Live to load on my Compaq M300, and I suspected that a faulty battery
was holding up the boot process. A little help from my abhoring...er, adoring public has led me to believe otherwise.
Sometimes, I just try too hard.
I was passing the boot parameter vga=771to get me around some assumed display issues during the boot—in the
early portions of the boot, the screen totally wigs into a vaguely
whitish crosshatch mess, and the initial help file suggested the vga
paramater for pretty much all laptops. Well, the help file helped too
much, because using this parameter hamstrung the display drivers.
The problem was that not using this display driver also hamstrung the
boot, because the display screwed up and I couldn't confirm some
optional keyboard configurations. The machine just sat there waiting
for input, and I was clueless because I couldn't read the screen.
The trick was passing the vga=771 parameter, which let the
text-based early boot process display correctly, writing down my
keystrokes (ENTER, three times), then bailing out of the boot process,
restarting the machine without the vga parameter, and
entering the keytsrokes whenever the CD-ROM idled (hinting that boot
had paused waiting for input). This got me through the boot and into a
Ironically, I got the notion from
verdy_p, who suggested that I use the vga parameter (I already was) because "the too limited set of display drivers and display
modes in the Ubuntu Live CD...VERY OFTEN does not work properly
with many notebook displays (because it incorrectly detects the
resolution of your display, assuming you have a 4:3 display like on
desktop PCs when most notebooks today seem to use wide displays)."
My notebook doesn't have a wide display, which made me think that passing a parameter meant to solve a problem I don't have might be causing a new problem. I was doubly suspicious of this when the esteemed jmgarvin
gave me a list of key-combos that would let me shunt from terminal to
GUI modes: "
I could jump to terminal with no problem, but I couldn't get the GUI to
happily. This meant that the battery wasn't the problem, but the
display drivers probably were.
(Anyway, idiocy is what powers the blogosphere, right?) And to think, I was ->this<- close to dumping Ubuntu for Knoppix or even SuSE. I should have known, if Ubuntu is good enough for Google, it's good enough for this n00b. (Of course, I don't really believe Google is working on an OS, but this makes me look better for my choice of distros. Sorry Jaqui.)
Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can also follow him on his personal blog.