External Monitor Problem

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External Monitor Problem

Postby aduplat » 2009-12-09 22:00

Hi there:

My problem is, that I have installed Debian 5.0 on my old Dell Inspiron 4000 laptop. No problem during install, it has finished installing 100% and boots just fine, I am writing this from it.
Unfortunately my laptop's screen's backlight broke a few years back, and I've been using an external LG Flatron L17 nt monitor since then as one can hardly see a thing off the original screen, it is almost pitch black.

During boot, and GRUB, and some of the text after that, all will display normally on the CRT. Before it reaches the login screen, however, the monitor will go into standby mode and be black, as if it was not receiving any signal. It will stay black for as long as the OS is running, and then, when I shut down, it will wake to life again when the text-based messages during shut down show up. But during the most crucial time, when it would be most needed, the monitor is dead.

Thanks,
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby bluesdog » 2009-12-09 23:54

Does the external monitor work in CLI, (text-only), mode?

To test, either choose recovery mode at the grub menu, or try switching to another console by pressing, (for example), <ctrl><alt><f3>

I suspect your monitor isn't synched correctly with X. If so, some tweaking of /etc/X11/xorg.conf will be required.
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby aduplat » 2009-12-10 01:23

Hi:
Thank you for your message.

Yes, the Monitor works in recovery mode. I see everything as in a Terminal.
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby bluesdog » 2009-12-10 02:25

Please provide hardware details w/respect to graphics card, monitor specs etc.

Also post output of
Code: Select all
cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby aduplat » 2009-12-11 03:05

Hello:

This is the information related to: cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Keyboar"
Driver "kdb"
Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Configured Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Configured Video Device"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Configured Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Monitor "Configured Monitor"
EndSection

On my BIOS, I could find the following information:


Dell Inspiron 4000 Setup
Celeron-800MHz

Level 2 Cache: 128 KB
System Memory: 320 MB
Video Controller: ATI M3
Audio Controller: ESS Maestro 3
Primary Hard Drive: 10056 MB
Modular Bay: DVD-ROM

I google my monitor and find this:
Monitor:
LG FLATRON L17NT-A
Power: AC 100-200v 50/60Hz 1.0A
Type: Flat Panel LCD (Passive Matrix)
Screen size 17 inch

(When the screen goes to black, it says "Analog Power Saving Mode")

Thanks,
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby bluesdog » 2009-12-11 04:37

This may/may not work.. :?

Make a backup of your original /etc/X11/xorg.conf first: As root, do something like --
Code: Select all
cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg_conf.backup

Then edit, with nano or your preferred terminal editor /etc/X11/xorg.conf, making changes as shown:
Code: Select all
Section "InputDevice"
   Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
   Driver "kdb"
   Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
   Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
   Option "XkbLayout" "us"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
   Identifier "Configured Mouse"
   Driver "mouse"
EndSection

#Section "InputDevice"
#   Identifier "Configured Video Device"
#EndSection

Section "Device"
   Identifier "ATI M3"
   Driver "vesa"
   Option "Monitor-VGA-0" "VGA monitor"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
   Identifier "VGA monitor"
   VendorName "LG"
   ModelName "FLATRON L17NT-A"
   HorizSync 30.0 - 83.0
   VertRefresh 56.0 - 75.0
   Option "DPMS"
#Identifier "Configured Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Identifier "Default Screen"
   Device "ATI M3"
   Monitor "VGA monitor"
#Monitor "Configured Monitor"
   DefaultDepth 24
   Subsection "Display"
      Depth 24
      Modes "1280x1024"
   EndSubSection
EndSection


A Section "ServerLayout" may also be required... I haven't encountered your problem before...

If you're unfamiliar with nano -- just type
Code: Select all
nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

navigate using arrow keys
enter/edit text as you would expect..
You'll see common commands at bottom of screen
Save file: <ctrl><o><enter>
Exit nano: <ctrl><x>

fyi, full specs for your monitor were located via teh Google god:

Code: Select all
 Flat Panel LCD TFT (Active Matrix), Brightness: 250 cd/m??, Contrast Ratio: 800:1, Aspect Ratio: 5:4, Dot Pitch: 0.264 mm, 24-bit ...
Specifications

