Ubuntu Terminal application does not work on Dell 1MHz GX150 (i815E chipset). Gives white window with no content. Same for Synaptics application manager, Why? Video??

Asked by Carlyle Smith on 2009-09-15

Ubuntu Terminal application does not work on Dell 1MHz GX150 (i815E chipset). Gives white window with no content. Same for Synaptics application manager, Why? Video??

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Answered
For:
Ubuntu Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Last query:
2009-10-02
Last reply:
2010-03-11

Does it happen for all users?

If you only have one, boot to recovery root console (ESC when grub loads, select recovery mode, then select root)

You can now type:

adduser tester; passwd tester

You can change tester to whatever you like

then run:

shutdown -r now

and reboot, you can nowlog on as the account you just created to test.

If the account is ok then your profile is faulty in some way, if it is the same then you have a wider issue.

Carlyle Smith (csezent) said : #2

Did this, no difference. As you say, the problem is wider. Thanks for the response! A more detailed description of the problem was entered under Question #430425. Sorry -- am a brand-spanking-newcomer to linux/ubuntu (though pretty experienced in hardware/Micro$oft) so did not know how to link back to this Q# -- these need to be combined.

Carlyle Smith (csezent) said : #3

Further information:

Machine: Dell GX150 Desktop, i815E chipset, PIII 1 GHz cpu, 25GB IBM HD,
         CDR/RW, Bios ver A011 (latest)
OS:
1) Release no: Ubuntu 9.04 - the Jaunty Jackalope - released in April 2009.
   Downloaded ISO from the official Ubuntu site, burned to CD
2) Since I cannot use Terminal and Synaptics Package Manager also comes
   up with a blank screen block, cannot use it to reinstall anything.
3) Based on running the OS off the CD in another computer, where the
   Gnome Terminal did come up fine, I expected to see that when installed
   on this computer, all applications would be able to be displayed.
4) Instead:
    a) When I try to start Applications/Accessories/Terminal (Gnome
       Terminal) what comes up is a white screen block.
        Running the mouse pointer over the screen, there is a band
        across the top ~3/8 inch of the block in which the
        mouse pointer shows up as an arrow. Below that, the mouse
        pointer is a text cursor bar (letter I-shaped).
        In the white-on-white top menubar band, moving from left to
        right, the arrow successively shows the dropdown list of
        options for (I suppose) File, then Edit, then (I suppose)
        Window options, then Title/resolution, then Contents/Get Help,
        About, etc. These choices seem to be selectable and cause
        normally appearing windows to appear. Apparently, the Menu
        choices are there, but unseeable because the typeface is white
        and the menubar background is white, so the legends for the
        menu choices is not seen.
    b) Furthermore, in the text area of the screen, the command prompt
       is not seen, neither is the typing cursor. But when I right-click
       in the text area, a menu list comes up, with one of the choices
       as "Close Window" (this choice works).
    c) Also, on startup of the desktop, the mouse pointer is surrounded
       by an area of about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) square, and when the mouse
       pointer is moved, that square just blacks out. The square does
       not move with the pointer. It goes away when the mouse pointer
       is placed in another window and clicked. But if, say, a third
       window is opened up, and the mouse pointer is moved there, a
       similar square persists where the pointer was when the new entity
       was opened up. Etc. Very irritating.
    d) In addition, when I try to start up System/Administration/Synaptics
       Package Manager a white screen blocked-out area comes up in the
       center of the desktop, the whole desktop dims, and clicking on
       the mouse pointer does nothing anyplace. I can get rid of the
       white screen block by pressing ESC, then the normal desktop comes
       back. (If I recall correctly, there are at least a few other
       applications that do this. One is "Software Updates Are Available
       For This computer.")

I am wondering if this has something to do with the video driver for the onboard integrated i815E chipset (PCI).

HELP!! (Thanks)

Did you MD5 test the ISO you downloaded? Did you run the CD verifier to check the CD once initially booted to?

Carlyle Smith (csezent) said : #5

>> Did you MD5 test the ISO you downloaded?

Well, yes. All the files listed in the root file MD5SUMS.TXT checked out OK.
But there was no listing for the 89 files in the directory ISOLINUX.
And there were two files in ./.dists/ named STABLE and UNSTABLE that
were not in the list; nor were the files UBUNTU and README.diskdefines
in the root directory.

