Gateway NV78 / Intel i915 Mobile Express 4 / Related ?s

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Gateway NV78 / Intel i915 Mobile Express 4 / Related ?s

Postby shonkin on Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:30 am

I know this is a very old set of hardware issues, rooted in a likely lousy bit of hardware and in Intel's unwillingness to write a Linux driver for it. But forget that. I've got LInux Mint 13 running... just not pretty. What I want to know is this... how can I get all the different resolutions for the LCD monitor on this laptop?

Here's the list of possible resolutions according to Gateway's site:

--

Mobile Intel™ GM459 Express Chipset with integrated 3D graphics, featuring Intel™ Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD (Intel™ GMA 4500MHD) with up to 1759 MB of Intel™ Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0 (128 MB of dedicated video memory, up to 1631 MB of shared system memory), supporting Microsoft™ DirectX™ 10
Dual independent display support
16.7 million colors
External resolution/refresh rate:

2048 x 1536: 75/60 Hz
1920 x 1440: 85/75/60 Hz
1920 x 1200: 75/60 Hz
1920 x 1080: 100/85/75/60 Hz
1680 x 945: 100/85/75/60 Hz
1600 x 1200: 120/100/85/75/60 Hz
1600 x 900: 120/100/85/75/60 Hz
1400 x 1050: 85/75/60 Hz
1366 x 768: 85/75/60 Hz
1280 x 1024: 120/100/85/75/60 Hz
1280 x 960: 85/75/60 Hz
1280 x 768: 85/75/60 Hz
1280 x 720: 100/85/75/60 Hz
1024 x 768: 120/100/85/75/60 Hz
800 x 600: 120/100/85/72/60 Hz

--

Okay, all I have showing as possibilities for settings on my Mint desktop are 1024x768 (4x3) and the usual 800x600.

Now, here's the Catch-22: To see my screen at all, due to bugs in the Linux Driver and/or Intel i915 chip, I have to basically run with a "nomodeset" in my grub settings. Yes, a more arcane line re i915 being broken also gives me the same desktop settings, but since it is the same result we won't talk about it any more.

I wonder a very simple thing. Can I, after telling linux NOT to set modes, override that and have it find all or at least more of the possible modes the hardware has in Winduhs?

Thanks for any help. I'm moderately hacker-happy, and willing to break things code-wise just to see what happens....

:mrgreen:
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Re: Gateway NV78 / Intel i915 Mobile Express 4 / Related ?s

Postby shonkin on Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:30 pm

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:
#! /bin/sh
echo "Fixing backlight for Gateway NV78"
setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00
exit 0

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:
#!/bin/sh
# Fix Gateway NV78 backlight
PATH=/sbin:/usr/sbin:/bin:/usr/bin
if [ ! -x /etc/init.d/fix_backlight ]; then
exit 0
fi
/etc/init.d/fix_backlight

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

YMMV

[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 --Gnome3

https://launchpad.net/~kamalmostafa/+ar ... gbacklight --Gnome2

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.
Last edited by shonkin on Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gateway NV78 / Intel i915 Mobile Express 4 / Related ?s

Postby shonkin on Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:37 am

And one more tweak I tried this morning to dim screen somewhat, as the NV78 screen is so bright otherwise....

Change the script from my above post very slightly. First, the original:

#! /bin/sh
echo "Fixing backlight for Gateway NV78"
setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00
exit 0

And then the tweaked version (note "setpci" line... just one digit change from '00' to '40'):

#! /bin/sh
echo "Fixing backlight for Gateway NV78"
setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=40
exit 0

The change is subtle, but it takes the edge off. Maybe someone else will find an even better setting.

Blessings.
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Re: Gateway NV78 / Intel i915 Mobile Express 4 / Related ?s

Postby shonkin on Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:57 pm

Just a warning... installing virtualbox may affect the screen behavior in linux. Even if VB isn't running at the time. I installed VBox today and when my screen went to sleep it wouldn't come on again. However, closing the lid, letting the machine hibernate, then opening the lid and striking a key did reactivate the screen again.

Just keeping others up to speed....

I've disabled (under Preferences > Brightness and Lock) the "turn screen off when inactive" option. That is, I set it for "Never."

And (editing this post again) I've tried various brightnesses.

I used "AA" and not bad but too dark. "7F" was still a bit bright. So, "8F" seemed to strike a nice balance:

#! /bin/sh
echo "Fixing backlight for Gateway NV78"
setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=8F
exit 0

(You'll have to read the rest of the thread, or at least starting at the second post, to understand what I'm talking about here.)
Blessings.
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Re: Gateway NV78 / Intel i915 Mobile Express 4 / Related ?s

Postby manicmadic on Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:09 pm

Just want to say thanks and also confirm that this works on my Gateway NV78 some specs:
Code: Select all
lspci | grep VGA                                                           
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)   

glxinfo | grep -i "vendor\|rendering"
direct rendering: Yes
server glx vendor string: SGI
client glx vendor string: Mesa Project and SGI
OpenGL vendor string: Intel Open Source Technology Center


I have tried many things to fix the manifold problems with my Gateway setup ( blank screen after login, poor resolution, software rendering mode, high cpu usage at idle ...) went the nomodeset road and finally landed here.

Thanks again!
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