Key Features
Aspect Ratio
    5:4 (Regular)
Size
    17"
Color Depth
    24-bit (16.7M colors)
Contrast Ratio
    500:1
Brightness
    250 cd/m
Max. Resolution
    1280 x 1024
Dot Pitch
    .264 mm
Monitor Type
    Flat Panel LCD TFT (Active Matrix)
Response Time
    12 ms
Viewable Picture Size
    17 in.
Technical Features
Form Factor
    Desktop
Regulatory Approval
    CE · UL · cUL · FCC Class B · C-Tick · VCCI · TUV-GS · ISO 13406-2 (Pixel defect guidelines) · Energy star · TCO-03 · GOST-R
Synchronization Range - Horizontal
    30 - 83 kHz
Max. Viewing Angle - Horizontal
    160
Max. Viewing Angle - Vertical
    160
Native (Recommended) Resolution
    1280 x 1024
Resolutions supported
    1280 x 1024 · 800 x 600 · 640 x 480 · 1024 x 768 · 832 x 624 · 1152 x 870 · 720 x 400 · 640 x 350 · 1152 x 900
Synchronization Range - Vertical
    56 - 75 Hz
Dimensions
Depth
    9.07 in.
Height
    15.31 in.
Width
    14.49 in.
Weight
    10.8 lb.
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Postby llivv » 2009-12-11 14:04

'
Last edited by llivv on 2019-02-17 22:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby bluesdog » 2009-12-11 19:52

llivv wrote:CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE to shut down the test session ( still works in Lenny) most of the time,
It gets more complicated to kill the session in testing.


:D yes it does!

The <ctrl><alt><bksp> command may be restored in Squeeze/Sid etc by running
Code: Select all
dpkg-reconfigure console-setup
retaining all the other defaults, and choosing the key combo for restarting X when offered the choice.
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby aduplat » 2009-12-12 19:41

Hello there:

I have tried every suggestion, but unfortunately nothing work well.

I tried to use
Code: Select all
dkpg-reconfigure console-setup


But the result was: console-setup is not installed

I wonder if it is possible to find this package in the CD image in order to install it.
Right now I don't have access to the Internet.

Thanks,
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby bluesdog » 2009-12-12 22:50

console-setup isn't strictly necessary. It's just convenient because, at least for Squeeze/Sid, it allows for the <ctrl><alt><bksp> key combo to quickly restart X, and has nothing directly to do with the current problem.

You may also force restart x from a terminal, or the cli

Example:
Code: Select all
/etc/init.d/gdm restart


*replace gdm with kdm or xdm depending on your desktop manager

Try editing the /etc/X11/xorg.conf as suggested, either manually or as suggested by llivv
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby aduplat » 2009-12-12 23:06

Hi:

Well:

Try editing the /etc/X11/xorg.conf as suggested, either manually or as suggested by llivv


I tried to edit manually xorg.conf... but the Xserver crashed when I restart the system.

I also follow llivv's suggestion, but nothing happen.
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Postby llivv » 2009-12-13 03:00

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Last edited by llivv on 2019-02-17 22:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby bluesdog » 2009-12-13 03:07

Do you mean the system now doesn't even launch in text-only mode?

If you cannot get to the CLI, check out llivv's instructions. It also may mean something other than the xserver is playing up..

In the meantime, I'll try to come up with another possible solution to the X-server problem.

If you can get to the CLI, you may wish to restore the original xorg.conf file, so at least you're back to where you were.
You may want to make a backup of the modified one first, however, as reference.

Example:
Code: Select all
cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg_modified
To restore the original file:
Code: Select all
mv /etc/X11/xorg_conf.backup /etc/X11/xorg.conf

I'm not familiar with your particular lappy, but perhaps there's a switch or key-combo for an external monitor.

For example, on my asus laptop there's a <fn><f8> key combo to toggle an external monitor
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby aduplat » 2009-12-13 05:32

Hello:

1. I have access to CLI mode.
2. This computer also has a key combo to toggle an external monitor, in my case is fn + F5... but it doesn't work when I trying to access the gnome desktop. This key works perfectly in CLI and just before start the graphic environment. The problem with my laptop's screen is that after 5 minutes or so, the screen goes black always, but I made an experiment and I know that the external monitor goes in sleeping mode always when the X server starts to work... I mean when it is possible to see the X as a mouse's pointer, just before the login to gnome.
3. When I modified manually the xorg.conf and restart the laptop... the system shown a frame saying... fatal error... or something like that. The specific problem was related to this section:

Section "Device"
Identifier "ATI M3"
Driver "vesa"
Option "Monitor-VGA-0" "VGA monitor"
EndSection


4. Right now... this is my xorg.conf
# xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)
#
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
#
# Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
# (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
#
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# package.
#
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
# sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
Driver "kbd"
Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Configured Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
EndSection

Section "Device"
Identifier "Configured Video Device"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Configured Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Monitor "Configured Monitor"
EndSection


So my question is: if I have an external monitor... why is listed just one. I think that this is the problem.

Thanks for your time...
aduplat
 
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Re: External Monitor Problem

Postby bluesdog » 2009-12-13 07:02

See if this works:

Code: Select all
xrandr --output VGA --auto
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