x11 problems on a sony vaio fxa59

Mike Labriola mike.labriola at clarksonalumni.com
Sun Aug 18 14:47:48 PDT 2002


i just got a sony vaio fxa59.  according to pages linked from linux-laptops.net, 
every bit of hardware in this laptop should work fine.  however, i'm running 
into some strange issues with xfree86...

i installed redhat 7.3 for starters, and everything appeared to go fine.  at the 
monitor setup section, i selected "generic 1400x1050 laptop screen".  the 
installer autodetected the ati rage mobility p/m.  at the display setup section, 
i selected 1400x1050 at 24bpp.  the display test thing worked fine...

now here comes the interesting part...  when i got all done with that and booted 
it up, x didn't work.  instead of loading up redhat's gnome desktop, startx 
brought up a lined and speckled grey screen with a little white box in the upper 
left corner (about 1" square).  this is not the "x is running but there's no wm" 
screen...  i checked the x11 log file and it doesn't show any error messages. 
not even anything out of the ordinary.  when i ran into this, i just wrote it 
off as redhat messing something up and went ahead compiling LFS.  unfortunately, 
my new LFS system with XFree86-4.2.0 does the same exact thing...

now, i'm not sure what is actually biffing here...  is it the video driver for 
ati?  or is it the lcd screen's description in my XF86Config file?  and either 
way, why on earth did redhat's "test video settings" thing succesfully load up x 
with no problems?  and in addition, why did redhat's graphical install even work 
at all?  doesn't that use a hacked up x server?

so, i'm kinda at a loss for now...
if anyone has any idea as to how i can resolve this problem, please let me know! 
  as of right now, my brand new $1700 laptop has no x...  !@#$%

thanks in advance!

-mike

ps - the specs sheet that came with the laptop says it has an ATI 3D RAGE 
MOBILITY-M1 and redhat's installer detected it as an ATI RAGE MOBILITY P/M... 
any idea if this is the same thing?

pps - the laptop has a 15.0" SXGA TFT screen that's supposed to run at 1400x1050

-- 
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|              Michael D. Labriola               |
|        mike.labriola at clarksonalumni.com        |
|                                                |
|          Admiralty Drive West Apt F4           |
|             Middletown, RI 02842               |
|                (401)846-4085                   |
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