dual monitor boot problem 17.10

Asked by Ilan Tal on 2017-11-27

In kernel 4.13.0-17-generic and a few kernels before it, there are boot problems where I cannot log in.

In all cases with the new kernels there are audio "clicks" from the main monitor, where it always used to be quiet.
The killer problem is if I power up the machine and then go off to do something else while it is powering up,
I can get into a situation where both screens are black.
I hit Esc to wake up the system, where I expect to see my user name so I can enter the password.
I think I have to move the mouse as well, but this isn't important.
The crucial point is that in roughly 1/2 of the cases the main monitor will remain black.
It may flash at me with my user name for about 1/10 second but the screen will be black.

If I unplug the cable connection to the main monitor, the second monitor will now become the only screen and I can boot normally.
Plugging back in the monitor leaves it useless and black.
I have to power down the computer and start again.

The clicking noise will come from the main monitor again as it boots up.
Now I stay close to the computer so it won't time out.

I am using 17.10 with Gnome in place of Unity.
There have been some very nice improvements in 17.10, notably that Virtual box is much more stable,
but the boot with the last few kernels is very problematic.

Question information

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Status:
Answered
For:
Ubuntu Edit question
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Last query:
2017-11-27
Last reply:
2017-11-28

If you boot an older kernel, is it OK?

Ilan Tal (ilan-tal) said : #2

I don't exactly remember, but I think the problems began when I updated to 17.10.
I don't suppose I could use a 17.04 kernel and hope to use Gnome?

It's worth a try. What video chip do you use?

Ilan Tal (ilan-tal) said : #4

ilan@ilan-Desktop:~$ lspci -v -s `lspci | awk '/VGA/{print $1}'`
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GT218 [GeForce 210] (rev a2) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
 Subsystem: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd GT218 [GeForce 210]
 Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 36
 Memory at fd000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
 Memory at c0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
 Memory at d0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=32M]
 I/O ports at e000 [size=128]
 Expansion ROM at 000c0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
 Capabilities: <access denied>
 Kernel driver in use: nouveau
 Kernel modules: nvidiafb, nouveau

I keep my system fairly clean such that only the previous kernel 4.13.0-16-generic is on my disk.
That gave the audio clicks when I used it as my main kernel.
Now that I chose it as an alternate kernel, it was quiet (and the boot completed without problems).
I have no explanation as why it was quiet.

Did you install the proprietary video driver? It appears not but I wanted to check.

Ilan Tal (ilan-tal) said : #6

I like to keep things as simple as possible.
If it wasn't required, I didn't install it.

I am beginning to think that maybe something in my BIOS is screwed up.
Maybe I should try to factory reset it?

This morning when I turned on the system, there was the usual audio "clicking" and it failed to boot.
It took several attempts until I finally got the computer to boot.

Worth a try. Remember to review settings in the BIOS after you reset it.

Clicking could be a bad drive. Do you use a platter based hard drive or an SSD?

Ilan Tal (ilan-tal) said : #9

The clicking is clearly coming from the monitor which isn't showing consistently.
I put my ear close to the monitor and I hear the source.
That monitor flickers when I try to click on my user name, and is 99% of the time black.
The clicking is as if something is turning it on and off.

This is why I began to suspect the BIOS.
Could it just by chance be that something in the BIOS got changed in the upgrade to 17.10?
Whatever happened, it happened at the upgrade.
The Gnome is nicer than Unity, but the boot is really annoying.

Can you help with this problem?

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