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Hi guys I've recently installed ubuntu 10.10 on an old laptop (toshiba satellite pro m40, 1.4ghz celeron processor 512mb ram radeon mobility 200m) and I am having some problems with ...
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  1. #1
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    ubuntu 10.10 - X server/Gnome randomly crashing on startup


    Hi guys

    I've recently installed ubuntu 10.10 on an old laptop (toshiba satellite pro m40, 1.4ghz celeron processor 512mb ram radeon mobility 200m) and I am having some problems with Xserver/Gnome randomly crashing on startup. I am dual booting windows 7 starter and ubuntu.

    When I boot into ubuntu I always get to the graphical login prompt, the problem is that when i click on my username and type in my password sometimes I will be logged in fine and the gnome desktop will appear and I will be able to use the system as normal, but sometimes (more often than not) after i type my password I will get stuck at the login screen and not be able to go any further (just the wallpaper and the mouse pointer will be shown, nothing else). When this happens I am always able to hit ctrl + alt +f1 to get to a command prompt so that I can reboot the system, usually after I reboot the laptop a couple of times I can log in properly and have a working system but as you can imagine this gets a bit annoying after a while!

    I have done a lot of searching on google and on various forums about this problem and lots of people have said that it could be a graphics driver issue and to update the driver, however, these posts all seem to relate to computers with nvidia graphics cards and mine is ATI. I have looked on the ATI website for newer drivers but I cant find any for my chipset. I have looked at Xorg.o.log and it shows that the driver it's loading is compatible with my chipset so I've got no idea what could be wrong. If anybody has got any ideas what might be causing the problem I'd be gratefull. Btw, my Xserver version is 1.9.0 if it helps.

    cheers

  2. #2
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard, Steve!

    While you have everything booted up properly, use the following commands and post the output:
    Code:
    lspci -knn
    Code:
    lsmod
    Code:
    free -m
    On one of those instances where you can't login properly, after you hit ctrl + alt +f1, use this:
    Code:
    dmesg | tail -50 > dmesg.txt
    That will give the last 50 lines of your dmesg log and place them in a text file that you can post later.
    Jay

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  3. #3
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    Hi Jay

    Thanks for the quick reply! Laptop is working normally at the moment so I've ran the first 3 commands that you've listed and posted the output below. Hope this helps.

    lspci -knn:
    Code:
    00:00.0 Host bridge [0600]: ATI Technologies Inc Device [1002:5a31] (rev 01)
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel modules: ati-agp
    00:01.0 PCI bridge [0604]: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge [1002:5a3f]
    	Kernel modules: shpchp
    00:13.0 USB Controller [0c03]: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB Host Controller [1002:4374]
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel driver in use: ohci_hcd
    00:13.1 USB Controller [0c03]: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB Host Controller [1002:4375]
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel driver in use: ohci_hcd
    00:13.2 USB Controller [0c03]: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB2 Host Controller [1002:4373]
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel driver in use: ehci_hcd
    00:14.0 SMBus [0c05]: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 SMBus Controller [1002:4372] (rev 11)
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel driver in use: piix4_smbus
    	Kernel modules: i2c-piix4
    00:14.1 IDE interface [0101]: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 IDE Controller [1002:4376]
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel driver in use: pata_atiixp
    	Kernel modules: pata_atiixp
    00:14.3 ISA bridge [0601]: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 PCI-ISA Bridge [1002:4377]
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    00:14.4 PCI bridge [0604]: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 PCI-PCI Bridge [1002:4371]
    00:14.5 Multimedia audio controller [0401]: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 AC'97 Audio Controller [1002:4370] (rev 02)
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel driver in use: ATI IXP AC97 controller
    	Kernel modules: snd-atiixp
    00:14.6 Modem [0703]: ATI Technologies Inc SB400 AC'97 Modem Controller [1002:4378] (rev 02)
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:0001]
    	Kernel driver in use: ATI IXP MC97 controller
    	Kernel modules: snd-atiixp-modem
    01:05.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: ATI Technologies Inc RS400 [Radeon Xpress 200M] [1002:5a42]
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel driver in use: radeon
    	Kernel modules: radeon
    02:04.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR2413 802.11bg NIC [168c:001a] (rev 01)
    	Subsystem: Askey Computer Corp. Device [144f:7094]
    	Kernel driver in use: ath5k
    	Kernel modules: ath5k
    02:06.0 CardBus bridge [0607]: Texas Instruments PCI1410 PC card Cardbus Controller [104c:ac50] (rev 02)
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel driver in use: yenta_cardbus
    	Kernel modules: yenta_socket
    02:07.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ [10ec:8139] (rev 10)
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel driver in use: 8139too
    	Kernel modules: 8139too, 8139cp
    02:0a.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394) [0c00]: Texas Instruments TSB43AB21 IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link) [104c:8026]
    	Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Device [1179:ff10]
    	Kernel driver in use: firewire_ohci
    	Kernel modules: firewire-ohci, ohci1394
    lsmod:-

