(1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

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(1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:01 pm

Probably should have split questions, but I'd welcome replies together or both.

I did a fresh install of Mint 13/Cinnamon on my old laptop (new about the time XP --> Vista) to replace Vista. I just let it install to the whole HD since that seemed like the cleanest way and I'd already tranferred everything Ineeded to keep. This was a last chance to salvage the laptop for something usefulo to me before giving it away. It installed OK.

(1) After I ran "additional drivers" to get it to run my wireless card (it still isn't working either), the display went to garbage - completely unreadable - so that I had to do a hardware (button) shutdown. It booted fine but during the process briefly displayed a horizontal green bar about 20% of the screen height, near the top. Then, after that went off, it very briefly flashed on a mostly white closed loop that looked something like a rounded, deformed bow-tie shaped lissajous figure. After that, it was OK until I ran something else - forgot what - and after that, the display went crazy again.

(2) tried to run Synaptic, but got the error:

E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem.
E: _cache->open() failed, please report.

I did that and a bunch of stuff went by in a console screen that I didn't understand, that eventually indicated it was done. By the way, somewhere along in there after it was done, the screen crashed again and I had to reboot. When I tried to run Synaptic, I got the same error message again.

One other problem...I tried installing a card game using gdebi, and it seemed to be OK...but about the time I'd have thought it was done, the screen crashed and I had to reboot. When I did, I searched the Menu listings, but couldn't find any sign of the game. Where do things go when they are installed...ie, where is the shorcut/link to run them?

Frankly, I was a lot more impressed with Mint when I dual booted it with my XP installation way back a bunch of Mint versions ago than I am with this one. I thought Mint's claim to fame was that it finally got it right for casual users. I'm not a Linux newbie since I dabbled in it way, way back, starting with Mandriva (I think), but never really got into it, so am pretty much a wondowfied casual user. My more recent experience prior to Mint was with Kubuntu. Lately I wanted to give it another try and though Mint might be my best shot. Honestly, I'm about ready to go back to Kubuntu because this just isn't working.

Hope somebody can convince me to stick with Mint by having answers.

Please reply as if to a raw newbie, because I certainly am very inexperienced.

Thanks!
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby viking777 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:01 pm

Try running in compatibility mode (you may have to press shift during boot up to see the boot menu with this option on it). If that works open a terminal and run the command

Code: Select all
inxi -F


Posting the output here.

If compatibility mode doesn't work for you can you run that command and copy /paste the results before your screen crashes in normal mode?
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:19 pm

[viking...Thanks! It boots OK without a screen crash, so I just ran it then opened a console and did as suggested. Output posted below your clipped quote.
Optiker
-------------------------------------
Code: Select all
inxi -F


Posting the output here.

If compatibility mode doesn't work for you can you run that command and copy /paste the results before your screen crashes in normal mode?[/quote]
-------------------------------------
crlinux@crlinux-MP061 ~ $ inxi -F
System: Host: crlinux-MP061 Kernel: 3.2.0-23-generic i686 (32 bit) Desktop: Gnome Distro: Linux Mint 13 Maya
Machine: System: Dell (portable) product: MP061
Mobo: Dell model: 0YD479 Bios: Dell version: A10 date: 08/26/2009
CPU: Dual core Intel Core Duo CPU T2250 (-MCP-) cache: 2048 KB flags: (nx sse sse2 sse3)
Clock Speeds: 1: 800.00 MHz 2: 800.00 MHz
Graphics: Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Radeon Mobility X1400
X.Org: 1.11.3 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1440x900@60.0hz
GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on ATI RV515 GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 8.0.4
Audio: Card: Intel N10/ICH 7 Family High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel Sound: ALSA ver: 1.0.24
Network: Card-1: Broadcom BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX driver: b44
IF: eth0 state: down mac: 00:18:8b:bb:76:07
Card-2: Broadcom BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN driver: b43-pci-bridge
IF: N/A state: N/A mac: N/A
Drives: HDD Total Size: 124.0GB (4.4% used) 1: /dev/sda ST9120821AS 120.0GB
2: USB /dev/sdb JD_FireFly 4.0GB
Partition: ID: / size: 110G used: 5.1G (5%) fs: ext4 ID: swap-1 size: 2.14GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 25.0C mobo: N/A
Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info: Processes: 133 Uptime: 3 min Memory: 169.2/2012.4MB Client: Shell inxi: 1.7.33
crlinux@crlinux-MP061 ~ $
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby viking777 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:39 am

