First attempt on Mint - ATI problem

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First attempt on Mint - ATI problem

Postby Oceanwatcher on Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:08 am

First of all - I am not an English speaking native, so it is sometimes difficult to search for the right things. I have tried searching for solutions to my problems and could not find any, but I am more than happy to be directed to a solution!

I am going through distros one by one trying to find one I can recommend to my readers. I write a weekly newspaper column about computers and need something that is as easy as possible. So this is my first attempt at Mint. The download took a loooong time as I am living in a small village in Brazil. I wish I had the internet speed I used to have back home in Norway...

I am installing the latest version of Mint on a laptop. Here are the spec's:

IBM ThinkPad A30p
P3 1,2 GHz
40 GB HD
512 MB RAM
DVD reader/CD writer
2 PCcard slots
LAN 100/10 Mbit
15 inch screen with 1600x1200 resolution
ATI Mobility Radeon 32 MB
2 x USB 1.1
Parallell port
COM port
WiFi
Bluetooth
Sound (do not remember the chipset)
Norwegian keyboard layout
Support for external monitor
Video in/out

Should in theory work fine... But here are my problems so far -

Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu all are able to detect the graphics board and I can use the correct resolution. Mint starts in 640x480 and this does not even allow me to see all of some of the dialogue boxes. I do not have the option of using higher resolution in Mint.

I almost got Kubuntu to work, but could not figure out how to get the wireless network to function. So I was hoping that if it is possible to get past the display problems, Mint would fix the wireless as well.

Anyone out there willing to help me a little? I am totally new on Mint. Tried installing ATI drivers even if Envy stated it did not have a match. And thinking back to the other distros, it should probably not be necessay. So I will do a reinstall so everything is clean for anyone that want to give me a hand getting it to work. Is it too much to ask that the ATI Mobility Radeon should be supported right out of the box? Maybe it is WAY too old? :-D I think there are a lot of laptops around that could work pretty ok with Linux. I am certainly hoping for a couple of more years on this laptop as a surfing pc.
Regards,

Oceanwatcher
My blog - http://www.wisnaes.com/
My photo page - http://www.oceanwatcher.com/
New page for Norwegian readers - http://www.datahverdag.com/
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Re: First attempt on Mint - ATI problem

Postby Husse on Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:17 am

So this is an old lappy...
Which version of Mobility Radeon?
It needs the legacy driver from ATI and I'm not sure if there is one that EnvyNG does not know about
Seems that you can forget the ATI drivers and must rely on the open source drivers
What I think has happened is that you got the "vesa" driver while it should use the "radeon" driver
Check /etc/X11/xorg.conf
There is only one Section Device and it should look something like
Section "Device"
Identifier "Configured Video Device"
Driver "radeon"
EndSection

If it say vesa change it, if it says something other than radeon or vesa please tell us
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Re: First attempt on Mint - ATI problem

Postby Oceanwatcher on Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:18 pm

Husse wrote:So this is an old lappy...
Which version of Mobility Radeon?


After doing an lshw in a terminal window, it seems to be ATI Radeon Mobility M6 LY, but in all documents I have seen from ATI, it has only been called Radeon Mobility. Probably the first in the series :-) Here is the section that mention it:

*-pci
description: Host bridge
product: 82830 830 Chipset Host Bridge
vendor: Intel Corporation
physical id: 100
bus info: pci@0000:00:00.0
version: 02
width: 32 bits
clock: 33MHz
configuration: driver=agpgart-intel module=intel_agp
*-pci:0
description: PCI bridge
product: 82830 830 Chipset AGP Bridge
vendor: Intel Corporation
physical id: 1
bus info: pci@0000:00:01.0
version: 02
width: 32 bits
clock: 66MHz
capabilities: pci normal_decode bus_master
*-display UNCLAIMED
description: VGA compatible controller
product: Radeon Mobility M6 LY
vendor: ATI Technologies Inc
physical id: 0
bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
version: 00
width: 32 bits
clock: 66MHz
capabilities: agp agp-2.0 pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list
configuration: latency=66 mingnt=8

Husse wrote:Check /etc/X11/xorg.conf
There is only one Section Device and it should look something like
Section "Device"
Identifier "Configured Video Device"
Driver "radeon"
EndSection

