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I have Mandriva Powerpack 2009.1 installed on a Acer Timeline 3810T. I am using KDE 4.3. After a few issues when I installed it about a month ago it has ...
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  1. #1
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    Problem with Mandriva-Keyboard/Mouse not working correctly.


    I have Mandriva Powerpack 2009.1 installed on a Acer Timeline 3810T. I am using KDE 4.3.

    After a few issues when I installed it about a month ago it has worked very well.
    A few times at bootup for some reason it would not show the Desktop icons but often a restart would fix that. Also, a few times after I would boot it it would not work correctly. I could use OpenOffice Calc and as soon as the spreadsheet would open the screen would start scrolling through the cells on it own from top to bottom and I could not stop it. Sometimes a restart would correct that but a few times I actually had to pull the power and the battery for a minute before booting. It seems this sometime happened after the computer would go into sleep mode (suspend to ram) which does not work properly on the current kernel. Sleep mode simply shuts down the machine.

    Now I'm having a problem. I can't get it to work at all even after a restart or pulling the battery. When the computer boots at times it does not show the desktop icons but also I am unable to do much on it. I can click on any icons on the desktop which will open the program but if i click on the star for the start menu it will change shade as I go over it with the mouse but it won't open the start menu. A few times after clicking on it a few times the start menu would appear but only for a split second and then go away. The same is true for other icons on the bottom bar. Unfortunately this makes my computer almost useless. Even at the bootup screen when you can click on the notepad type icon to choose desktop it won't let me do that. I click on it and if I'm lucky a screen appears for a split second and then disappears but it won't stay.

    I don't know if this is something specific to the Acer Timeline or even possibly something I hit on the keyboard to turn a feature on and off. Any ideas of what could be causing this or how I could diagnose it? Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
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    As a quick check, if you login as a different user, do you get the same problem? If not. try deleting/renaming th .kde* files in the user's home directoy.

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    I have a second login on this computer but it also is doing the same thing.
    After looking at it more I'm not even sure if it's a keyboard or mouse related issue but is maybe more likely something to do with the video or even KDE 4.2. I am hoping Mandriva releases the 2.6.30 kernel soon and also I know KDE 4.3 may be on the way. I'm not sure if it's an issue but for video the 3810T uses the Intel GMA 4500MHD.
    I am able to type overall so I was able to log into KDE 4. When the screen loads though I don't have any of my desktop icons but they are easy to get back. All I do is click on the desktop once and they all magically appear. I am able to click on and open any but there are some issues with the screen randomly scrolling when I'm in something such as OpenOffice Calc. Also, as mentioned earlier when I do something such as click on the start menu (the star) it will change colors from dark to light blue but yet nothing will open. if I'm lucky it will just display for a split second and disappear. The same holds true for all the icons on the bottom task bar.

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    I don't think it's related to the user ID. I was just noticing that at login time if I click on the notepad type icon (where I can select KDE and other desktops) sometimes it will display the menu, other times it won't do anything when I click on it. Sometimes if I click on it multiple times it will finally appear for a split second.
    This is the same behavior I see once I log into my ID. For this reason I don't think it's related to the login ID and it doesn't seem that deleting the settings for kde4 corrects it. I know there are some known issues with Intel drivers with Mandriva 2009.1. I don't know if this is where the problem lies but it seems it must occur sometimes at bootup.

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    The video card shouldn't affect the behaviour of the desktop manager.
    I think I'm catching on to what you mean when you say it's a random thing. I had a similar type of problem with one of my openSuse11.0 installs where the keyboard would keep repeating letters when you typed. If left long enough it would eventually stop, or a reboot would cure it.
    I never got to fixing it because the motherboard packed up on me before I could discover the problem.
    Have you tried changing to gnome or some other window manager to see if it's the same?
    If this doesn't work, try a fresh install without any updates and then install any kernel kde updates individually to see if it's not one of the updates that is causing the problem.
    As long as /home is on it's own partition, a fresh install should be easy.
    Also try a live distro and see if it's the same.

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    Thanks for the advice. I still don't know what's causing it but maybe after all it isn't a driver issue. I even thought it was a KDE issue. I have /home on a separate partition and don't want to lose a lot of my items such as Thunderbird email settings, bookmarks, mp3's, etc. If I do a reinstall would it erase those? Is there anything special I have to do at install time? I'm even at the point I'm almost ready to do a fresh 100% clean install if necessary since this has been such a frustrating issue.

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    As long as you make sure that your /home partition is the same and don't format it, all the fresh install does is replace the rest of the system on the root partition. (You frmat the / partition).
    Just in case things go wrong, you can make an image of the / partition using image for linux, partimage or some such. That way you can restore your original system.
    Most distro's root partition will fit on a dvd and it only takes 10 mins or so to do the backup or restore so, it's worthwhile using it in case something goes wrong.
    Backing up your /home data is different though and probably just a tar.gz of /home/username would do.

