Video mode instability on Inspiron 6400 with and WSXGA+ display
boris.gjenero at gmail.com
Wed Apr 5 21:42:46 UTC 2017
My Dell Inspiron 6400 has a ATI x1400 video card and 1680x1050 WSXGA+
display. I have observed this problem in various versions of Ubuntu and
in Android x86. Most recently I observed it in Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus
with 4.10 kernel.
Sometimes after a mode change, the display becomes unstable. This may
- white lines flickering to the right of some sharp contrast edges in images
- vertical bars coming from the bottom
- large areas of the screen flickeringly appearing in the wrong location
I don't think it's ever one kind of corruption only. If one happens,
other kinds will also happen shortly.
When booting up, if the problem occurs, first signs are visible after
the kernel switches from true text mode to native resolution graphical
text mode, before X starts running. I know this is a mailing list for
the X driver, but I'm under the impression that kernel driver and Xorg
driver development work is done together. Sorry if I'm posting to the
The problem absolutely never happens in Windows 7. It also absolutely
never starts or stops on its own. My usual workaround is to use xrandr
to switch to a different resolution and then back to the native
resolution. Turning off the display via "xset dpms force standby" and
then turning it back on or going to sleep or hibernation and then
resuming can also make corruption start or stop. The probability of
corruption is low enough that I can put up with it and use the
workaround, but it would be nice to have a real fix.
There is absolutely no sign of any corruption occurring in video memory
or rendering errors, and it seems to purely be an issue with
communication between the graphics card and display. I've read something
about PLL issues and I'm wondering if this is PLL instability.
Thanks for reading,
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