PC Woes

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PC Woes

Postby heiowge » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:24 pm

My brother gave my son a new computer for Christmas (his old one). I have the fun task of sorting it out.

Rough specs:

4 core processor (reasonable spec but not SOTA by any stretch).
4 GB DDR3 RAM (one of the reasons he's getting rid is this is the max)
1 TB hard drive
1GB DDR5 ATI graphics card (therein lies most of my woes).
Monitor is a 17" TV

I've split the HD into 300GB for Win7 (for Angry Birds, Lego Batman etc) and the rest is MInt 14

Problems:

Cinnamon desktop wouldn't sort the display out. Kept being squashed, stretched or way off centre. In the end, I installed KDE on it. That's now sorted and the display is the same size as the display... except that it's about quarter of an inch to the left of where it should be. I have a black bar on the right and am missing half the KDE logo.

I tried to adjust it through the display settings. I found the toggle left, right bit, but there's no indication of what I need to set it too. Plus, hitting "apply" doesn't seem to change anything whether I set it to 10 or 200.


Next. There's no sound. It works through the HDMI on Win7, but in either cinnamon or KDE, there's nothing. This is a problem. The Linux desktop is there mostly to serve as the front end to a media player. He want's Star Wars and Doctor Who.... I have tried to get it through the line out as well. Nothing. Nada. Zip. :x

Display is slightly rippley. I take it this is to do with the ATI card. Anyone recommend which driver I should go with?

Grub is off centre as well. I can tell which option to pick, but it looks wrong.

And I know this isn't linux, but Angry Birds (original) went on fine. But ever since I did the update, it crashes on loading. I've uninstalled, grabbed a new file from the Rovio site. Reinstalled from there, from disc etc. Nothing. It won't load. Angry Birds seasons is fine. Angry Birds Space is fine. Angry Birds Star Wars is fine. Angry Birds isn't.

Oh, and the discs are all originals bought from shops. I can't seem to find a way to fix this...


Any ideas on any of this?
i5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asus H87M-E motherboard, 8GB DDR3, 2GB DDR5 nVidia card, 2x500GB Seagate hd, Coolermaster 750W PSU running Mint 16 MATE and Win7

eeepc 1015PX, 1.66 Ghz Intel atom processor, 2 GB DDR3, 320 GB hd, Mint 14 MATE. Fan needs fixing.
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Postby Dutch_Master » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:39 am

Have you tried adjusting the screen itself, not the driver? (i.e. the buttons on the TV) Perhaps toggle the overscan? See if it uses an xorg.conf file. If it does, specify the TV's resolution (and offset) in it, if not, create one. If all else fails, flog the ATI card and get a decent nVidia one.
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Postby xenopeek » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:24 am

Have you looked into installing a graphics card driver? Open Software Sources from the menu, then go to the Additional Drivers tab. See if there are any alternative drivers to install for the graphics card. I'd try the proprietary driver from AMD itself I think, for best hope of getting HDMI to work fully.

As to GRUB not displaying correctly, you'd have to look up what the natively supported resolutions are for this TV. Then edit your /etc/default/grub file as root (kdesu kate /etc/default/grub) and uncomment (remove the #) the line:
Code: Select all
#GRUB_GFXMODE=640x480

Replace the 640x480 with whatever is a natively supported resolution for the TV, or the recommended one for connecting a computer (I'm assuming they'd have a recommendation as it is 17"). After saving and closing the file, run the following command to update GRUB:
Code: Select all
sudo update-grub2

Alternative, keep the GRUB_GFXMODE line commented and only uncomment the following line and do the update-grub2 again. This will force GRUB to use a text mode and that should be supported natively on the TV I think (think teletext).
Code: Select all
#GRUB_TERMINAL=console
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Postby heiowge » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:08 am

Xenopeek. Thanks, I'll try that later when I can stop him playing Angry Birds Star Wars :lol:


Dutch_Master. Adjusting the screen would leave Windows offset instead. Since that's already correct and it's the linux install that's broken, I'd much rather fix that.

I have no idea the native resolution of the tv, unfortunately.
i5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asus H87M-E motherboard, 8GB DDR3, 2GB DDR5 nVidia card, 2x500GB Seagate hd, Coolermaster 750W PSU running Mint 16 MATE and Win7

eeepc 1015PX, 1.66 Ghz Intel atom processor, 2 GB DDR3, 320 GB hd, Mint 14 MATE. Fan needs fixing.
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Postby xenopeek » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:39 am

What's the brand and model of the TV? Probably the manual and specs are to be found online, to help figure that out.
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Postby Ram » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:10 pm

It could be that Linux is not identifying the correct TV screen size, with my Ubuntu Laptop it says I've got a 32 inch TV when in fact it is 37 inch. Can't remember if sound worked or not.

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Postby Rhakios » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:38 am

Equally likely to be the refresh rate. My experience with Nvidia drivers has been that the screen is shifted off to one side until the refresh rate is set to 60Hz. For some reason, the EDID reports it as being capable of 75Hz, which in theory might be correct, but 60 Hz works better.
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Postby ajgreeny » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:33 pm

Rhakios wrote:Equally likely to be the refresh rate. My experience with Nvidia drivers has been that the screen is shifted off to one side until the refresh rate is set to 60Hz. For some reason, the EDID reports it as being capable of 75Hz, which in theory might be correct, but 60 Hz works better.
I have the same with my ATI 9200SE which is set slightly to the right on screen at 75Hz, but central at 60Hz. I can see no difference in the display quality on either Hz figure, which I suspect is what you would expect on an LCD; no doubt old CRT displays were more of a problem at lower Hz rates.
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Postby heiowge » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:26 pm

Ok, here's the latest...

I've changed the GRUB file, but not tested it yet (my lad's watching Moonraker!)

I've got the sound working but it's a faff and a half.

It seems that the TV is taking the video from the HDMI lead, but refusing to take the audio from any other source. At the moment, it's set up with the audio going to an external speaker via the headphone jack until I get my VGA lead back off my brother.

The screen refresh rate is 60, and it won't let me change that. The proprietary drivers refuse to install. They show as there, but the progress bar showing them being activated fills to about 10% instantly then never changes. I left it for 20 minutes. Nothing.

The screen is still fuzzy. If I can't get this sorted, I might have to remove the Linux setup and leave it purely Windows. This is something I really do not want to do. The problem is that under windows it's all working. Under Linux it's really flakey. I hate ATI.
i5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asus H87M-E motherboard, 8GB DDR3, 2GB DDR5 nVidia card, 2x500GB Seagate hd, Coolermaster 750W PSU running Mint 16 MATE and Win7

eeepc 1015PX, 1.66 Ghz Intel atom processor, 2 GB DDR3, 320 GB hd, Mint 14 MATE. Fan needs fixing.
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Postby guy » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:59 pm

You could try using the framebuffer. Performance will be slow and I don't know about audio but, apart from nouveau f****ing up the framebuffer for nvidia a year or two back, it's usually stable.

Otherwise, I usually resort to a new graphics card. The time it takes me to earn the extra cash is waaay less than the time it takes to bottom these things out, even if they can be fixed.
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