1. jlb21's Avatar
    Hi all,

    So my daughter tends to use our computer as hers is aging (about 3-4 years). About a year ago, I wiped XP off of it and put Ubuntu 9.04 on there. Worked great and actually worked rather speedily on the older Dell hardware.

    I upgraded a few months ago to the 9.10 release. Worked well.

    Then one day she turned it on and it was a black screen. Tried rebooting, ran a mem test, all sorts of things. Came back but then it happened the next day.

    So I started again from scratch and did a clean install of the 9.10 OS.

    Again, it seemed to work fine. Then when I powered off and then back on, it was blank again (eventually getting to the OS after running some test mode stuff.

    The monitor clearly is ok.

    But the "intermittent" nature of it seems like perhaps a flaky video driver in Ubuntu or perhaps a partially flaky power supply or something else involved in generating the display???

    Not sure and not sure how to nail it down.

    If I thought it was an HD issue, I could easily buy a cheap HD. But anything too expensive and it is not worth it. Eventually, she is going to need her own, fully working PC/laptop.

    But any suggestions on how to try and troubleshoot would be very much appreciated.

    If there is any particular info from me you could use to help diagnose, please let me know.

    Thanks ahead of time!
    Last edited by jlb21; 07-20-10 at 01:11 PM.
    07-20-10 01:09 PM
  2. jlb21's Avatar
    I guess no one with help to offer......

    Anyways, for those reading and wondering, I assume it was driver related and how the version(s) I have run handle the drivers.

    When I got home tonight, I went into recovery mode and noticed there was a 10.04 LTS upgrade version available. I DLed that and now all seems ok. I had done some research and I believe there was in fact an issue with how some of the prior versions were handling Intel video drivers.

    But, again, all seems ok now with the latest version of Ubuntu loaded.
    07-20-10 08:10 PM
  3. Radius's Avatar
    If you want a hardware angle try testing the RAM. Easiest way is to get some more chips and swap out what you have for them.

    You can find a number of drive scanners online as well to test the hard drive.

    I have no idea if this is driver related as it works for a time and then no longer works. Drivers are binary files, they're good or they aren't.

    Another option, check all the fans. Being a laptop if the fans aren't 100% they can cause the system to heat up over time and strange problems can occur. Sometimes this can be fixed by buying a cheap pad with fans in it that the laptop sits on.

    Failing any of this, you might just be looking at ailing hardware in which case you'll most likely need to buy a new one.
    07-20-10 08:34 PM
  4. jlb21's Avatar
    Turned it on again this morning and it booted fine. So it had to have been something about how 9.04 and 9.10 were handling the Intel video drivers, as my research indicated it might be. Nice to have another computer available to us....
    07-21-10 10:24 AM