) In the past this has only caused annoyance issues with keeping correct time, however, is it possible that the RTC failure was causing BIOS settings issues such as external monitor settings that was causing the graphics to freak out?

 

2. Since pclos 2012.12 was running fine on several laptops, I decided to try using the original pclos 2012.12 LiveCD disk on a desktop and I got media error. Checked media and sure enough it failed. PLZ keep in mind that this iso passed md5sum and pretty sure I checked media initially but can't verify as notes were hurrried. Even tho the media failed, it did not register to me that this could have been a problem b/c I was pretty sure I had used this particular media to load pclos 2012.12 on to 2 Compaq CQ50s, a Toshiba C655 and two Tosh netbooks. with no problems - so why suspect the disc?

 

Well, turns out that the netbooks were loaded via USB/SD card and the other 3 full size laptops may have been pclos2010 upgraded ( I am looking into that now).

 

This would mean that the Toshiba A305 with all the issues may have been the only hardware that got loaded with the "tainted" pclos2012.12 disc.

 

As of 7-7-12 I have replaced RTC battery. It was soldered to MB so I did have to disassemble everything and blow it all out. I was worried that the RTC charging circuit was bad but so far time is maintained. Also, burned a new pclos 2012.12 LiveCD from the ORIGINAL .iso, and so far this Tosh A305 has not "bumped off" into black screen. I have not installed yet but plan to within the next few weeks and will report back.

 

In conclusion, I still can't point to an exact cause but the combination of bad hdwr (RTC) and bad media seems to have been a likely culprit. I cannot mark solved yet as I want to install and run this hdwr/sftwr combo hard for a couple months,

 

 

I have installed MDV and many other distros many many times since 2005 and never ran across this combination of gremlins. This thing has eaten my lunch since summer of 2011. Wow !

 

Thanks for the help

Edited by Trio3b

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