That' good. So we only have to figure out which of the 7 boot parameters in Compatibility mode makes it work. The modes (last time I checked that is) are
xforcevesa
nomodeset
b43-blacklist=yes
noapic
noacpi
nosplash
irqpoll

The favourite one to start with is always nomodeset so, with a root file manager open /etc/default/grub and add nomodeset to this line:

Code: Select all
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nomodeset"


You then have to run

Code: Select all
sudo update-grub


and then reboot and see if it works.
If it doesn't you have to repeat the whole procedure with each of the boot options in turn until you find the one that works (or if you can't be bothered to do that you can just copy the whole lot into that line which will make your default boot the same as compatibility mode). Xforcevesa will prevent your graphics card from running so you probably don't want to use that except as a last resort, and the b43 one prevents certain broadcom network drivers from being loaded and you do have a broadcom wifi card trying to use that driver, so maybe leave that one till near the end as well because it will stop it from working.
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:02 am

OK...I'll give it a try.

Even without doing any of what you suggest, the graphics aren't crashing consistently, and the wifi isn't working at all. But, I'll follow your suggestions.

Would I be better off just reinstalling Mint 14 in place of Mint 13? I did download it and burned the DVD to do just that in case I didn't get any replies to my post. I installed Mint 13 on somebody's advice regarding a different problem in a previous post, since it is long-term supported and Mint 14 isn't.

Thanks for sticking with me.

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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby viking777 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:02 pm

Well if you have already downloaded and burned the Mint14 dvd I personally would be tempted to give it a try. But I can't guarantee that will be a magic bullet. Your wifi problems are due to the Broadcom card I would say. You only need to search the forum for that card name and you will get nearly 200 results - ie it is a crap card or a crap driver, not sure which, just glad I have an Intel one which 'just works'. You are correct though in that Mint 13 will be supported longer than Mint 14, but if Mint 13 doesn't work for you??
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:13 pm

I was afraid that might be the case...the wifi card itself. Over the last few months, running Vista that came with the computer, it has glitched off and on, but that has always been a passing thing so that I had hoped it wasn't the card itself.

Wife is working on the desktop and using the printer that uses the hardware LAN connection, so when she's done, I'll borrow the cable and hook up the net connection and install Mint 14, since I already have it, on the outside chance that it might work. I guess I can tolerate a little more frustration! If that doesn't do the trick, I'll look into replacing the wifi card, though on a computer that old, I'm not sure it's worth the cost and effort.

I'll report back just to close the lop.

Thanks!
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:13 pm

I installed Mint 14 and the installation went much smoother than with 13. There are no screen crashes, and several of the other minor problems I was having haven't happened, like the clock time staying as a 24-hout clock even though I tried to change it. I was able to run Synaptic and install a couple of solitaire games for my wife for which the links were automatically generated in a new Games item in the start menu. This was not so with my now defunct Mint 13 installation.

I ran the Additional Drivers utility and while it wasn't installed, it identified the driver for my wireless card and allowed me to activate it. However, still no wireless connection. I can only conclude that my wireless card itself is at fault. I am looking into a replacement and am waiting on help from my son-in-law to identify a compatible Intel card.

No screen crashes so far. Overall, I like what I see and if replacing the wireless card lets me connect, I will stay with Mint 14.

Viking...thanks for your help.

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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby viking777 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:19 am

Viking...thanks for your help.


No problem and I am pleased Mint 14 was better for you, but regards the broadcom card, there are literally hundreds of posts on this forum alone about variants of this card, some of them contain solutions, this one for example:

viewtopic.php?f=47&t=124651&p=682639&hilit=broadcom+bcm#p682639

I'm not going to go through the forum seeking these out for you, that is something you can easily do yourself, but my point is that you may well not need a new wireless card, you can almost certainly fix the existing one with a bit of reading and experimenting.
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:15 pm

Thanks viking! I checked out that post regarding a fix and will try it today. In the meantime, my son-in-law is looking into a replacement card for me since he has way more experience in network stuff, and is good with hardware. At the prices I see, it may not be worth the fiddling since I was having network issues in Vista before I changed that computer over to Mint.

