nVidia Driver issues

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nVidia Driver issues

Postby xandora on Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:13 am

Been diving into Linux over the past couple weeks, and I think I've settled with Mint as my starting point. Unfortunately I think I have been diving into the deep end, as I've been trying to install it onto a Macbook Pro 7,1.

I finally got it all working, but was having issues with the brightness control. Everything is VERY dark. With max brightness, I can only just see well enough to navigate the menus. The strange thing is, on start up the brightness works fine. But as soon as I tried to adjust the setting via the keyboard, it dropped to almost nothing.

Now, when I was messing around with Ubuntu on the same laptop I had to install the nVidia drivers to get the backlight working properly via this method here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacBookPro7-1/Oneiric#Video

I noticed that Mint seems to use a lot of the packages off the Ubuntu PPA (Is that right?) and tried the same method as above. Everything installed fine, but now when I turn the Macbook on and boot into Mint all I get is a black screen for a bit before the laptop seems to turn itself off again.

I have tried booting into recovery, but all I get is a screen that seems to tell me that there is an error of no description (I think).

Help out a learning Linux n00b!
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby PhoenixKsE on Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:55 am

Obviously without being able to see what's going on for myself, I can't really tell you your issue, but I will say this.... I think you broke it. At least, when I get to a point like that (and I had a few of them over the last week -- noob here too) I just reinstall and try again with something different. Did nothing come up for you in the 'system>additional drivers' gui? This most recent time (and the time that I've actually gotten linux working) I used that... it came up with nvidia accelerated graphics (version current) or something very close to that and I clicked 'activate' then had to reboot and bam, nvidia drivers working properly. I had tried it before using the terminal but it just kept breaking and I was getting really frustrated.

Just a thought. :)

Good luck, from one noob to another!! :wink:
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby xandora on Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:20 pm

I have seen people talking about the Additional Drivers, but all I ever get in that dialog is an option to install Broadcomm Wireless.

I guess I'll just have to reinstall again!

Thanks for your help.
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby PhoenixKsE on Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:19 am

Hey I tried. Only other thought I had was how I did it before, but I'm not sure if it was the cause of my necessary reinstall.

What I did was get the driver from nvidia.com, then did a:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

then I remember a forum telling me something about blacklisting nouveau, can't remember exactly what it said, but should be an easy search.

Anyway, after that I remember having to stop X (kdm or gdm or gdm3, depending on your flavor of Mint. :) bad pun!) using:

sudo service kdm stop

that brought me to a full-screen terminal, and then I had to run the downloaded nvidia driver from nvidia.com, then rebooted. the first time I did that, it worked fine. something else broke the install. the second time I used that method I had done something else differently and it broke the install, but if you aren't seeing your driver in 'additional drivers' then maybe that is your answer.

When you are done (provided Mint boots back up), you should have access to the nvidia X server, and then you may be able to play with the brightness. Sorry I can't be more help, I'm on my windows boot right now, so I don't have these things in front of me at the moment.

Either way, good luck. We've reached the end of my noob knowledge. :)
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby xandora on Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:28 pm

Well, I nuked the partitions back to what they were before I installed Mint the first time, and tried to install again. However this time the installer failed to install Grub! :(
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby PhoenixKsE on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:06 am

That's really weird. Are you using the guided install or manual? Also what version and flavor of Mint are you installing? Is there a forum or tutorial you are following?
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby xandora on Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:15 pm

I'm using the standard Linux Mint 12 64bit DVD iso. Just following the install set up as it goes through the process. It's probably an issue with my partitioning rather than the installer itself.

EDIT: The exact error message I'm getting goes something like this: "The 'grub-efi' failed to install to /target/. blah blah blah won't be able to boot."
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby PhoenixKsE on Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:50 am

So I assume when you install it, linux is running live from the DVD. Is there a way to install grub manually from this live session after your install is finished? You would likely need someone more educated in linux than me for instructions to do something like that, but if it's possible you might try it.

I was using Mint 12 KDE from a bootable USB to install, and it seemed to get everything working by itself (other than the video driver, which I was making more difficult than it needed to be), so that might be your next step if you keep getting issues. I'm using KDE because the tutorial I was reading said it was the only one that could be easily placed on a flash drive. I used Image Writer (https://launchpad.net/win32-image-writer) to put Mint 12 KDE (http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=97) onto my USB stick and booted from that, then installed from there and it just worked...

