Posting a reply here is talking to myself.... but it is ALL good news.
So much thanks to a January 2012 post elsewhere regarding Mint Linux 11 and 12. It somehow wrangled all the odds and ends I'd tried to implement in order to fix a set of issues the Gateway NV78 (and quite possibly other laptops sharing an integrated Intel video i915 / others?) has.
SHORT description of problem:
As anyone who's tried to run newer linux version (ubuntu, suse, and quite likely others) on Gateway NV78, one quickly is faced with a black screen. And fixing it... good luck. All sorts of odds and ends advice, much of it actually part of a real fix, exists spread around the web. I was able to get access to my Mint Linux 13 desktop, but only by booting in recovery mode. No screen resolution beyond 1024x768. Ugly quality. And slow refresh. I have had this problem with Linux since my Ubuntu 11 days, and hated both my NV78 and/or Linux, depending on my mood. Hehehe....
The FIX:https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... omments/53
I owe Christian Mortenson big-time. Applied his fixes (and I cut and pasted just to play it safe) and had complete success.
And below, because this is a FIX for Mint Linux 13 as well... I'm reproducing the contents of Mortenson's post. Be aware I did *NOT* use his final step, installing other drivers. It was unecessary. Everything is working.
-->> Below Mortenson's FIX:
I am on a Gateway NV78 and have gotten both Linux Mint 11 and 12 to boot flawlessly using this thread. Here is what I did.
Enter i915.broken=1 into command line to make install.
Post #42: Based on the info available here and how to set up a script to run during the startup process and the resume process (from suspend/hiberate modes), here it goes a work around for this bug:
1) create a script under /etc/init.d by the following command:
sudo gedit /etc/init.d/fix_backlight
With the content above:
echo "Fixing backlight for Gateway NV78"
setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00
2) And then include that script path (/etc/init.d/fix_backlight) into /etc/rc.local (before the last command: exit 0)
3) create a script under /etc/pm/sleep.d/ by the following command:
sudo gedit /etc/pm/sleep.d/10_fix_backlight
With the content above:
# Fix Gateway NV78 backlight
if [ ! -x /etc/init.d/fix_backlight ]; then
4) Make sure to make the created scripts executable:
sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/fix_backlight;
sudo chmod 755 /etc/pm/sleep.d/10_fix_backlight;
5) Add "acpi_osi=Linux" to the default grub start up script:
sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
Add "acpi_osi=Linux" after quiet splash
Then sudo update-grub
[Note from Shonkin: IF you are reading this in regard to Mint Linux 13, you will NOT need to do the below steps. The above steps worked without any further tweaks.]
You may have to add the respective backlight kernel.https://launchpad.net/~kamalmostafa/+ar ... -backlight
--Gnome3https://launchpad.net/~kamalmostafa/+ar ... gbacklight
From experience I have had to use the backlight kernels above. Coming out of suspend mode the backlight keys would be inactive. This fixed it.