Dark screen and frozen laptop with Ubuntu 9.04 from Live CD and ATI card

emil schwab2 emilschwab2 at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 6 08:46:07 PDT 2009


Adventures with Ubuntu
9.04, Fujitsu Siemens laptop “Esprimo Mobile V6545” and “ATI
Mobility Radeon HD 3450” since 1st of June 2009. No operating
system was previously installed, I bought it without OS.  

Step 1. I made a Live CD after downloading the Iso file from Ubuntu site, Ubuntu 9.04 jaunty, version 32 bit. 

Step 2. I modified the booting order in Bios, CD first, restarted and Ubuntu started to download. 

Step 3. I chose “Try Ubuntu without changing your computer”. Enter.. It started downloading and when it was almost done, before the login screen, the screen became dark, laptop frozen, now key worked, no Ctrl Alt Del, no anything. Only Fn+Alt+Prtscr+B worked. It rebooted the laptop. 

Step 4. This time I chose Install from the Live CD options and I let Ubuntu to install itself on the entire disk. When it was almost done, just before the login screen, same thing happened. Screen darkened, frozen laptop, same magical combination rebooted it. 

Step 4. This time, I chose F4- safe Graphics Mode and after that I could install Ubuntu using the CD Live. It installed, the CD drive ejected, and it rebooted from hard disk succesfully. But wait, after login+password, Ubuntu offered me to install some packages (Update manager) and it also offered me to install ATI driver (fglrx) proprietary driver. I chose “Activate” that driver, restarted the laptop, and after that the screen became dark and laptop frozen. Just some green stripes in the upper margin, and two “Ubuntu” frozen on the screen, sometimes two Fujitsu frozen, see picture linked below. 

Step 4. I rebooted again using the Live CD, reinstalled Ubuntu using the Graphics safe mode as before, it reinstalled, restarted the laptop, of course I rejected ATI proprietary driver. I decided to install Catalyst 9.5 using step by step the instructions from the link below, including the command which forces xorg.conf to change, see the link. After restarting, same frozen dark screen and laptop, same magical keyboard combination. 

Step 5. I reinstalled Ubuntu from Live CD, with F4, safe Graphics mode, as above. Ok. I don't like that Preferences – Display shows me 61Hz the only refresh rate available, while, from Specifications, see below, the max refresh rate is 60Hz at 1280x800. . (They didn't give me any tehnical book of the machine, just some Windows drivers and useless boooklets). And there are only two resolutions available with the Vesa driver which Ubuntu uses, 1024X768 (in use now) and 800x600. The native resolution is 1280x800 at my screen. So, guide by someone from IRC Ubuntu channel, I installed EnvyNG. After starting it, envyng offered me one driver (only one) for ATI. I installed it, restarted and same happened, dark screen, a green band above on the screen, frozen laptop. I restarted from Hard disk, and used the command envyng –uninstall-all in shell prompt of Recovery Menu. Happily, I could reboot succesfully from hard disk and I am now in the same state with
 Vesa driver. 

Step 6. It followed tens of trials of installing fglrx driver, Catalyst, EnvyNG , modifying files, like xorg.conf or menu.lst (see the present files below in links). 

I have no idea what's going on. Is it a Bios Bug? Is it Ubuntu bug or ATI bug? Or all three, or what? Please help me, it is verry frustating.... Help me with detailed instructions please, I've been in Linux for two weeks ...

links: My Bios 








menu.lst file where “xforcevesa” appears (puzzling me) 


xorg.conf file 


the link I used at step 4 (see above) 


My laptop Specifications: mine is V6545 

Last Remark: I did Logout yesterday after installing DropBox. After clicking Logout from the right upper corner of the screen, it became WHITE then it darkened again with a white band around it, at the margins. Frozen laptop, I had to restart again using the same magical combinations as above. Also, in all steps from above, XFIX from the recovery Menu didn't help at all. 

Ubuntu gurus, ATI gurus, Fujitsu Siemens gurus and everybody: can you please help me?  I got a bitter taste related to computer engineering after one week of trials. If yes, please send me detailed instructions. Thank you. 

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