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Video probs with Inspiron 1100 and Live CD

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  • spinoza_scholar
    Hello, First, thanks to this community for all the info and help! I am a new Linux user and am happy to be (mostly) free of Microsoft. But I am having a
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 15, 2005
      Hello,

      First, thanks to this community for all the info and help! I am a new
      Linux user and am happy to be (mostly) free of Microsoft. But I am
      having a problem:

      I am trying to run Linux from a live CD on my Dell Inspiron 1100. I
      have tried Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Knoppix, and PCLinuxOS Live CDs. All of
      them have the same problem:
      When I boot up, the screen is displayed in a small square several
      inches smaller than my physical screen. Once I reach the desktop, my
      screen remains very small and my mouse cannot go beyond the edge of
      the displayed area.
      I have read that this is a result of my having an Intel 845GL
      integrated video controller. My Dell BIOS is locked in a only 1 MB
      video memory. I have flashed to the most recent BIOS available from
      Dell (A32), but the problem remains.

      So, can I hack the Dell BIOS and assign more memory to video?
      Or can I enter a code at the prompt during boot up to manually adjust
      this setting?

      Finally, if I chose to install a distro of Linux on the HD, would I
      have this same problem? Or is this a problem solely with Live CD?

      Thanks so much in advance!

      From a distressed new linux-lover,
      Gene Marshall

      PS Here's some more system info, in case it will help:
      BIOS A32
      Celeron 2.4 GHz
      384 RAM
      Windows XP, using Live CD
      have latest versions of aforementioned Linux Live CDs.
    • Herman
      ... You can change the screen settings at boot time. However I cannot tell you how, since it depends on the version of Linux that you are running. Some manual
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 15, 2005
        spinoza_scholar wrote:
        > Hello,
        >
        > First, thanks to this community for all the info and help! I am a new
        > Linux user and am happy to be (mostly) free of Microsoft. But I am
        > having a problem:
        >
        > I am trying to run Linux from a live CD on my Dell Inspiron 1100. I
        > have tried Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Knoppix, and PCLinuxOS Live CDs. All of
        > them have the same problem:
        > When I boot up, the screen is displayed in a small square several
        > inches smaller than my physical screen. Once I reach the desktop, my
        > screen remains very small and my mouse cannot go beyond the edge of
        > the displayed area.
        > I have read that this is a result of my having an Intel 845GL
        > integrated video controller. My Dell BIOS is locked in a only 1 MB
        > video memory. I have flashed to the most recent BIOS available from
        > Dell (A32), but the problem remains.
        >
        > So, can I hack the Dell BIOS and assign more memory to video?
        > Or can I enter a code at the prompt during boot up to manually adjust
        > this setting?

        You can change the screen settings at boot time. However I cannot tell
        you how, since it depends on the version of Linux that you are running.
        Some manual reading is required. You need to boot up to the first
        prompt then type something to change the default. At that point, you
        should also see a Help option - happy reading!

        The trick is to avoid using too much colour depth. You may have to set
        the colour depth as low as 15 bits to be able to use the full screen
        real estate.

        Hope this points you in the right direction.

        Cheers,

        Herman
      • Haedn Thorn
        ... From within X, try Ctrl+Alt+ + or Ctrl+Alt+ - to cycle through the available resolutions. iirc, the 1100 does not have a BIOS option for expanding to
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 15, 2005
          --- spinoza_scholar <spinoza_scholar@...> wrote:

          > First, thanks to this community for all the info and help! I am a new
          > Linux user and am happy to be (mostly) free of Microsoft. But I am
          > having a problem:
          >
          > I am trying to run Linux from a live CD on my Dell Inspiron 1100. I
          > have tried Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Knoppix, and PCLinuxOS Live CDs. All of
          > them have the same problem:
          > When I boot up, the screen is displayed in a small square several
          > inches smaller than my physical screen. Once I reach the desktop, my
          > screen remains very small and my mouse cannot go beyond the edge of
          > the displayed area.
          > I have read that this is a result of my having an Intel 845GL
          > integrated video controller. My Dell BIOS is locked in a only 1 MB
          > video memory. I have flashed to the most recent BIOS available from
          > Dell (A32), but the problem remains.
          >
          > So, can I hack the Dell BIOS and assign more memory to video?
          > Or can I enter a code at the prompt during boot up to manually adjust
          > this setting?
          >
          > Finally, if I chose to install a distro of Linux on the HD, would I
          > have this same problem? Or is this a problem solely with Live CD?

          From within X, try Ctrl+Alt+"+" or Ctrl+Alt+"-" to cycle through the available
          resolutions. iirc, the 1100 does not have a BIOS option for expanding to full
          screen, you need to find the native resolution to fill the screen.

