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D610 LCD dying?

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  • John Morrissey
    My company recently bought a batch of D610s with the ATI Mobility Radeon X300 chipset. They seem to run Linux fairly well, but I m having an interesting
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 1, 2005
      My company recently bought a batch of D610s with the ATI Mobility Radeon
      X300 chipset. They seem to run Linux fairly well, but I'm having an
      interesting problem with X.

      When I first got the machine, I ran the preinstalled Windows XP on it for a
      couple of weeks, which ran flawlessly display-wise. I also installed Debian,
      with XFree86 4.3.0 (my configuration is attached).

      At first, I had problems getting X configured with the XFree86 ati driver,
      so I started running the closed-source ATI fglrx driver (version 8.14.13).
      It ran fine in dual-head mode for several days with the internal LCD at
      1400x1050 and an external Dell 21" LCD at 1600x1200 via the DVI port on the
      docking station.

      One morning, I powered it on and the internal LCD was dead - no display
      whatsoever, not even a flicker. The external LCD was fine, and would display
      the BIOS POST output instead of the internal display. When I tried to start
      X, the internal LCD would turn grey and would gradually "melt" into
      different patterned colors, somewhat like a screen saver or a VGA connection
      with a lot of interference.

      In Windows, the external LCD was recognized and used as the primary display.
      I tried to "activate" the internal LCD via the Displays control panel, but
      it would fail and mark it unavailable. Booting from the diagnostic partition
      would successfully complete all tests, but would always use the external
      LCD, never the internal one.

      I called Dell support. They had me re-seat the LCD cable, which didn't help.
      I also re-ran the diagnostics with the external LCD disconnected. There was
      a beep code corresponding to the internal LCD. They swore that nothing I
      could have done with the X configuration would cause this behavior and
      dispatched a Unisys tech to replace the display and mainboard.

      Bad production runs happen, but what really worries me is that we have
      another Linux user who got a laptop from the same batch of D610s. Before I
      started running Linux on my D610, he installed Linux from Scratch on his.
      He's running X.org with its ATI driver and experienced exactly the same
      symptoms a few days after starting to run in dual-head mode. First, Dell
      replaced only the display, but the symptoms re-occurred a couple days later
      and they came back to replace the display (again) plus the mainboard. This
      is how I was able to convince Dell to replace both the display and mainboard
      in my D610 during the first service call.

      Since the parts replacement about a month ago, I've been running Windows XP
      in dual-head mode with no problems. My co-worker has been running Linux with
      X on the internal LCD only, also with no problems. A couple days ago, I
      started running Linux again, with the external LCD commented out of my
      ServerLayout. This mirrors the internal LCD to the external LCD, and has
      been working fine so far.

      I *really* want to run Linux in dual-head mode, but I'm afraid to re-enable
      it, since we've already had three failures (twice on my co-worker's, once on
      mine) and if the internal LCD dies again, Dell might be reluctant to replace
      it under warranty. I've looked at other X configurations for the D610 and
      mine doesn't seem to be any different. Did we just have terrible luck with
      this LCD run? I can't speak for the other laptop, but the new LCD that
      Unisys installed was from a different manufacturer.

      Dare I run X in dual-head mode again? Any help would be much appreciated.

      thanks,
      john
      --
      John Morrissey _o /\ ---- __o
      jwm@... _-< \_ / \ ---- < \,
      www.horde.net/ __(_)/_(_)________/ \_______(_) /_(_)__
    • Herman
      Well, silicon electronics doesn t have a wearout mechanism - theoretically, electronics can last 100 years or more. With something like a display adaptor,
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 1, 2005
        Well, silicon electronics doesn't have a wearout mechanism -
        theoretically, electronics can last 100 years or more. With something
        like a display adaptor, nothing that software does, can break your hardware.

        The only way to break the hardware is by over stressing it. This could
        happen by plugging the external display in/out causing electrical and
        mechanical stress and by overheating. In both of these events, if a
        failure would occur, it still points to an inadequate design.

        Therefore, you have two choices - keep using the machine to its fullest
        potential, causing it to break and returning it to Dell to fix time and
        again, or you have to change something in the way you use the machine
        and be more gentle with it - be careful when you plug the external
        display in/out - only do it with the power off. Don't use the machine
        in the sun - turn the airconditioning down, add a laptop cooler tray.
        You'll have to judge what is prudent.

