ubuntu 10.10 boots to character screen. Reboot with old kernel 2.6.32-25-generic

Asked by Mike Steele on 2011-04-16

UPDATE: This question is becoming more urgent for me. There is now an upgrade to 11.04 available, but I'm fairly sure that if I do this upgrade, my computer will become unusable. Is this the wrong forum for the graphical interface? Should I be trying xorg or some place like that?

Back to the original post:

Way back when, I upgraded from ubuntu 10.04 to 10.10 using Update Manager. When I rebooted, I came up with a character screen. I rebooted and selected an old kernel: 2.6.32-25-generic which gave me back the gui.

At that time, the new kernel was 2.6.35-22-generic. There have been multiple kernel updates since then, and every time I reboot into a character screen. I keep hoping some update will resolve the problem, but it doesn't.

The most recent kernel is 2.6.35-28-generic.

Let's see ... what info can I provide?
1) I use "System/Additional Drivers": "NVIDIA accelerated graphics (version current) [Recommended]" is currently in use.
2) I use "System/XVIDIA X Server Settings":
    NVIDIA Driver Version: 260.19.06
    Graphics Processor: GeForce 8600 GT
    VBIOS Version: 60.84.58.00.21
    Memory: 256 MB
    Memory Interface: 128 bit

If there is other info I can provide, let me know (and tell me how to produce it!)

-Mikey

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu nvidia-graphics-drivers Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Eliah Kagan
Solved:
2011-05-12
Last query:
2011-05-12
Last reply:
2011-05-12

Reboot to the old kernel and run:

sudo apt-get --reinstall install dkms

Then reboot to the NEW kernel and rerun the same command. Does it help

Mike Steele (gurucentral) said : #2

Thank you. Unfortunately, this did not solve the problem. My actions:

1) I'm running the old kernel(2.6.32-25-generic). I ran apt-get as specified:
sudo apt-get --reinstall install dkms
    result: reinstalled dkms 2.1.1.2-3ubuntu1.1
2) Rebooted with latest kernel (2.6.35-28-generic). Came up with character
console.
3) Logged in and re-ran the apt-get as specified. Same result: reinstalled
dkms 2.1.1.2-3ubuntu1.1
4) Rebooted with latest kernel. Came up with character console. Still no gui.
5) Rebooted with old kernel. Got my gui back.

I really appreciate your response. Here's another clue: When I boot with the
new kernel, I get the beginnings of the Ubuntu splash screen with the diamond
shaped dots. Then it suddenly switches to character messages (I dunno how to
capture them) about various subsystems starting up. Perhaps there's a log
somewhere that I could supply?

-Mikey

________________________________
From: actionparsnip <email address hidden>
To: <email address hidden>
Sent: Sat, April 16, 2011 5:39:04 AM
Subject: Re: [Question #153005]: ubuntu 10.10 boots to character screen. Reboot
with old kernel 2.6.32-25-generic

Your question #153005 on Ubuntu changed:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/153005

    Status: Open => Answered

actionparsnip proposed the following answer:
Reboot to the old kernel and run:

sudo apt-get --reinstall install dkms

Then reboot to the NEW kernel and rerun the same command. Does it help

--
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https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/153005/+confirm?answer_id=0

If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
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Mike Steele (gurucentral) said : #3

I looked in /var/log. There are some Xorg logs, and I found a clue in them. I determined that Xorg.0.log is from the current, successful boot with the old kernel. Xorg.0.log.old is from the two-minute earlier, unsuccessful boot with the latest kernel. These two logs are virtually identical until line 104. At that point, you can see where the unsuccessful boot goes off the rails. Here is the log starting at line 100 (I'm including the line numbers). Line 104 is where badness began. (I didn't see anything helpful in "kern.log".)

    100 [ 15.295] (II) Loading /usr/lib/xorg/extra-modules/nvidia_drv.so
    101 [ 15.296] (II) Module nvidia: vendor="NVIDIA Corporation"
    102 [ 15.296] compiled for 4.0.2, module version = 1.0.0
    103 [ 15.296] Module class: X.Org Video Driver
    104 [ 15.298] (EE) NVIDIA: Failed to load the NVIDIA kernel module. Please check your
    105 [ 15.298] (EE) NVIDIA: system's kernel log for additional error messages.
    106 [ 15.298] (II) UnloadModule: "nvidia"
    107 [ 15.298] (II) Unloading /usr/lib/xorg/extra-modules/nvidia_drv.so
    108 [ 15.298] (EE) Failed to load module "nvidia" (module-specific error, 0)
    109 [ 15.298] (EE) No drivers available.
    110 [ 15.298]
    111 Fatal server error:
    112 [ 15.298] no screens found
    113 [ 15.298]
    114 Please consult the The X.Org Foundation support
    115 at http://wiki.x.org
    116 for help.
    117 [ 15.298] Please also check the log file at "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" for additional information.
    118 [ 15.298]

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #4

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

Mike Steele (gurucentral) said : #5

I hope this unexpires it.

uninstalll the driver and reboot, this will use the open driver, you can then boot to the new kernel and run:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-173

Reboot and it should be ok

Mike Steele (gurucentral) said : #7

I don't know how to uninstall the current driver.  I tried "sudo apt-get remove nvidia-173" which reported it was not installed.  (I knew this was a long shot, anyway.)

