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Kubuntu Woes March 16, 2007

Posted by Andre Vellino in Linux.

My home PC got fried tonight, and I think that attempting to boot it with Kubuntu was the cause.

Just so you can peg me right – I’m not the kind of guy who rebuilds the latest kernel in my spare time. But I’m not a linux novice either. My stack of Linux distributions goes back to Yellow Dog for 68K Macs.

Last night I decided to dedicate a disk to Ubuntu, so I booted my desktop from the CD and did an install…. it worked like a charm. Tonight I thought I’d try it again with KDE instead of Gnome – the process with Ubuntu was so painless, I thought I’d just do it all over again with Kubuntu. Half way through the boot process, my machine appeared to hang – the screen expectantly blank, as though the very next thing that was going to happen was an X mouse-cursor and a login-prompt. But, nothing. So I try rebooting a few times (from the CD) and now I don’t even get the BIOS boot sequence! My windows disks won’t boot now either (I have them in removable trays.)

My theory about what happened? Well, I have this ancient 20″ Apple-branded Trinitron CRT dating from 1996. Wonderful monitor! It cost Nortel $5,000 at the time (they gave it to me when Nortel stopped using Macs), and it has great colour and it just lasts and lasts…. But, it has limited resolution modes and Linux systems seem to have trouble recognizing it. I knew that because it has happened before during RedHat installations. What I didn’t expect was that the Intel graphics chips on the motherboard would get fried in the process of synching.

I don’t really know what happened – I just know that my monitor doesn’t get any signals from the motherboard and that the monitor is fine. I also know my PC won’t boot at all and that it’s probably cheaper for me to get a new motherboard than to try to fix the problem….


1. Daniel Lemire - March 20, 2007

Better yet: get NRC to pay for a MacBook and bring it home (just don’t tell them).

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