Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1620 mails)

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[opensuse] display fault on Dell laptop, nVidia driver
My main machine's on the blink (quite literally, sometimes). Probably not an openSUSE-specific problem, but can't be sure. In the worst case, it could be a hardware fault brought about by a rogue driver, but I'm probably just being paranoid there. Can anybody recognise the following symptoms and tell me what's likely at fault?

(openSUSE 13.1, 64-bit. KDE 4.11)

I have a Dell Latitude D630 laptop, usually hooked up to a docking station, at which times I use a TV/monitor on the dock's VGA port, running at the same scaled down resolution to match the laptop display. It has an nVidia Quadro NVS 135M for graphics, and I've always used the nVidia proprietary driver with no problems.

I keep the nVidia driver updated via the official repo, but in the last couple of months or so, I've noticed increasing bouts of flickering (momentary glitches), something that never used to occur. Now in the last few days, I'm getting major graphics issues, whereby the screen will suddenly become corrupted and the machine locks up. My only escape is a reboot with the Magic SysRq keys.

At these times the display often shows vertical lines which cycle through some colour changes for a few seconds (always openSUSE greens for some reason) before coming to a rest. I've taken a photo, here:

This corruption sometimes persists on a cold/warm reboot, leading me to believe it's faulty hardware, but other times I might typically reach the KDE login screen, and the moment I hit a key it will go corrupted. To try and diagnose some more, I removed the laptop from the dock, removed the battery and plugged it in separately with no other peripherals. I also took out half the 4GB RAM and let the Dell BIOS diagnostics perform some lengthy testing, most of it on the remaining 2GB RAM (which was new from Crucial last year). After letting that finish a few hours later reporting no problems, I booted the machine in that state and it failed again.

If this is a hardware fault, anybody know which part exactly is likely failing? Most parts on this machine are replaceable though it may not be economical to do so. Is it remotely possible that some bug in the display driver is corrupting either the graphics or main memory? For the moment I'm typing on the faulty machine but this week it's rapidly becoming less and less reliable; I fear my remaining keystrokes are limited.

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