>> Did you run the CD verifier to check the CD once initially booted to?

Yes. Answer was 0 errors.

These are good questions, and I am sorry I did not start at the beginning.
I guess I am too used to MSWindows carelessness in these details.
I wonder why the files in the ISOLINUX directory were not accounted for in
the MD5 sums list.

Thank you for your response!

You dont MD5 test each file in the ISO, you only test the ISO itself. The CD check passing is good.

All I can recommend is bootoptions:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BootOptions

Carlyle Smith (csezent) said : #7

>> You dont test each file in the ISO, you only test the ISO itself.

Yeah, I finally figured out that I should just test the ISO image file -- which came up as good, matching the MD5 sum given on the Ubuntu download site. Thanks for the hint. I was testing each file on the actual CD disk, I did not know how to test the disk itself.

Regarding the bootoptions, I did look at the site, and tried a couple of things, which did not work, esp entering vga=771. I guess at this point I just don't know exactly what I am doing.

Finally, what I did was put a low-profile Intel 740 chip AGP video
card in the slot. Without any modification to the Ubuntu
installation, the output from that video card gave me perfect
rendering of the Ubuntu desktop, no funny things with the mouse
pointer, and Gnome Terminal came right up, as well as Synaptic
package manager. Also, the Updates screen came up, and
installed all the updates when clicking on the Install button. Took
about 1/2 hour to download all the updates at 90KB/sec. So my
basic problem with the i815E integrated video is not solved, except by putting an AGP card.

The install CD came up fine on another machine I have (AMD Athlon 2400, Radeon AGP video), giving the Terminal OK.

Thanks for your help. I will continue to work on why the Dell m/b i815E chipset integrated video does not work with the Ubuntu desktop i386 image. But as I suspected, that was the problem.
I do not consider my solution a valid solution to the basic problem.

rolfm (rolfm) said : #8

i have exactly the same problems (white rectangles with terminal, synaptic and ''lingering mouse shadow") on a compaq deskpro EN. install from CD and upgrade from 8.10 gave the same results as well as using CD live.
Kubuntu 9.04 however seems to work ok.
i'm too much newbie to know what makes the difference

i like to add that, while i'm not a dummie with computer software, it's taking me lots of time, energy and courage to get K/X/Ubuntu working properly.

rolfm (rolfm) said : #9

follow-up
xubuntu 9.04 does not give the mentioned problems neither.

(of course it has others:e.g. webbrowser won't work, ltsp server installation fails)

then I'd log a bug, if 2 people have the same bad it may be an issue.

Carlyle Smith (csezent) said : #11

>> actionparsnip said on 2009-09-27
>>
>> then I'd log a bug, if 2 people have the same bad it may be an issue.
>>

As I said above, I did report this as a bug, as described above on 2009-09-16:

>> A more detailed description of the problem was entered under Question #430425.

although I should have (and did not) mentioned that this was a bug report as follows:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-terminal/+bug/430425

But no one has messaged back with any suggestion on that thread.

rolfm"s problem is with a Compaq EN. There are lots of those, and I have worked
on a lot of them coming off corporate redeployment public sales. What is the
model/CPU/disk type/memory type/graphics card? perhaps I can help a little
bit somehow. There should be a sticker on the right side of the cover that gives
some of this info.

rolfm (rolfm) said : #12

sticker on machine says: ENS/C733/10e/8/64
memory:512Mb 2x256 P133 168P DIMM SDRAM
video is onboard

i would love to have it working, because i have 20 of these computers, all the same

Carlyle Smith (csezent) said : #13

>> rolfm said on 2009-09-29:
>> sticker on machine says: ENS/C733/10e/8/64
>> memory:512Mb 2x256 P133 168P DIMM SDRAM
>> video is onboard

Sounds like this is a Celeron 733MHz i810E chipset machine.
For this, the only suugestion I have at this point is that if it
has an AGP slot, to fit it with a low-profile old AGP card,
as I did. That worked for me.

The solution for me was here:
System => Preferences => Appearance => Visual Effects, Change to NONE.

Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask Carlyle Smith for more information if necessary.

To post a message you must log in.