        Cheers,

        Herman


        John Morrissey wrote:
        > My company recently bought a batch of D610s with the ATI Mobility Radeon
        > X300 chipset. They seem to run Linux fairly well, but I'm having an
        > interesting problem with X.
        >
        > When I first got the machine, I ran the preinstalled Windows XP on it for a
        > couple of weeks, which ran flawlessly display-wise. I also installed Debian,
        > with XFree86 4.3.0 (my configuration is attached).
        >
        > At first, I had problems getting X configured with the XFree86 ati driver,
        > so I started running the closed-source ATI fglrx driver (version 8.14.13).
        > It ran fine in dual-head mode for several days with the internal LCD at
        > 1400x1050 and an external Dell 21" LCD at 1600x1200 via the DVI port on the
        > docking station.
        >
        > One morning, I powered it on and the internal LCD was dead - no display
        > whatsoever, not even a flicker. The external LCD was fine, and would display
        > the BIOS POST output instead of the internal display. When I tried to start
        > X, the internal LCD would turn grey and would gradually "melt" into
        > different patterned colors, somewhat like a screen saver or a VGA connection
        > with a lot of interference.
        >
        > In Windows, the external LCD was recognized and used as the primary display.
        > I tried to "activate" the internal LCD via the Displays control panel, but
        > it would fail and mark it unavailable. Booting from the diagnostic partition
        > would successfully complete all tests, but would always use the external
        > LCD, never the internal one.
        >
        > I called Dell support. They had me re-seat the LCD cable, which didn't help.
        > I also re-ran the diagnostics with the external LCD disconnected. There was
        > a beep code corresponding to the internal LCD. They swore that nothing I
        > could have done with the X configuration would cause this behavior and
        > dispatched a Unisys tech to replace the display and mainboard.
        >
        > Bad production runs happen, but what really worries me is that we have
        > another Linux user who got a laptop from the same batch of D610s. Before I
        > started running Linux on my D610, he installed Linux from Scratch on his.
        > He's running X.org with its ATI driver and experienced exactly the same
        > symptoms a few days after starting to run in dual-head mode. First, Dell
        > replaced only the display, but the symptoms re-occurred a couple days later
        > and they came back to replace the display (again) plus the mainboard. This
        > is how I was able to convince Dell to replace both the display and mainboard
        > in my D610 during the first service call.
        >
        > Since the parts replacement about a month ago, I've been running Windows XP
        > in dual-head mode with no problems. My co-worker has been running Linux with
        > X on the internal LCD only, also with no problems. A couple days ago, I
        > started running Linux again, with the external LCD commented out of my
        > ServerLayout. This mirrors the internal LCD to the external LCD, and has
        > been working fine so far.
        >
        > I *really* want to run Linux in dual-head mode, but I'm afraid to re-enable
        > it, since we've already had three failures (twice on my co-worker's, once on
        > mine) and if the internal LCD dies again, Dell might be reluctant to replace
        > it under warranty. I've looked at other X configurations for the D610 and
        > mine doesn't seem to be any different. Did we just have terrible luck with
        > this LCD run? I can't speak for the other laptop, but the new LCD that
        > Unisys installed was from a different manufacturer.
        >
        > Dare I run X in dual-head mode again? Any help would be much appreciated.
        >
        > thanks,
        > john
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > Section "Files"
        > FontPath "unix/:7100" # local font server
        > # if the local font server has problems, we can fall back on these
        > FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc"
        > FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic"
        > FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/:unscaled"
        > FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/:unscaled"
        > FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"
        > FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/CID"
        > FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo"
        > FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi"
        > FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi"
        > EndSection
        >
        > Section "Module"
        > Load "GLcore"
        > Load "bitmap"
        > Load "dbe"
        > Load "ddc"
        > Load "dri"
        > Load "extmod"
        > Load "freetype"
        > Load "glx"
        > Load "int10"
        > Load "record"
        > Load "speedo"
        > Load "type1"
        > Load "vbe"
        > EndSection
        >
        > Section "ServerFlags"
        > # Option "Xinerama"
        > EndSection
        >
        > Section "InputDevice"
        > Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
        > Driver "keyboard"
        > Option "CoreKeyboard"
        > Option "XkbRules" "xfree86"
        > Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
        > Option "XkbLayout" "us"
        > EndSection
        >
        > #Section "InputDevice"
        > # Driver "synaptics"
        > # Identifier "Touchpad"
        > # Option "CorePointer"
        > # Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
        > # Option "Protocol" "PS/2"
        > # Option "LeftEdge" "120"
        > # Option "RightEdge" "830"
        > # Option "TopEdge" "120"
        > # Option "BottomEdge" "650"
        > # Option "FingerLow" "14"
        > # Option "FingerHigh" "15"
        > # Option "MaxTapTime" "180"
        > # Option "MaxTapMove" "110"
        > # Option "EmulateMidButtonTime" "75"
        > # Option "VertScrollDelta" "20"
        > # Option "HorizScrollDelta" "20"
        > # Option "MinSpeed" "0.3"
        > # Option "MaxSpeed" "0.75"
        > # Option "AccelFactor" "0.015"
        > # Option "EdgeMotionMinSpeed" "200"
        > # Option "EdgeMotionMaxSpeed" "200"
        > # Option "UpDownScrolling" "1"
        > # Option "CircularScrolling" "1"
        > # Option "CircScrollDelta" "0.1"
        > # Option "CircScrollTrigger" "2"
        > #EndSection
        >
        > Section "InputDevice"
        > Identifier "Generic Mouse"
        > Driver "mouse"
        > Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
        > Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
        > Option "Protocol" "auto"
        > Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
        > Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
        > EndSection
        >
        > Section "Device"
        > Identifier "ATI Radeon Mobility X300 Screen 0"
        > Driver "fglrx"
        > Screen 0
        > Option "MonitorLayout" "LVDS,AUTO"
        > # === disable PnP Monitor ===
        > #Option "NoDDC"
        > # === disable/enable XAA/DRI ===
        > # Option "no_accel" "no"
        > # Option "no_dri" "yes"
        > # === Fire GL DDX driver module specific settings ===
        > # === Screen Management ===
        > Option "DesktopSetup" "0x00000101"
        > # Option "Display2" "2"
        > # Option "GammaCorrectionI" "0x06419064"
        > # Option "GammaCorrectionII" "0x06419064"
        > # === OpenGL specific profiles/settings ===
        > # Option "Capabilities" "0x00000000"
        > # === Video Overlay for the Xv extension ===
        > # Option "VideoOverlay" "on"
        > # === OpenGL Overlay ===
        > # Note: When OpenGL Overlay is enabled, Video Overlay
        > # will be disabled automatically
        > # Option "OpenGLOverlay" "off"
        > EndSection
        > Section "Device"
        > Identifier "ATI Radeon Mobility X300 Screen 1"
        > Driver "fglrx"
        > Screen 1
        > Option "MonitorLayout" "LVDS,AUTO"
        > EndSection
        >
        > Section "Monitor"
        > Identifier "Laptop LCD"
        > Option "DPMS"
        > EndSection
        > Section "Monitor"
        > Identifier "External LCD"
        > Option "DPMS"
        > EndSection
        >
        > Section "Screen"
        > Identifier "Laptop LCD Screen"
        > Device "ATI Radeon Mobility X300 Screen 0"
        > Monitor "Laptop LCD"
        > DefaultDepth 24
        > SubSection "Display"
        > Depth 24
        > Modes "1400x1050"
        > EndSubSection
        > EndSection
        >
        > Section "Screen"
        > Identifier "External LCD Screen"
        > Device "ATI Radeon Mobility X300 Screen 1"
        > Monitor "External LCD"
        > DefaultDepth 24
        > SubSection "Display"
        > Depth 24
        > Modes "1600x1200"
        > EndSubSection
        > EndSection
        >
        > Section "ServerLayout"
        > Identifier "Default Layout"
        > Screen "Laptop LCD Screen"
        > # Screen "External LCD Screen" RightOf "Laptop LCD Screen"
        > InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
        > InputDevice "Generic Mouse" "CorePointer"
        > EndSection
        >
        > Section "DRI"
        > Mode 0666
        > EndSection
      • Olivier Berger
        Hi. Have you tried and check at http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/dell.html I think I saw there details about D610 and dual head configs. Just my 2 cents, John
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 17, 2005
          Hi.