    Code:
    Module                  Size  Used by
    ppp_deflate             3726  0 
    zlib_deflate           19266  1 ppp_deflate
    bsd_comp                4791  0 
    ppp_async               6778  1 
    crc_ccitt               1351  1 ppp_async
    nls_iso8859_1           3261  0 
    nls_cp437               4931  0 
    vfat                    9201  0 
    fat                    48240  1 vfat
    hw_cdc_driver          18501  0 
    option                 13133  1 
    usb_wwan                9953  1 option
    usbserial              33100  5 option,usb_wwan
    binfmt_misc             6599  1 
    parport_pc             26058  0 
    ppdev                   5556  0 
    snd_atiixp_modem        9147  5 
    radeon                825934  3 
    snd_atiixp             12426  2 
    snd_ac97_codec         99227  2 snd_atiixp_modem,snd_atiixp
    usb_storage            40172  0 
    ac97_bus                1014  1 snd_ac97_codec
    snd_pcm                71475  5 snd_atiixp_modem,snd_atiixp,snd_ac97_codec
    arc4                    1165  2 
    ttm                    56633  1 radeon
    snd_seq_midi            4588  0 
    ath5k                 130051  0 
    drm_kms_helper         30200  1 radeon
    snd_rawmidi            17783  1 snd_seq_midi
    drm                   168054  5 radeon,ttm,drm_kms_helper
    snd_seq_midi_event      6047  1 snd_seq_midi
    joydev                  8735  0 
    mac80211              231541  1 ath5k
    pcmcia                 35973  0 
    snd_seq                47174  2 snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event
    i2c_algo_bit            5168  1 radeon
    snd_timer              19067  2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
    ath                     8153  1 ath5k
    snd_seq_device          5744  3 snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq
    yenta_socket           21518  0 
    cfg80211              144470  3 ath5k,mac80211,ath
    snd                    49006  20 snd_atiixp_modem,snd_atiixp,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq,snd_timer,snd_seq_device
    pcmcia_rsrc            10566  1 yenta_socket
    psmouse                59033  0 
    ati_agp                 5202  0 
    i2c_piix4               8635  0 
    pcmcia_core            14657  3 pcmcia,yenta_socket,pcmcia_rsrc
    soundcore                880  1 snd
    serio_raw               4022  0 
    led_class               2633  1 ath5k
    snd_page_alloc          7120  3 snd_atiixp_modem,snd_atiixp,snd_pcm
    shpchp                 29886  0 
    agpgart                32011  3 ttm,drm,ati_agp
    lp                      7342  0 
    parport                31492  3 parport_pc,ppdev,lp
    8139too                19581  0 
    firewire_ohci          21106  0 
    8139cp                 16934  0 
    firewire_core          46643  1 firewire_ohci
    crc_itu_t               1383  1 firewire_core
    mii                     4425  3 hw_cdc_driver,8139too,8139cp
    pata_atiixp             3288  1
    free -m:-

    Code:
                   total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:           432        421         10          0         62        111
    -/+ buffers/cache:        246        185
    Swap:          254         40        214
    Thanks for the help
    Last edited by jayd512; 01-20-2012 at 01:19 AM. Reason: added code tags

  4. #4
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Your card and driver look right.
    So I'm thinking that this might just be an issue with the amount of RAM on this machine.
    When you find yourself unable to login, use this command as well:
    Code:
    free -m > free.txt
    Jay

    New users, read this first.
    New Member FAQ
    Registered Linux User #463940
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help. Please keep it on the public boards.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the reply, I see what you mean about the RAM, looks like pretty much all of it is being used. I just thought it was weird that sometimes it will let me log in and the system will work fine and sometimes it wont. At the moment I'm logged in, I've got macbuntu running with all of the compiz effects, 3 tabs open in chromium and I'm listening to a cd at the same time and the system still seems pretty responsive. I would have thought that if it was a case of not having enough RAM then the system wouldn't work full stop. I think this laptop can handle upto a maximun of 2gb of RAM though so I'll go on ebay tomorrow and see if I can get hold of another 1gb module and see if that improves things. If I still have problems logging in then I'll do
    Code:
    free -m > free.txt
    and post the output. Thanks

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