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Old 2nd September 2008, 19:27
rjamesd rjamesd is offline
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Question Debian 4 install wont start Xserver on CRT after installing with LCD monitor attached

I installed at home Debian 4 Etch with a Samsung 730 MW 17" LCD Monitor attached via the D-SUB analogue input. The install is fine and I can use the standard Debian GUI (GNOME I think).

Then I took the machine to where I want it to be used in our organisation's premises, and attached a IIyama Vision Master Pro 410 CRT Monitor, again via the D-SUB analogue port.

On starting the machine with this CRT, I can see it go through the initial boot sequence with lots of log output as you'd expect, in DOS style type face.

However, on finishing this, I am presented with the error: "Failed to start the X server (your graphical interface). It is likely that it is not set up correctly. Would you like to view the X server output to diagnose the problem?"

So I click yes, and I get a fair bit of text, too much to write here, but a key statement I see here is: "Screens(s) found, but none have a usable configuration."
"Fatal server error"
no screens found

The graphics card is a ATI 3D AGP 1x 133Mhz (old I know, but works fine on my LCD).

The machine is a Pentium III 133Mhz FSB 512Mb RAM. Again old I know, but fit enough for its purpose I intend it for.

There aren't funds available to use an LCD, nor to upgrade.

Anyway I think it's great to be able to recycle the kit, I don't want to get into a discussion about hardware, as funds aren't available. I think the issue here is precisely with Debian not being flexible about a different monitor being used from that which was used during the install. Which could happen on newer hardware.

I'm fairly sure that I could solve the problem by starting again and reinstalling Debian 4 with the CRT attached from the beginning. Because I think deep down somewhere, the install has become dependent on the monitor used on the install. I'm surprised at this because plug and play has advanced on Linux.

When I take the machine back to using the LCD it works fine again.

When I exit the error messages, I am returned to the command line prompt, where I can issue commands. Is there a file I can edit to get the install to accept the CRT? I'd rather do this than have to reinstall.

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