I will report back with the results.

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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:03 pm

I followed the instructions in the post that viking provided, namely the following:
----------------
My problem is solved after removing "bcmwl-kernel-source" by using Synaptic Package Manager, then installing "firmware-b43-installer" and "b43-fwcutter" again by Synaptic Package Manager. I hope it solves your problem, too.
----------------
Nothing seemed to change. In the network setup utility, only wired, dsl and the other tab on the far right were active. Wireless was greyed-out. Do I need to do something else to "turn on" the card? There's a function key on my computer to turn on wireless, but it must be for Windows since it has no effect.

Suggestions?

Thanks!
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby viking777 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:47 am

Code: Select all
rfkill list
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:09 pm

Hi viking...OK...did that. Nothing generated. Entered it in command line, hit enter, immediately went to next line and showed nothing...waiting for next command.

Now what? :) Did I need to do sudo? If so, it didn't tell me, and usually it does if that's the case. Tried it anyhow and still nothing...no output, still no connection.

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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby viking777 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:23 pm

That beats me Optiker.

No it doesn't need sudo, the only thing I can think of is that it is not installed, but if that was the case it would say "command not found". You could check anyway, but it is probably a waste of time:

Code: Select all
whereis rfkill


If it is not found it will just print
Code: Select all
rfkill:
If is is found it will tell you the address of the executable file. If it is not installed for any reason do:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install rfkill


I hope apt is working for you now?
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:49 pm

Progress! Just to show what a dummy I am, someplace that I was reading I noticed the word "reboot"! So I did, and sure enough, in the network management utility, it now showed an active wireless tab, and the light on the computer that shows that the wireless card is turned on is actually ON. So, I went in and tried to add my LAN. I tried "scan" and it didn't see anything, so I entered the name of my LAN. I also made the proper selection on the security tab, but some of the stuff on the Wireless tab I don't know, and don't remember seeing when I set up the LAN in Windows. The ones I don't know are Mode, BSSID, and the ones below that are either "Any", "Automatic" of not relevant since this isn't a Mac.

Any help on that?

Thanks!
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby viking777 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:52 pm

Mode is infrastructure if connecting to a router, ad hoc if connecting to another computer. BSSID is usually blank.
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:20 pm

viking...OK - got all of that right - connecting to a router. Still not connecting. Maybe time to order a new card?

Thanks!
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:00 pm

viking...I've been emailing back and forth with my son-in-law who knows a whole lot more about networking than I do. He said that when he set up my router, he set is up as "non-broadcasting SSID" for greater security, and that maybe Linux doesn't like that mode. Would that be the problem?

Thanks!
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby viking777 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:00 am

It isn't a problem with Linux to not broadcast the SSID, mine is set up the same way. You tell it the SSID on the wireless tab of the 'edit connections' dialog. Of course, if you type it wrong it will never connect. Another way to deal with this is to access your router software (via your web browser) switch off the setting to hide the SSID, let Mint find the signal automatically and when it has (and hopefully set it up for you) then go back into the router set up and switch the setting back on again. Of course you may not know how to do that although instructions should be in your routers manual/set up instructions.

Another minor thing to try when you have the wireless connections dialog open is to tick the 'Available to all Users' box if not already checked - sometimes makes a difference.
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Re: (1) Screen to garbage; (2) Synaptic won't run

Postby Optiker on Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:33 am

viking...You are right...I don't know how to switch off the "hide" setting. I've gone through my router manual and found the reference to broadcasting enabled/disabled, but they don't give a clear step-by-step way to change it. I'm sure that once I get into the configuration utility, it is probably obvious, but I don't want to take a chance that I'll mess up the whole configuration and have to start over, because my son-in-law did the original setup for me. He lives too far away to do it physically, and I'd be lost if I had to do it myself. My router is a Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router, model WRT54GL.

So, I think I will just put this project on the shelf until I either find somebody locally who can work with me to try that change, or until my son or son-in-law visits and can help. If I get it done one way or the other, I'll report back if it works.

Thanks for your ongoing help.

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