If it say vesa change it, if it says something other than radeon or vesa please tell us


This is what it says:

Section "Device"
Identifier "Configured Video Device"
Boardname "vesa"
Busid "PCI:1:0:0"
Driver "vesa"
Screen 0
EndSection

Should I change both occurrences to radeon? Very grateful for your help!
Regards,

Oceanwatcher
My blog - http://www.wisnaes.com/
My photo page - http://www.oceanwatcher.com/
New page for Norwegian readers - http://www.datahverdag.com/
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Re: First attempt on Mint - ATI problem

Postby Husse on Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:13 pm

That's an odd one - I've seen it before - but...
Comment out (put a # first on the line) the line Boardname "vesa"
Then change Driver "vesa" to Driver "radeon"
I hope it works
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Re: First attempt on Mint - ATI problem

Postby Oceanwatcher on Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:51 pm

Here is another odd one for you. Booting up today, it suddenly came up with a 1600x1200 resolution! Still the same driver. Go figure...

I have a feeling this one will be revisited in not too long...

In the mean time I will post another thread about wireless.

Thank you VERY much for your help. This forum feels very friendly and it seems relaxed. Just the right feel for anyone that would like to dip their toe into the Linux ocean :-)
Regards,

Oceanwatcher
My blog - http://www.wisnaes.com/
My photo page - http://www.oceanwatcher.com/
New page for Norwegian readers - http://www.datahverdag.com/
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Re: First attempt on Mint - ATI problem

Postby Husse on Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:19 am

Was that the first reboot?
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Re: First attempt on Mint - ATI problem

Postby Oceanwatcher on Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:25 pm

No, not the first reboot. But now I am thinking about leaving it as it is. I am afraid of changing something that works :-) I have no idea why it just started working.
Regards,

Oceanwatcher
My blog - http://www.wisnaes.com/
My photo page - http://www.oceanwatcher.com/
New page for Norwegian readers - http://www.datahverdag.com/
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Re: First attempt on Mint - ATI problem

Postby mmmike on Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:13 am

There is an easy solution to the resolution problem that actually doesn't have anything to do with the ATI Mobility driver. The native driver that installs with Mint is compatible with this and a few other older ATI chipsets. The problem is with the LCD driver; not the video chipset driver.

My laptop running Mint 5 (Elyssa) is an IBM Thinkpad A22m with the ATI Mobility 128 chipset (8 Mb). Its maximum resolution is 1400 x 1050 @ 60 MHz, and any other resolution looks terrible. When I first install Mint, the only resolutions I get are 800 x 600 and 640 x 480.

To fix this, you must navigate to the Screens and Graphics tool. Surprisingly, this can't be found in the control center and I haven't been able to find it in any available menu. If your screen looks strangely segmented and unusable (with the middle essentially missing), you can still get there and solve this by grabbing the title bars of the windows you open to move them around the screen to see where you're going a bit at a time. Click the Computer icon on the desktop or in the program menu. Next, in the left pane, click File System. The remaining path to be opened in the right pane is /usr/share/applications/Screens and Graphics. After you double-click Screens and Graphics, you will have to type in your user account password. Because the screen will be distorted, you may not actually see the field where you type it in, but it's there. Just type your password and hit [Enter]. After the Screens and Graphics Preferences window opens, click the button to the right of where it says "Model:". It will probably read as "Plug 'n' Play". In the Choose Screen window that opens, leave the manufacturer on the left as Generic and on the right select the maximum resolution that your LCD screen is rated at. Click OK. You will get a notification that Mint will have to restart for the setting to be effective. Close out of everything and reboot.

Do not run EnvyNG for this chipset. You will get an error message in the console and the operation will fail. Additionally, editing the xorg.conf file is a huge waste of time in this case.

MS Windows perspective: If you're an old Windows vet, you may recall the same thing happening in the Win95/98 days when many different brands of CRT monitors appeared on the market and the higher resolutions we were promised didn't show up in the Display Properties. Changing the monitor type and/or resolution fixed the problem even if a generic driver native in Windows was used. This is the same issue.
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Re: First attempt on Mint - ATI problem

Postby Husse on Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:35 am

mmmike you may be right
to reach the tool you use open a terminal and sudo displayconfig-gtk
It's not in the menu due to some issue I've forgotten (not there in Hardy either)
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