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    The odd thing is at times I can boot up the computer nd now most of the time when I boot the items are on the desktop but most of the time the start menu won't work and also there is something else going on because if I open OpenOffice Calc it will not stay in one place. It keeps scrolling through the cells. EIther way every 5-10 boots it does boot up properly so it is kind of random. Yet even though this bootup was good if I try to scroll the Firefox window it is hard to move. It may move an inch and then stops so something is going on in the background.

    Either way I did a cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf in the hopes that this may give some information that could help:

    # File generated by XFdrake (rev 256990)

    # ************************************************** ********************
    # Refer to the xorg.conf man page for details about the format of
    # this file.
    # ************************************************** ********************

    Section "ServerFlags"
    #DontZap # disable <Ctrl><Alt><BS> (server abort)
    AllowMouseOpenFail # allows the server to start up even if the mouse does not work
    #DontZoom # disable <Ctrl><Alt><KP_+>/<KP_-> (resolution switching)
    EndSection

    Section "Module"
    Load "dbe" # Double-Buffering Extension
    Load "v4l" # Video for Linux
    Load "extmod"
    Load "glx" # 3D layer
    Load "dri" # direct rendering
    EndSection

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Keyboard1"
    Driver "kbd"
    Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
    Option "XkbLayout" "us"
    Option "XkbOptions" "compose:rwin"
    EndSection

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Mouse1"
    Driver "mouse"
    Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
    Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
    EndSection

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "SynapticsMouse1"
    Driver "synaptics"
    Option "SHMConfig" "on"
    EndSection

    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "monitor1"
    VendorName "Generic"
    ModelName "Flat Panel 1360x768"
    HorizSync 31.5-48.0
    VertRefresh 56.0-65.0

    # TV fullscreen mode or DVD fullscreen output.
    # 768x576 @ 79 Hz, 50 kHz hsync
    ModeLine "768x576" 50.00 768 832 846 1000 576 590 595 630

    # 768x576 @ 100 Hz, 61.6 kHz hsync
    ModeLine "768x576" 63.07 768 800 960 1024 576 578 590 616
    EndSection

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "device1"
    VendorName "Intel Corporation"
    BoardName "Intel 810 and later"
    Driver "intel"
    Option "DPMS"
    EndSection

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "screen1"
    Device "device1"
    Monitor "monitor1"
    EndSection

    Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier "layout1"
    InputDevice "Keyboard1" "CoreKeyboard"
    InputDevice "Mouse1" "CorePointer"
    InputDevice "SynapticsMouse1" "SendCoreEvents"
    Screen "screen1"
    EndSection

  9. #9
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    To make the situation even more interesting I tried something else.
    When this problem first started, not long after my Mandriva install, once or twice when I had this problem I pulled the battery out along with the ac power being disconnected. I did this for about a minute, put it in, and it worked fine.
    More recently this became a more common problem to where it only worked maybe 1 out of 10 times.
    I wrote to Acer again asking them how I can completely reset the hardware of the Aspire Timeline 3810T. They told me to remove the battery, disconnect the AC Power supply, hold the power button for 30 seconds, plug in the AC power, start the laptop, then after bootup insert the battery.

    I did this and surprisingly it's working now. I was able to boot around 5-6 times and each time it worked fine and before this it never happened. After 5-6 times it did happen once again though and I did the reset once again with the power button and ac adapter/battery and now I have been able to boot it 3 times with no issues at all. I don't know if it will start up again but if the fix is this easy I'm willing to do this for now.

    I am trying to buy time until November for the next Mandriva and with the new kernel and KDE 4.3 I hope that will fix both. One thing that does not work on this is when the lid is closed and it goes into suspend to ram it shuts the machine down so it has to be booted again. I have heard this is a kernel issue that people have also experienced on Ubuntu and other distros and that later kernels fix it.

    If there is a way that it can be fixed in the current Mandriva and if something looks wrong with my configuration I definitely will try that though. Even when 2010.0 comes out to be safe instead of upgrading I may do a fresh install but if I can buy time until then that would be great.

    Now I don't know if this is unrelated but this may have been one change I made shortly before this issue started. I tried using Amarok and had no sound at all. I could tell it was playing a file though so I did a google search and this seems to be a common problem. I had to do something like remove gstreamer and install phonon-xine and then make that the default sound. I can't find the original link so I'm not sure exactly what it stated to do but it fixed my sound. In the future I can always use Rhythmbox if Amarok causes issues but it fixed my sound.

    One odd problem I do still see is if I go to the star menu, select Leave and then select anything such as Restart or Shutdown it birngs up the menu for Restart Computer, Cancel, Shutdown, whichever the case may be. Yet the graphics are missing with just a square with a blue question mark in it. It seems the icons or so may be missing and I still wonder if I need to reinstall the desktop manager or upgrade to KDE 4.3. This fortunately doesn't cause any major issues though.

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