Wednesday, April 23, 2008

OpenSuse 10.3 + Nvidia Driver for Geforce 6200 = CRAP

Sigh. So I followed the instructions you gave me for installing the nVidia driver for my 6200 with YaST. The installation process was very simple, but the after installation process not so much.

I'm curious as to why exactly you'd want to set my monitor refresh rate to 71.0KHz : 88.4Hz? Seems a little odd. Thankfully my monitor can still display this rate, but I get a big "OUT OF RANGE" box in the center of my screen. Nice.

Ok, so the obvious place to start is the "Graphics Card and Monitor" utility from the YaST2 Control Center. In other words, SaX2: X11 Configuration. (BTW, your multi-case meaningless acronyms are sweet. Sweet indeed.) Working around the giant "OUT OF RANGE" message, I'm able to limit the range of my monitor and I do so. No go. Neither changing the monitor nor reducing the frequencies has any effect. The card insists on driving the monitor at 71 : 88.4.

I check the xorg.conf file and verify that the correct frequency ranges are there. They are. I change a few things and break the config. Ok, restore the old file.

Aha! Wipe that evil grin off your smug face, because you haven't beaten me on this April morning! I found a workaround:

  1. Get into the YaST Control Center (e.g. Administrator Settings), and choose the Hardware tab from the left.

  2. Click Graphics Card and Monitor and click the Options button for the video card.

  3. There should be a VertRefresh option. Set it to 60 (or some other safe value for your monitor, but 60 should almost always be safe).
Voila. Not the best, but at least it works.

If you can't get into X at all, then manually edit your xorg.conf file:

  1. Login to your shell as root, or `su -` to become root.

  2. Enter `emacs /etc/X11/xorg.conf` (Unless you have a simpler editor installed, but my install only had Emacs and vi.)

  3. Hit enter once if you get the Emacs "welcome / help" screen. You should now see the contents of the xorg.conf file. Scroll down to 'Section "Device"' and add the following line before 'EndSection':

    Option "VertRefresh" "60"

  4. CTRL+X then CTRL+C to quit Emacs. Hit 'y' on your way out to save.

  5. Restart (or test by running `startx` from your shell).

  6. I'm not sure if SaX will freak out on you for manually editing the file, so follow the first procedure above to make sure it sticks.

Happy Wasting-Your-Time,

Year of the Linux Desktop

xx00

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