          Have you tried and check at http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/dell.html

          I think I saw there details about D610 and dual head configs.

          Just my 2 cents,

          John Morrissey <jwm@...> writes:

          SNIP
          --
          Olivier BERGER (OpenPGP: 1024D/B4C5F37F)
          APRIL (http://www.april.org) - Vive python (http://www.python.org)
          P├ętition contre les brevets logiciels : http://petition.eurolinux.org
        • John Morrissey
          ... [snip] ... [snip] ... It s been a long time (over a year!), but I thought I d follow up in case this information is useful to anyone. Earlier this year, I
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 13, 2006
            On Thu, Sep 01, 2005 at 08:21:47PM -0400, John Morrissey wrote:
            > My company recently bought a batch of D610s with the ATI Mobility Radeon
            > X300 chipset. They seem to run Linux fairly well, but I'm having an
            > interesting problem with X.
            [snip]
            > One morning, I powered it on and the internal LCD was dead - no display
            > whatsoever, not even a flicker. The external LCD was fine, and would
            > display the BIOS POST output instead of the internal display. When I tried
            > to start X, the internal LCD would turn grey and would gradually "melt"
            > into different patterned colors, somewhat like a screen saver or a VGA
            > connection with a lot of interference.
            [snip]
            > I called Dell support. They had me re-seat the LCD cable, which didn't help.
            > I also re-ran the diagnostics with the external LCD disconnected. There was
            > a beep code corresponding to the internal LCD. They swore that nothing I
            > could have done with the X configuration would cause this behavior and
            > dispatched a Unisys tech to replace the display and mainboard.

            It's been a long time (over a year!), but I thought I'd follow up in case
            this information is useful to anyone.

            Earlier this year, I found this thread:

            http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=latit_video&message.id=20625

            on the Dell forums that details similar experiences. I added to it back in
            June, and followed up again today:

            For what it's worth, I've been running Ubuntu (dapper and edgy) for several
            weeks now with X.org (xorg-driver-fglrx 7.0.0-8.25.18+2.6.15.11-5 under
            dapper, 7.1.0-8.28.8+2.6.17.6-1 under edgy) in dual-head mode with no
            problems. This is on the same D610 that had the display replaced after
            running a previous version of the fglrx driver. Perhaps this was a
            bug/hardware incompatibility in the fglrx driver?

            john
            --
            John Morrissey _o /\ ---- __o
            jwm@... _-< \_ / \ ---- < \,
            www.horde.net/ __(_)/_(_)________/ \_______(_) /_(_)__
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