          When you do the actual install, you can easily edit the startup files to
          default to your LCD's native resolution.
        • Vaibhav Vaidya
          Inspiron Bioses have an option of LCD Expansion , esp with high res panels. Set this to ON... if your video driver is driving the LCD at a lower resolution,
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 15, 2005
            Inspiron Bioses have an option of 'LCD Expansion', esp with high res panels. Set this to ON... if your video driver is driving the LCD at a lower resolution, the problem you describe can occur. Especially boot-up resolutions are usually low, like 800*600. So your UXGA or such monitors can have the above artefacts...
            After you enable the option, you can try higher resolutions in X by changing xorg.conf or it's parallel in xf86 depending on your distro. If that doesnt work and you are convinced video ram is a problem, then tweak the color depth.
             
            --Vav

            Herman <herman@...> wrote:
            spinoza_scholar wrote:
            > Hello,
            >
            > First, thanks to this community for all the info and help!  I am a new
            > Linux user and am happy to be (mostly) free of Microsoft.  But I am
            > having a problem:
            >
            > I am trying to run Linux from a live CD on my Dell Inspiron 1100.  I
            > have tried Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Knoppix, and PCLinuxOS Live CDs.  All of
            > them have the same problem:
            >    When I boot up, the screen is displayed in a small square several
            > inches smaller than my physical screen.  Once I reach the desktop, my
            > screen remains very small and my mouse cannot go beyond the edge of
            > the displayed area.
            >    I have read that this is a result of my having an Intel 845GL
            > integrated video controller.  My Dell BIOS is locked in a only 1 MB
            > video memory.  I have flashed to the most recent BIOS available from
            > Dell (A32), but the problem remains. 
            >
            > So, can I hack the Dell BIOS and assign more memory to video?
            > Or can I enter a code at the prompt during boot up to manually adjust
            > this setting? 

            You can change the screen settings at boot time.  However I cannot tell
            you how, since it depends on the version of Linux that you are running.
              Some manual reading is required.  You need to boot up to the first
            prompt then type something to change the default.  At that point, you
            should also see a Help option - happy reading!

            The trick is to avoid using too much colour depth.  You may have to set
            the colour depth as low as 15 bits to  be able to use the full screen
            real estate.

            Hope this points you in the right direction.

            Cheers,

            Herman


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          • spinoza_scholar
            Problem resolved (sort of). In case anyone cares, here s what I did: 1. Instead of trying to resolve the Live CD problem, I re-partitioned my HD and installed
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 16, 2005
              Problem resolved (sort of). In case anyone cares, here's what I did:

              1. Instead of trying to resolve the Live CD problem, I re-partitioned
              my HD and installed Ubuntu alongside XP.
              2. I then edited xorg.conf and added the following lines under "monitor":
              HorizSync 31.5 - 48.5
              VertRefresh 59.0 - 75.0

              Now I'm running Ubuntu happily from my HD.

              Thanks to Herman Vaibhav, and Haedn for your help!

              Thanks also to Duglass, kelving, sureluvmyspam, and the others in the
              Ubuntu Hardware support forum.

              --- In linux-dell-laptops@yahoogroups.com, "spinoza_scholar"
              <spinoza_scholar@y...> wrote:
              > Hello,
              >
              > First, thanks to this community for all the info and help! I am a new
              > Linux user and am happy to be (mostly) free of Microsoft. But I am
              > having a problem:
              >
              > I am trying to run Linux from a live CD on my Dell Inspiron 1100. I
              > have tried Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Knoppix, and PCLinuxOS Live CDs. All of
              > them have the same problem:
              > When I boot up, the screen is displayed in a small square several
              > inches smaller than my physical screen. Once I reach the desktop, my
              > screen remains very small and my mouse cannot go beyond the edge of
              > the displayed area.
              > I have read that this is a result of my having an Intel 845GL
              > integrated video controller. My Dell BIOS is locked in a only 1 MB
              > video memory. I have flashed to the most recent BIOS available from
              > Dell (A32), but the problem remains.
              >
              > So, can I hack the Dell BIOS and assign more memory to video?
              > Or can I enter a code at the prompt during boot up to manually adjust
              > this setting?
              >
              > Finally, if I chose to install a distro of Linux on the HD, would I
              > have this same problem? Or is this a problem solely with Live CD?
              >
              > Thanks so much in advance!
              >
              > From a distressed new linux-lover,
              > Gene Marshall
              >
              > PS Here's some more system info, in case it will help:
              > BIOS A32
              > Celeron 2.4 GHz
              > 384 RAM
              > Windows XP, using Live CD
              > have latest versions of aforementioned Linux Live CDs.
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