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Jillboy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:34 pm    Post subject: Can't start X using the NVIDIA driver. Reply with quote

Hello. This is the fourth consecutive time I've reinstalled Gentoo (I probably shouldn't be doing that). Now I've gotten to the point that I can boot the system and do just about anything (including posting to the forums from the Lynx text browser), except for actually starting X Windows.

On a previous install I managed to be able to launch X and do just fine, but I was using the Nouveau driver. So I decided to use the NVIDIA proprietary driver instead to make the most of my GPU, but when I tried to start X again, it just went completely black and stayed that way, forcing me to press the power button to shut down the system. I figured I had messed up somewhere trying to remove the Nouveau driver, so I reinstalled everything again, I even tried to learn how to manually configure the kernel in order to follow the NVIDIA wiki page step by step, and, a few kernel panics later, here I am on a woking install. :o But still no X Windows.

It stays black just like before, except for a few distorted white characters on the bottom, which led me to believe that I was back on the terminal, and sure enough entering "sudo reboot" worked. But still, there are no error messages, it just stays black and I have no idea what could be the problem, except that it might have to do with the NVIDIA drivers as I said above.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jillboy,

Welcome to Gentoo.

Please post your lspci output, so we can see your hardware and your /var/log/Xorg.0.log file.
The /var/log/Xorg.0.log file will tell what Xorg did when it started.
Its too big for a post. Please put it on a pastebin site and post a link.

wgetpaste is your friend.
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Jillboy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Neddy, I was kind of lost because I didn't know which logs would be helpful.

Here is my lspci:
Code:
00:00.0 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 Host Bridge (rev a1)
00:01.0 ISA bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 LPC Bridge (rev a2)
00:01.1 SMBus: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 SMBus (rev a2)
00:01.2 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 Memory Controller (rev a2)
00:02.0 USB controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 USB 1.1 Controller (rev a3)
00:02.1 USB controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 USB 2.0 Controller (rev a3)
00:04.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 PCI bridge (rev a1)
00:05.0 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 High Definition Audio (rev a2)
00:06.0 IDE interface: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 IDE (rev a2)
00:07.0 Bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 Ethernet (rev a2)
00:08.0 IDE interface: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 SATA Controller (rev a2)
00:08.1 IDE interface: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 SATA Controller (rev a2)
00:09.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:0b.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:0c.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 10h Processor HyperTransport Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 10h Processor Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 10h Processor DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 10h Processor Miscellaneous Control
00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 10h Processor Link Control
02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF108 [GeForce GT 630] (rev a1)
02:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation GF108 High Definition Audio Controller (rev a1)


And here is the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file: https://paste.pound-python.org/show/w2MTCGuR7E2FnRZnXN1G/
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jillboy,

It was going well until ...
Code:
[    43.264] (II) NVIDIA: Using 12288.00 MB of virtual memory for indirect memory
[    43.264] (II) NVIDIA:     access.
[    46.266] (EE) NVIDIA(GPU-0): Failed to initialize DMA.


That's probably something missing in your kernel.
Please pastebin your kernel .config file.

Does the nvidia kernel module load?
Try
Code:
modprobe nvidia
Are there any errors on the command line or at the end of dmesg?
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Jillboy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is my kernel config: https://paste.pound-python.org/show/0myzAannGsa1eLhGB03A/

Typing that as a normal user says modprobe: command not found, but as sudo,
Code:
modprobe nvidia
prints nothing at all to the terminal! (And by extension, no errors.) No errors on dmesg either.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may have unsupported memory configuration. How many RAM modules you have? Are they all the same?
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Jillboy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaglover,

Sorry, I'm a bit of a beginner. How do I find out how many RAM modules I have (and if they're the same)? It's embarassing but up until this point I did not even know what a RAM module is. Is that how mamy RAM "sticks" I have? If so that would be a single 8 GB stick.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jillboy,

That's the right answer for modprobe. It confirms that the nvidia kernel module loads without errors.
So that's one thing that we have learned that its not.

To learn a little more about you hardware, run
Code:
dmidecode
. Like all things Gentoo, you won't have it installed until you install it, or something else depends on it.

To tell the world
Code:
dmidecode | wgetpaste
and give us the link.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick duckduckgo found this, that's why I asked about RAM configuration.
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Jillboy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is my dmidecode: https://paste.pound-python.org/show/Vru3wcSqW0213UPFjOmc/
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried putting the memory module into BANK 1.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaglover,

Yep, it may be picky about the order in which DIMMs are fitted.

Jillboy,

Also check your BIOS. It may have a DRAM option for 'Ganged mode'
Ganged mode is only useful when DIMMs are fitted in pairs.
Maybe the nVidia driver hates ganged mode being on with only one DIMM fitted.
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NeddySeagoon

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Jillboy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jag, sorry about the delay, I messed up while trying to switch the RAM module from one bank to the other and thought I had killed my system. Thankfully it's working fine now (quite an experience!) and my RAM module is on the second bank, but alas, I'm still having the same problem and can't start X. (Xorg log still says "Failed to initialize DMA.")

Neddy, I iterated through every option in my BIOS but I couldn't anything that concerned ganged or unganged mode.
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Jillboy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jag, enabled these options, recompiled, installed, reconfigured GRUB, rebooted and done.

But the problem persists, and Xorg log spits out the same error.
Here is my new kernel config just in case: https://paste.pound-python.org/show/D2vy3UuZX5PcX1MnM1pE/
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I'm out of ideas for now. :( Maybe ask your question on nVidia forums.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jillboy,

I suspect that its a hardware or nVidia drivers thing. You can't fix the driver.
The data bus from the CPU to RAM is 128 bits wide. It works at its best when it can drive two RAM modules at a time.
Each module provides 64 data bits. Some hardware can do two accesses to the same RAM module to satisfy the 128 bit expectations.

The nvidia driver may not even check for a single RAM module as its so uncommon.
I bet it works if you fit another identical RAM module in the other slot.
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Jillboy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How weird, I though a single RAM module was a common thing especially for future proofing (i.e. if you ever need more RAM just buy another module and plug it in on the empty slot). That is one mistake I'm not going to commit now when I build my own box.

I wish I could test plugging another but I'm saving money to upgrade other parts and RAM isn't really a priority, so my guess is this ends here and I'm going to stick to the Nouveau drivers. Anyway, thank you very much for the support Neddy and Jag. :o
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