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Flashed new BIOS, X not starting now

Posted on 2003-03-13
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Hello,

I just flashed my Dell Inspiron 2600 to BIOS version A09. Now X wont start. The system appears to boot just fine and Windows XP starts without any problems.

I am using Kernel 2.4.18-4 on RedHat 8.0 (I forget the XFree version but the stock on from RH 8.0). I have an Intel 830 on-board video card. I have recompiled the kenel twice and made sure that the i830 and i810 video cards have been selected. I get the following error when executing 'startx':

(WW) I810: No matching Device section for instance (BusID PCI:0:2:1) found
(EE) Screen(s) found, but noe have a usable configuration

My XF86Config has this as the VideoCard section:

Section "Device"
   Identifier   "VideoCard0"
   Driver       "i810"
   VendorName   "Videocard vendor"
   BoardName    "Intel 830"
   VideoRam     32768
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Identifier   "Screen0"
   Driver       "VideoCard0"
   Monitor      "Monitor0"
   DefaultDepth 24
   <snip: a couple of display sections that look ok>
EndSection

Any ideas on what happened?

Thanks,

Alvin
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Question by:AlvinBeach
12 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:AlvinBeach
ID: 8129024
I tried running the RH 8.0 Install CD's just to see if it will bring up the Graphical Install. It didn't work either.

I down-graded my BIOS back to A07 and everything is just peachy.
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Expert Comment

by:Gns
ID: 8129063
It needs help determining that the Device section actually pertains to the device found. try setting BusID explicitly.
Check with
lspci -v | less -e<Enter>
and
X -scanpci<Enter>
what BusID you have for the "VGA compatible controller",
then add this to the Device section in your XF86Config:
BusID   "PCI:0:2:1"
possibly replacing "PCI:0:2:1" with "PCI:<whatever you found>".

Obviously the new video BIOS makes X a bit unsure;-).

-- Glenn
0
 

Author Comment

by:AlvinBeach
ID: 8129187
Thank you Glen for responding. I went back to BIOS A09 and did what you said. However, lspci gives me two Display controllers. I am guessing the LCD and the External video on the back of the laptop.

First I tried BusID "PCI:0:2:0" (which the VGA comap. controller) and I had the same error message.

Then I tried BusID "PCI:0:2:1" and I get this error message:

(WW) I810: No matching Device section for instance (BusID PCI:0:2:0) found
(EE) I810(0): Cannot read V_BIOS
(EE) I810(0): Int10 initalization failed.
(EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration

Do I need to have two Device sections?
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Expert Comment

by:Gns
ID: 8129326
Ok, that explains why it suddenly feels the need to use BusID. It hasn't had two to choose from before.

I'm not sure that having two Device sections with different BusIDs will help. No harm in trying though.

-- Glenn
0
 

Author Comment

by:AlvinBeach
ID: 8129410
I created the follow two Device sections:

Section "Device"
  Identifier   "VideoCard0"
  Driver       "i810"
  VendorName   "Videocard vendor"
  BoardName    "Intel 830"
  BusID        "PCI:0:2:0"
  VideoRam     32768
EndSection

Section "Device"
  Identifier   "VideoCard1"
  Driver       "i810"
  VendorName   "Videocard vendor"
  BoardName    "Intel 830"
  BusID        "PCI:0:2:1"
  VideoRam     32768
EndSection

And I changed the ServerLayout to:

Section "ServerLayout"
   Identifier  "Default Layout"
   Screen   0   "Screen0"   0 0
   Screen   1   "Screen1"   0 0
    <snip>
EndSection


Screen1 and a copy of Screen0 except it has:
Device  "Videocard1"

Now I try to start X and I get this:
(EE) I810(1): Cannot read V_BIOS
(EE) I810(1): Init10 initialization failed
(EE) Screen(s) found, blah blah blah

Seem's like X is trying to display on both Display controllers?

0
 

Author Comment

by:AlvinBeach
ID: 8130207
Well I am trying BIOS version A08 and everything seems to work. I have examined the /var/log/XF86*.0.log file and it appears that X has always complained about the device at 0:2:1 X has somehow just work. However, there is something strange about BIOS version A09 that confuses X.

Anyone have any ideas?

0
 

Expert Comment

by:manpreets7
ID: 8131471
Just a few things to look at...

What new did you find in Xf86...log file while using the new BIOS A09?

Do you have a change log for A09? What does it add w.r.t the VGA?

Can you try lspci -s bus:device.fn -xxx to with both the BIOSes to see if there are different PCI settings on the VGA because of the new BIOS? You can change them back using setpci to see if it makes a difference.
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Expert Comment

by:Gns
ID: 8134794
Oh the wonders of BIOS updating...
You will seldom see a complete list of features, fixes, updates etc in a BIOS changelog... Often you'll see "Version xxx: Minor fix to make disk so-and-so work" while in actuality there might be radical changes to all parts of that BIOS (seen it to many times;-).

Thing here is that the "secondary" is a function on the same chip, so it probably has no video BIOS of it's own. As you say, it's probably been this way for a long time.

What seems to be problematic with A09 is that the video BIOS for 0:2:0 is no longer recognized by the i810 driver. That's my guess at least;-).

Sounds like a bug. Report it to the mobo-maker... in no uncertain terms;-).

Is there a strong need for updating to A09? perhaps you could live with A08 for the time being.

-- Glenn
0
 

Author Comment

by:AlvinBeach
ID: 8136076
I was hoping that A09 would fix the ACPI problem I have in Linux. But, it turns out it doesn't. I am using A08 and there doesn't seem to be any problems. Perhaps someone will make a specific i830 driver for XFree?

I fully understand how BIOS changes are not always identified. Originally this laptop couldn't run X because Dell refused to allocate 8MB of memory to the video card. They only gave 1MB. Apparently, the Windows driver knew how to get more memory, but Intel would release the documentation to driver developers on how to do this or even the specs on the video card. Then one magical day, Dell released a BIOS version that stole 8MB memory and didn't report it.

I even tried calling Dell Tech Support and I got some newbie tech lady that didn't know a thing. All she said, (after 10 min of slowly explaining what I was asking) "We do not support Linux". Now matter what I said after that, she just kept repeating that saying until I hung up on her.

Well...that was my rant..sorry about that. Thank you all for the advice. Perhaps someone out there has run into this problem? If so, you can reach me at alvinbeach@hotmail-NOSPAM.com. Just remove -NOSPAM from that email address.

Thanks again,

Alvin
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Accepted Solution

by:
Gns earned 180 total points
ID: 8136447
There has been work done on the intel drivers for XFree86 version 4.3.0 (which is out now BTW). Mainly to support the i845G and friends, but perhaps something for your 830 too. I haven't looked that close (yet).

According to manuals etc, the way to instruct the i810 driver to allocate a set XXXX amount of memory is through
VideoRam XXXX
in the device section. Whether this works seem to differ a bit between chipsets.

You should have asked for her boss...:-). You do get less of that "we don't support linux" type of BS these days though:-).

Sorry we couldn't reach a solution _with_A09.
What type of ACPI problems do you have?

-- Glenn
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Expert Comment

by:CleanupPing
ID: 9087713
AlvinBeach:
This old question needs to be finalized -- accept an answer, split points, or get a refund.  For information on your options, please click here-> http:/help/closing.jsp#1 
EXPERTS:
Post your closing recommendations!  No comment means you don't care.
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by:TheWeakestLink
ID: 9288419
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Accept comments from Gns as answer
Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

TheWeakestLink
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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