Black-out upon starting GUI? [Solved]

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Cory
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Black-out upon starting GUI? [Solved]

Postby Cory » 14 Sep 2016 21:24

On a laptop (Dell Latitude D810, single user w/ auto-logon) suddenly SolydX blacked out and won't start a GUI anymore.
AFAICT, inputs continue to work as I can shutdown by pressing the power key, and pressing the lefthand Windows key does make the HD LED blink shortly.
"Advanced options/Recovery mode" from the grub menu ditto, except that the verbose system messages roll down the screen until the point where the GUI starts - and shows a pitch black screen.

Anyone suggestions on how to revive the GUI?

(As I don't seem to be able to start a GUI and am very limited in knowledge of Linux, please bear with me...)
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kurotsugi
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Re: Black-out upon starting GUI?

Postby kurotsugi » 14 Sep 2016 21:39

you can press ctrl+alt+F1 and start the debug from there. first of all we need the system spec. please show us the result of 'inxi -Fxz'

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Cory
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Re: Black-out upon starting GUI?

Postby Cory » 15 Sep 2016 11:19

Apologies, I forgot to mention that I know (from earlier visits and posts to these boards) that I should post the output of inxi to aid in solving an issue. :facepalm:

Switching sessions is impossible, I did not make that clear in my initial post, my bad : the laptop's screen is blacked-out, as in "no signal". It does seem to receive (backlight) power though, for the typical power-off effect that occurs at the end of a shutdown-to-power-off sequence does not occur until after a few seconds after I have pressed the power button. (I hope I made that clear...)
Hence I cannot switch to a terminal session. Ctrl-Alt-Backspace has no visible effect either.

I suspect the video signal (resolution, frequency) is somehow corrupted beyond visualisation: no flickering or moving lines, at the end of the boot messages (those that are found in dmesg) the laptop just switches to pitch-dark black without any visible clue of activity, no mouse pointer, nothing. Usually after switching to graphics mode first the mouse pointer occures and then briefly the "Welcome to SolydXK! (etc.)" is visible: not in this case. Just deep dark black.
[Edit 15-09 13:50 CEST: If I am not mistaken -I recently installed all pending updates- since last update to 201606 the nVidia logo displayed before entering into the desktop. I hope this is a clue to the knowledgeable reader...]
[Edit 15-09 22:45 CEST: I am mistaken :oops: The NVidia logo appears on my own laptop, a Latitude D830. The D810 is equipped with an AMD graphics chipset. My apologies - again...]

Is there any command line options that I can use to tell Xorg to use VGA 640x480/60Hz? I have briefly browsed around forums, but here nor anywhere else I found a pointer in that direction (or maybe: that is comprehensible to me...)
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Cory
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Re: Black-out upon starting GUI?

Postby Cory » 15 Sep 2016 12:34

Time permitting (busy weekend coming up) I might give "Fixing the black screen..." (Linux Mint) a try...
Browsing through, it sounds reasonable to me.

And FWIW: here seems lots to learn (for me anyway!)
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kurotsugi
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Re: Black-out upon starting GUI?

Postby kurotsugi » 15 Sep 2016 13:22

yes. the tutorial might works. however,
1. too much unnecessary step.
2. there's no clear instruction on how to fix it.

instead of trying those random stuff, you can use the recovery mode provided by grub. this will gives you a terminal session (no gui. only terminal) after that you can reinstall nvidia driver/rebuild the kernel modules. else, you can use "forcevesa" on the boot parameter to get gui.

if it still didn't work, uninstall nvidia driver.

I'm using mobile phone so I can't give you detailed instruction on how to reinstall/rebuild the kernel modules or how uninstall the driver. I hope someone else could guide or else, you can google it.

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xendistar
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Re: Black-out upon starting GUI?

Postby xendistar » 15 Sep 2016 20:29

One thing I would try, is to confirm the screen\graphics are working OK. Try a boot dvd in the drive and check that it boots up and display eveything correctly. If you are short on time you don't want to spend a couple of hours trying to resolve driver\config issue only to find it is a hardware fault.

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Cory
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Re: Black-out upon starting GUI?

Postby Cory » 15 Sep 2016 21:31

To cut a long story short: the backlight is switching off - never seen that happen before in this fashion! :?:

How I can tell? The windows do appear and are but barely visible -let alone readable- in very low environment light, due to the backlight remaining off.

Did some testing in a docking station with external monitor, and this second display is working fine, showing a clone of the laptop's display.
Switching resolution for the laptop's display (1680x1050 is native and set as default) to any lower layout did make the laptop's display show that resolution, but only for a few (say 5 or maybe 7) seconds, then went black again. Switching to yet another or to the native resolution again: same behaviour, black after a few seconds.

Could this be power saving kicking in at the wrong moment? It used to be disabled all the way as to not kick in during movie playback or reading.
Could this be a hardware failure? It's been record hot for weeks now, and this laptop runs pretty hot especially when displaying movie content - even when video is shrunk to only 20% of the total visible area.

The bad thing now is I tried to fix this by installing the AMD proprietary driver through the 2nd display... which only made things worse, as the laptop's display still switches to dark and the 2nd display (attached to the docking station) is not enabled now. :facepalm: :facepalm:
This is even more bad since the laptop's native display is so vaguely lit I cannot tell what window I am seeing... now I cannot revert to the OSS graphics driver through the GUI, nor can I enable the 2nd display (I do not know the right-mouse-button-menu well enough to "almost blind" find my way in the menu using cursor keys).
I did find the Terminal, though - and was able to perform a gracefull shutdown using "sudo poweroff".

(Oh wait... I might use a LiveCD SolydX on another machine and "replay" the keystrokes I need on the affected laptop - gonna try that later)
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Cory
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Re: Black-out upon starting GUI?

Postby Cory » 19 Sep 2016 21:07

Tried to boot an older SolydX x32 from stick, but same behaviour: after some 10-15 seconds the laptop's screen goes dark.
I ain't gonna put more time into this oldie - too bad, something in the graphics hardware is broken.

Thanks for your valued help!

Thread marked [Solved] - although technically it isn't at all :cry:

[Edit Oct-11: I found out the backlight (fluorescent tube) is broken. Somebody offered me a broken D810 with working screen, I'm gonna put these two together...]
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