Once again, I think we've reached the extent of my knowledge, but I'm more than happy to keep trying to figure this out with you. NOOBIE POWER! :)


Edit: Looked around and just thought I would make sure to ask... during the install are you connected to the internet? If your wireless isn't automatically detected by linux before the install you may need to use a wired connection.
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby xandora on Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:15 am

I'm actually using a bootable USB as well. This edition here, the 64bit version.

I assume there probably is a way to install GRUB separately, but as far as I can tell from the error message, the installer crashes after that error message and I don't think the install is completed correctly.

I have a feeling that it may be due to unsync'd GPT and MBR partitons in rEFIt. (Just wildly speculating here, but anything could be a possibility right now)

I'm going to give it another go now, and see if I can install GRUB manually if the installation fails again.

EDIT: Success! I managed to get it to install correctly while having the Macbook plugged into the internet. Now all I need to do is figure out the screen brightness/nVidia drivers issue.

I guess that this would be the best way to go about blacklisting the Nouveau drivers you mentioned earlier? http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/176
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby PhoenixKsE on Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:29 pm

That forum is for Mint 9 (Isadora)

I had success with this one: viewtopic.php?f=175&t=49157

And I've seen a couple of threads including this: viewtopic.php?t=82424&f=191

to do this:

sudo echo blacklist nouveau > /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nouveau.conf

also possibly look at this: http://jfsaucier.wordpress.com/2011/01/ ... ds-laptop/

They all seem to say pretty much the same thing.


Now... what worked for me before I used the 'additional drivers' and found that worked better was:

1. Download the driver for your card (also for linux) from nvidia.com in the support and drivers section. save it somewhere you can find it.
2. sudo service kdm stop
3. sudo apt-get install nvidia-current
4. add nouveau to blacklist.conf OR create blacklist-nouveau.conf (both are in /etc/modprobe.d/ ) -- see below
a. blacklist nouveau
blacklist lbm-nouveau
blacklist nvidia-173
blacklist nvidia-96
blacklist nvidia-173-updates
blacklist nvidia-96-updates
alias nvidia nvidia-current
alias nouveau off
alias lbm-nouveau off
(I don't remember where I read to put all these in the file, but I have it written down as working -- until I broke it again)
5. sudo reboot
6. get back to terminal, sudo service kdm stop
7. navigate to where you downloaded nvidia driver
8. sudo sh nvidia(bunch of numbers).run
9. when it asks you about doing something with X server, say yes.
10. sudo reboot

If none of these work.... I have no idea what else to do. Might have to get someone in here who really knows their shtuff.

Good luck! :)
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby xandora on Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:28 pm

I get to step 5 of your list and this is where the entire thing falls apart. Once I reboot after removing/blacklisting the nouveau drivers I can't get back into any type of GUI. The OS boots, as I can hit the power button, press enter and it shuts down but I can't see anything. I can get into the recovery menu from GRUB but that's about it.
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby PhoenixKsE on Tue May 01, 2012 9:47 am

Hmmm. It used to boot just fine for me after that. I'm not sure what else to do.... honestly.

try removing

blacklist nvidia-173
blacklist nvidia-96
blacklist nvidia-173-updates
blacklist nvidia-96-updates
alias nvidia nvidia-current

from the file and see if that works.

Other than that, this is likely past my range of linux knowledge.
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby xandora on Wed May 02, 2012 9:42 pm

Still getting that black screen after installing the nvidia drivers.

Perhaps it had something to do with the absence of gdm on my computer. I do have lightdm instead though and I assume they are the same.

Sent from my phone. Excuse the formatting nasties.
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby PhoenixKsE on Thu May 03, 2012 3:13 am

If you haven't already tried the directions in the article you originally posted on here about blacklisting nouveau: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/176 -- you should try that now. If that doesn't work, maybe your hardware just isn't going to mix well with Mint. But as I've said from the beginning, I'm a newbie, so what do I know? :?
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby PhoenixKsE on Sat May 05, 2012 1:07 pm

You didn't give up on this did you? I know it's hard to find solutions when something isn't working right in linux, but stick with it! You'll get it, I'm sure of it.
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby xandora on Sun May 06, 2012 7:31 am

Nah, haven't given up, but I haven't had a lot of time to work on it recently. Will probably give it another shot tomorrow night.
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Re: nVidia Driver issues

Postby PhoenixKsE on Sun May 06, 2012 1:20 pm

Sounds good. I'll await your reply. :)
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