So, I tried the rest of it.  I booted with the latest kernel and logged in to the character screen it gave me.  I then used apt-get to install nvidia-173.  (I wish I had thought to tee off the messages ...)  It appeared to be ok.  I rebooted again with the latest kernel.  And it still presents me with a character screen.  The Xorg.0.log file remains the same.  (Earlier, I included the relevant text from that log.)

I'm back with my old kernel now.  I think your approach might be good, and all I need to know is how to uninstall the current driver.

-Mike

Mike Steele
Home Phone: (425) 776-4148
Cell Phone: (206) 713-5187
E-mail: <email address hidden>
Snail-mail:
4805 186th Pl SW
Lynnwood, WA 98037

________________________________
From: actionparsnip <email address hidden>
To: <email address hidden>
Sent: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 11:46 PM
Subject: Re: [Question #153005]: ubuntu 10.10 boots to character screen. Reboot with old kernel 2.6.32-25-generic

Your question #153005 on nvidia-graphics-drivers in Ubuntu changed:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nvidia-graphics-drivers/+question/153005

    Status: Open => Answered

actionparsnip proposed the following answer:
uninstalll the driver and reboot, this will use the open driver, you can
then boot to the new kernel and run:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-173

Reboot and it should be ok

--
If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
know that it is solved:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nvidia-graphics-drivers/+question/153005/+confirm?answer_id=5

If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
following page to enter your feedback:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nvidia-graphics-drivers/+question/153005

You received this question notification because you asked the question.

Try:

sudo apt-get remove nvidia-current

(Also, when you post via email in Launchpad questions, please remove the text of other people's posts from the bottom of your post--it's very distracting and confusing for people using the web-based interface, which includes almost everyone who helps out with questions.))

Mike Steele (gurucentral) said : #9

Thanks Eliah.  Consider me properly admonished.  My Mother always told me I was thoughtless ...

So, here's what happened:
 * I ran the "apt-get remove" of nvidia-current.  Result:  Both new and old kernel start in character.
 * I ran "sudo apt-get purge nvidia-current" hoping to remove any configuration files.  Result:  As before, character.
 * I ran "sudo apt-get purge nvidia-173" hoping to come up with some base graphical driver.  Result: both new and old kernal hang in the splash screen.
 * Burned a new Ubuntu 11.04 cd and booted from that.  Result: I have a graphical screen.  I can mount my hard drive and wander around.
Here's what I'm considering:

 * Back up everything I can think of; attempt to list all the stuff to re-install; re-install Ubuntu; restore my stuff; re-install any packages I need.  (I've been told that Windows people do this as a matter of course.  But it's kind of humiliating to have to resort to this in Linux.)
 * Use chroot to make my mounted disk be the root directory and attempt to keep dinking with apt-get.  I don't know if this will work, but I could try installing nvidia-173 again.
Right now, I'm pretty hosed.  Even now, I'm emailing from my work computer.  And my wife keeps saying "Come over to the dark side ..."

Mike Steele

Considering that you have:

(1) An Ubuntu 10.10 system that doesn't work right, and the situation is somewhat complex, and you don't have an immediate solution on hand that you have good reason to think will work.

(2) A live CD for Ubuntu 11.04, which works right.

Doing a fresh install (of Ubuntu 11.04) makes sense. You could try upgrading first if you wanted. (You can use the server upgrade instructions from the command-line.) But if I were in your position, I'd probably go ahead and perform a fresh installation of Ubuntu 11.04. That would probably be quicker than continuing to work on this problem in Ubuntu 10.10.

Please note that, due to bug 762478, it's possible that Unity won't work on your system, once you upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04. But even if it doesn't, you can still use an Ubuntu Classic session to get the same interface that you (should be able to) use on your current system.

Mike Steele (gurucentral) said : #11

I had tried upgrading once my situation had devolved to the point where even my old kernel started coming up in character mode. Didn't help (didn't hurt, either). I forgot to mention that.

I've resigned myself to re-installing. I might note that even though the live CD is working, I don't have any of the graphical special effects.

So ... I guess I can say this "solved" my problem. Wish me luck on the re-install!