Jul 24, 2007

Display issue on Ubuntu 7.04 after BIOS upgrade


For my laptop, DELL Latitude D505 with Ubuntu Desktop 7.04 installed, it had a snowy bar on the top of the display and the mouse cursor disappeared. The issue happened after a BIOS upgrade from A09 to A11. The BIOS changelogs are

  • [A10] Improve support for DMI based external monitors.
  • [A11] Video output to external display devices fixed.
  • [A11] BIOS legacy USB support improved.
  • [A11] Add support for Vista(tm) BIOS flash.


The issue is likely due to the conflict between the BIOS A11 and the video card driver xserver-xorg-driver-i810. And 3 workarounds are found on web

  1. First switch the video output to CRT and then switch back LCD, by the hotkey 'Fn + F8'
  2. Revert to older version of BIOS
  3. Change the video card driver

The first method works but it is annoyed to switch for every boot. For second method, i havent tried due to the bad feeling of downgrade, it should work though. The third method is my final selection.

According to the thread in Ubuntu forum, it is quite simple to replace my current video driver 'xserver-xorg-driver-i810' by 'xserver-xorg-driver-intel', with the help of aptitude

sudo aptitude install xserver-xorg-driver-intel

During the process, it prompts the confirmation of removing 'i810' and installing 'intel'. X configuration file should be manually modified as follows, replacing "i810" by "intel"

Listing 1. Change of /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Device"
  Identifier   "Intel Corporation 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device"
  Driver       "i810" "intel"
  BusID        "PCI:0:2:0"

After restarting X, my machine displays well as before.

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