SOLVED - "Display Server" problem

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SOLVED - "Display Server" problem

Postby Johnny5 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:18 pm

Hi all,

I've been trying to resolve this issue for four days now with little luck. I've finally run out of ideas, so I could really use some help. I'm a total Linux newbie so be gentle and speak slowly please :)

I am able to boot from the Live CD with no problem, Linux runs beautifully off of the live CD. I also have no troubles with the installation steps, I partition my drive just fine and get through each of the seven steps without incident. After I click "Finish" and actually start installing, however, things go wrong. The Installation works for a couple minutes in the GUI before flashing to a black screen with a few lines ending in "Checking battery state..." It will flash very briefly back to the GUI a few times before bringing this up:

The display server has been shut down about 6 times in the last 90 seconds. It is likely that something bad is going on. Waiting for 2 minutes before trying again on display :0.

I select OK, and the process repeats, flashing up the GUI for a moment before going back to the "Checking battery state..." screen and ultimately showing me the error again. If I leave it all night it will stay on the "Checking battery state..." screen.

The problem seems fairly common from my Googling, and there are lots of solutions, but none work for me (that I could find). People usually point to the video card drivers, specifically nVidia drivers, but since the OS is not yet installed I can't influence them. The Ubuntu recommendation is to run some mysterious "alternative CD" that doesn't have the same GUI (or any GUI). I'm not sure where that is, and I doubt there is a Mint equivalent.

Since it seems like my video card is not supported it was recommended on IRC that I disable my video card in BIOS and install, then go back once it's installed and fix problems. I don't seem to have the option in BIOS to disable my video card though. I did however remove my video card entirely and insert an ancient ATI Radeon card. I thought if it was a problem with my card that that would surely let me install. I got the same exact error though.

I was trying with the 64 bit version initially. I was told to try 32 bit since 64 is so new and I got the same error that way too.

I'm out of ideas. I'm pretty frustrated too because I had some other problems prior to that with Gparted not recognizing my partitions that ended up wrecking all my data. Thankfully I have everything backed up.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

My stats:
Video Card: EVGA GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
Mother board: MSI P6N SLI Platinum
Last edited by Johnny5 on Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Display Server" problem

Postby Johnny5 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:39 pm

I have a happy update to report on this one, I was able to install Mint last night. Yay.

The first thing I did was install new motherboard BIOS. That didn't seem to help at the time though.

After that I was out of good ideas and pretty much gave up on Mint. So I went and downloaded Ubuntu 8.10 64bit, and installed with no trouble at all. I kind of expected the same issues Mint had, but it was a smooth install. I don't know what is different about the Mint install, but Ubuntu was no problem.

So I played around with Ubuntu for a while, and I didn't like it as much as what I saw from the Mint Live CD. With Ubuntu I didn't trust that things were working the way they were supposed to because of bugs or because the interface design wasn't as intuitive for me. I wasn't really excited about it, though I did rather like the brown theme. As I tinkered with Ubuntu I saw the advanced effects option and turned it on out of curiosity. That's when it blew up, same error and flashing screen as I was getting on the install with Mint.

I decided to try installing Mint again, I'm not sure why. I did notice on this try that the installation didn't bugger up until 82%, where before it was dying around 69-70%. Since I was assuming the issue was with special effects I wondered if maybe the screensaver was coming up while I was waiting for the install to complete, and that was the cause of issues. So the next time I tried to install I wiggled my mouse around the whole time. The same thing happened, but this time I got around 90% installed before it did. So then I started thinking "Well, maybe it just only can hold out for so long and then it freaks out" so I decided to speedy install while wiggling the mouse around. So the next install I busted through clicking as quickly as I could and got to something like 94% that time. The next time I went faster; I clicked any random time zone, put in jjjjjj as username and password rather than taking the time to type a real one, skipped language installs, and generally just tried to click as fast as I could. The next time I went as fast as I possibly could, wiggled the mouse around the whole time, clicked things, and even went into effects settings and turned everything off. I'm not sure which thing I did actually helped, or if I was just randomly lucky, but it installed. YAY!

I can't see how any of those things worked. I ran out of good ideas and was using "bang it, that will help" logic. Mint is installed though. Now I'm going to try and resolve the issue post-installation, which is hopefully much more straight forward. I don't want to turn on advanced effects like I did on Ubuntu and have it break on me. If you have any thoughts on that I will certainly accept your assistance.


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Re: "Display Server" problem

Postby Husse » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:05 pm

Before we dig in to solve problems - have you tried "Compatibility mode" - press any key when the live CD counts down early on
This not only makes it possible to boot the live CD when it is reluctant - the mode is kept all the way until you have installed
If it really is the nvidia driver that is the culprit this should be fixed as this option uses the vesa video driver
I see this error occasionally but it is luckily not one of the more common errors
Your success report arrived before I posted my answer
The next thing to do - after you've straightened up user name, password, time zone and language - is to install the nvidia restricted drivers - appropriately done with the restricted drivers tool (called Hardware drivers in the menu - just open the menu and type ha - and you see it and have learned about this feature I think is fantastic :))
Restricted - because it is not a free driver
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it

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Re: "Display Server" problem

Postby Johnny5 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:21 am

Thanks! Everything seems to be operating perfectly now.... but for my system volume... but I'll ask about that elsewhere if I can't figure it out.

Thanks again. I'm loving Mint so far.

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Re: SOLVED - "Display Server" problem

Postby clupetz » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:02 pm

Hi guys,

I am having exactly same problem here. I tried "Compatibility mode" but I am having same issue. I dont want to install any other distribution. I found Mint the best so far. I installed it on my laptop (using some ATI VGA) but I got exactly same card as Johnny5 on my Desktop. I want to get rid of Windows on my desktop completely. I had Ubuntu installed previously and all worked fine for me.

Thanks for any help in advance.


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