[thechat] HELP!!! - Linux disaster

Andrew Forsberg andrew at thepander.co.nz
Thu Dec 6 00:12:25 CST 2001

>Once you're there, just run Xconfigurator or XFree86config and 
>'reset' your display settings. it should re-probe for you card, 
>monitor, etc and save that config for you.
>let me know how it goes :)

Dan's comments caused me to think that my own were too far on the 
brief side of brief.

You have three goals:
1) Get command line access to the machine.
2) Get root access to the machine.
3) Revert the file XF86Config to what it was before, or, if 
necessary, reinstall the original video driver.

To achieve (1) you have two options: (a) if your machine is on a lan, 
then you should be able to use telnet / ssh to get command line 
access to it. Just make sure it's up and running in the nice colour 
pattern you described, and login remotely. If the linux box is a 
dialup machine, or a telnet / ssh server is not configured on it, 
then you'll have to (b) startup the machine in single user mode. 
Dan's comments explained how to do this with your distro. So that's 

To achieve (2) you'll either be there already if you've rebooted in 
single user mode, or you'll need to type 'su' hit return, and type 
the root pass in your telnet / ssh terminal window.

(3) If you're lucky the program you used to update your video will 
have left a backup XF86Config file in /etc/X11/ referencing the 
original drivers (look for something like /etc/X11/XF86Config.bak). 
If not, you'll need to run xf86config, or similar. Have a look around 
in /usr/X11R6/bin/ or /usr/local/X11R6/bin/ for executable files with 
'conf' in them ('ls *con*').

If you're very unlucky, and the driver installer software has totally 
shafted your previous driver you may need to use the xf86config 
program to select a VESA driver. Don't try to be too ambitious with 
VESA. You'll be lucky if you get 1024x768 at 16 bit colour. You just 
need to get your windowing system up and running, and then download 
and reinstall the previous video driver. A good first port-of-call on 
this mission will be redhat.com. Grab the latest rpm file(s) for your 
card, use the gui rpm downloader/installer if you like: force install 
them over the naughty naughty nvidia vendor drivers.

You should be good to go. And I too am eager to hear how it goes.


Andrew Forsberg
uberNET - http://uber.net.nz/
the pander - http://thepander.co.nz/

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