Mint won't let me login after installing LAN driver

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Mint won't let me login after installing LAN driver

Postby pmanger on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:59 pm

I have just built a new system based on a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H motherboard. I have two 256-MiB SSDs and two one-terabyte mechanical drives. I have wired LAN. One of the SSDs hosts Windows 7 64-bit Pro, and the other hosts Mint 14 Cinnamon. Unfortunately, the LAN chip on the Gigabyte motherboard is an Atheros AR8161 which is not yet fully supported in Linux. I was able to obtain a tarball from http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/networking/alx and was able to successfully manually install (the driver name is "alx") it while running Mint from a live USB. I also was able to get a debian installer package from http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/l/linux-backports-modules-3.5.0/ and got that to work in the live USB version. However, when I did the actual installation of Mint 14 onto my SSD I ran into problems. After installing Mint 14, I copied the tarball from my thumbdrive and manually installed it. Then I rebooted. Upon reboot I was prompted for my user name and password, after which I briefly got a black terminal screen again asking me to login, and then it reverted back to the GUI login screen. This happened over and over. It also happened after I reinstalled Mint 14 and used the debian package installer. After I reinstalled a third time without installing the LAN driver, I was able to successfully login.

So here's the problem: the only way I can get Mint 14 to let me login is to NOT install the Atheros LAN driver at all. But this leaves me without an internet connection, or a connection with any other computer.

Can anyone offer any suggestions?
pmanger
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Re: Mint won't let me login after installing LAN driver

Postby pmanger on Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:46 am

I've learned a little more about the login problem since posting this message. On the GUI login screen, just under the edit box where you enter your user name and password, are three icons. Clicking on the middle one brings up a list of interface options: open in mint, in mint 2d, in gnome, etc. Selecting either of the two gnome choices lets me login AND lets me keep my internet connection. I'd rather have the Cinnamon interface, but I can probably get by with Gnome. MATE was my second choice of interface, so I tried installing MATE. MATE has the same login problem even WITHOUT my installing the LAN drivers. In fact, I had the problem when trying to boot off a USB, which doesn't even require having a username or password.

So it appears this problem may not be caused by the LAN driver, but by a bug in the Nadia code. I'd install Mint 13 except that it can't handle my video driver and give me access to the full resolution capabilities of my monitor.

If anyone has found a workaround, please reply here.
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Re: Mint won't let me login (SOLVED)

Postby pmanger on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:50 am

OK, I've solved the problem, with the help of two other posts on this forum from people experiencing a similar issue (http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=118538 and http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=116798). In my case I had the problem with Mint 14 only AFTER installing the LAN drivers for Atheros AR8161. If I rebooted without first installing the Atheros drivers, I had no problem. Of course, I did not have internet access either. The solution was to install the current Nvidia drivers immediately after installing the LAN drivers, before rebooting. As far as I can guess, the installation of the LAN drivers must have overwritten or corrupted some critical file, and the Nvidia driver installation must have restored it. That's only a guess. Anyway, I'm now up and running with my preferred Linux Mint interface.
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